Ebola: What Average People Can Do

The ebola epidemic has reached the United States and at least one country in Europe, although so far it does not look much like an epidemic in either place. (Four people confirmed to have fallen ill in the United States and one in Spain, as opposed to a few thousand in west Africa.) In the middle of all the frightening news, no national health agency (not even the U.S. CDC) has posted a list of effective simple measures that average people can take to protect themselves and their families. There are two reasons for this fact:

  1. The average person who does not live in west Africa and is not a health care worker has a miniscule chance of ever being exposed to ebola.
  2. National health agenices such as the U.S. CDC need (and mostly don’t have) PR departments that understand how simple information fights panic about a deadly disease, not just the disease itself.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation: Surveillance Self-Defense

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a new web site, Surveillance Self-Defense (ssd.eff.org). The site collects information about surveillance techniques that governments, large companies, marketing firms, criminal organizations, and some individuals are using to track you through the day. It then tells you how to guard against and to some extent prevent that surveillance, or at least keep private those parts of your life that you want to be private.

Bravo! And thanks, EFF. :-)

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The Costs of Committing Violence Against Innocents

Seen this evening on Twitter:

My sorrow for the family of 3 month old Haya Zissel-Brown murdered in Jerusalem. May G-d protect the innocents of this world.

Committing wanton violence against innocents makes hell on earth for others and hell beyond this earth for yourself.

– Lee Weissman (@JihadiJew)

There really is nothing I can add to this. Here’s a link to his blog.

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Shellshock Restrictions Lifted

Comments are enabled again on this blog.

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Temporary Shellshock Restrictions

Due to possible vulnerabilities in WordPress, I am turning off comments til the new Shellshock vulnerability has been thoroughly assessed and patched. WordPress is based on PHP, which can make calls to the Unix shell. I’m not sure whether it does or not in a WordPress environment, and am no chances. Thank you for your patience!

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Ashya King

Friday and yesterday I saw several news articles about a five-year-old boy named Ashya King who has brain cancer — specifically, a stage 4 medulloblastoma in his head. His parents had taken him from the hospital where he was receiving treatment and fled abroad. The hospital sought and obtained an emergency protection order for Ashya and international arrest warrants for his parents Peter and Naghemeh King.

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Robin McLaurin Williams (1951-2014)

Good Morning, Vietnam. The Dead Poets Society. The Fisher King. Mrs. Doubtfire. Jumanji. And this.

Good Night, Robin. Rest in peace.

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China: Don’t See the Dalai Lama

China is wagging its nether parts in America’s face, or so CNN reports. I don’t know what Obama will say to China, and I doubt he cares what I think he should say, but China richly deserves to be told to mind its own business. In less polite language. Whom the U.S. president sees and talks to is none of the business of the Chinese government. This is especially true where the Dalai Lama is concerned; China has gone to significant effort to keep him out of their country since he became the Dalai Lama in the 1950s.

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Pete Seeger: 1919-2014

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
     There is a season (turn, turn, turn),
And a time to every purpose, under heaven.

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We will fill our stomachs with stones….

“We don’t want to eat. We do not want your food or your aid supplies. We want to break the siege. There is nothing here anymore!”

On the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, yet more testimony that the human race — that we — have learned nothing from history.

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