Waziria´s President Obombo vows to maintain open borders policy

Kumbasi -- President Patrice Obombo on Wednesday touted the heroism of health care workers fighting Ebola in Waziria as well as neighboring Liberia, and vowed to maintain open borders to ease the flow of medical personnel as well as patients between Waziria and Liberia.

President Obombo giving another Ebola press conference

The statements emphasized  the disagreement between the President and politicians such as Senators Bala and New Yolo Governor Krumah, who want the borders closed and insist health workers quarantined when they come home.

"All of them have signed up to head straight into the heart of the Ebola epidemic," President Obombo  said during a Greystoke House event honoring Wazirian and American  doctors and nurses returning from Liberia and Eastern Waziria, the Ebola front lines.

"We need to call them what they are, which is Wazirian and American heroes," he said, surrounded by doctors and nurses in the Greystoke House Royals Room. "They deserve our gratitude and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

Some of the health care workers who shared the podium with President Obombo were within the 21-day monitoring period recommended by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people potentially exposed to Ebola, a Greystoke House official told The Wazirian Times. The official added that the workers have followed the American CDC  guidance and that none were symptomatic before  they were in close contact with President Obombo and other officials.  

President Obombo´s policy has been heavily criticized after it was revealed both the Wazirian and USA military personnel fighting the Ebola epidemic had been placed under a much stricter quarantine protocol than the one used by the Wazirian government for civilians. This “Civilian Ebola Protocol” is identical to the one being used by the American Centers for Disease Control, and is  considered by some American governors as well as foreign governments to be insufficient and extremely irresponsible.


Are NASA employees color blind?

Last night I read “Argo and the Ocean Temperature Maximum” by Willis Eisenbach at “Watts Up With That?”. The post shows that ocean surface temperature usually reaches a maximum of 30 degrees C, and very seldom goes beyond this point. This prompted me to look at the latest ARGO ocean temperature data, which confirmed what Eisenbach wrote.

But this morning  I recalled having seen NASA maps which showed sea surface temperatures exceeding 30 degrees C. These maps have always puzzled me, because  about 40 years ago I worked on a project measuring ocean temperatures, and I had never seen anything exceeding 30 degrees C either. So I decided to look up the NASA maps to see what they showed. Interestingly, they have a map here 

This site  shows ocean temperatures exceeding 30 degrees C all over the place. The map legend says it´s May 2001 data obtained using MODIS1.

Because this  NASA map looks so spooky, I decided to check the color palette they used to show ocean temperature (I copied and pasted a simple scale). Then I  cut and pasted the 30 to 31 degrees C color palette range onto the Indian ocean, an area NASA shows was way above 31 degrees in May 2001:

Edited NASA map. I included a numerical temperature
 range on top of the color legend, then copied the 30 to 31 
degree C square on the Indian Ocean to confirm NASA´s map
 showed large ocean areas exceeding 31 degrees C.


Military defends its Ebola precautions as stricter than CDC’s

Military quarantine protocols are stricter than the CDC´s, the US military is imposing strict quarantine for soldiers leaving Liberia they think may have been in contact with Ebola. The following is from the Washington Post:

“Marine Maj. Gen. James Lariviere, a member of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the Defense Department protocols for dealing with the disease “exceed” the standard set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current outbreak has killed about 5,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

General Lavarriere explains to Congressional 
Committee the stricter US Army protocol. 

No U.S. troops will directly treat Ebola patients, but the Pentagon’s guidelines, released Oct. 10, call for troops who deploy to western Africa to monitor their temperature twice a day. Those who report potential exposure to the virus will be subject to additional evaluations by medical professional designated by the Defense Department.

Personnel from the US Army Medical Research Institute
 on Infectious Diseases train a US soldier to dress properly. 

In the 10 days before leaving Africa, commanders have the authority to keep troops in a controlled environment where they can receive additional monitoring. Once they have left Africa, individuals with no known exposure must continue to monitor their temperature for 21 days. Those who are removed from Africa due to an elevated exposure risk must be quarantined for 21 days for closer monitoring.


Waziria´s President Obombo assures population Ebola is under control

The President of the Republic of Waziria, Patrice Obombo, has given assurances to the population that government measures to control Ebola are working fine.

President Obombo at press conference

At a press conference in Waziria´s capital, Kumbasi, President Obombo expressed hopes the epidemic would be under control within a year. He also explained the main problem was in Liberia, where Wazirian troops were already working shoulder to shoulder with volunteers from all countries to fight this terrible disease.

The following are some excerpts from his press conference:

"Let me begin by thanking my great friend, President Barak Obama  -- and his entire cabinet -- for making our fight against Ebola such a success. As you know, our measures are a copy of US protocols and Ebola response plans, which they have kindly agreed to provide us at no cost.  And I want to thank the volunteers from all nations, and especially those from the USA,  who are coming to Waziria on their vacations to work in our hospices and Ebola wards.

We’re at a time of testing.  The Ebola epidemic threatens our vision of a Waziria that is whole, free and at peace.  And I want to thank the outside help for giving us the resources and the volunteers to meet the Ebola challenge.

We must be resolute in reassuring our population everything is fine in spite of the 853 deaths we have suffered thus far.  We have provided for the USA and European visitors to provide two week rotations of additional volunteers in Eastern Waziria for as long as necessary. This has been arranged with the group of visitors from several dozen NGO´s and countries who arrived in Kumbasi yesterday. 


Improving Communication About Potentially Catastrophic Risks

Engineering assessments of future high wind and solar power penetration tend to focus on central estimates and may understate or ignore the significance of low probability outcomes that may have extremely severe consequences (extending to but no limited to catastrophic risks). This relative neglect of tail risks is partly a result of traditions in prediction and forecasting, and conservatism about phenomena  for which very few data and information exist.

Wind Turbine on Fire (Daily Mail UK)

The misinterpretation of such engineering assessments can have adverse results. Even though the central estimates of high(1) wind and solar power penetration scenarios present obvious dangers, the tails of lower wind and solar power penetration scenarios still contain very serious risks which may be overlooked by policy-makers. Economic analyses may omit the possibility of catastrophic impacts, leading to substantial under-estimates of damage caused by high wind and solar power penetration.


Nuclear Plants Construction: a Proposal for Africa

The world´s surface temperature is changing in a fashion that doesn´t fully support widely accepted climate models (the data doesn’t fit the model predictions).  Most climatologists  agree that none of their models are correct because they are rough mathematical descriptions of the real world. This weakens the case being made for an urgent switch from fossil fuels to some other energy source.

However, the world will replace fossil fuels with some other form of energy and slow down greenhouse gas emissions. This will happen simply because we´ll have run out of oil, natural gas, and coal. The timing is highly uncertain, the changeover may be driven by climate change hysteria, or by astronomical fossil fuel prices.  

If you find the logic unconvincing, you are not alone. Some will think  it is obviously wrong; but it doesn´t matter. Change is inevitable, and don´t forget this:  you read it here first.  

This change requires a starting point, the development of alternative energy sources for the third world. Given its enormous population in this work we propose  the construction of sixty nuclear power plants in sub Saharan Africa. 

Koeberg, sub-Saharan Africa´s only nuclear power plant. 

Such a project would be an enormous triumph for the environment. Also, the first, 60 plant Phase I, would consume over $1 X 1012 US Dollars (that´s  one trillion greenbacks for Americans), and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs. 

The outcome, unfortunately, is not a completely safe one. After we get the first 60  nuclear plants buit, the conditions may not be optimal and lead to a(many)  nuclear incident(s).  From this perspective, a nuclear power plant doesn´t solve the problem, it merely changes the kind of problems we would be facing.


Is Venezuela Running out of oil?

Reuters has reported that Venezuela is importing light crude oil,  to dilute with the Orinoco Heavy Oil belt crude,  a technique which allows the blend to be exported to overseas refineries. According to PDVSA´s official story,  the crude is being imported because they are shutting down an oil upgrader they own,  together with Total and Statoil,  for planned maintenance. However, they left out Venezuela´s shortage of internally produced light and medium grade crude oils, which PDVSA could have used as a diluent.

PDVSA-Total-Statoil´s Heavy Oil  Venezuela Upgrader 
(so much for the oil industry being"nationalized" by Chávez)

The following sketch shows Venezuela´s extra heavy oil fields and associated production, treatment and export systems. Added to these systems is the import crude oil and naphta stream, a relatively new development, which appears to be required due to production drops at Venezuela´s medium and light oil fields.

My own sketch of Venezuela´s Orinoco Heavy
 Oil Belt Production and Export System showing 
the new incoming tanker loads of imported crudes


Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire...

This is a plug for Rockwell´s “Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card…”. What follows is a quote from Rockwell´s website. 

Lew Rockwell himself

“The respectables of left and right do not deign to show where we’re wrong, of course. The very fact that we’ve strayed from the approved spectrum is refutation enough. That’s why I’ve called these people the thought controllers, the commissars, or the enforcers of approved opinion.

Let me modify that: once in a while they do try to show where we’re wrong, but they can almost never manage even to state our position correctly, much less muster an effective argument against it. These purpose of these alleged replies is not to shed light, but to demonize libertarians in the public mind.

In Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion – my first book in nearly four years – I take aim at these critics and their arguments.

Part I covers foreign policy and war. The regime has fostered more confusion among the public over these issues than any other. Conservatives, of all people, wind up supporting courses of action that (1) expand the power of the state over civil society; (2) are justified on the basis of propaganda they’d laugh at if it came from the mouths of Saddam Hussein or Nikita Khrushchev; and (3) violate the absolute standards of morality that conservatives never tire of telling us are under assault. The antiwar reputation of left-liberals, meanwhile, is almost entirely undeserved; the mainstream left supported every major U.S. war of the twentieth century.


Human Adaptation to Climate Change Stressors

An animals’s individual personality may be among the factors that could improve chances of successfully coping with environmental stressors caused by climate change (Cockrem 2014).  This applies in particular to humans. Differences in the level of the stress hormone secreted when exposed to stressful  climate change stimuli have been measured, and confirm that people can suffer when exposed to climate change information. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts temperatures could jump by over 6 degrees within 100 years, turning the word into an extremely hot desert (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. The world of the future according to the IPCC. 
This vision can really stress some people. 


Ebola: Who is failing to protect the USA?

Summary:  Response to the Ebola epidemic has been woefully weak. This is a new type of menace which the government, in spite of all the supposed emphasis on Homeland Defense and Health Care, hasn´t prepared for properly. The lack of preparation is shown by the scrambling we see to fix gaps identified by the Dallas Ebola case (which has already led to a second infection in Dallas).  The weak Government preparation and response was caused by the  “nobody is in charge” and “rookies control the top post” syndromes. 

Neither Homeland Security, nor Health and Human Services seem to be fully in charge, and their heads are new on the job. Homeland Defense´s Jeh Johnson, a lawyer,took over the job in December 2013.  Health and Human Services´ Sylvia Burwell, a management type took over the job in June 2014.  They weren´t chosen because they were top notch at stopping an epidemic.  

The inadequate responses to the Ebola threat by both Federal, State, and local authorities in the USA are evident. The fact that a man landed in the USA after being in contact with an Ebola patient who died a few hours later, got sick with fever, went to a hospital in Dallas, was sent home with an aspirin…


The Ebola Hotspot: History of the American Colony of Liberia

The Ebola epidemic´s hotspot appears to be Liberia, a country founded by colonial settlers from the USA. The following is a brief overview of the country´s sad history, including the events which led to the health system´s collapse, which in turn allowed the Ebola epidemic to become much more deadlier than in nearby nations.  

Liberia in 1830, map prepared by the American Colonization Society

Founding of Liberia, 1847

The founding of Liberia in the early 1800s was motivated by the domestic politics of slavery and race in the United States as well as by U.S. foreign policy interests. In 1816, a group of white Americans founded the American Colonization Society (ACS) to deal with the “problem” of the growing number of free blacks in the United States by resettling them in Africa. 


Two strange murders in Caracas

Update: The Nuevo Herald from Miami reports Serra was murdered by his homosexual lover, who also served as his bodyguard. The Nuevo Herald article  (in Spanish) is here


The ordinal post starts here:

Venezuela´s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, and his mentors in Havana went ballistic after the murder of Robert Serra and his girlfriend on Wednesday, October 1st. Serra, a member of the National Assembly (which today is a rubber stamp body) was a lawyer with top notch red credentials.

What really got to Maduro was the way they got to Serra and emptied his safe even though he had been provided with several bodyguards. To Maduro´s horror the  guy was found in his armoured house in La Pastora, a low rent district in Caracas, together with his “secretary” (which is also reported to have been his lover). Both had been stabbed numerous times, and wrapped like mummies in masking tape.

The dead guy, Robert Serra,  mouthing off

Speaking at Serra´s burial service, Maduro said the murder´s  “intellectual authors” were outside Venezuela, mentioned Colombian ex-President  Alvaro Uribe, and said the “murderers will be captured” (1) . 

As we know by now, ex Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is now a mental vegetable, but the regime continues to use him as a prop.  From Havana an official source said the old geezer was outraged, felt the CIA was involved, because the murder just couldn´t be an accident.

So what´s the big deal about a couple of murders in a country where 20 thousand are murdered a year? 


Qualitative Analysis of President Obama´s Speech at the UN

Qualitative analysis of President Obama´s speech, given at the United Nations on September 24th, has been performed using word count statistics and my own bias as points of departure. Social psychology principles allow qualitative analysis without statistical data. This includes observation and interviews. Qualitative research should emphasize the analysis may not be extended to a general population when the sample is small (Hsieh 2005).

Figure 1. President Obama at the UN on Sept  24, 2014. 
The facial expression and hand movements displayed a 
typical homo sapiens “alpha male” posture.

Content analysis of President Obama´s speech was carried out using WORDTM software. This powerful tool allows the systematic analysis of political speech. As Stemler wrote: “It also allows inferences to be made which can then be corroborated using other methods of data collection. Krippendorff (1980) notes that "[m]uch content analysis research is motivated by the search for techniques to infer from symbolic data what would be either too costly, no longer possible, or too obtrusive by the use of other techniques" (Stemler 2001).

The raw statistical analysis of the President´s speech yielded results which confirmed the author´s previous bias. The speech mentioned America or Americans 26 times. This was followed by the word “war” (24 times). Words associated with the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, ISIL) merited 25 mentions, and Israel/Israelis 6 mentions. On the other hand, Energy was mentioned twice, oil wasn´t mentioned at all.


How to Survive the Climate Zombie Threat

An emerging threat posed by climate zombies has been confirmed by a series of interviews, media articles, and blogosphere items seen in the past 30 days.  This newly created  “How to Survive the Climate Zombie Threat” effectively communicates  information to the public, government agencies, first responders, and the private sector what to do to reduce risk in the face of unquantified statistics. At this time we lack the modeling capability to describe the probability of anything happening. Therefore you should use the Practical Precautionary Principle (PPP). 

Practical Precautionary Principle  practitioner kevlar vest

This advice is based on my personal experience surviving a civil war,  kidnap attempts by right and left wing death squads, surveillance by several secret services, Russian Mafia threats, as well as living for several years  in a very high crime area called Venezuela.