December 25, 2014

Look Who's Back in the News

Well, it seems that a procedural discrepancy has resulted between one (Washington Post Article) and twelve (Drudge headline) lab techs being exposed to Ebola. 

This difference in numbers is not just due to link-baitery on the part of Drudge, it appears that up to a dozen people were in close proximity to an Ebola sample with at least one being closely monitored for the next 21 days. 

But wait there's more 

The mistake comes after a series of incidents this summer involving the mishandling of dangerous pathogens at the nation’s labs. An incident at a CDC lab in June potentially exposed dozens of employees to live anthrax because employees failed to properly inactivate the anthrax when transferring samples.

Ebola Tan sez: "You know what? I'm really starting to like those CDC guys!"

In other Ebola news: 

The Ebola Czar decided to leave his post early next year. As Professor Reynolds says "It's almost as if he was brought in as a distraction. "

Also: Sierra Leone has canceled Christmas because of the outbreak. 

Despite recent improvements in treatment, the current death toll is over 7,500, out of just under 20,000 cases
This grim number provides a useful means to test predictions against results...
A couple of months ago, there were predictions of 1.4 million infected by the end of next month. Of course there are still 36 days to catch up, but that grim forecast is unlikely to be borne out. Thus, one can take comfort from the fact that the doomsayers were sufficiently wrong as to be off by a bit under two orders of magnitude.
On the other hand, as the linked article notes, the doomsayers in question were the CDC. 

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December 17, 2014

Being a Terrorist Sure Does Get Results

North Korea and/or affiliated individuals have gotten a film's release cancelled  by making terroristic threats. Sony knuckled under and pulled The Interview after a computer hack which revealed that Sony employs a bunch of jerks was complimented with a threat to do...something September eleventhy if the company released said film as scheduled.


Cuba meanwhile, took an American hostage and got the embargo lifted as a condition of his release. 

Neo has thoughts on this development including why the super secret nature of the Cuba capitulation should be extremely worrying with regard to the ongoing negotiations with Iran. 

However, in the larger sense, the implication that terrorism now works quite efficiently in achieving one's strategic (and artistic) goals is likely to be a much bigger issue. While there was concern about such precedents  in the wake of the Bergdhal and Innocence of Muslims controversies, these two events are rather unambiguous in the total overwhelming victory achieved by the perpetrators of violence. Sony is not a government, but its actions send a message about the stomach society has for standing up for free speech. This message is unlikely to be lost upon those that would do us harm.

Of course the fruits one gets from resorting to violence needs to be assessed in comparison with how one is treated by peacefully using the political process to support one's beliefs or policy goals.

Only then is a full assessment of the messages being sent by the powers that be be able to be fully appreciated.

I fear today's double dose of Quislingisms will come back to haunt us for years to come. 

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Of Course...

....sacred honor requires that Brickmuppet Blog host this trailer.

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