Monday, 27 October 2014

08:49 – I see that New York’s governor has been forced to back down from enforcing a 21-day quarantine on people who return from Ebola-infested areas because this nurse is whining about her civil rights being violated by such “inhumane” treatment. In my opinion, they should air-drop her back into West Africa. Without a parachute. I see that Obama isn’t hugging her.

Work on the prepping book continues, as does work on the new science kits, as does work on building inventory of current science kits.


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65 Responses to Monday, 27 October 2014

  1. DadCooks says:

    Was expecting this. The nurse is from Maine so what do you expect. And I knew Cuomo would cave eventually. He is a party man and Obola reminded him who he really owes allegiance to.

    I see that NJ has just released the nurse. Looks like Cristie has no spine either. She got a bunch of lawyers and is suing.

    And the latest news this morning is that a 5-year-old boy who returned home from Guinea Saturday, with his parents, is being tested for Ebola at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. 103 fever and stuff coming out both ends.

    This will be an interesting week as everything will be made into an issue for next week’s elections.

  2. Dave B. says:

    If the feds don’t want the states to make public health policy, they should get out in front and make sensible public health policy. The current federal policy is abysmal. If the feds don’t like New York and New Jersey making the decisions they have, they have only themselves to blame. Well themselves, and an NBC News crew (including Dr. Nancy Snyderman), Thomas Duncan and Dr. Craig Spencer.

  3. SteveB says:

    Well, the little princess finally will be able to find a real toilet and go pee.

    Of course, once she gets home, she’s probably going to start complaining how inhumane it is that she’s trapped in her own home with nothing to do but stare at the walls, without even a fellow nurse to talk to through the window.

    DadCooks, I wouldn’t be too hard on Gov. Christie. My mental movie theater is running a double feature.

    In one feature big tough Sheriff Christie escorts the little chippie to the town limits, swats her horse on the rump and hollers, “And don’t come back! You’re somebody else’s headache now!”

    The second feature has a couple of federal enforcers negotiators visiting Governor Christie in the middle of the night and explaining to him in excruciating detail just how painful a knee injury can be when said knee is subjected to multiple blunt force trauma.

    Brad, since health policy was not explicitly not named as a federal power (meaning it was a power reserved exclusively for the states) in the toilet paperConstitution, short of a declared national emergency, the Feds should not be allowed to determine the health care policies for the individual states.

    The thing that has me puzzled is why is the princess is going to Maine.

    After trying out for the team and being rejected by Doctors Without Borders, she did an end run and hired on with the CDC, which she convinced to send her “on loan” to DWB.

    For the last two years and still currently, her place of employment has been keeping the citizens of Clark County safe from infectious diseases in Las Vegas. She’s even a registered Nevada democrat.

    http://gotnews.com/ebola-nurse-complaining-quarantine-left-wing-democrat-cdc-employee/

    If she lives in Maine and works in Las Vegas, just who is paying for her commute to work? Nah, couldn’t be the taxpayers.

    Is she casting two votes, one at each of her places of residence? Nah, that just wouldn’t be right. Only dead people get to vote more than once in Nevada.

    I think if I lived in Las Vegas, I’d be raising my bug-out arrangements level to high orange (hint, hint) just in case she decides to return to work instead of taking the next few weeks off at home in Maine. After all, she might not live long enough to do more good works if she stays home and gets ill. Viva Las Vegas!

    OFD, you might want to strengthen the barricades along your eastern border just in case the entire state of Maine decides to relocate en masse.

  4. OFD says:

    The state’s eastern border is a goodly haul from here, and they’d have to get through northern NH and northern VT across lotsa hills and dales and ridges and bogs and other bodies of wottuh, not to mention a bunch of peeps armed to the teeth with various stuff. Good luck to ’em!

    I saw on Drudge earlier that Dear Leader was gonna force the states to back off their quarantines. I refer everyone back to that same page from the SteveF notebook; what if a country’s regime deliberately sought to inflict as much damage as possible on it; how would this regime have behaved any differently over the past decade or so?

    Off to yet another IT drone interview 30 miles to the south, but all interstate.

  5. SteveB says:

    The state’s eastern border is a goodly haul from here, and they’d have to get through northern NH and northern VT across lotsa hills and dales and ridges and bogs and other bodies of wottuh, not to mention a bunch of peeps armed to the teeth with various stuff. Good luck to ‘em!

    Any sufficiently panicked stampede can do amazing amounts of damage before it runs itself out many, many miles from where it started.

  6. MrAtoz says:

    Our troops deployed to Afreaka are going to Italy on their way back for a “vacation”. The CinC, ObolaWad, will make sure they are out of action for 21 days, but not peeps coming home direct from ebola infested Afreakan countries.

    I think if I lived in Las Vegas, I’d be raising my bug-out arrangements level to high orange (hint, hint)

    I’ll lay in a few extra bingo daubers and some casino chips. The peeps she infects will probably be touristos anywho, so they’ll be off to their own shitholes to infect their families.

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    If there is a US outbreak of Ebola, which I’m still estimating has a 0.1% to 1% probability of happening, people would have to be even dumber than I give them credit for–which isn’t much–to flee in masses. As I said a few days ago, you can hide, but you can’t run. The trick would be to shelter in-place, with everything you need to avoid leaving the house at all.

    Ebola is nasty beyond belief, but it’s not magical. It’s a (supposedly) rather fragile virus, which is killed by all the things that kill other viruses–bleach and other disinfectants and even sunlight. As long as you don’t get within sneezing/coughing range of someone who’s infected (or let your dog do so), you should be fine.

    I just wish I knew how long the virus could remain viable in bodies. As far as I know, no research has been done on that.

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    Any sufficiently panicked stampede can do amazing amounts of damage before it runs itself out many, many miles from where it started.

    We have had two of these in the Houston area in the last ten years. Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike. The exodus for Rita was around six million souls and probably three million for Ike. Not much damage by either panicked stampede other than empty gas stations and empty wallets.

    The main problem of the migration XXXXX exodus XXXXX stampede is the fact that cars and trucks just do not get good gas mileage while sitting in horrible traffic jams. Probably one or two mpg at best until the people realize that they are running out of gasoline to run their air conditioners.

    Well over half of the stampeders gave up, turned around and went home on noticeably empty highways.

    So, I suspect that any exodus, stampede or migration will only get 50 miles at most before running out of gas. Then the participants will be on foot.

  9. Lynn McGuire says:

    I note that both nurses infected in the Dallas fiasco have been cured now. One has been released even and hugging on the pres. Does this mean that we have a Ebola cure?

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No, it means that 30% to 50% of patients recover from Ebola, tending toward 50% if they’re treated in a first-world hospital and given antibodies from recovered patients.

  11. DadCooks says:

    For those of you that want to keep up to the minute on disease outbreaks around the world, take a look at the link for the Global Incident Map Displaying Outbreaks of All Variety of Diseases:

    http://outbreaks.globalincidentmap.com/home.html

  12. SteveB says:

    MrAtoz said:

    Champ is next!

    According to the UnMuseum

    and the Lake Champlain area site, Champ was first by 60 years.

    In 1873, P. T. Barnum offered $50,000 for Champ’s hide.

  13. OFD says:

    “…before it runs itself out many, many miles from where it started.”

    Probably somewhere in the northern NH/VT bogs. Where the nights are kinda cold. And wet.

    “…any exodus, stampede or migration will only get 50 miles at most before running out of gas. Then the participants will be on foot.”

    Indeed. On foot in northern bogs. While probably being shot at. Not my idea of a fun time. And the people shooting know those bogs and how to move around in them. Or maybe they’ll make it to flat farmland that stretches for miles and miles. Anyone here ever tried humping across frozen furrowed farmland for any appreciable distance? It sucks. Now try it in freezing rain and sleet. At night. See those little flashes in the distance? Could be lightning. Or AR muzzles.

    On the Nessie and Champ sightings and pictures; I’ve read enough about both and been around the latter’s alleged territory long enough to believe that there is something there. Champlain is a very long and deep cold-water lake with outlets to the Atlantic, north and south. Sooner or later one of these guys will croak and float to shore or sumthin.

    There have also been some interesting research and pictures concerning the alleged Bigfoot creatures in the CONUS northwest regions.

    The god Science has not yet rendered all Creation open and clear and without mystery.

    Had a decent interview with the head engineer just now at a site only 27 miles south of here, all interstate. But we’ll see how it goes. They support telecoms around the continent, which is what I did for EDS Wireless Division in Waltham, MA sixteen years ago. Before I got remarried and moved up here and caught pneumonia…

  14. SteveB says:

    Uhhh….

    One of those telecoms wouldn’t be Fairpoint, would it?

    If it is and you can’t whip them into shape would it mean you would be sitting in your own office chewing your own head off for the quality of service?

  15. OFD says:

    I doubt Fairpoint is supported by them; we’re still on wireless here after 17 days with no wired net. I’ll be on the phone again tomorrow with them and this time making threats accordingly. And following up on the threats accordingly. Fah as I know they’re still on strike, though. Picketers were blocking trucks at the facility a couple of towns to our south the other day.

    Interview seemed to go well enough; talked with their head engineer; mixed Windows/Linux shop again but focused totally on IT and networks. We shall see; it would only be 27 miles each way, all interstate highway, about 20 minutes, if I boot it in off-hours.

    And close to hotels, restaurants, supermarket, etc. So if I got stuck there during a blizzard I’d be fine and dandy. Or if here, could work it remote on the VPN.

    Just need one more IT drone gig to carry us for the next coupla or three years while we get other operations running.

  16. SteveF says:

    I refer everyone back to that same page from the SteveF notebook

    Kinda depressing how often that seems to be the best metric for evaluating our best and brightest.

  17. SteveF says:

    As for mobs of refugees attempting to make it through the woods and swamps and mountains from Maine to Vermont, OFD is understating the case if anything. If there aren’t clear roads, about 80% of Americans can’t get from PointA to PointB.

    Plus, OFD didn’t mention the moose. Once the putative invaders’ cars are stuck in the dirt roads and the invaders are stuck in the swamps, the moose will come, looking for a good time. A thousand pounds of stupid, humping everything that moves, as well as everything that stands still. The invaders will run back to Ebolaland North, crying the whole way.

  18. Lynn McGuire says:

    “Why Google wants to replace Gmail”
    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2838775/why-google-wants-to-replace-gmail.html

    “I’m predicting that Google will end Gmail within the next five years. The company hasn’t announced such a move — nor would it.”

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    Once the putative invaders’ cars are stuck in the dirt roads and the invaders are stuck in the swamps, the moose will come, looking for a good time.

    You know, that is a very good reason to carry an AR-10 in one’s vehicle. Supper!

  20. Lynn McGuire says:

    ““I’ll Come To Your Place When SHTF” – No You Won’t”
    http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/ill-come-to-your-place-when-shtf-no-you-wont/

    “I love my friends, but I will shoot you if I have to. I’m serious. Here’s why.”

    Bob is the only person that I have seen prepping for a party. Food, water, guns for the entire block.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, well, I have to sleep sometimes, and even when I’m awake I can’t watch my own back. These folks who think they’re going to defend a fixed position with only a few people just have no clue. I’d consider the minimum practical group size to be 20 to 30 adults (counting teenagers who can shoot), and two to three times that would be better. Actually, 20 to 30 times that would be better still.

    Actually, I’m not prepping for a party so much as I recognize that literally 99.9% of serious emergencies are resolved within 30 days. So, if Barbara and I have (say) 36 person-months of stored food, I think of that more as a one-month supply for 36 people than as an 18-month supply for two.

  22. SteveF says:

    RBT’s point is a good one. The problem is finding people you can trust. I have kin within 60 miles. Depending on the emergency it could well make sense to load the food, water, and such into the cars and then drive my family up there (farther from the cities) before I scrounge as much gasoline as I can and drive 800 miles (round trip) to get the boys from college. If the emergency is such that we’d be better off staying right here, we have supplies to last the family a month or so, but I don’t know of anyone in the immediate area that I’d trust to keep watch while I slept. One of the hazards of living in yuppie-scum-ville.

    However, one point struck me:

    I have to sleep sometimes, and even when I’m awake I can’t watch my own back.

    You haven’t fixed those shortcomings yet? Hmmph. One more slip-up and you’ll have to turn in your League of Mad Scientists membership card.

  23. Lynn McGuire says:

    The problem is finding people you can trust.

    Yes, very much so. Both of these series of survival fiction book series are about building communities that work together after major events:
    http://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Novel-Survivalist-Series/dp/0142181277/
    http://www.amazon.com/Holding-Their-Own-Story-Survival/dp/061556965X/

    In the first book, the guy walked home from Tallahassee to Orlando after an EMP event. He had a community on the road walking with him and then he built a community of his neighborhood after he got home.

    In the second book, the guy built a community in his neighborhood in Houston. Then after a month, he realized that community was failing (and the apocalypse was going deeper) and bugged out to his ranch in western Texas. He then built a new community out there.

  24. Lynn McGuire says:

    Actually, I’m not prepping for a party so much as I recognize that literally 99.9% of serious emergencies are resolved within 30 days.

    I totally want to agree with you on that 99.9% number. And the 230+ year history of the USA proves you out totally. Except for one thing, have we had a total failure of the country yet? I’m not sure what I would call a total failure of the country other than widespread disease and death, a 48 state EMP event, glaciation of the northern states, planetary hit by large meteor where half the country survives, etc.

    I am fairly sure that the USA would survive a financial collapse. Could the financial system be rebooted within a month? A quarter? A year? I have no idea of the level of effort to restart same. And to get the food distribution network restarted. In the “Holding Their Own” series, it has been two years since the financial failure of the USA and the food, fuel and electricity distribution networks are still mostly down.

  25. OFD says:

    “A thousand pounds of stupid, humping everything that moves, as well as everything that stands still.”

    Depends on the time of year. They’re dangerous anyway, year-round, and they won’t get out of your way, period. They look at you like “What the fuck are YOU lookin’ at, dude?” At night they’re hahd to see, ’cause they’re up on them long legs up above your line of vision if you’re in a typical rice-burner cah. So you hit them in the legs and they topple right on top of your ass, crushing the roof and you in one fell swoop. The one I’ve seen so fah up here was in mid-morning busy traffic in Burlington, VT, a densely populated strip of houses and businesses. He was full-grown, with a big rack of antlers, and was galloping like a friggin’ hoss, full speed in the middle of the road before turning off down a side street. It was quite a sight.

    “If there aren’t clear roads, about 80% of Americans can’t get from PointA to PointB.”

    Word, homie. And way too many Murkan drones rely on the GPS in their cah or smartypants phone now, LOL. Good luck with that, in large swampy areas with no cell coverage and no gas stations. In the dead of wintuh.

    “I’d consider the minimum practical group size to be 20 to 30 adults (counting teenagers who can shoot), and two to three times that would be better. Actually, 20 to 30 times that would be better still.”

    Agreed. But probably not a practicable ideal in this country anymore. Murkans are married to their tee-vees and the net and rarely venture out much after a day of slogging in prolecubes for The Man. Many will have AR’s and other weaponry lying around the house but won’t have trained with it and have zero combat experience anyway, even if they did train. Many others have diddly-squat and will be ripe for the urban slag-heap BBQ spits.

    Of course, as Mr. Lynn mentions, we ain’t had a full-blown national meltdown yet, which would now involve 300 million peeps and that three-days-just-in-time food distro system and an extremely vulnerable energy grid, as was recently discussed on Slashdot. The financial system going down would then be the least of our worries.

  26. SteveF says:

    I’ll point out that this is moose mating season, and this is the (so far) historically unique time in the US in which a new, deadly, scary disease with unknown transmissibility has come to our shores and in particular possibly to Maine. I can’t be the only one who’d laugh and laugh if a bunch of Obola-voting soccer moms in Maine panicked and jumped into the minivan and headed straight west and got stuck in the swamps. At dawn, the stilty stupids come…

    (And don’t worry about the kids. Soccer moms in a panic forget about their kids. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Twice. I took care of the kids once, because I knew who the mother was.) (Have I ever mentioned that sometimes I think our species is too stupid to survive? Usually I don’t, I just think it needs a period of hardship to perform a good culling.)

  27. Chuck W says:

    Them bogs aren’t just swamps; in many places they are quicksand. Try traversing them, and that’s one person who will not have to worry about finding food tomorrow.

    But in all of this, people do not just sit still and do nothing. Is it conceivable that — even if some never-seen-before disaster struck, people would just go around in shock? Moreover, if there is no TV, well then they ain’t gonna be sitting at home on the couch being a potato.

    No, like ants whose mounds get kicked over by kids, they set about fixing it immediately. The Twinkie delivery guy is going to sit at home and not deliver Twinkies? No! He is going to be at the bakery, doing what he can to get them baking Twinkies again, so he can get out there and sell Twinks, and take some to feed his kids.

    We have had some pretty difficult financial blasts in the recent decade, but none has taken us to a non-functioning society. Lots of people out of work, but nothing like the Great Depression.

  28. SteveF says:

    Chuck, I think the difference between this depression and the 1930s depression is that we live purely on fiat money now. That and deficit spending allow governments to continue the payouts to keep the proles fed and the vendors paid.

    Also, the US is much more productive now than 80 years ago, so that a fraction of the national population can keep the rest fed and supplied with distractions.

    I don’t know which factor is more important in keeping the economy going for the past several years.

  29. Lynn McGuire says:

    What I was so inanely trying to point out was that the last financial collapse of the USA occurred in 1907? While it was financially disconcerting, it was not a life or death matter for the vast majority of people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1907

    In 1907, most people grew and harvested their own food and fuel. Or, they knew the person who did it for them. So any financial collapses might have made their dollars worthless but they knew what they were eating, drinking and keeping warm with for the next year or two.

    Nowadays, nobody knows where their food comes from. A few know where the water comes from. And few know where the electricity comes from. So, if the distribution system on any of these goes down, there will be vast suffering. Only 2% of the nation lives on farms nowadays? How many people know how and when to plant food? Where to get clean water from? Where to get transportation from when you cannot buy gasoline?

    My water well on my office property can produce 30 gpm of very clean and drinkable water. However, it needs 11 amps at 230 volts in order to operate. Almost 3 kW. Plus some extra to start the motor. I cannot imagine running that well pump without line power. I would have to have some way of generating that power in order to get the clean water.

  30. Chuck W says:

    Money is just an accounting tool. Yeah, idiot dictators could repeat the Weimar experience, but so far we have avoided dictators in Western society. And if you think a dictator is going to let you flee and move about freely, that is just not going to happen.

    Except for the fact that real wages have taken a dive since the ’90’s, the economy is doing quite well. It is unrealistic to expect demand to return to 2006 levels, until the trillions of asset wealth lost in the housing bubble and banking collapse are earned back. After 7 years, we are more than halfway to that point. We were sent back to 1991 in terms of asset wealth and have earned back more than half in less than half the time we were sent back to.

    I bought gas for $2.92 last week. That is the lowest since I returned to Tiny Town. Yeah, any number of terrible disasters could occur, but history just does not demonstrate that a complete breakdown of society to total lack of supply channels to barbarism results from even the worst situations — like war. Yeah, it could happen. But it would have to come with drugs that turn people into zombies. Otherwise, people are going to figure out how to live and trade very quickly after any disaster.

  31. OFD says:

    “At dawn, the stilty stupids come…”

    They can’t be that stupid if they’ve survived all these aeons. They’ll survive us, along with coyotes, corvids and cockroaches. Oh, and rats.

    The coyotes and corvids being quite clever, too.

    “…Obola-voting soccer moms in Maine…”

    This particular segment of our modern Murkan population in Maine would be found in the coastal towns and college communities, nowhere else in that rather large state. Same as here; the smartypants librul turds and soccer moms, etc., are in large towns like Burlap, the state capital of Montpeculiar, and the college towns. Once they venture out during a dystopian period, they’re lost.

    “Them bogs aren’t just swamps; in many places they are quicksand.”

    Haha, I forgot to mention that; for sure there’s quicksand patches out there. Both of us have bopped around out in the woods and we’ve seen suchlike in several areas. That’s what I figger happened to more than one lost duck hunter, which is fine with me; I like ducks and geese and wouldn’t shoot them. (unless we were starving).

    “I would have to have some way of generating that power in order to get the clean water.”

    Indeed, Mr. Lynn; this is a potential problem, as it is for us; we need to organize an alternative pumping solution here as well; once the juice goes out, so does the existing pump. We also discovered last year that pellet stoves run off the juice, so WTF is the point of having one in one’s house? As it was, it only blew warm air over a small portion of the living room and made a racket and was very persnickety about tiny bits of pellets caught in the hinges (wouldn’t start up). So we sold it for $200 and put in a nice woodstove and had to reline the chimney, too, about $3k total. But the stove, once it gets going, heats the house pretty well all by itself. Once we get the windows replaced we’ll be snug as two bugs in a rug here.

    “We have had some pretty difficult financial blasts in the recent decade, but none has taken us to a non-functioning society.”

    This sounds swell and talk of the ‘recovery’ sounds swell, but consider the sources for the latter. And the country has never had this many people in it, mostly concentrated in huge coastal metropoles. With almost all of them totally dependent on water and sewage systems running on electricity generated by fossil fuels, and likewise on the three-days-inventory of food and other consumer goods.

    “…people are going to figure out how to live and trade very quickly after any disaster.”

    I wish I had your optimism, Mr. Chuck. People may have had that ability a hundred or even fifty years ago, but now? If things blow up very badly in this country, I believe we’ll be looking at mass die-offs, and that would suit the ruling junta just fine.

  32. Chuck W says:

    Except for societies that were killed off by diseases and plagues — including native Amurikins — the worst expectations of man never come true.

    And a quick look at farm workers as a percent of the population shows that about 33.7% of the population were farmers in 1870. By 1910, only 16.7% were, and that fell to 11% in 1940 and reduced by 1/3 every decade until 1990 when it was 0.9%.

    Even in 1910, the entire population was not going to be fed by visiting someone on a farm. Especially in states that did little farming back then, like Arizona.

    And every age can say that they never had as many people in it as they did at that moment. Even through the Dustbowl and the Great Depression — though less than a quarter of the population could provide completely for themselves, — the other 75+% lived through the difficulties (with minor exceptions).

  33. SteveB says:

    SteveF said:

    At dawn, the stilty stupids come…

    Well, you know what they say: “Once you’ve gone moose, you never go back.”

    Those soccer moms might like it…

    As far as those rivers, swamps, bogs, quicksand and furrowed fields go, I didn’t see them being a problem to a mass exodus in full panic.

    I was thinking swarm as in army ants. The lead elements get trampled by the next rank who get trampled by the next and so on until you have a bridge across those obstacles. Any of the lead elements knocked down by hostile fire from the locals are just additional building blocks for the bridge.

  34. SteveB says:

    Lynn, I hear your statements about the hurricane evacs.

    Please bear in mind, however, those were gummint sanctioned sporting events. No matter how disorganized, the local yokels, staties and national guard were refereeing.

    In a full blown unannounced panic evac where they don’t have enough advance notice to take their positions, I don’t think it would be too long before that 1/4 watt dim bulb comes on over some Einstein’s head as he turns to his wife and says, “Hey Marge! Here we are, stuck in an eight-lane parking lot and just over there, to our left are another eight lanes of pavement WITH NO CARS! What’re they gonna do? Give me a ticket?”

    Of course, after one brave soul takes advantage of the situation, that condition won’t last long before you have a 16 lane wide parking lot.

    But a few of the brighter ones quicker on the uptake than the rest just might miss the Darwin Awards ceremony for that year.

    And Marge just might win her dream date with a thousand pound hunk.

  35. SteveB says:

    “I would have to have some way of generating that power in order to get the clean water.”

    Not necessarily, Lynn. If you want a full-blown modern pressurized water supply, yes.

    If you’re willing to settle for water for drinking, washing and cooking and willing to put a little manual labor into getting it up from the bottom of that well, you don’t need any electricity at all.

    When my wife and I first got married, we were in a situation similar to this guy .

    We were going to build a well bucket ourselves, but found while shopping for parts that the old-time hardware store in Athens had a factory-built galvanized one for only about $10 (1980s dollars–they seem to be running in the $40+ range these days).

    Yeah, you’ll have to get those pipes and that pump out of the way so you can drop the bucket, but it is a viable low-tech solution, even if it is a PITA to have to go out and do like my granddaddy used to have to do on those cold winter mornings back in the nineteen teens before LaPorte put in city water.

  36. Jack Smith says:

    There are two aspects to forced quarantine. First, the act of government control of movement to prevent the spread of communicable disease which has long historical support at law. Leper colonies being but one example. In the case of those returning from close contact with Ebola infected persons, quarantine for a brief period of 21 days seems to adequately balance the loss of individual liberty against benefit to society at large.

    However, the press reports describe the government’s actions and holding facilities as more associated with criminal apprehension and jail. Purely from a self-interest prospective, government should not treat those being quarantined as the functional equivalent of felons, as we should not provide an incentive to avoid the process.

    And, when the government has physical control of someone (whether a criminal or not) they owe a duty of care — that is in the case of quarantine reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent those not infected from being infected by virtue of their confinement. Otherwise quarantine becomes a death camp.

  37. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes to all of those, particularly the necessity of individual quarantine to avoid infecting those who were not infected. And I will add that we can greatly reduce the need for quarantining at all by banning anyone who has visited the epidemic areas from entering (or re-entering) the US.

  38. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As I’ve said repeatedly, I agree with Chuck that people won’t simply sit and do nothing useful if things get really bad. Farmers will continue to grow food. It’s what they do. Truckers will continue to transport the food. It’s what they do. Power company workers will continue to maintain/repair power lines and stations. It’s what they do. All of this would happen without any government “help” at all.

    Humans cooperate instinctively. It’s what we do. I’ve been involved in a couple of minor disasters, severe storms and so on. The men and women and teenagers all pulled together, doing their traditional things. The women and elderly cooked and watched the kids. The young and middle-age men were out with chain saws clearing the damage, putting tarps on roofs, and so on. There’s no reason to think that the same wouldn’t happen in a larger disaster.

  39. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Bob is the only person that I have seen prepping for a party. Food, water, guns for the entire block.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. There’s a term for this. It’s called “atheist charity”.

  40. Dave B. says:

    I have a simple audio software question. For those of us who did not download WinAmp before it went away, what is a good MP3 player for the PC?

    Also, I’m thinking of picking up a cheap SSD for an old Fujitsu S2210 which would be about 7 years old. Would doing this and trying to install the latest LTS version of Ubuntu be wise, or is the machine too old for that?

  41. Ray Thompson says:

    Would doing this and trying to install the latest LTS version of Ubuntu be wise, or is the machine too old for that?

    Go ahead and try. If it does not work out you still have the SSD that you can put in a newer machine. You have lost nothing but some time.

    An SSD in a tired laptop can do wonders for performance for tasks that are not CPU intensive.

  42. Ray Thompson says:

    For those of us who did not download WinAmp before it went away

    I have a copy that I can get to you by putting it on my web site. You can then download from there. Or I can put it on a thumb drive and mail it to you.

  43. Chuck W says:

    In the end, Winamp did not go away. It was bought by a Dutch company that still makes it available. Winamp is sorely underrated these days. I have tried everything out there, and even Foobar2000 does not come close to the possibilities with Winamp. That includes the functions of maintaining a library. I do not use the library capabilities, but just the plug-ins alone are far, far above what is available with any other player. In fact, I have Winamp running under Wine on the Linux system. It does not behave perfectly, but is satisfactory for my current needs.

    My backup choice for a player is XMPlay, maintained by the guy who created BASS, an audio engine that lots of other software uses (and he gets paid for). XMPlay supports some Winamp plug-ins. It is a very top-down Steve Jobs like application, that does not get changed very often. It is free.

    http://www.un4seen.com/xmplay.html

  44. Jim B says:

    Chuck, while you are at it, do you have a recommendation for a good player for Linux (Mint KDE)? I am trying to avoid WINE. I have not looked for a while, but most are way too feature burdened, and the simpler ones don’t seem to work well. Example: recent versions of Amarock can’t even easily play a CD! Files of any sort seem to need a playlist. Sheesh!

    The default player on Android works fine for me, and that is where I have listened to my collection for a couple of years. Wish it were available for Mint.

  45. MrAtoz says:

    Winamp Pro is also on many torrent networks.

  46. Dave B. says:

    I found Winamp Pro on Download.com. I had to decline a bunch of bloatware downloads to do it though. I won’t be going to that site again if I can help it.

    I’m going to go ahead and take the plunge and buy the SSD. Is there a distro anyone would recommend over the latest Ubuntu LTS release?

  47. Lynn McGuire says:

    In a full blown unannounced panic evac where they don’t have enough advance notice to take their positions, I don’t think it would be too long before that 1/4 watt dim bulb comes on over some Einstein’s head as he turns to his wife and says, “Hey Marge! Here we are, stuck in an eight-lane parking lot and just over there, to our left are another eight lanes of pavement WITH NO CARS! What’re they gonna do? Give me a ticket?”

    You are late to the party, the exodus people already did that. And now it is state sanctioned, The Great State of Texas has markings and crossovers to turn I-10 and I-45 into one way autobahns exiting Houston. The Texas DPS can do it with about an hour’s notice.

    And yes, you are correct, they just move the parking lots down the way. We just cannot evacuate eight million people in 24 hours from Houston. In fact, I would be surprised if we could evacuate one million people in 24 hours from Houston.

    The real solution is that no one north of I-10 needs to evacuate. Those people are leaving unnecessarily. I’ll even take that further and say that no one north of I-69 needs to evacuate just due to the traffic mess. After all, who wants to ride out a hurricane in a car?

    BTW, there are zero eight lane freeways in the Houston area. In fact, including the HOV lane, the widest freeway (or tollway) around here is five lanes. Although, you can get to eight lanes using the three lane service roads also.

  48. OFD says:

    “Is there a distro anyone would recommend over the latest Ubuntu LTS release?’

    Depends on what you wanna do. If reliability is a factor, I’d stick with the LTS releases of any distro. Been burned once or twice too often otherwise, including with Winblows.

    Houston, TX area? I’d get out ASAP.

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    I would be surprised if we could evacuate one million people in 24 hours from Houston.

    They can clear 102,850 people from a football stadium using city streets to get them to the interstate, such interstate being slower than city streets, in about 2 hours time. Multiply that by 10 to get to one million and you are looking at 20 hours. Turn all lanes of the freeway into outbound and you get about 2.5 million people in 24 hours. This is in Knoxville with only one real major interstate. In Houston you can go north and south so maybe double that number and you may get lucky to get 5 million people out of the city in 24 hours if everything goes well, ie, no accidents.

    there are zero eight lane freeways in the Houston area.

    Hot-lanta on I-85 south of the city center there are eight lanes in each direction for a short length. Impressive to see most of the traffic at a standstill during peak hours.

  50. Ray Thompson says:

    Houston, TX area? I’d get out ASAP.

    I takes longer driving away from Houston than it does driving to Houston. It’s because Houston has no gravity, it just sucks.

    True story. When I first arrived in this area I wanted to travel to Nashville. I asked the locals how long it took. They said it took two hours to get to Nashville, four hours to get back. Took me a few minutes to realize that they said that because Nashville is in a different time zone. I guess that made ciphering on their pocket watch easier.

  51. Lynn McGuire says:

    In Houston you can go north and south so maybe double that number and you may get lucky to get 5 million people out of the city in 24 hours if everything goes well, ie, no accidents.

    Can’t go south from Houston very far. Unless your vehicle can swim. And most people in an exodus want to head north.

    You would be surprised how many people do not keep their gas tanks full. I was shocked how many people ran out of gas before they left the Houston metropolitan area in the last exodus.

    All the interstates leaving Houston (I-10, I-69, I-45) neck down to two lanes each way within 50 miles of downtown. And no service roads. We need a major freeway building program here in The Great State of Texas. Instead, we have the lowest state gasoline tax in the Union. And we rednecks are proud of it!

  52. Ray Thompson says:

    <i.Can’t go south from Houston very far.

    I meant to say west. Sigh.

  53. brad says:

    Ubuntu LTS – I personally prefer the Xubuntu version. Or Mint/Cinnamon, which also has an LTS version, since it’s basically a branch off of Ubuntu.

    Anyone have an informed opinion on the Systemd stuff? I hear lots of heat, but don’t see much light.

  54. OFD says:

    Ditto more heat than light on the systemd controversy; it is what it is, and the die is cast, for good or ill. RH has gone with it, so it’s now enterprise-level. And now RH has sorta gone the M$ route in regard to exams and certs; if you, like me, worked on RHEL 4 through 6 and was studying for the 6 exam and waited just a bit too long (and/or got laid off), you are now faced with the exam covering 7, so you had better get up to speed forthwith on 7. Like NT through Server 2012R2 on Windows. We seem to have about an 18-month to 24-month window to rush through a study course/boot camp, or whatever, before taking a current exam for any certification purposes. This is also the case now with Cisco’s CCENT and CCNA. Some employers require certs; others can take ’em or leave ’em; and still others don’t care and value your experience more. And FSM forbid that any employer pay or spend the time to get their own employees certified anymore. It’s on your time and your dime now, period.

  55. MrAtoz says:

    There have also been some interesting research and pictures concerning the alleged Bigfoot creatures in the CONUS northwest regions.

    Say, you weren’t out and about nekkid lately were you Mr. OFD. Several sightings up your way.

  56. SteveF says:

    Hey, now! You’re moving in on my turf. I’m the one who makes comments that make others grab for the brainbleach.

  57. Chuck W says:

    Lots of folks on the radio forums are having trouble with CentOS 7. I presume that is equivalent to RH7? Simple programs will not compile. And the UEFI boot thing — which was supposed to be magically cured by CentOS 7 — is apparently still a mess to work through.

    I would be happy with Mint, except for the fact that Debian dumped FFmpeg as the converter between video/audio codecs. The desktop is close enough to XP to work for me, and I can reorder opened programs in the taskbar by just dragging. However, my video/audio editing software needs FFmpeg just to open files of various encoding. The stupid substitute that Debian employed has been abandoned, and developers say it is too difficult to return to FFmpeg now. So whether you use Ubuntu or Mint, if you intend to do audio/video work, Ubuntu/Mint ain’t gonna cut it.

    I am not sure where Debian Stable stands on that issue. It IS different. Hopefully, I have time to research that Real Soon Now. I have a glued-on-the-motherboard SSD drive, and it took days to figure out how to install the OS and swap file on that, but get applications and data on the spinning drive. Facing that all over again, is why I am slow to move off Mint. Might never on this laptop, which — plugged into an external keyboard and external monitor — has been my primary system since early May. (As most here know, laptops with extra-large hard drives plugged into keyboard and monitor have been my only computer since we moved to Berlin in 2001. Completely indistinguishable from a desktop.)

    Mint makes me quite happy most of the time. I am not a fan of KDE; the developers there are bleeding edge and KDE often cripples non-KDE apps. Tried it, and like my grandson said as a toddler about tapioca: I can’t like that. As with any OS, it has taken months (since May) to get things working to my satisfaction. My latest success is integrating Evolution and Google Calendar with the Android. Now I enter appointments in Evo and it buzzes reminders on the Android which I always have with me; I can also enter or modify the calendar from anywhere with the Android. This will be the last year for my paper calendar and the ever-present 7-ring binder I have carried with me since the 1970’s. A drawback with Evo is that it does not file Sent mail in the proper folder (it picked one I created — seemingly at random — and dumps everything there), nor does it put replies in the folder containing the original, even though I have that checked.

    Also using a GnuCash Android entry program to record expenses in the field, instead of my custom-printed grid paper I used in the binder for a good 30 years. (The GnuCash Android software is entry-only; not the whole GnuCash program. You import the resulting file to Gnu Cash on the computer.)

    Audio in Linux just plain stinks, unless you are using the computer for one audio application and that is it. Don’t get me wrong — quality is truly excellent — it is just getting things to work that is the PITA. Audacity records randomly as 44.1kbps and 48kbps. Nothing I have tried will stop it from using 48k, which is not what I want for my audio work. I have everything, including Audacity config files set to 44.1, but no dice. Audacity also freezes frequently, but it works on the transaction model, saving every change upon execution, so I have never lost one edit of work. When recovering the work, however, it leaves orphan files; that happens in both Linux and Windows — for as long as I have used Audacity, which is at least 12 years.

    There is no audio player in Linux worth anything. If you find something, let me know, because I have exhausted what is out there. Winamp does not work reliably under Wine. My problems have to do with the playlist not highlighting what is playing, global hotkeys not working, and “stop after current” quitting the music about 20 seconds before a song ends when using the SqrSoft Crossfader. Sounds good and super-clean, however, and Hans Zutphen’s Stereo Tool works perfectly under Wine at processing the audio. Hans is an audio and programming genius.

    For anything outside Winamp, I use VLC. Very, very complex, and it screws up CD titles, displaying wrong album and song titles, a shortcoming which the developers appear not to care one whipstitch about, but it plays and I get along with it. I have a library of about 60,000 ripped songs now, so I almost never need to listen to a CD. That library is handled by MySQL in a database that is integrated into the radio automation software I have installed. I do not think that many titles in directories would be usable.

    The printer (HP LaserJet 1200) and Epson Scanner (V-30) were a bear to get working, but they are performing fine now. Another reason I am not anxious to switch OS’es. However, that leaves me living on borrowed time on the video editing front, as I have not had any demanding work for a while now, and have continued using the AVIdemux in the Windows computer. Just had a client say they will need heavy editing after the new year, so that problem needs solving.

    Next task is to get JACKd working in Linux. It is a virtual audio routing program — patch panel, if you will — and I need it to work with the automation software. Mint apparently installed JACK, unknown to me, and I installed JACKd (later version) and now neither works. Always the risk that removing both will screw up other stuff. Maybe I will get to that during the weekend.

    There are 2 frustrations with Linux: 1) interfaces are waaay better in Windows, with the explorer^2 file manager a perfect example of being quick and intuitive at a ton of tasks, while Nemo will not even automatically resize columns; and 2) Linux requires absolute super-precision. Get it halfway right in Windows, and the OS will figure out what you want and correct things for you. Get one letter wrong, one command out of syntax, one too many or too few spaces in a command option, and nothing works. Like proofreading your own work, those errors are elusive. Likewise get a step out of order, and it will not work. I spent days on getting only the OS and swap file onto the SSD, when the problem was that I was misinterpreting instructions. What I thought was a mistaken exact repeat of a step, was — in fact, — a step that was required to be done twice in a row for things to work. Sheesh.

  58. OFD says:

    “Say, you weren’t out and about nekkid lately were you Mr. OFD. Several sightings up your way.”

    Coulda been me; we’ve had some unseasonably warm days here lately. One of the speculations on the rarity of close-up and definitive sightings of Bigfoot is that they may have the ability to warp in and out of dimensions at will. Now you see ’em; now you don’t. I haven’t got that fah yet, although I did read several books on astral projection forty years ago and have had out-of-body experiences once or twice; the first time as a kid, when I woke from a sound sleep and found myself inches from the bedroom ceiling. This was strange. But stranger still was rolling over and seeing myself asleep on the bed below. I further read that this was dangerous chit, as other entities could take control of your body while you were out gallivanting. I believe I have thus fah avoided that scenario and am the same scatterbrained klutz and delapidated old faht that I am.

    Linux; what can I say? That has not already been said and well, by Mr. Chuck. A lotta chit that should work by now does not. Yet Winblows is another sort of nightmare often enough.

  59. Jim B says:

    Thanks, Chuck and OFD. Although I Google and read quite a bit frequently, I often find the best insights about Linux right here. If I had more dedication, I might be better off.

    One (just one) frustration is reading something “out there” and trying same, only to find that whoever wrote it only hit the high points. I am a plodder who expects things to work well, and when they don’t, I wonder if whoever created it ever acyually USED it.

  60. SteveF says:

    Chuck: Instructions for installing ffmpeg on Ubuntu 14. Instructions for installing ffmpeg on Mint 17.

    Note that I haven’t tested out either. I’m still on Ubuntu 12 and will be for a while. Machines have been wearing out around here (with “wearing out” including such things as cups of water or juice being spilled into laptops, or a laptop being dropped four feet onto concrete; I’ll point out that I had nothing to do with any machines wearing out in such fashion) and my U12 laptop is the last PC in the house that I can do must-do work like earn money on. (And I’ll point out that my wife and daughter are not allowed to touch it, get drinks anywhere near it, or even remember that it exists.)

  61. Chuck W says:

    Thanks, but just installing FFmpeg does not solve the problem with Cinelerra. It has separate compiles for every distro. The one for Ubuntu/Mint is compiled specifically to use “libav” instead of FFmpeg. So installing FFmpeg does nothing to help Cinelerra. It still cannot open most files, because it will continue to look to libav and libav is broken. It is one of the most frequently asked questions on the Cinelerra site. There are other differences, too, so trying to install the Red Hat version of Cinelerra on Mint does not work either. Neither does compiling yourself. As the help forums point out, you have got to be a developer with some pretty good chops to do it yourself.

  62. SteveF says:

    Ah. Yah, that’s a different problem. I imagine I could get it going, but then I’m a developer with some pretty good chops.

  63. OFD says:

    I will just point out here, so Mr. SteveF don’t feel all alone, that laptops and netbooks here have met the same sorts of “wearing-out” fates that his has. Along with contact lenses, phones, phone chargers, keys, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention dozens of my music CDs, found all scuffed up on various floors and inside vehicle trunks, etc. With even more dozens of cracked and smashed CD cases. Books get similar treatment, with the added attraction of the aforementioned food and beverage spills.

    Whenever I said anything, I instantly became an irascible and annoying old bore and curmudgeon, of course.

    For OFD’s Linux recommendations:

    Enterprise/business seriousness: RHEL, CentOS and Scientific Linux.

    SOHO: Those maybe, or the LTS Ubuntu Server, GUI optional.

    Home/hobby/media: One of the Ubuntu/Mint or Fedora spins, YMMV, see Mr. Chuck’s travails first.

    Older laptops and PC’s with limited hw capabilities: Jack up the RAM first as much as you can (I load, if not already loaded, a Windows XP or 7 OS and connect to the net and run the Crucial or Kingston memory scans before ordering more RAM). Maybe install an SSD. For Linux: the lightweight versions of Ubuntu and Fedora and CrunchBang.

    For security stuff: A dedicated Linux machine for this purpose only, running the Whonix vm and using the Tor browser and for email, an offshore account. While keeping updated Tail distros around on CD and sticks with persistence enabled.

    YMMV

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