Calm Down, Ebola isn’t Going to Kill Us All

Are you scared of the Ebola virus yet? With how much media coverage is being given to the disease one would believe that it’s the next bubonic plague. A lot of people are worried about the disease spreading here and killing every man, woman, and child in the United States. But everybody should calm down. Ebola virus isn’t the death knell of the human race and would have a difficult time spreading through this country according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

No Ebola cases have been reported in the United States and the likelihood of this outbreak spreading outside of West Africa is very low. It’s more likely that the countries surrounding Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone may see cases because of the wide geographic spread of this outbreak.

While it’s possible that someone could become infected with the Ebola virus in Africa and then get on a plane to the United States, it’s very unlikely that they would be able to spread the disease to fellow passengers. The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other body fluids of ill people, and indirect contact – for example with needles and other things that may be contaminated with these fluids. Most people who become infected with Ebola are those who live with and care for people who have already caught the disease and are showing symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) between 1975 when the disease was discovered and 2012 only 1,590 people have been confirmed killed by it. Compared to H1N1, which killed 575,400 people in 2009, it isn’t even a drop in the bucket.

Ebola virus is a nasty organism but the chance of it spreading in the United States and most other countries with relatively modern medical technology is slim.

Dipshit, Dipshits Everywhere

Minneapolis is home of two extremely annoying groups: dumbass hipsters and control freaks. The former want to be special snowflakes and by doing so because conformists in the hipster culture while the latter want you to seek their personal approval for everything little thing you do.

Control freaks are interesting folk. They will go to pretty absurd lengths in their vain attempt to make the world how they believe it should be. Last night I had an unpleasant encounter with a control freak while riding the mean bike trails of Minneapolis. This person believed that everybody should ride bikes and he saw the barrier between reality and utopia being bicycle helmets. I know this because he bitched at me for my sin of wearing a helmet. In his twisted little world the act of wearing a bicycle helmet creates the appearance that bicycling is dangerous. By not wearing a helmet he believes bicycling would appear safer to non-bicyclists, which would convince them to become bicyclists.

This is one of the many reasons why I hate control freaks. No amount of dumbassery (you control freaks whining about how dumbassery isn’t a real world cannot see the middle finger that I’m holding up in your direction but know that it’s there) is beyond them if their crusade against those who dare do differently than them. Are not enough people riding bicycles? No problem, just have everybody put their lives at risk by not wearing a helmet so the activity appears to be safer! Because that will totally work.

Here’s the thing, I don’t care if you wear a helmet or not. I don’t even care if you ride a bike or not. Do whatever makes you happy in whatever manner makes you happy. But if asking people to put themselves in danger makes you happy I’m going to call you a dumbass.

As an unrelated side note I feel it is worth pointing out that the dumbass didn’t seem to notice the gun I was openly carrying. Unlike the boys over at Open Carry Texas I can open carry a gun without being an attention whore about it.

First World Statist Problems

Sometimes you have to feel sorry for the state. It has a lot of problems. Between being unable to centrally plan economic matters and failing to wipe out or enslave everybody under the rule of other states the state has a very difficult time. But when the medical industry is competing with the it to acquire drugs necessary to execute people, well, your heart can’t help but go out to the state:

Shortages of anaesthetic drugs usually used in lethal injection, the most common method of execution, are forcing states to find alternative sedatives. Propofol, used up to 50 million times a year in US surgical procedures, has never been used in an execution. If the execution had gone ahead, US hospitals could have lost access to the drug because 90% of the US supply is made and exported by a German company subject to European Union (EU) regulations that restrict the export of medicines and devices that could be used for capital punishment or torture. Fearing a ban on propofol sales to the United States, in 2012 the drug’s manufacturer, Fresenius Kabi in Bad Homburg, ordered its US distributors not to provide the drug to prisons.

This brings me to my rant for the day. The way the death penalty is handled in this country is absolutely insane. Most countries have the decency to just execute prisoners. Here in the United States we pretend that we’re more civilized because we go through a lot of pointless rituals before we execute somebody (in prison, the cops are far less ritualistic when they kill somebody). Only “humane” methods are used to execute prisoners. Let that roll around in your head for a minute. Only humane methods are used to execute prisoners. That’s almost too oxymoronic for me to even write.

In addition to use very complicated methods to execute prisoners the United States attempts to come to terms with its conscious by throwing additional rituals into the mix. Reading the prisoner his or her last rights, allowing him or her to have a last meal of their choosing, marching them down death row, and giving him or her a chance to say some final words are all little rituals used to absolve our conscious. We use those little rituals to make ourselves feel better about executing a guy whose crime is so far in the past (after all, it takes a long time to execute somebody) that killing him or her really has no point.

Obviously I’m not a fan of the death penalty but if a state is going to go ahead with it I would appreciate some honesty. It should stop wrapping the process in a bunch of rituals designed to make the act of killing seem like something else. That includes a move away from fancy execution methods like lethal injection. If the state is bound and determined to execute somebody then it should just use a fucking bullet to the head. That may save us a bunch of pretense about humanely executing somebody and make the act far more reflective of what it is: killing.

Central Planners Never Learn

Central planners never learn. When one of their plans go awry they blame the data, implementation of the program, and anything else that allows them to avoid admitting central planning doesn’t work. Centralized plans rely on things never changing, which in an ever-changing world is a pretty stupid thing to rely on. Hell, the fucking continents don’t even remain the same!

The United Nations (UN), the largest central planning organization in the world, want people to supplement their diet with insects instead of current livestock:

A 200-page report, released at a news conference at the U.N. agency’s Rome headquarters, says 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diets with insects, which are high in protein and minerals, and have environmental benefits.

Insects are “extremely efficient” in converting feed into edible meat, the agency said. On average, they can convert 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of feed into 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of insect mass. In comparison, cattle require 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of feed to produce a kilo of meat.

Most insects are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases, and also feed on human and food waste, compost and animal slurry, with the products being used for agricultural feed, the agency said.

Currently, most edible insects are gathered in forests and what insect farming does take place is often family-run and serves niche markets. But the U.N. says mechanization can ratchet up insect farming production. The fish bait industry, for example, has long farmed insects.

How could this possibly go wrong? Let’s pretend that the majority of the regions that currently rely on beef, poultry, and pork for their protein intake decide to rely on insects instead. While the number of cattle, chickens, and pigs raise by farmers would decrease the number of insects being raise would increase. Simply walking around in forests and gathering insects wouldn’t provide enough foodstuff to replace current livestock so insects would have to be farmed. Farming insects is likely to be more difficult than farming current livestock because insects are difficult to contain (and difficult to keep out of your house). The UN report notes that many insects feed off of waste but it fails to note that insects also feed off of crops. Have you ever heard the phrase “A plague of locust?” There’s a reason people use that phrase, it’s because locust have a pension for wiping out crops.

Now let’s pretend that one of the insect farmers experience a failure in the system they’re using to contain their insect herd. What consequences would follow a massive number of fast-breeding crop-consuming creatures breaking out of their cages? In all likelihood all crops in the vicinity would be wiped out. In other words foodstuff would escape, more foodstuff would be destroyed, and the people in our hypothetical society would face the potential of starvation.

Of course central planners tend to believe they can control everything so this scenario has likely been written off as impossible.

Prediction Time

Yesterday explosives were detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and a fire broke out at the John F. Kennedy Library. The news cycle will likely consist of wall-to-wall coverage of this event until Friday. During that coverage many speculations and accusations of who is at fault for the explosions will be made. The New York Post is already running with the standard schtick that the perpetrator was a brown person from the Middle East. In all likelihood the war mongers will emulate the Post’s direction and blame the act of an extremist Muslim brown person with ties to al-Qaeda while the Southern Poverty Law Center will blame the act on extremist right-wing Christian white people with ties to to the Ku Klux Klan and several neo-Nazi organizations. For all we know the explosives were set off by a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) created terrorist after somebody in ordinance accidentally supplied real bombs instead of the usual fake bombs (that’s called snark, it’s not a serious accusation). In the end it will probably take some time to determine who the culprit was but that won’t stop the state from immediately exploiting the tragedy to justify another power grab.

Here are my predictions of what is to come. First the state will grab for more surveillance powers, as it always does after a tragedy. That means the recent opposition to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) will vanish. CISPA will be pushed through under the auspices of ensuring a tragedy like this never happens again. The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) high speed low drag Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams will be present at every high profile sporting event, not just events that take place in expensive stadiums. VIPR teams aren’t the only thing we’re likely to see at sporting events in the future, I’ll bet good money that restrictions against domestic drone usage will be loosened. The state’s eyes in the sky will probably be patrolling metropolitan areas with notable frequency. Additional powers will also be claimed by the federal government for its war on foreign and domestic terrorists.

In summary we’re in for the same shit as usual. If there’s one thing the state never lets go to waste it’s a tragedy.

Kill ‘Em All

Poor Obama, it seems that he’s killed so many people with his beloved drones that he’s running out of people to kill. But worry not! He’s found a way to create new targets:

According to The Washington Post, the Obama administration is reconsidering its opposition to a new Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, the foundational legal basis of the so-called war on terrorism. That short document, passed overwhelmingly by Congress days after the 9/11 attacks, tethered a U.S. military response to anyone who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” Nearly all of those people are dead or detained.

There are two ways to view that circumstance. One is to say the United States won the war on terrorism. The other is to expand the definition of the adversary to what an ex-official quoted by the Post called “associates of associates” of al-Qaida.

And that’s the one the administration is mooting. “Administration officials acknowledged that they could be forced to seek new legal cover if the president decides that strikes are necessary against nascent groups that don’t have direct al-Qaeda links,” the Post reports. Examples of the targets under consideration include the extreme Islamist faction of the Syrian rebellion; the Ansar al-Sharia organization suspected of involvement in September’s Benghazi assault; and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed terrorist who broke with al-Qaida but is believed to be behind the January seizure of an Algerian oil field.

Remember the halcyon days when Obama and his supporters spoke in opposition to Bush’s wars? I miss those days. Even though I knew Obama would turn out to be a war monger I had some hope that his supporters would continue to carry the anti-war flag after the election. Here was are four years later and Obama’s supporters are mostly quite when it comes to war. As it turns out the war protests were never about oppose war, they were just demonstrations made by people who were angry that their guy wasn’t the one ordering the slaughter.

Eric Holder Says It’s Legal to Murder Americans in the United States with Drones

The day I’ve been expecting has finally arrive, the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, has openly stated that he believes it is legal to use drones to murder United States citizens in the United State:

Holder’s March 4 letter was disclosed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who had asked whether the Justice Department believed President Barack Obama had the legal authority to order a targeted strike against an American citizen located within the United States.

The Obama administration, Holder said, rejected the use of military force where “well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat.” But in theory, it’d be legal for the president to order such an attack under certain circumstances, Holder said.

“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” Holder wrote.

In other words, “Shut the fuck up slave or we’re going to kill you.”

This statement doesn’t surprise me as the current administration has already set a precedence for murdering United States citizens when it used a drone strike to kill Anwar al-Awalki and his 16 year-old son. After those murders the only question remaining is whether or not the current administration believed it was legal to murder United States citizens if they were currently in the United States.

With all of that said, it’s nice to hear a state agent say something honest for a change. Honesty from a state agent is rarer that Pope resignations and we’ve experienced both this year. Two extremely rare occurrences happening in the same year must be a sign but I’m not sure if it’s a good sign or a bad sign. What I do know is that things will continue to deteriorate in the United States.

FBI Captures Another One of Their Own Terrorists

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is celebrating the capture of another terrorist that they created:

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 21, was given a fake bomb by undercover agents posing as Islamist militants, lawyers said.

Mohamud was arrested after he tried to use his phone to detonate the fake car bomb near a crowded square in Portland.

This is just another in the long line of so-called terrorists that were recruited and armed by the FBI. Needless to say the FBI gets credit for creating bad situations and stopping them. My job would be much easier if I received credit for making shit up as well.

The New GOP High-Speed Stupid Train

The Republican Party improving their stupid train. Things started out well when the Todd Akins unveiled the prototype coal-powered stupid train when he said women seldom become pregnant from “legitimate” rape. Improving the stupid train immensely Jon Hubbad and Loy Mauch announced the diesel powered version when they went on record saying slavery was a blessing in disguise. Last week Richard Mourdock released the diesel-electric version of the stupid train saying children resulting from rape were gifts from God.

Today, thanks to the diligent work of reader and commenter Matt Tanous, I’m proud to announce that Charles Fuqua introduced a new high-speed version of the stupid train by stating support for enacted the death penalty on unruly children:

The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellioius children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:

The cited passages were omitted in the linked article to save space, fortunately I looked them up:

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Fear not citizens, Fuqua’s support for enacting the death penalty on unruly children isn’t as bad as it sounds. He understands how dire such a situation is and believe there should be stringent oversight:

This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children. They must follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children.

See, it’s OK, very strict procedures must be followed before a child is put to death for being unruly. Fuqua may be harsh but he’s certainly benevolent!

As the election gets closer I expect the Republican Party to release a new flying version of their stupid train. Perhaps it will even be powered by burning the bodies of freshly executed children. It’ll be innovative and powered with renewable resources!

Let’s Blame the Anarchists Again

Once again the state is trying to justify the tens of millions of dollars being spent on security at the Republican National Convention (RNC). As expected the state has chosen anarchists to be its boogeyman:

The FBI and police warn, in a vague, but ominous sort of way, that anarchists and other “extremist” folks are planning scary things for the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Now, is there a good chance that when thousands of people, including some of the radical political persuasion, gather, some not okay property damage will happen? Of course. However, is there an even bigger chance that the rumored threats, which this time ’round include anarchists using improvised explosive devices and “acid-filled eggs” are wildly overhyped? Definitely.

It’s kind of funny how the state sets anarchists up to be the evildoers at political conventions even though the real evildoers are inside the convention itself. While a handful of anarchists may be going around causing mischief the politicians inside are trying to nominate a warmonger, anti-rights, corporatist, monster for the presidential race. Even if the anarchists did what the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is warning of their actions will be absolutely minor compared to Romney’s if he becomes president. Under Romney’s rule we will likely see more bailouts, more wars, and more of our rights eroded away. Perhaps the FBI should be warning about the actions of the politicians at the RNC instead of the anarchists outside.