F*#king Hubris of Ebola Doctors and Loony Left

Please forgive my somewhat out of character bluntness, but the “stakes” here are no less than about 1/2 of the total human population.  Call it 4 Billion souls.

So we’ve already dodged the bullet once (maybe – we still have about 3 weeks to know) in Dallas.  So what happens?  ANOTHER brilliantly clueless idiot who is enamored of his own specialness and noble cause manages to put all of NYC (and through it all of the globe) at risk of a disease that has a 70% mortality and no proven treatment.

Yes, there are a few speculative treatments.  I hardly find it comforting to think of a few speculative treatments as how to ‘bet the future of humanity’ in a prudent way.

Also, against my will, I’ve been afflicted with MSNBC.   It would seem that the ratings of CNN became so dismal that the local “mix” of DISH TV has swapped MSNBC for CNN.  OK, I need some alternative to Fox (that I watch most) as the “loyal opposition” to get my balance of new feeds… but really, MBSNC?  (That’s Mostly BS No Content /snark)

At any rate, I was watching it during commercials on Castle and Fox…   And they are all oozing with endorsement for how courageous this doctor was for running off to Africa to treat Ebola.   And the usual mantra of “must have a fever, and only direct wet contact” and all makes it Just Fine that this irresponsible Dr. was out bowling with friends and riding cabs and subways “prior to being symptomatic”.   Completely clueless that “wet contact” includes sneezing within a yard or two and that “symptomatic” might have included the prior two days of feeling unwell….   (While Fox was fixated on some jerk attacking police with an ax, as though that mattered…)

How may people have to die?  How many $Millions need to be spent on “contact tracing”?  How many cities need to be put into fear and panic?  How much crap has to be recorded before folks realize that Hubris, that the belief that we actually know this disease and can control it, that this arrogance is just giving this virus exactly what it wants?  Free passage globally and wide exposure.

As I’ve pointed out a few times now, the 21 days in NOT a bright line.  It is a 95% level.  The other 5% take longer to show symptoms.  That the “wet contact” is a ‘kinda sorta’ with aerosol working fine (think sneeze or cough) and that dry contact also works as it can live on things like door knobs for several hours.  Oh, and not to mention that dogs can be asymptomatic carriers and that rats and other animals can get the disease as well…   So here was MSNBC specifically stressing that it was EXACTLY 21 days and then you are perfectly safe and that it was ENTIRELY wet contact or you had no risk.  Never mind that Infected Doctor on the subway (coughing?  sneezing?  grabbing the hang rail?), you didn’t kiss him, so what’s the worry?

Look, I’m glad he went and helped those folks.  But really… think about it.  For the $Million or so that will be flushed down the toilet just from his sickness and contact tracing everyone on his travel route, we could have built a Very Nice (perhaps even world class) resort area in Africa.  All those MSF (Doctors Without Borders) folks and anyone else wanting to return to home ports could spend a month (or more) in a nice hotel, with pool, fine dining, and more.   On a nice African coastal area complete with beach and bar.   Reducing the risk to the rest of the world to “near zero”.  Hell, if he wants to have a ‘booty call’ to the spouse or betrothed, send her over for free on the next flight (to stay for 30 days all expenses paid…)   I’m fine with that.  BTW, this Dr.s GF is now in quarantine… I’m sure that’s going to make him look like a ‘good catch’….

So instead we have this “drag folks who were maximally exposed all over the world THEN find out if they are packing virus” strategy?  Really?  That is the BEST we can do?

Given enough trials, one of these times the ‘bug’ will escape to the general public.  Some returning guy will spend the night with a hooker who has a dozen clients in the next dozen days (who did not give their names) and it’s “off to the races”.   During flu season, those dozen will not be diagnosed as Ebola until AFTER they have infected another 2 or 3 each.  At that point, in a dense urban place like NYC, this ends when 100% are dead, recovered, or naturally immune.  The present mortality rate has at least 1/2 and up to 70% of NYC dead.  Maybe not this time, but soon enough….

I would much rather we had that Taj Mahal resort built and the folks stayed in it for 30 days, on the taxpayer dime.  It would be cheaper, and it would remove the global risk from sending Ebola by express air all over the globe.

Frankly, given the MSNBC coverage, I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder.   A need for ‘absolutes’ when there are none.  A need to feel superior (despite not thinking as well as the average bear…)   Some kind of need to hurt others with personal attacks.   And more.   Look folks, this NOT a partisan issue.  NOT AT ALL.   It is entirely a question of exponential growth of infection, 70% mortality, 100:1 contact expansion in western urban areas, and no effective vaccine nor preventative.  (Yes, the MSNBC folks extolled the virtue of bunny suits… all the time not mentioning the number of medical folks who have used ‘protection’ and still got sick.  Sheer hubris…)

So how many must die before folks on The Loony Side Of Left realize that:

1)  This disease does not do what you expect.  It does not care that you are wrong.

2)  It spreads by “moist enough and sometimes dry” paths.  Occasionally a dog or other animal.  Life is not a bright line, it is a bell curve of variations.

3)  Virus is shed even before your temperature reaches 101.5 F and sometimes folks are asymptomatic carriers for a while.

4)  It can, and does, move into animal vectors (dogs, rodents) and you have no clue how to stop that mode of spread.

5)  An exponential growth curve of infection looks like “not much” until just after it has exceeded all possible ways to contain it.   Then you lose all the cities in contact with that spot.  In the western world, that’s 100% of the cities with airports.

6)  You are not good enough to beat that virus in 100% of “trials”.  One failure costs up to 4 Billion dead.  In that context, it is better to inconvenience some doctors and nurses by having them stay (all expenses paid) in a nice hotel resort in Africa rather then having R&R all over the globe.  (Or heck, send over a Cruise Ship and let them spend a month at sea getting home.)

7) This is exactly the wrong place to make it a partisan issue. This is a 100% all hands and all resources on deck right now, no waiting, politics be damned issue. Stop being all ‘in your grill attitude’ and ‘faux offended’ about things like a travel ban. (And certainly lose your white guilt induced racial attitudes about Africa. This virus does not care what color you are, and your family is just as ‘at risk’ as those folks in Liberia.) We need a maximal response NOW, with 100% containment (that needs a travel ban) along with a 100% ‘resources in’ to Africa. And that may well mean a bunch of lily white doctors and nurses being quarantined in Africa for months before leaving. C140 military cargo planes and LCAC delivery of all we have (stuff can go in, even if people out are restricted).

I just don’t know how to make this point clear to the brain dead folks repeating that “what? me worry?” mantra.  They are betting the lives of millions of people and they just do not have that right, nor the skill at prevention they think they have.  We already have a large number of medical professionals using the prescribed protective measures who are dead, sick, or recovering from Ebola.  That is what is called an existence proof.   At this point, to not recognize that fact and prevent further movement of exposed people out of the hot zone is deliberate criminal negligence.

Once again, my prescription would include setting up one (or a few) CBW Military Hospitals in Africa.  We have them ‘in mothballs’ waiting for a war.  Use them.  Now.   One for anyone on the medical staff in Africa who becomes infected.  The rest for everyone else.  Send all of them we have, if needed.  We ought to be able to give the same care in them as we can give in Dallas… or better.

Set up an R&R area in the Hot Zone.  Make it very pleasant to stay there.  Fund it on the taxpayer.  I’m fine with that.  Just nobody leaves by air until 30 days after last exposure and no Ebola in a blood test.

Send all the medical and other aid needed to quench this outbreak as rapidly as possible in Africa.  It’s an exponential growth curve, and that means send all you have as soon as you know you have an ‘issue’.  Any delay means a massive increase in costs and risks.  Do not wait, send it all in now.

Contain, and maximally treat.  Do not, under any circumstance, think you know this disease and can control it.  You do not, and can not.  “Best Guess” is all you have.  It is already mutating and changing.

The ‘stakes’ really are about 70% of 8 Billion or so people.  Do not lose sight of that.  Forget politics.  Forget party.  Forget what you want, and what you believe.   Do put out all you can to prevent spread and effect cure as rapidly has possible.  Yes, that means travel bans.  Yes, it also means sending every and all possible aid into the hot zone.  (Heck, if someone actually institutes this, I’d say send me too.   I’ve worked in hospitals and I believe in eating your own cooking.  I am not prescribing for others what I would not do myself.)

At present what we are doing is “exactly wrong”.   Incremental aid.  Incremental staff (and them with ‘rotation’ for R&R back ‘home’ all over the planet) knowing that many will get sick.   Shipping the virus air express to all sorts of otherwise non-exposed regions.  Then trying to reel back in the virus after it has left the barn.

What will it take to get folks realizing the risk they face?  Perhaps some cases breaking out in Washington D.C.?  A few counties (or States?) in the USA under lock down?  Loss of, oh, I don’t know, maybe Paris?  A 2000 point loss on the Dow after folks realize what happens to profits once all air traffic halts as folks hunker down at home and don’t buy anything?

Those outrageous possibles are not all that unlikely.   At present we are hoping that we will only get ‘one or two’ cases at at time and that spread is under 1 to 1.   That is ONLY a hope.  We had one in Dallas, that infected 2 (so far), that may or may not have infected more (we find out in a couple of weeks…).   Now we’ve had a second spot in NYC where Herr Doctor wandered around the city for a day or two prior to a 100.3 F fever (originally reported as 103 F in the news).  How many will become ill from him?  1, so the chain continues?  2 so we have a double?   Maybe a dozen, so we start the end of NYC?   We will know about mid November….

How many times do we get to roll these “double or nothing” dice before we roll crap dice?

Nobody knows.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in News Related, Political Current Events, Science Bits and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to F*#king Hubris of Ebola Doctors and Loony Left

  1. omanuel says:

    The world is controlled by fools, who are likely to destroy themselves and a large part of the human population.

    I should have seen this coming, but I failed to do so despite Grorge Orwell’s warning in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

  2. pyromancer76 says:

    Thanks for the intelligence and (com)passion. We need more wise, concerned people like you, E.M. Smith. And we need the discipline to make the hard choices to quarantine all the fools and stop all entry from infected countries (like other countries are stopping entry from the U.S.). I am grateful that you are able to blog more regularly.

  3. tom0mason says:

    Meanwhile the spread in Africa continues

    “The Mali government has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country.
    It said a two-year-old girl had tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus. She recently returned from the neighbouring Guinea.
    More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.

    Meanwhile, an international team of scientists has been set up to determine the effectiveness of using the blood of Ebola survivors as a treatment …”


    And an update from the real heros, MSF says –

    West Africa Ebola response started in March 2014 and now counts activities in three countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. MSF currently employs 270 international and around 3,018 locally hired staff in the region. The organization operates six Ebola case management centers (CMCs), providing approximately 600 beds in isolation. Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has admitted more than 4,900 patients, among whom around 3,200 were confirmed as having Ebola. Around 1,140 have survived. More than 877 tonnes of supplies have been shipped to the affected countries since March. The estimated budget for MSF’s activities on the West Africa Ebola outbreak until the end of 2014 is 46.2 million euros.

    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

    Update: October 23, 2014

    The current outbreak in DRC’s Equateur province is unrelated to the one in West Africa. Around 60 MSF staff have been deployed to Lokolia and Boende in response to the outbreak, and teams are running two treatment centers, one with 24 beds and the other with 10 beds. The outbreak is not controlled yet with the last confirmed case being on October 4.


    Update: October 23, 2014

    WHO declared October 20 as the official end of the epidemic after 42 days without a case. The MSF intervention has been closed.


    Update: October 23, 2014

    WHO declared October 17 as the official end of the epidemic after 42 days without a case. The MSF intervention has been closed. MSF’s West African Unit (Dakar) will keep in contact with the government for follow-up as part of their routine activities.

    MSF at http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/our-work/medical-issues/ebola?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=brand_sitelink&gclid=CjwKEAjw2MOhBRCq-Nr87_j-lDASJAAl4FNhYUkyqogBAGMtzUq1aubp2CHrohBMbVgVgIgo6w8PLBoCGePw_wcB


    WHO: Statement on the third meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee on Ebola
    at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-3rd-ihr-meeting/en/

    I wonder if they really understand!

  4. tom0mason says:

    For me the worrying part of the reports is

    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
    Update: October 23, 2014
    The current outbreak in DRC’s Equateur province is unrelated to the one in West Africa.

    Given the mess in the DRC from years of conflict how easy will this outbreak get out of control?
    I sincerely hope MSF is able to contain it, but as it is already ‘out’ with walking infectors, it has the potential to be a difficult case to manage. The only bright spot is that the area is relatively sparsely populated so (hopefully) easier to quarantine.

  5. gallopingcamel says:

    Now the administration is talking about isolating people for 21 days but they can’t use the “Q” word as that would be “Politically Incorrect”.

    It is QUARANTINE dammit. Something that governments understood back in the day when smallpox was an issue.

    How could our government be incompetent enough to allow Ebola to enter the USA? Fortunately there is an election coming up that will provide an opportunity to tell these clowns what we think of them.

  6. gallopingcamel says:

    Benjamin Franklin said:
    “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

    Since the Carter administration the USA has been in a perpetual “State of Emergency” which means that the Executive has “Emergency Powers:

    In spite of giving up my freedoms I feel less secure so it seems that Benjamin Franklin was right.

  7. M Simon says:

    Well we do have idiots in high places:

    Ebola travel bans are ‘irrational,’ says head of Red Cross


  8. Pingback: Classical Values » Opposing The Insanity

  9. Lynn Clark says:

    E.M. Smith said, “…I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder.”

    I’ve told this story many times before, maybe even here. About 10 years ago I was walking down the book and magazine aisle at a local grocery store, perusing the books to see if anything looked worth reading. I saw a book on the top shelf titled, “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder”, by Michael Savage. I remember thinking, “Wow, that’s pretty provocative!” I didn’t buy the book, but several years later I caved in and signed up for cable TV (mostly so I could get broadband internet). MSNBC was part of the “basic internet” package. That was my first real introduction to the liberal/progressive mind, but for the most part, it didn’t seem too extreme to me, as there was nothing on that network to compare it to (except Joe Scarborough, and he seemed a bit…wishy-washy). A few years later I upped my cable subscription to a plan that included Fox News. It didn’t take very long watching Fox News to realize that Savage’s book title was spot on. When you are able to hear both liberal/progressive and conservative arguments argued head-to-head by people who are used to making their case, you quickly start to wonder if progressives actually hear the words that come out of their own mouths. You also start to understand that there’s definitely a mental disorder involved, even if you can’t name it. A few years ago I heard about a book called, “The Liberal Mind, the Psychological Causes of Political Madness”, by Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr. M.D., a psychiatrist. I haven’t finished it yet — it’s my sitting-in-a-doctor’s-waiting-room book, so I get about two shots a year at it — but got far enough into it to understand the basic thesis of the book. Basically, Rossiter’s thesis is that a liberal mind is an adolescent mind. As such, it is incapable of seeing the world as it is, i.e., as an adult sees it. It is incapable of understanding responsibilities as an adult does. Hence, as you stated, its insistence on requiring absolutes where there are none, a need to feel superior despite obviously flawed logic, certainty where it doesn’t exist (think AGW), childish thinking rather than adult thinking (lack of concern about deficit spending and an almost $18 Trillion dollar debt, for example), boogey-men behind every door (everyone except them is a raging racist and hates women), narcissism and hubris (President Obola…goes without saying). It makes sense when you understand it is all the product of an immature mind.

    Several years later I did buy and read Michael Savage’s book. His arguments weren’t as strong as they could have been, and the writing wasn’t very good. I remember it being quite a slog to get through it.

  10. Despite the health-workers using all-over suits and masks, a large number have caught Ebola. Some have been flown home and have recovered, others have been flown home and died but the majority have stayed where they were and either died or recovered.

    It’s been noted that Ebola mutates pretty rapidly. The mutations that are transmitted more easily will be the ones that are selected – standard survival of the fittest since the mutations that are easily stopped will be stopped. By having a cut-off at 21 days incubation period we’re selecting for strains with a longer incubation period. What we’ll find is that although it’s likely that Ebola will become more survivable it’s also likely to become far more easily transmissable. Anything less than 100% success in stopping it will lead to mutations that won’t be stoppable using that method.

    Travel bans are bad for business now, but not doing it may be a lot worse for businesses in the coming year. Shame there isn’t a cure for short-sightedness in politics.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Note that quarantine comes from the Roman word for the forty days that a ship had to sit in port before they could unload during the times of Black Death in the Empire…. It has been known to be right and effective for a very long time…


    A modest suggestion:

    Perhaps we can have it both ways…

    Instead of a half dozen entry points, have just one. Land all incoming flights from Ebola infected countries in Washington D.C. at the airport favored by Senators. Since these are heroes of the front lines, have 100% of them attend a mandatory “Thank You” meet and greet with the Senate and (on alternate events) one of the President or the V.P. (so everyone gets a chance to say “thank you”…) Free “finger foods” and beverages. Lots of “mingle time”. Senators to bring spouses and kids too. Royal Family, pardon, I meant “First Family” to attend too.

    Since we ‘know’ there is no risk and we have 100% control of things, I’m sure there will not be a problem at all….

  12. omanuel says:

    @ E. M. Smith

    World leaders “shot themselves in the foot” by destroying the integrity of scientific establishments.

    Skeptics of consensus science are now powerless, frustrated and angry.

  13. philjourdan says:

    E.M., you are wrong on one point. It SHOULD not be a partisan issue. However, it IS. The looney liberals have made it that way. Ebola scares me. It scared the hell out of Tom Clancy when he was alive so much so that like WWIII, he wrote a book about it being used as a terrorist weapon.

    If you are familiar with the Dune series, Frank’s son continued it. And the thinking machines devised a virus that had a 40% mortality rate as that was their computation of the level necessary to bring down societies! And this one has a 70% rate! The left is parroting the Malthusian line. They WANT it to decimate the population. None of their “natural” prognostications have been born out and they greatly desire humankind to be pushed back to the stone age. of course they do not say that, instead saying that quarantine of the nations, or isolation of the exposed people is “racist”. In every thing you said about the idiots of MSNBC (and I do not watch it period, ever) shows they are good sheep bleating the malthusian line without a clue what the hell they are talking about. But make no mistake (and I know I come off sounding like some conspiracy theorist), those who are making the excuses to not contain it are being given those excuses by the ones that think Man is the cancer on the planet, and the sooner we are gone, the healthier it will be.

    It should not be political. It most definitely IS political.

  14. Jason Calley says:

    Hey E.M.! “I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder. ”

    Yes. The answer is “yes.” Sadly, most so-called conservatives have an only slightly less virulent variety of the same disorder. You and me and the crowd of readers who frequent “Musings from the Chiefio” are a rare and self selected group who live waaaay out on the end of the bell-curve. We think; we don’t just emote and then rationalize a reason for our feelings. The brain disorder in question is a memetic disease that is spread by human social contact. (There even seems to be a non-memetic, physiological damage that accompanies it. http://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=gbiq2-ukfhM ) Just like the rabies virus expresses itself through irrational aggression or biting — and thus compels its victims to more widely spread the virus — this memetic disease spreads itself by compelling its carriers to alternately hit or ignore their own children, or to force young people into meme indoctrination camps called schools. The result is a nation full of humans who have lost their ability to be rational but will respond reliably to emotional images and phrases.

    You seem to be naturally (or luckily, or blessedly, or accidentally) immune to this disease. Well, maybe not immune — but certainly highly resistant!

    In the meantime, as you point out, there are billions of us in a giant boat, and a bunch of the biggest and strongest have started drilling holes in the bottom of the hull. What to do? I think you are doing the most that anyone can, at the moment. There is no way that you or I can stop the idiots from drilling — but we can shout to the handful of thinkers that they may want to look for the exits and move toward the lifeboats. Like you, I am already well along in planning for a retreat and shelter in self-imposed isolation if needed. Will we need to go to plan B, plan C or plan D? I pray that this potential pandemic does not go massively global, but there is certainly little evidence that the power structure of the US wants to prevent it.

  15. Jason Calley says:

    “Hell, if he wants to have a ‘booty call’ to the spouse or betrothed, send her over for free on the next flight (to stay for 30 days all expenses paid…) I’m fine with that. BTW, this Dr.s GF is now in quarantine… I’m sure that’s going to make him look like a ‘good catch’….”

    I forget where I saw it, but one report claims that semen can still transmit the virus for six or eight weeks after recovery of male patients. If anyone else saw that, please correct me if needed.

  16. A C Osborn says:

    E M, it is not all bad, did you read the Jo Nova article about the Plantation?
    They did it right, showing all these “so called” medical experts how it should be done.

  17. philjourdan says:

    @Jason Calley – I read the same information. But it was on a news site, so I cannot attest to its validity.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @A C Osborn:

    Yes, nice article. Sure there is hope. Heck, this thing could be shut down (fast) with the last cases in about 2 months if the right things were done. It isn’t hard, and the solution is well known. BUT, we are not doing that.

    Isolate the sick. Treat them with all you have. Spread the positive results to all centers so they know which works best.

    Isolate the exposed but not sick. Give them full medical and dietary support. As added cases show up, treat them aggressively.

    Isolate the exposed areas so the folks you missed to not accidentally expand the exposure area. Give them full medical and dietary support. (That’s the ‘travel ban’ mixed with a load of aid.)

    Monitor areas outside the exposed areas and rapidly capture, contain, and treat any new spots that escaped.

    All those layers of isolation prevent further spread to any significant degree. In about a month, you are done, other than the areas you missed. They take the next month. Providing a load of aid and medical care into the exposed areas makes them desirable places to stay rather than places to escape. Having full, rapid medical care along with testing and reporting what works rapidly arrives at the most effective treatments.

    All this takes an effective Martial Law approach in the infected areas with strongly enforced travel controls even outside that area. It requires a full 100% rapid response of medical aid in. Neither of those is happening nor likely to happen…

    @Jason Calley:


    Key facts

    Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
    The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
    The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.


    Media centre
    Fact sheets
    Ebola virus disease

    Fact sheet N°103
    Updated September 2014

    Key facts

    Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
    The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
    The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
    The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
    Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.
    Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
    There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

    The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

    The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal.

    The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

    A separate, unrelated Ebola outbreak began in Boende, Equateur, an isolated part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The virus family Filoviridae includes 3 genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. There are 5 species that have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first 3, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014 west African outbreak belongs to the Zaire species.


    It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

    Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

    Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.

    Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola.

    People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    I fear you are right. It appears we may have dodged the bullet with the Dallas infection so, this “doctor without brains” brought the infection to the center of the worlds most important city and tried to spread it around! I wonder if they have sent others to the other worlds cities? This deliberate stupidity must be to someone’s plan.
    Guess I should get back to plan of canning and stocking up on storeable food. Good thing I live on the end of a long dirt road.
    The authorities brag that they have 4 places to treat infected patients across the U.S. THAT is 4 BEDS! Things will get very crowded, very quickly, even the needed hazmat suits will run out quickly.
    On the good side, it appears to me that a majority of people may be naturally resistant to serous infection. They just get the sniffles or have an off day and then are immune. Some get infected and their bodies go into overdrive and crash. This mantra the infection is hard to transmit is not logical. It may be that a bad reaction is somewhat rare. Humans have lived with Ebola for a very long time. Genetic drift in the infector as well as people could explain the present infection flash. pg

  20. cdquarles says:

    Remember this about viral infections: You become infectious before you get symptoms, for the symptoms are the result of local tissue apoptosis and in a few days generalized activation of the immune system. You remain infectious as long as you’re shedding viruses.

  21. Jason Calley says:

    Hey E.M., thanks for the link confirming sexual transmission time frames. As you have pointed out, the authorities are playing a very dangerous game by failing to institute effective anti-contagion measures now, while such efforts are so very much more effective and inexpensive.

    By the way, if I may insert something personal and a bit more upbeat into the middle of this rather dismal subject —

    Thanks! Thanks for all the thought, all the hours and all the wonderfully fascinating creativity which you have poured into this blog over the years. God bless the neuro-typicals and may He ever watch over them and their wee pointy heads, but it is the small number of people like yourself, E.M., that make life such an interesting experience. Thank you so much, and my best to you and yours.

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    All you can do sometimes is just shake your head at the inherent stupidity of the human race when it comes to things like this.

    If my calculation of the growth exponent on the other thread is correct at about 1.04% we get growth as seen below every 14 days. In the late stages of growth around generation 25 the entire medical system and commercial infrastructure would be compromised and obviously all the happy talk would disappear but it would be too late to stop the raging wild fire of disease.

    If you start with 100 infected persons in a population center and over whelm the local medical resources after 26 compounding cycles (1 year or 26 14 day multiplication intervals) You end up with the following growth numbers every 14 days:
    zero — 100
    d14 — 120
    d28 — 145
    d42 — 177
    d56 — 218
    d70 — 271
    d84 — 339
    d98 — 428
    d112 — 545
    d126 — 702
    d140 — 913
    d154 — 1199
    d168 — 1592
    d182 — 2138
    d196 — 2906
    d210 — 3998
    d224 — 5571
    d238 — 7866
    d252 — 11,262
    d266 — 16,356
    d280 — 24,112
    d294 — 36,102
    d308 — 54,933
    d322 — 85,002
    d336 — 133,846
    d350 — 214,621
    d364 — 350,703 — one year at 4% every 14 days
    d378 — 584,436
    d392 — 994,046
    d406 — 1,727,042 — you break 1 million deaths every 14 days at 1 year 41 days
    d420 — 3,067,573
    d434 — 5,575,281
    d448 — 10,378,091
    d462 — 19,804,422
    d476 — 38,782,221
    d490 — 78,14,977
    d504 — 161,385,721 — by day 504 you lose half the population of the U.S. every 14 days

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    The above post is a bit over simplified as it ignores changes in the population. At some point the infection rate will slow down as logistic curve effects begin to suppress exponential growth. You obviously cannot have more infected than exist in the local population pool and as the death rate grows the number of immune survivors also increases and at some point then will become a large enough portion of the population that the fertile ground for growth in a virgin population will also start to slow the spread as fewer and fewer members of the population are susceptible to the infection. Also social behavior will change when it really gets out of control just as it did during the plagues. Towns will cut themselves off from infected areas, high risk behaviors such as social kisses will disappear.Visits to prostitutes will drop off as people realize such contacts put them at very high risk.

    That said the above growth numbers will be valid in the early expansion of the disease through virgin populations at the point where the infection is like a grass fire burning across an open prairie.

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oh goody clueless emergency services folks toss protective gear from ebola response in public trash cans.

  25. M Simon says:

    Larry Ledwick says:
    24 October 2014 at 3:49 pm

    A simpler example: Assume a doubling every 21 days. At around the two year mark (21*31 days) you get 4 billion dead. As you say things slow in the later parts of such a regime. But the example does sober the stupid.

  26. Pingback: Classical Values » Ebola By The Numbers

  27. p.g.sharrow says:

    It has been reported that the police involved had put on the gear as a precaution but did not enter the building or were involved with any exposure. So the discarded gear was unused and there was no contamination risk. pg

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Okay I did a bit more number crunching today.

    First off, it has been about 45 years since I last actually used much exponential math and related problem solving. Also much of this was done in idle time at work, so lots of distractions. I finally decided to use an iterative approach ( ie club simply brute force approach) both because I was not sure I trusted my more elegant solutions and to get a feel for the sensitivity of the exponent.

    It is clear that the growth exponent will change over time due to changes in the universe of susceptible potential patients ( ie much easier to have faster spread in a dense urban environment than a rural environment ). Second population behavior will change in time as awareness increases regarding the threat and proper protective measures so I don’t think there is any “right” answer.

    This is what I came up with today from a little google searching and banging my head on the key board. If someone with more current operational familiarity with this sort of calculation wants to double check me and see if they see any errors or take this to the next step and code a routine to graph likely outcomes please add your observations or results.

    Oh and yes I know these numbers have useless precision I just used the full output from the windows scientific calculator for the calculations to minimize rounding errors, accumulated error and to make it easy for folks to double check the numbers.

    If it matters this was done on Windows 7 64 bit

    Logistic Growth
    A model for a quantity that increases quickly at first and then more slowly as the quantity approaches an upper limit. This model is used for such phenomena as the increasing use of a new technology, spread of a disease, or saturation of a market (sales).
    The equation for the logistic model is http://www.mathwords.com/l/l_assets/logistic_eqn.gif. Here,
    IL = arbitrary interval length selected at 14 days to fit with the data we have from the "WHO sitreps"
    t = number of time interval
    N = The amount at time t
    N0   = The initial amount (at time 0)
    K = The maximum amount that can be sustained
    r = The rate of growth per time interval ( IL ) when N is very small compared to K.
    e = 2.71828
    T = 2 weeks
    N = 4269  ( day 251)
    N0 = 3052  (day 237)
    K = 6000000000 [ worlds population essentially 100% are susceptable ]
    e- 0.324 * 1 = 0.72325040000464178610641905038448
    e- 0.324 * 2 = 1.446500800009283572212838100769
    (for two intervals = 28 days)
    (N0 * 6000000000) /  N0 + (6000000000 - N0 ) e^( -0.324* 2)
    (N0 * 6000000000) /  N0 + (6000000000 - N0 ) e^ ( -0.648)
    (3052 * 6000000000) /  3052+ (6000000000 - 3052 ) * 0.72325040000464178610641905038448
    (18312000000000 ) /  3052 + ( (5999996948) * 0.72325040000464178610641905038448)
    ( 18312000000000 )  /  4339503244.6676299024717831055159
    2 interval target = 5843
    5940.5171033147099062687690925361 @ -0.333
    5904.9807752700670492316058237941 @ -0.330
    5881.4080680230515997055473179114 @ -0.328
    5834.5445846272479330787144207416 @ -0.324
    4330.9922154492726760769531868736 @ -0.350
    1 intervaln
    4266.5122306660200550682367497664 @ -0.335 and 1 interval
    1 interval 4269= target
    4287.8981825143163988189458473453 @ -0.340
    4219.8378403108091038050056282918 @ -0.324
  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    I see I forgot to paste in the general formula :

    N =          N0 * K    
             N0 + ( K - N0 ) e^ -(rt)
  30. M Simon says:

    There is some hopeful news. We may not need a vaccine:


    There is good scientific evidence that cannabinoids, and in particular Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections (4). Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials. (1)

    Ebola is a complex RNA viral organism that causes the cell to engulf it by pinocytosis, and then the virus hijacks the cell to replicate itself. This replication can involve many mutations in the RNA code that make it difficult to impossible to create an effective vaccine. There are U.S. Patents showing evidence that Cannabinoids have significant anti-viral activity. (3) (4)


    More at the link including more links.

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon: OK, So we play ’70’s music in the quarantine resorts and have free pot parties? Hey man, whatever works… but I’m pretty sure folks would complain less bout quarantine. .. :-)

  32. M Simon says:

    Uh. Maybe I’m too old but 60s music? Seriously. Dr. Allen who wrote the piece I quoted in part is trustworthy – in my estimation. And he has numerous cites on the antiviral properties of cannabinoids. Not surprising since endocannabinoids provide a similar function in the immune system.

    Seriously. I don’t get why every mention of cannabinoids (you have more receptors for them in your body than any other kind of receptor) turns into a hippie joke. This is serious business. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are serious medicine.

    And free pot parties are not going to cut it. You have to find a strain with the correct ratios of cannabinoids to treat the problem you want to treat. Should you use a high agonist cannabinoid or a high antagonist? THC or cannabidiol? Or one of the other cannabinoids? This is medicine. Not a joke.

    Maybe the treatment doesn’t even get you high.

  33. M Simon says:

    The antidote to your flippancy is a serious study of the endocannabinoids followed by a study of their exogenous analogs.

    And don’t get me wrong. I don’t oppose getting high. I do wish to see the serious study of medicine. Then maybe we can get over the prejudice and the Cheech and Chong stereotypes.

  34. M Simon says:

    You make note of the prejudice yourself “but I’m pretty sure folks would complain less bout quarantine” and yet you have done nothing to combat it.

    So far those who have looked into endocannabinoids have found they regulate every system in the body studied so far. And yet prejudice runs so high that “folks complain”. Just how stupid can humans get? How prejudiced? Are hippies a substitute for Jews? And is the prejudice so bad that we now hate a significant part of ourselves? Well isn’t that how prejudice always works?

    Well you got me started. And I’m somewhat knowledgeable in the field.

    Ignoratii non-carborundum.

    Seriously. Start with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

  35. M Simon says:

    How about the anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids from the NIH:


    Do you think people will complain about a hippie cure for cancer? Of course they will. I have seen it myself.

    But “Dave’s not here”. Indeed.

  36. M Simon says:

    The endocannabinoid system is so pervasive:


    The list is not exhaustive. My estimation is that if cannabinoid medicine was fully exploited we could save between a $half trillion and a $trillion and a half in medical expenses every year. In the US alone. But people will complain. Big pharma people especially.

  37. punmaster52 says:

    @ omanuel:
    A minor correction: The world is controlled by self-aggrandizing fools.

  38. M.Simon – a bit of flippancy is understandable given that the various beneficial aspects of the venerable Hemp plant are largely illegal for no good reason. AFAIK it was originally made illegal because the Hemp fibre was so much better than Cotton and the Cotton growers didn’t like that.

    On the good side (but still maybe a bit flippant) we might expect that Amsterdam will be immune from Ebola, and that the same will apply to Colorado. It could be, of course, that the breeding and genetic modifications to produce a product that gets you higher will have reduced the medical usefulness of the plants thus modified.

    Unless there’s a modification of the molecule, there won’t be a patent available so no-one will make any money other than the growers. Research thus has to be mainly by interested individuals on their own money and some universities where there’s a tenured professor who’s interested.

    Does this make sense? No, but that applies to a lot of things. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

  39. p.g.sharrow says:

    @M.Simon; This is of some interest to me.
    I have made both the oil and the paste, didn’t know what they were called, just needed the material. My lady suffers from Migraine and has been subjected to nearly every treatment that the medicine wagon practitioners have come up with over the last 60 years. All have bad side effects, are very expensive and work poorly. The paste works well and the worst side effect is a good nights sleep.

    Some friends@
    make a skin cream from the roots, no THC, that works very well for healing skin injuries as well as shallow flesh damage.
    The cannabis plant is a medical wonder and big pharma doesn’t own it, so they have tried to keep it outlawed. The U.S. patents you site are owned by the government that says cannabis has no medicinal value. I fear that after the people reclaim their natural right to cannabis the government will enforce big pharma control of it. pg

  40. M Simon says:


    Amsterdam may be no more immune than West Africa. The strains that get you high are not the best ones for treating Ebola. Cannabis is not an undifferentiated substance. You might as well say “build this chair design out of wood”. Mahogany or bamboo?

    Nice video here on treating Ebola with cannabinoids: http://youtu.be/0xe1_8YzAnM


    Yes. Cannabis fully used in medicine will up-end 1/4 to 3/4s of it. It is one of the reasons Big Pharma supports Prohibition. Their gravy train would be over.

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now that I have had some sleep back to the logistic curve calculations for Ebola in a virgin population group.

    1. Lets assume that my calculation above is representative of the proper exponent at 0.324 for growth over a 14 day period for expedient field medical treatment environments like West Africa.

    Using the formula for time to the inflection point (point of peak infection rate when half the available population has been infected in the web page I reverenced earlier — Last equation at the bottom of the page.)

    Streamlining the formula to a single line statement and calculating the results using google I can enter the following:

    Population of New York City = 8,405,837
    growth exponent ( r ) = 0.324 for a 14 day interval of growth in infections
    Y sub 0 (number of initial infections) = 1
    t = a 14 interval
    L = 8,405,837 (limiting number of susceptible people who could be infected)

    (( -1 / r ln( Y0 / L -Y0))

    (( -1)/0.324 ln(1/8,405,837 -1))

    Assuming no drastic control measures are enacted like curfews, massive evacuation of the uninfected from the city, massive medical response pushing thousands of medical professionals into the city etc.

    The point were 50% are infected and the point where the logistic curve changes from concave to convex (also point of maximum speed of spread) occurs at 49.211 intervals of t or 688.96 days.
    This assumes of course that containment efforts remain similar to the conditions that existed in west Africa where the data that the growth exponent was calculated from.

    What is the proper growth exponent for a modern city with some ability to mobilize large numbers of modern medical resources? No way to know that answer until after the fact (or at least until you are well into the pandemic).

    As you can see one of the very deceptive things about this infection is that due to its long incubation period it moves relatively slowly unlike a flu epidemic it would be more like a slow moving steam roller relentlessly moving through the pool of susceptible population.

    The question is, at what point does it fully saturate modern medicine.
    When would it exhaust the ability to do effective contact tracing and have sufficient medical staff to treat infected persons and drop back to the conditions we see in West Africa.
    If that happened in a big city like New York they would have to use Central Park and sports stadiums as triage areas and expedient treatment clinics set up at neighborhood level because all the critical care facilities have been over whelmed.

    If we assume the r exponent is half what it is in west Africa due to modern medical resources available in a major 1st world country, the numbers get a bit better.

    – 1/0.162 ln (1/ (8,405,837 – 1))

    It would take 98.422 intervals to infect 50% of the cities population or 1377.91 days (3.775 years).

    All this of course is purely hypothetical and cannot really evaluate various control strategies, but the possibility that a 50%-70% lethal disease with no currently available treatment other than supportive care could get loose in a major city is worth considering. What happens if it gets away from them and they are filling semi truck trailers with bodies every day? Is that a risk we want to take or do we safe side the response and plan for the worst and hope for the best. Use aggressive quarantine protocols on people traveling from high risk areas.

    There is a reason that Ellis Island had an immigrant hospital for management of imigrants who were carrying diseases which at that time also had no effective control measures other than supportive care and quarantine. During that time you did not get admitted to the U.S. until you passed a medical screening and could be sent home if you to the country of origin if you presented with a serious medical condition, or as in the case of many die in the immigrant hospital on Ellis Island.

    Again anyone with an active math background is encouraged to validate my calculations.

  42. R. de Haan says:

    “Frankly, given the MSNBC coverage, I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder.”

    You hit the nail right on the head.
    The very basics of the the Club of Rome, UN agenda 21 and the AGW doctrine find it’s origin in a brain disorder so I didn’t wonder a similar “brain dead” approach in curbing the Ebola outbreak would surface.

    We might come to the conclusion the real epidemic is a global brain disease spreading among our establishment leading to a zombification of Government policy.

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    @M. Simon:

    I seem to have hit a nerve that set you off…

    FWIW, the reason for my “flippant” response is entirely fond memories of the ’70s …. You may not have noticed it, but the overall description of ‘what to do’ was endorsing the idea (in a fun nostalgic kind of way… )

    My only complaint about the stuff (and the reason I only tried it briefly in the ’70s) is that it impairs my memory. I first noticed that instead of remembering absolutely everything, the details started to get ‘fuzzy’. When you depend on speed reading the book and visualizing the formulas on page 53 to get it right on the stats exam, a small error, or having no crisp visual of that page spring up on demand is, er, noticed… I would use “state specific memory” and it started to not work. (Played a particular bit of classical music while flipping pages in the stats text. In the exam, replay the music in your head and watch the pages turn… One of those synesthesia things Aspes do, but in a mild controlled form. Still tend to see stats formulas when I watch Clockwork Orange ;-)

    As other friends (one now a name lawyer, another MBA from UCB) didn’t have that problem, I assume it is specific to me and / or a subset of folks.

    So, just to be clear on my position:

    I am 100% in favor of zero drug laws. No war on drugs. No fines. Nothing. Grow any plant you want and use it in any way you desire. ( See Genesis, IIRC, where God gave you that right…) Yes, some folks will do harm to themselves. Tends to be self limiting and those same folks will end up on “Idiots On Parade” TV anyway playing “dive into concrete” and “crotch to the fence at 40 MPH” so you are saving them from a far more painful end… Many more folks will find benefit.

    The simple fact is that restricting the smart does not save the stupid. It only hurts the smart and restricting the stupid just sends the stupid to a different pain. The only “war on FOO”, ought to be real wars with bombs and guns. ‘War’ is too important a word to waste on frivolous social crap and laws. (Hey, we can have a ‘war on tardiness’ so a ‘war on IndoChina’ can’t be much worse…. )

    I remember when codeine was legal OTC. There was some minor abuse. It has become much worse since it was made a trendy party thing of lawlessness instead of a ‘stupid folks do that’. I do wish I could just buy old style codeine cough syrup that worked without a day off work and wasted money at the Dr. office. I remember when we had a lot less ‘war on drugs’, and a lot less drug abuse. (I also remember when The PTB passed around 2 model joints in gym class with stern warnings that this is what we were to avoid, after being forced to watch Reefer Madness: and the plate came back with 3 on it ;-) Thanks Steve and Jim for a very fond memory of two officious adults with near apoplexy ;-)

    So please, don’t read more into a fond memory based joke than is there.

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting article from the BBC regarding how Nigeria dodged the bullet on EVD.
    It says a lot about what good medical practice can accomplish if promptly applied and the initial outbreak is rapidly quarantined and access is restricted.
    A single woman, Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh is probably responsible for Nigeria’s success.


  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    After doing a bit more refresher training on old skills, I have sorted out how to use an exact calculation method to figure out the percent increase in deaths per day instead of depending on the approximate but brute force method of iteration to work out a ball park value.

    As expected the percent increase in deaths has been changing with time in West Africa, and that is good news, since the death rate per day has been nearly cut in half since the Aug 29 sitrep from WHO.

    I again took advantage of the calculate feature on google to make the calculations, so anyone could replicate the numbers or move on to new numbers with later sitrep values.

    I decided to use a daily value since the intervals between sitreps hop around a bit.

    D1 = deaths on first day of the period of interest
    D2 = deaths on the last day of the period of interest
    days = total elapsed time in days between D1 and D2
    r = rate of increase per day of the interval
    t = number days in the period between D1 and D1

    The formula used is:
    ln (D2/D1)/t = r

    For example
    25 oct 2014 death toll = 4922
    10 Oct 2014 death toll = 4024
    difference in days = 15
    calculate ln(4922/4024)/15 <— enter this in google
    result should be 15 days (0.01342923461 / day) = 1.34% / day

    Recent sitrep pairs and their daily death increase
    Aug 29 to Sept 12 @ 15 days (0.02406232925 / day )
    Sept 12 to Sept 26 @ 13 days ( 0.02533055845 / day)
    Sept 26 to Oct 10 @ 14 days (0.01902666313 / day)
    Oct 10 to Oct 25 @ 15 days (0.01342923461 / day)

    To figure deaths at some future date:
    D2 = D1(e)^(rt) <— deaths at some future date
    Using the values for the most recent set of sitreps from
    Oct 10 to Oct 25 at 0.01342923461 / day until the end of the year

    calculate 4922(e)^(0.01342923461*66) = 11941.7950544

    Current doubling time at this growth rate of 0.01342923461 / day
    we get an approximate doubling time of about 51.6 days at current death rates.

    doubling time calculation
    D1 (e)^(rt)= 2*D1
    calculate 4024(e)^(0.01342923461*51.615) = 8048.02224338

  46. M Simon says:


    Yeah. You hit a nerve. If you want to see how bad it is. Look at these responses from medical schools when they were asked about the teaching of the endocannabinoid system (you have more receptors for cannabinoids than any other receptor type):


    and if you want some humor:


  47. Jason Calley says:

    @ M Simon “Seriously. I don’t get why every mention of cannabinoids (you have more receptors for them in your body than any other kind of receptor) turns into a hippie joke.”

    Why? Because we have been collectively programmed to respond that way. “Pot smoking hippies”, “bomb throwing anarchists”, “tin-foil hat conspiracy theory”, “white supremacist militia group”. Any group that espouses an idea dangerous to the power and profit of our leaders will be demonized, usually by relentless TV indoctrination. Even those of us who do not watch the MSM will be exposed to secondary infection. Most people would never willingly eat feces, but they will happily ingest bull s&*t concepts all day long.

  48. philjourdan says:

    Give it to that freaking nurse in NJ. She is the reason pandemics spread.

  49. philjourdan says:

    @P.G. – They can distill the portion of it so that you do not get high (one treatment for it involves tobacco – but not the carcinogen portion). But E.M. was just making a joke. And I enjoyed it.

  50. philjourdan says:

    @M Simon – oops! Sorry, the previous post was for you. not P. G.

  51. philjourdan says:

    @Larry ledwick – thank you. At least some countries show some sanity.

  52. Jason Calley says:

    @ M Simon Well, at least we can be sure that the academicians who speak against cannabinoids are not being paid by the pharmaceutical companies. Or maybe not… http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/leading-anti-marijuana-academics-are-paid-by-painkiller-drug-companies

    And no, I do not use the stuff either medically or recreationally.

  53. M Simon says:

    philjourdan says:
    27 October 2014 at 12:05 pm

    They can distill the portion of it so that you do not get high (one treatment for it involves tobacco – but not the carcinogen portion). But E.M. was just making a joke. And I enjoyed it.

    For some problems the THC is essential. For others it either has no effect or is harmful. For instance – when fighting some cancers, high THC and high CBD cannabis oil is recommended. We can’t really say prescribed because no scientific tests in humans have been done. It is all ad hoc and anecdote so far.

    But there is the problem. Just suppose cannabis (of the correct variety) cut cancer in half. Whole wings of hospitals and doctors of oncology would be made obsolete over night. It is my estimation that if cannabis was fully exploited between 1/4 and 3/4s of medicine would be obsolete. Doctors might be reduced to just treating physical injuries.

    Medicine in America represents about $2 trillion of a $15 trillion economy. Think of what rendering most of that obsolete would do, Or even 1/4 of it.


    And look at what we have here. A fairly smart knowledgeable crowd. And yet – who, besides me and possibly one other – have heard of endocannabinoid medicine? But I’ll bet nearly every one has heard of the Cheech and Chong jokes. “Dave’s not here.”

  54. philjourdan says:

    The Renaissance man does not exist. It is to our benefit that we have people who are knowledgeable or experts in a wide variety of subjects so that we can all learn.

    But it does not take much knowledge, nor indeed an expert, to remember a comedy skit from 40 years ago. Hence why most know about “Dave’s not here”, but before this weekend, few of us knew about endocannabinoids.

    Now we do.

  55. M Simon says:

    And look at the nearly obligatory “I do not use the stuff either medically or recreationally.”

    “Fear will keep the Star Systems in line” – yes it will. Until it doesn’t. When people are no longer afraid, control breaks down.

  56. philjourdan says:

    I do not care who uses it or not. Like E.M., I have tried it. And do not use it for the same reason.

  57. Pingback: Classical Values » Corruption In High Places

  58. M Simon says:

    Jason Calley says:
    27 October 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I gave you credit here: http://classicalvalues.com/2014/10/corruption-in-high-places/

  59. M Simon says:

    philjourdan says:
    27 October 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Do you object to the war on the people who do? Or are you just indifferent?

    Denying people medicine is a crime against humanity. A crime which goes generally unremarked in this country – lest you become a target of the enforcers Not that I blame you. But look at what fear does. “I do not use it” is near obligatory. Lest you become a target.

  60. philjourdan says:

    I said I HAVE used it. That in itself is an admission of a past crime since it was illegal (I am not over 80). And I see no war on those who do. Like most laws in this country, they are not designed to catch bad guys. They are simply used to prosecute anyone that the state decides it does not like. I do not like any of those laws. But I am also aware that I am in a minority and that most people are indifferent or stupid (not realizing that they will be the next victim when their toad like service is no longer useful).

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    @M. Simon:

    You might want to consider that when someone is endorsing your position, saying “I do not use it either medicinally or recreationally” is not a fear response, nor a genuflect to the dominant culture, but rather a statement of impartiality. Similar to saying “I am not a Catholic but think the use of a statue in church is fine.” (that, btw, having been the source of a few hundred years of warfare and a lot of dead… so not a small thing. Even in my youth the Southern Baptists took pains to explain to me that in OUR church we did not have idols and icons…) So “I am not a Catholic” and I do think it is fine to have a plastic Jesus on your dashboard… or a portrait of Mary on the wall, or whatever.

    Similarly: I DID use it. For about 6 months, then about a year only during summers off from school. I’ve got no beef with folks who can handle it better than I did. Heck, I LIKE the stuff. Just not willing to accept the side effects that I have. That’s not a weasle in any way. It’s just the facts. Had I cancer and needed to eat, but nausia was an issue, I’d score some in a heartbeat. At about 40 lbs over weight, having the muncies is not a feature… so no score now…

    Amusing side bar (on this OT wander into MJ land):

    My Mother reported that as a child, her good friend’s Mom was an Herbalist. Street vendor pushing a cart around the neighborhood. Among the herbs openly sold in the UK then was MJ… as a cure for poor appetite and melancholy… Certainly works for that!

    So my Mom grew up around the stuff as a legal herbal medicine. I grew up in farm country with more Mexicans than most other ethnicities and I’m pretty sure Dad tried it at least a couple of times (based on some memories from about 3 years old and talk of “it’s just another thing to smoke, like tobacco…” I clearly remember folks smoking it when I was about 10 to 12 (at various friends houses including some of those Mexicans), and then there is that high school gym story. Simply put, for at least 2 generations it has been ‘around’ and nobody in my family particularly cared, one way or the other. Frankly, I still don’t. If it works for something, use it for that. If it doesn’t work for you, move on. Leave everyone alone in either case.

    Per canabinoid receptors: Yes, I’ve known about them for many years now. (Heck, I AM from California after all… first memory is about 20 years back? At the very start of the ‘medicinal MJ’ movement in California.) We also have opiate receptors and a load of drugs that latch onto them. And don’t get me started on nicotine and the receptors it binds to… and how the result is fewer such receptors over time and addiction… That a receptor is bound doesn’t matter to me very much. All that matters is “Does something GOOD happen when that receptor is so bound?” and that is a bit harder to prove. So I’m quite willing to accept folks trying and deciding on their own.

    I also have had a variety of ‘herbals’ in my back yard garden and have a stash of medicinal seeds in my survivalist stocks. Things like St. John’s Wort, comfrey, and peppermint and others. I’ve also got a couple of herbal medicine books. I’m ‘into this’. Wanted to get some MJ seeds, but never got around to it (figuing it has a variety of useful properties). So even though not a consumer of it, in a disaster I’d like to have seeds available for exactly those medicinal uses. (Figure it will be all over though, so not a priority to preserve ;-)

    I’m also quite sure that there is much individual variation (and why medicine is a ‘practice’ is just that variation) in drug response. I can’t stand aspertame, where other folks like it. I go rapidly to sleep with most MJ exposure, but can take codiene and related opiates and not notice much. Cocaine is about the same to me as a nice double espresso (so I won’t buy it either, just due to the lack of ‘bang for the buck’… a couple of cheap Irish Coffees make me just as ‘wide awake and happy’ and for $10 instead of $100…) I was given so much of a nembutol / demerol / valium mix that I remember the Dr. saying (in the surgical suit) “We can’t give him any more, it will kill him.”… just before he asked if I could just lay still and not talk while he did the surgery. (Yes, said I… and then got the interesting memory of a power drill being used to open my ear canal for easier access to my broken eardrum…) Never did get put out, just feeling no pain. Simliar experience with a colonoscopy where I was supposed to ‘go under” and watched the whole thing on the monitor…

    The point? Every person is different. I know I am. Can’t hold booze at all before noon (instant hangover) yet after 2 pm or so, can take lots with little effect. Can’t stay awake on MJ, but give me a handfull of hydrocodone and while pain is reduced a bit, I’m still bright and chipper. About like aspirin and a double Scotch to me. So in no way at all do I see any reason for any “one size fits all” law about drugs, since it never ever can be right.

    So unless you want to hear a whole lot of way too long stories like that, you might want to consider that when folks say “I do not use” followed by “but I endorse the medicinal notion” (or similar) it is NOT a genuflect to The Law, but a statement of individual lack of bias.

    Bottom line: I got good at rolling once and the skill remains. I’d be happy to “roll one” for you, but no need to pass it back my way once lit. Not a political statement, I’d just rather have a couple of large Irish Coffees…. works better for my particular metabolism.

  62. Jason Calley says:

    M Simon ““I do not use it” is near obligatory. Lest you become a target.”

    Yes, exactly — and the penalties can be anything from a $25 slap-on-the-wrist to seizure of your home. I just recently had an unpleasant experience because of this. A very dear friend of mine is aware that I think the laws against drug usage (not just marijuana) are unethical and, at least on the Federal level, unConstitutional. He was visiting my cabin off-grid. He asked if he could smoke marijuana while we sat on my porch. I told him no, and explained that existing laws are so bizarre, so unpredictable, and so draconian that I was not willing to allow it on premises. Nothing personal, nothing unethical in his desire, but no, not while it was illegal. He was somewhat offended about it, and I think he considered my decision hypocritical. Because of the long established level of demonization, even many advocates of marijuana legalization assume that those who express approval of legalization must be users. This subject is on a par with racial quotas in hiring. Against racial quotas? You better state that you are not a racist. Against having a Federal Department of Education and letting the States run their schools? You better say that you are not anti-education. The list goes on…

    M Simon, You are absolutely correct that is is near impossible to have a rational, non-biased discussion on medical use of marijuana. I would extend that to say “on any uses of marijuana, including as a simple fiber.” As long as that is the case (and as long as we are discussing in a very public forum that never forgets what is said) I think it is always prudent to state for the record that I am not advocating or committing anything currently illegal.

    I wish the world were more rational — but so far it is not.

  63. E.M.Smith says:


    Maybe things were just different in California…. I lived (rented a room from) a Jazz musician. Every Friday / Saturday was jam session in the living room. I can’t think of when there was NOT MJ haze to the room, nor a mirror and blade on a table somewhere on those days. (That was where I got a free ‘taster’ and found it was a dud on me. Yeah, something there, but not worth the $$.) Even had a noise complaint once with cops at the door. They just said to keep the noise down and close the windows… even if it would keep the smoke in ;-) Had to have smelled it… Party picked back up, a little lower volume, after they left.

    Florida? Sorry, not even going to have the smell of burned oak leaves on my jacket. It’s a whole other place here…

    I think it varies by location. Oh, and I DID notice a large uptick in gratuitous ‘visits’ and ‘shakedowns’ once the “asset forfeiture” laws hit the books. The cops I tended to hang out with would talk about where to score the most valuable cars and how to get the most property for funding their new toys using those laws… Left me a bit disappointed… Thanks to that, no friend gets to smoke in my nicer cars… only the junkers. I know they are less likely to be of interest ;-)

  64. Jason Calley says:

    @E.M. “Oh, and I DID notice a large uptick in gratuitous ‘visits’ and ‘shakedowns’ once the “asset forfeiture” laws hit the books. ”

    It happens more than you might think — at least more than I used to think, until an acquaintance of mine got a job with a credit union. Part of his job was in collections of car loans and he very often had loans that were not being paid after the police had seized the car, more often than not because of a relatively minor drug offense. In some of the cases, the driver was charged, but not in all. The way the laws work (at least based on what he told me) is that the automobile is charged with a crime — crazy! — and because an automobile is not a person, there was no “innocent until proven guilty.” Of course the police department did not like to get on the bad side of the credit union. After all, the credit union had a city council member or two sitting on it’s board! So, anyway, seized autos that still had outstanding loans from the credit union were generally turned back to the credit union for resale.

    Well, sorry to wander so far off topic — but if nothing else, the marijuana laws, the asset seizures, and the “F*#king Hubris of Ebola Doctors and Loony Left” are all seen to be symptoms of a larger and more pervasive problem. Mankind has never been a completely rational animal — and quite frankly, I rather value some of the more irrational aspects of human life! — but the sheer prosperity of modern industrialized civilization has allowed irrationality and “wishing will make it so!” to rise to a level only rarely seen in our history. Think of Microsoft Windows as being a model for Western Civilization. We are in severe need of (at minimum) a hard reboot, and (more likely) a complete reload of software along with the appropriate patches!

  65. tom0mason says:

    From http://psandman.com/col/Ebola-3.htm
    Dr. Jody Lanard and Dr. Peter M. Sandman write: Ebola– Failures of Imagination. Excerpt from a long and important post:

    The alleged U.S. over-reaction to the first three domestic Ebola cases in the United States – what Maryn McKenna calls Ebolanoia – is matched only by the world’s true under-reaction to the risks posed by Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. We are not referring to the current humanitarian catastrophe there, although the world has long been under-reacting to that….

    Later they say –

    Americans are having a failure of imagination – failing to imagine that the most serious Ebola threat to our country is not in Dallas, not in our country, not even on our borders. It is on the borders of other countries that lack our ability to extinguish sparks.

  66. tom0mason says:

    A question from FluTrackers: What is going on in Liberia?

    In brief, in Liberia’s Ministry of Health sitrep #159, published on October 21, the total case number (confirmed, probable, suspected) was 4,772. Total deaths: 2,770. In sitrep #160, published on October 22, total cases were 6,166 and deaths were 2,168.

    So almost 2,000 cases suddenly appeared while 602 deaths suddenly vanished.

    The sitreps for October 23 and 24 (the most recent posted) are consistent with the new numbers. So the current total case number is 6,248 and total deaths are 2,104 (a drop of 64).

    I used to see enigmatic statistical jumps like these when I was tracking cholera numbers in Haiti, and the Saudis recently did the same thing with their MERS numbers…

  67. tom0mason says:

    First suspected Ebola case in Japan?
    A man arriving at Haneda Airport, Japan, from west Africa is being tested for virus.
    Excerpt from Japan Trends.com at http://www.japantrends.com/first-suspected-ebola-case-in-japan-man-arriving-at-haneda-airport-from-west-africa-tested-for-virus/ says –

    The Japanese media is reporting Japan’s first suspected case of Ebola.
    A man arriving at Haneda Airport on the evening of October 27th after spending time in Liberia was showing symptoms of a fever. He was taken to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Shinjuku. The man is said to be in his forties.
    Tests are being done and the government has said they cannot confirm that he has had contact with an Ebola patient…

  68. Star Craving says:

    Hi Chiefio, I think you’re dead right about the gravity and urgency of the threat, and you’re right that quarantine is what’s needed. But exposed medical workers need to be quarantined in isolation, not as you suggest in a resort hotel or cruise ship. If you gather up several people who are exposed yet symptom-free and put them all together for their quarantine period, you’ve just established a deathtrap. A month later some will be dead while others are just beginning to show symptoms.

    I thought at first you must mean to confine them to their own room in the resort hotel, or their own cabin on the cruise ship. But when you mentioned swimming pool, fine dining and bar you could only have meant putting them all together. Won’t work; as soon as they’ve sized up the situation they’ll be battering down the doors to escape.

    Later in your post you volunteered to serve in an ebola ward yourself, if your quarantine model were implemented. Are you sure?

  69. Add in the quick and easy Ebola test as stated at http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29780942 and you should be able to sort out who’s infected some time before they get infectious themselves. For the anti-Ebola drugs, it seems that the earlier you start using them the better the chances of success, so this test would also thus make the death-rate go way down (if the medicines were then prescribed, of course).

  70. E.M.Smith says:

    @Star Craving:

    My “model” is based on the notion that actual infections will be small in the total returning staff, and that many of them show up before departure (so go to the Field Hospital, not the boat…). Now add in that this is a boat of medical folks, and that they now KNOW they will not get off the boat if one of them infects the rest… I’m certain there would be a daily check of temps, and at first symptoms an individual goes into strict isolation / treatment. (And I’d reset the 30 day clock for anyone exposed to them).

    So some ‘boat loads’ (not 5000 person mega cruise ships, but 100 person small ships…) may get a 45 day or 60 day cruise. Others will make it in that 30 days.

    I also expect that as soon as experience was built up, you would know if you need to do ‘quarantine by deck’ or finer grained. I also expect that “best practices” at treatment would be much more rapidly evolved / adopted… At present, caught early, we have a very high ‘cure’ rate in the USA. I’d expect that to hold on the ships as well. (And in the pre-ship ‘resort’). At this point I’d guess it is about 1:10 that gets sick, and about 1:10 of them that dies. That’s 1:100 headed for even better odds. Not bad for this disease. Add in some professional expertise in the cohort on each ship, some pre-departure ‘resort’ time to sort out the early cases, and that cabins are a bit isolating anyway (and some of us will spend significant time in said cabin) and I think the system would work. (Heck, worked for the Romans when they named quarantine…)

    Now, per me, I’d “take that deal”. I’d also (as in all folks afflicted with the hubris of competence) expect that I’d do a very good job of keeping myself safe. Use a lot of wipes. Be diligent on temperature monitoring. Stock a supply of anti-virals. Not shake hands. Keep my distance at dinner. Etc. Yes, it would be a risk. But somebody has to do the dirty jobs. And the risk is probably not all that different from some of the other things I’ve done. (Jumping out of airplanes, doing chemical experiments, using chain saws and riding motorcycles) so one has to understand that I AM a risk taker. Just try to do it without stupidity (though not always successful).

    Finally: Consider the alternative. We fly those 100 folks back to 100 different places in the USA. They interact with about 100 OTHER people each. Now you have 10,000 total potential exposures instead of 100. Monitoring is weak, and the ‘urge’ is to get out an mingle / enjoy the night life of the USA instead of sitting in a deck chair with nothing but ocean for 1000 miles in all directions.

    Is it perfect? No. But it is a heck of a lot better than ‘catch and release’ and rolling 10,000 dice for ‘live or die’. It is also ‘humane’ in that it gives a ‘good time’ to the medical folks who went over. It has the further virtue that these folks are sure they are not a problem and that they can control those cases that do happen. Well, they can ‘eat their own cooking’. If they are right, they live well. If they are wrong, they learn… So the learning curve would rapidly advance.

    In short, if I can’t get a strict 1 person 1 room isolation, then a 100 people 100 rooms and some mingle is still a lot better than 10,000 randoms and walking around 100 cities. And I would find that level of risk acceptable were I finished working in West Africa in a hospital with daily Ebola exposure.

  71. Larry Ledwick says:

    And two little items additional on this subject:


    Not sure how reliable this web site is but picked up on drudge

  72. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “In short, if I can’t get a strict 1 person 1 room isolation, then a 100 people 100 rooms and some mingle is still a lot better than 10,000 randoms and walking around 100 cities.”

    What you say is so imminently logical and reasonable — considering the odds! — that I cannot argue with it. It is, in fact, SO reasonable that I find it difficult to understand how simple stupidity can promote the alternate “let ’em walk around in crowded cities and see what happens” approach. Maybe someone simply wants to sell 300,000,000 doses of ebola vaccine at a good profit.

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