Watching the drama unfolding.

Ever since the first ebola victims were flown to the US, Spain and other countries for treatment, I have expected an ebola case to arise in one of those countries. True, I thought it would be an infected hospital worker or visitor in direct contact with one of the flown-in cases but having one flown in to order works just as well.

Personally I am not at all concerned about this disease. It’s been confined to Africa so far for a reason – it doesn’t do very well in other climates/social structures. We in the Western world are not so sociable and are less likely to help someone sick. Also, the victims are not infectious until they show symptoms. Since the early symptoms look like the flu, and since I already avoid contact with people who have the flu because I had it once and don’t ever want it again, I consider my personal risk to be low.

The actual infectiveness of the disease does not matter. The horribleness of the disease is far more important.

There have been several attempted scares with bird flu and swine flu but nobody really gave a damn. In the end, it’s the flu. Flu is very contagious and can kill, but these days most people see it as ‘only the flu’ and no matter how many letters and numbers you add after its name as if it’s some kind of highly qualified flu, no matter how many times you tell people it’s a new kind of flu that will wipe out all life on Earth, no matter if you hype it into some sort of bug-eyed and fanged monster that will rise from one victim to directly attack everyone in the vicinity… to most people, it’s still just the flu.

Ebola is different. This one kills roughly half of those infected and it kills them in a very nasty way. Effectively it dissolves your insides. It’s a most unpleasant disease and a horrible way to die. It’s also one that we in the West have not come across in our daily lives at all.

Sure, we know about the flu. Pretty much every one of us will have had it at least once or will know of someone who had it. New variants can sound scary but at the back of our minds, well, it’s only the flu.

Ebola is a new and very scary disease for the West. It’s been confined to Africa and now it’s on the loose. This time the scare tactics are much more effective because this time there is no back-of-the-mind voice saying ‘nah, it’s only the flu’. This time the voice is saying ‘Death! Death stalks the land in those awful Ugg boots and a shabby black hoodie! Death is coming for you and most of all, for your cheeeldren! Death, I tell you! Death!’ Then the voice in your head runs screaming into the distance and you hear a distant trapdoor slam.

That’s because most people, by far, are not microbiologists so they rely on what ‘experts’ tell them. And as we have seen in recent years, ‘experts’ love to scare the crap out of people. They failed to raise enough scares with the various forms of the flu but this new one, oh this new one is a doozy. It Comes From Another Place and it has swept through the Other Place leaving only death and devastation in its wake. And it most definitely is not ‘only the flu’. And now it is in your town.

Well okay. It’s in one town. In one US state. One guy has it and he caught it in Another Place. There is, so far, no sign of anyone else catching it from him although there might well be a small number who will develop symptoms. He was sent home the first time he went to hospital. Already there are cries of ‘Why didn’t they isolate him at once? Why are they not checking everyone with these symptoms and asking where they’ve been?’

Early symptoms look like flu. Doctors in Texas haven’t seen a case of ebola before but they’ve seen a lot of flu. It’s not surprising they decided it was flu. As for asking him where he’s been, well… why would they? Unless he pitched up at the hospital talking in Swahili or some such, why would they not assume he was local? Doctors don’t ask for a full travel history for every patient, especially not if their symptoms look like common or garden flu. If doctors demanded such information every time, how long before the patients started shouting about ‘right to privacy’? Sometimes you just can’t win.

It didn’t take long to wheel in the ‘think of the cheeeldren‘ line. He might have been in contact with school-age children. Since schools are festering foetid pools of all things infectious, a disease let loose in there can spread like wildfire. Other diseases do so this one surely will too.

Or will it? Remember, they are not infectious until they show symptoms. When they do, the symptoms look like flu. It would be a harsh and cruel parent indeed who would send a flu-stricken child to school. In the current situation I would think any parent whose child so much as sneezed would have them straight into the hospital without a moment’s delay.

It’s not like in remote African villages where the nearest hospital is three days’ walk away and telephones and ambulances are thin on the ground. It’s Dallas, Texas. They can contain the dsease if anyone else shows symptoms. There really is little to no cause for concern.

Well, now the Daily Moonhowler has the story and naturally is milking it for all it is worth. ‘They won’t tell us which flight he was on’. Of course not. The sensible reason is that he wasn’t contagious while travelling and the CDC don’t want to have surgeries all over the world beseiged by the Dawn of the Worried Well. The sinister reason is that if you don’t know which flight he was on, you don’t know if he was on yours. So everyone is scared.

‘Did he stop over in Heathrow?’ So what if he did? He wasn’t contagious at that time. If you were in Heathrow that day are you concerned? I wouldn’t be. But then, I spent years learning about this sort of thing and then decades studying it further. I will remain not at all concerned about ebola unless I find myself in an infected remote village with no easy access to modern medical facilities.

For those whose careers took a different path, those who remain terrified of such things as Salmonella and Campylobacter – both easily killed by proper cooking – and those who read the Mail stories about someone with a congenital disease that affects about five people on the whole planet and then start checking themselves to see if they have something newsworthy too, it’s a different mindset.

If you don’t believe in ghosts, I can’t scare you with a ghost story. If you don’t believe in demons I can’t scare you with a demon story – although that pair of tiny red glowsticks on a treestump in a dark walkway would, I’ll bet, make you stop and think a bit.

Everyone knows about human brutality. I can scare anyone at all with a silent serial killer story. One who hides inside soft furnishings, knife at the ready, waiting for you to lean back into the comfort of your sofa. Or under the bed with a long sharp spike.

Even better is the terror of disease because everyone has had one at some time. Whether major or minor, there is no need for belief, we all have experience. There have been rumours that ISIS will unleash ebola on the west. Bollocks. We can quickly contain any outbreak of that disease. There are far better bioweapons – but at the moment it’s probably best not to publicise them. You never know who’s reading.

Ebola is not a big deal in the West. The few who might get it will have a really rotten time and some of them might well die, but as a pandemic it’s useless. It’s hyped to the point where the medics will, if anything, overreact. Any outbreak will be quashed at once.

None of the above matters. Look at the best-rated and worst-rated comments on that Mail article. Those who talk sense are shouted down. The drones are terrified that the streets will be filled with corpses any day now and they demand Something be Done.

Something will be done. I don’t think the big stuff will come this time around. I think this is a practice run. See how much restriction the people of Dallas, Texas will accept in the name of not being dead from the inside out. Will they not just accept, but push for tighter and tighter controls on movement and association?

Even Infowars have fallen for it. It is not about the damn virus! The disease is easily contained in that city. Easily. It will not get far and it has nothing at all to do with ISIS. If they really had a bioweapons division they would surely have someone in there who knew what they should really be releasing for maximum disruption, and where to put it. No, this is not a deliberate attempt to spread a really nasty but easily-stopped infection.

What it might be is an attempt to spread an out of proportion fear of that infection. The Daily Mail are helping by claiming that the Horseman of Pestilence rode through Heathrow (note that Infowars claim he went through another US airport) and Infowars are helping by claiming that it is a deliberate attempt to dissolve the people of the USA using a rather complex biological weapon devised and constructed in a sandblown tent somewhere in a desert by men with beards and brains made of mashed up entrails.

This is Bioweapon Level Two, where you don’t actually need an effective bioweapon at all.

You just need the fear of it. Fear will let you control people for their own safety and they will not rebel, they will thank you for it. I doubt Alex Joners ever comes around here since this is a smoker blog and he hates us all, but if you ever do, Al, you’re a gullible idiot.

The disease is not the bullet. Fear is the bullet. The disease is the gun it’s fired from.

Watch Texas. I think it’s a practice run but I could be wrong. The claims that the ebola victim came through other airports (when he wasn’t contagious but let’s not mention that) will only spread the fear. So far it starts with the insistence on ctrols on movements from infected African countries but if there are cases in Texas, maybe suspected ones in London.. where does it end?

Then there are all those FEMA camps that Alex Jones himself has taken great pains to highlight.

Two and two, Alex. Two and two.

 

Bug munching.

You are going to eat insects whether you like it or not.

Really. The Righteous say you will eat them and you will eat them. If you don’t want to gaze upon their chitinous wriggling as you impale them with your really tiny fork, then they will be ground up and hidden in your food and the label will not say ‘made with powdered bluebottle’ in case it puts you off.

Why are we all to feast on roast cockroach and deep-fried centipede? Well, because billions of other people already eat insects so we have to do it to.

What is not considered is the reason so many people have insects on the menu. In most cases, it’s because there is bugger all else to eat! If a whole mass of locusts eat your crops then you eat the locusts. They haven’t left you anything else.

Can anyone imagine turning away a plate of fried chicken with the words ‘Nah. Got any woodlice?’

There is, of course, sound commercial reasoning behind all this. Forget the eco-nonsense, that’s just to get the green loons on board. Clues are in the article, and a big one is ‘they can even be fed on waste’.

Of those people in the world who eat insects, are any of them farming those insects? Mostly they are eaten as caught from the wild. In the wild they have been living on other insects or vegetation. The thing about that is, their guts are full of the vitamins and minerals from the plant material they have stuffed into themselves which is a bonus to the protein content of the insect itself. It’s not just protein, fat and chitin those people are eating. They also get the good stuff from the well-stuffed gut.

If you want to farm insects, you don’t need a farm. There will be no herds of dung beetles grazing quietly in the fields, before being rounded up by a farmer with a trained spider. A big building with loads of boxes is all you need. Battery bugs. There’s no ‘free-range’ in this game and ‘organic’ merely refers to the shit they get fed. The insects on offer will never have felt the sun on their ghastly little carapaces nor the soft earth beneath their creepy little legs.

The feed for these insects will be crap, sometimes literally so. Just because insects can often live on mouldy bread and soggy lettuce doesn’t mean they want to. Locusts, a popular food insect, prefer fresh vegetable matter and when they are full of that they are worth eating. When they are full of chemically treated sewage, they are much less worth eating. What these companies offer is not the generally-quite-healthy bugs that many people eat from the wild, but some factory-farmed shit-bugs that have been raised in darkness and fed on whatever waste material is available for free that day.

This drive to make us all crunch down on a beetle bar is not about health. Not about nutrition and not about the environment.

It’s about money.

I’ll spend mine on the fried chicken, thanks.

The Machine, It Lives!

Last one tonight, I promise. Being motion-restricted on the whim of a rib is intensely frustrating – but very good for the writing.

I have set up the Bucko Monster with a temporary TV/monitor in the spare room. Removing the existing machine from its place requires a lot of bending and twisting and I need to let that rib set before I try that. Besides, there are many many files to decide upon – which to transfer and which to finally allow to die. I really don’t watch all those downloaded YouTube vids, you know.

Here is a truly terrible photograph of the beast with Linux Mint taking control of it -

meanmachineIt’s too dark, I know, but it’s all working just fine. Once I feel confident enough to make the switch without ending up back in the hands of the Morphine Doctors, it will have pride of place in my office.

It is already connected to the internet. The spare room has a cable from the time when I wondered about moving to a bigger office – but decided that bigger office would just mean a bigger mess. The small room limits my accumulation of crap and forces the occasional clearout.

Many thanks to all who donated for this machine. I couldn’t have afforded it alone. Thanks also to Bucko for making it.

With this much computer power, I could take over the world… wait, did I type that out loud?

I’m a Twit.

I caved in and joined Twatter. No idea why, unless it’s because I hit my head when I fell off the kitchen. It’s Misanthrope Girl’s fault for directing me to a Twitter page while I am still dazed from all the drugs the doctors pumped into me.

‘Underdog’ was already taken. Thought it would be. There are a great many underdogs out there now. I was surprised ‘Legiron’ was taken but there you go. If you see @legiron, it’s not me.

I’m @underdogsbiteup because that’s all the characters allowed. I’m still ‘Legiron’ in the header though.

Now I have to figure out what, if anything, I’m going to do with it.

 

Training the Stasi Generation

We are all well used to hearing about schools where the teachers (almost always under a headmistress rather than headmaster) take ownership of the children to the extent that they dictate what can and cannot be in the kids’ packed lunches. Now it has gone a step further.

A primary school has appointed 10-year-olds as ‘packed lunch police’ with the power to inspect the food younger pupils bring to school – and even issue warnings if it is unhealthy.

Yes. Really. The ten-year-olds do not have to report the Mars-bar miscreants to the teachers. They have the authority to issue penalty notices. I wonder if they are all in hi-vis vests yet, with ‘future twatty adult’ stencilled on the back?

Parents are up in arms, naturally, but for the wrong reasons. “I decide what my children eat, not some ten-year-old fingermen with frogspawn for brains and the social skills of fast-lane roadkill.” Well okay, none of them used quite those words but it was all words to that effect. But they are missing the point here.

‘If these kids are inspecting my children’s sandwich fillings, how can I be sure they are washing their hands after going to the toilet and aren’t picking their noses? One six-year-old boy was given a warning slip just for having a Kellogg’s cereal bar.’

Even that is not the point. It’s a very good point – the lunch might well be ‘healthy’ until pudgy shit-laden fingers start poking around in it. But it’s not the point.

Headmistress Caroline Holliday said: ‘This healthy-eating campaign has been driven and implemented by our children themselves.’

Rubbish. If true, then it amounts to organised bullying. If true, who is supplying the fixed-penalty notices the mini-Gestapo are handing out? This is organised by the staff and particularly by the headmistress. Denial of responsibility, leading beyond authority, this has a certain organisation’s semaphore fake body language waving all around it.

The real point is control. Everyone watching everyone else. Everyone reporting on everyone else. Soviet Russia. Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Hitler’s Germany. Panoptica. You cannot trust anyone so you cannot organise any resistance. If you try, it soon becomes inevitable that you recruit an informant.

It’s silly to suppose that kids that age would even think about organising a resistance, but those kids will become adults one day. By that time they will have been conditioned into watching and reporting on each other.

The current ten-year-olds will continue to watch and report when they are older. Next year’s ten-year-olds will get the power that has been used to oppress them and they will use it with a vengeance. The year after that, the ten-year-olds will have suffered two years at the hands of the Lunchbox Stasi and they will be even more vindictive when it’s their turn to weild the baton. And it will not stop with lunchboxes.

It just gets nastier every year. School uniforms will soon include jackboots and peaked caps for ten-year-old and above. Before that there will be armbands – if there aren’t already.

It’s not about the food. Not about the hygeine. It’s about training the kids to control each other, even when ‘official’ authority is absent. Okay, there is an argument that kids could do with a bit more control but that argument was engineered to happen from the outset. Let them have their head, let them do as they please and then smack them down with harsh control. The drones will not only accept it, they will cheer for it.

Sure, the parents are angry about it and quite rightly so, but what about Society? The Society that has been brainwashed into thinking that all children belong to everyone and the parents are merely temporary caretakers. They will be delighted when the control gets tighter and tighter and the kids march to school like loads of Midwich Cuckoos.

Then they will march to work just like in the old film ‘Metropolis’.

Note that there are no reports of the parents of ten-year-olds objecting to their child being used as an unpaid enforcer. As each class moves up a year, another lot of parents will be happy to see their children move from ‘oppressed’ to ‘oppressor’ status and their voices will fall silent. In a few years, the parents of new-starts will accept this as ‘just the way things are’.

The lunchboxes are only the beginning. It’s an easy place to start the behavioural modifications. Control will move up in tiny increments and might even abandon the lunchbox controls once the deeper controls are in place. There’ll be no more need of it and it’ll be a crumb to placate the mob.

What we are seeing here is the natural progression from the teachers controlling the kids to having the kids control each other under the direction of the teachers. They are no longer teachers. They are trainers.

Training the Stasi Generation.

 

Electrobooks, electrocovers.

One thing that has not changed in the transition from paper books to eBooks is the format of the cover. A single still image.

Surely it doesn’t have to be? Can’t we put an animated GIF image as the cover of an eBook? Heck, why not use some form of the new electropaper to make animated covers for real books too? A tiny button cell in the book spine could power it for years. The cell could even be replaceable.

This thought was spawned by an artist who makes wonderfully creepy GIF images with old photos.

If the moving cover idea ever takes off, he’ll make a fortune. I hope, when that day comes, he’ll remember to send me a bottle or two. Oh, and do a few covers for me too.

 

French lessons.

Here we go with the French theme again. I like the French. They just don’t give a shit. Their politicians get all aerated about some trivial thing and the rest of the country lifts a glass of red wine, lights up a Disque Bleu and says ‘Haw-haw-haw’.

That comedian of Leftie-inspired right-on indeterminate gender, Eddie Izzard, had the measure of it. No, not the measure of that, come on, the dirty mind test was in the last post. Eddie the Iz is a funny guy when he stays out of his ridiculous champagne socialism. But they never do.

Anyway, news from the email (ta, Marie, and I know you n’est pas Français) is that France is to impose the most vicious and despicable antismoker regime on the planet. Every piddling little bleat from every whining weasel in the antismoking movement is to be appeased.

In France. The birthplace of Absinthe. When the French authorities imposed a tax by liquid volume on alcohol, the French made it far more concentrated so that a litre of tax paid for about 800 ml of actual alcohol. It was intended to be diluted before drinking. I didn’t know that when I bought my first bottle but I knew it by the time I poured the second glass.

Well, here’s what will happen when the French government bring in all these new restrictions. The French will ignore them all.

The gendarmerie are too busy fleecing tourists to bother with enforcing this nonsense. Put up the price (they propose to put the price up to almost half UK prices) and the only people buying baccy in France will be British tourists. The French will take a drive over to Belgium once in a while.

Ms Touraine’s long-term objective is to abolish smoking over 40 years by discouraging new generations from taking up the habit. Her medium-term objective is to reduce the French smoking rate – one in three adults– to the present British rate of one in five adults, by 2024.

Why not now? Why not just ban it all now? What is this 40 years nonsense if it is really so critical to health? What is this rubbish about reducing 33% to 20% over ten years?

When it was proven that asbestos caused lung cancer, it was banned at once and specialists had to dispose of any residual material in old buildings. Why is tobacco not banned at once and removed from Mr. Patel’s ‘Early till Late’ corner shop by operatives in spacesuits?

Because there was no duty on asbestos. The fake charities are funded by government using money they steal from you and me and they don’t want that to dry up overnight. They have to wean themselves off it.

There is no physical addiction to nicotine. It does not exist. Any ‘withdrawal symptoms’ are the result of antismoker conditioning and are not real physical symptoms. It is entirely in the mind. I have known this for a long time and that is why I did not attempt to trek down five hospital floors for a smoke while I was in there. The only thing that bothered me was having no access to writing material. I had not expected to be detained.

The only addiction to smoking is the government’s addiction to the money they steal from it. That is why they always pull back from a total ban on what they claim is a really deadly thing. The government and the fake charities make more per pack of smokes than the tobacco companies could ever hope to.

And yet, they claim it’s the tobacco companies who are fleecing us? There is  far more tax than tobacco in every pack and if any baccy company wants to use that line, consider it a freebie.

Even so, all this antismoking stuff has taught me things. It has taught me how to grow tobacco and how to cure it.  A big one, it has taught me I can get at least ten cigarettes from one leaf. So if you pay UK prices for cigs you are paying £5  a leaf. The tobacco companies are not unfairly profiting from that, The government and the fake charities are. If you pay over-the-counter prices you are paying for your own persecution.

It’s not easy to grow tobacco in Scotland but it can be done.

It must be so much easier to do it in France.

I have seeds, going free.