2:00PM Water Cooler 10/15/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Stats Watch

Retail sales, September 2014: “Very mixed,” “core numbers were weaker than expected” (-0.3% vs. -0.1%). Autos and gas down, home furnishings, building materials, nonstore retailers, clothing and accessories, and sporting goods and hobbies all down. Electronics up (iPhones) [Bloomberg]. “Food services and drinking places gained a robust 0.6 percent.” The bear in me, which is me, thinks at once of “Eat, drink, and be merry…” “Big misses across all data” [Business Insider].

Empire State Manufacturing Survey, October 2014: “Slowing abruptly,” “sudden reversal with new orders in contraction,” despite employment climb [Bloomberg]. A “worrying signal” [Marketwatch]. Futures lower, on this and retail sales [NASDAQ].


“Anyone Looking to Scare You Is Out for a Profit” [Cracked]. As usual, the only real mainstream news is in the humor outlets.

If Texas Presbyterian’s nurses were unionized, maybe they wouldn’t be afraid to speak out, and we’d know more than management mumblespeak and bafflegab [AP]. Read the whole thing, and see parallel reporting from the [Los Angeles Times]. I found this the most vivid:

Among the nurses’ allegations was that the Ebola patient’s lab samples were allowed to travel through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes [instead of being hand-delivered], opening the possibility of contaminating the specimen delivery system. The nurses also alleged that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.

What could go wrong? Isolation wards won’t do the trick if the specimen tubes got contaminated. Dear Lord. IMNSHO, it’s not aerosolization we have to worry about, but out-of-control neo-liberal infestations that hollow out our rickety, “jalopy institutions.” Institutionally, this is third-world stuff, and it’s an especially noxious and lethal form of American exceptionalism to pretend that it isn’t. If there were a specimen tube that ran straight to the CEO’s office, or medical waste piled up outside his door, you can bet these problems would be fixed toot sweet, but since that will never happen, more canaries will have to suffer and die. 

Hong Kong

Triads infiltrate anti- and pro-Occupy groups, say HK police [The Diplomat]. Impressively devious.

Admiralty: Video footage shows plain-clothes cops dragging a handcuffed Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu away from the crowds in before kicking and hitting him [South China Morning Post]. Oopsie. “Never seen that behavior,” says activist [International Business Times].

Cops and protesters trading territory [Asian Correspondent].


Atmosphere [The New Yorker]. Could do better.

And some St. Louis residents push back [HuffPo]. More vivid, and more of the story, which IMNSHO is the “spread offense” used by protesters across the St Louis metropolitan areas — so we would expect pushback like this.


R enthusiasm higher than D, which is at a 30-year low, important for mid-terms turnout [WaPo]. Well-played, Obots.

Nate [genuflects] Silver: Polls skew. We just don’t know what direction they skew in any given year [FiveThirtyEight]. 

Republicans shift $4 million to Senate races [Politico]. Ds abandon Mitch McConnnel’s Kentucky, others [Roll Call].

Senate scenarios: (1) R near-sweep; (2) tied going into the (potential) run-offs (Louisiana, December 6; Georgia, January 6); (3) Ds by “skin of their teeth” (Orman wins Kansas, plus Joe Biden as tiebreaker) [Roll Call].

R Roberts and “unknown businessman” sleazy private equity “No Labels” D mole Greg Orman to meet in high-stakes Kansas debate [Wichita Eagle]. Maybe Roberts could rouse himself to ask Orman why he thought building a shrimp farm in the desert was a good idea [Politico].

Orman to hold fundraiser in Manhattan [WIBW]. Let the oppo begin!

An invitation obtained by the American Rising PAC (ugh) shows Goldman Sachs’ Joseph Gleberman, Gotham Capital Partners’ John Perry, banker Gavin Wolfe, and Jonathan Soros.

So, Obama’s 2008 play. How cozy. Orman was one of the two board members of a Cayman Islands private equity partnership set up by a Goldman Sachs convicted felon[1] (a member of his campaign replaced him) [WaPo], and would be one of the richest Senators if he won [Topeka Capitol-Journal]. So I imagine all the principals feel quite comfortable with each other.

[1] I wish the phrase  “Goldman Sachs convicted felon” were more redundant than it is. “Orman said he was ‘absolutely shocked’ by Gupta’s fraud conviction.” Oh, come on. This is too easy.

Ds “prepare for apocalypse” in House [New York Times]. So, it looks like Steve Israel’s DCCC has sabotaged another election [Down with Tyranny]. Kidding! Nevertheless, that the Times has a quote like this should give one pause:

Representative Michael G. Grimm may win. The Staten Island Republican is accused in a 20-count indictment of hiring immigrants living in the country illegally at his restaurant and of cheating on his taxes — neither of which usually goes over well with Republican voters. But he just might be re-elected. And the fact that Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says he never thought that the Grimm seat was a sure-thing pickup is an indication that the Democrats are preparing explanations for a poor showing.

Maybe somebody who knows more about Staten Island politics than I do can weigh in, but I don’t think the key point is that Ds are “preparing for a poor showing,” but that Israel thinks taking down an R indicted for corruption isn’t worth a shot. WTF?

Getting out of the two-party game [Medium]. One strategy not mentioned is simply voting against any incumbent.

Some blacks in St Louis voting R out of outrage at D leadership [WaPo]. Ds tend to think they own D voters, so this is the only way to get their attention.


As I’ve said, I’d rather claw out my eyeballs than write about 2016, more than two years prior. It’s like playing Xmas muzak on the Fourth of July. However, Our Betters have decided this is an important story, and needs must….

Panetta goes all-in for Hillary Clinton [Politico]. “What the hell else do you want?” A living wage? Single payer? Ending the wars? No grand bargain? Restoration of Constitutional government and the rule of law? Some banksters in jail pour encouragez les autres? It’s a long list, Leon. If I may call you Leon.

Clinton “prohibitive” first choice of Iowa voters with 53% (but Warren has 10%) [Des Moines Register].

Jeb Bush declines to make Sherman Statement [Michigan Live], says wife Columbia “suppportive” of 2016 run [The Hill]. Also too Barbara Bush [NBC].

America the Petrostate

Which states are most vulnerable to falling oil prices [CFR].

News of the Wired

  • MacWorld (the trade show) shuttered [MacWorld]. I remember my first MacWorld; I actually put marketing collateral into a three-ring binder. Can you imagine?
  • Gamergate is the new culture wars [Deadspin].
  • Feminist games critic cancels talk at Utah State University over threats of ‘the deadliest school shooting’ in US history [Guardian].
  • Ten logical fallacies about sexism in comics, followed by a rational rejoinders [io9].
  • Hmm [Asian Correspondent].
  • “Day of action” against TTIP in Europe [Euronews, video].
  • Is the Cloud a debt-fuelled bubble? [Channel Register].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (craazyman):


What higher purpose, after all, can a garden serve than being a place where one can sit, with pleasure?

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. diptherio

    “core numbers were weaker than expected” (-0.3% vs. -0.1%). Autos and gas down, home furnishings, building materials, nonstore retailers, clothing and accessories, and sporting goods and hobbies all down… “Food services and drinking places gained a robust 0.6 percent.”

    Reminds me of a billboard I saw in Nepal:

    Caravan Whiskey: A Friend in Hard Times

  2. abynormal

    mad mad mad mad world indeed:

    Wednesday morning, Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed that Vinson lives alone without pets at The Green in the Village Apartments, in the 6000 block of Village Bend near Skillman, just north of Lovers Lane.
    Police and Dallas Fire-Rescue teams were at the complex early Wednesday, cleaning common areas and knocking on doors, communicating with neighbors. Reverse 911 calls were sent out at 6:15 a.m. to people who live in the area.

    “We rallied together and we decided that we needed to move quickly like we did Sunday morning,” Mayor Rawlings said.

    He added that the state has hired a company to come in Wednesday afternoon and clean Vinson’s apartment and car.

    Like Pham, Vinson had also been involved in caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola one week ago at Presbyterian. More than 70 hospital employees had been involved in that effort and are still being monitored.

    1. craazyboy

      I don’t know if the Onion people read NC, but on the off chance I’m putting in an article request with a headline something like this:

      “Microscopic Terrorists Invade US, Sneaking Underneath NSA Radar – More Funds Desperately Needed”

    1. Yves Smith


      Most of the ads regular readers see are “remnant” ads. We do have some ad campaigns that everyone or everyone in a certain geography sees, but those ads get served only a certain # of times. When those impressions get used up, you then get remnant ads. They reflect your keyword searches. So for instance, one reader was impressed we had Brooks Brothers ads. He’d clearly been searching for menswear.

      We don’t have a banner ad campaign for Rauner. When I look at Republican-leaning sites, I can get weird, even Breitbartish ads, I often get ads like that on pretty much every site I visit for a while (remember I visit hundreds of sites every day). I view them as in the same category as when we get TBTF bank ads: we are accidentally getting financial support from the people we attack.

      1. hunkerdown

        People are now getting twisted knickers over that ads *aren’t* being targeted to their interests? Oy, oy and double oy.

  3. dearieme

    “If Texas Presbyterian’s nurses were unionised” then matters would probably be a good deal worse. However, where the hell was the CEO? He should have been taking charge of a problem that, handled badly, could wipe out his organisation. How the devil was it left to some jobsworth to pop samples in the tubes? I used to work on petrochemical plant; the notion that we would have left such a risk to the decision-making of inexperienced or unintelligent employees would have been laughable. If something was conspicuously a big deal the Works Manager would ensure that procedures were properly planned and rehearsed, and then show up himself to supervise matters. Bloody right too.

      1. DJG

        Lambert: “Jobsworth.” I like the sound. Now it only requires a definition. I defer to you.
        Dearieme: Surely you must not be an American. Our lords and masters do not show up at job sites to supervise, and when they do, all of the deference and kowtowing required gets in the way of doing the job. So, despite your misgivings, you’d be much better off with unionized nurses (jobsworths) than with some knucklehead (jobcrapper) with a business degree. Sorry.

          1. dearieme

            The origin is in a conversation where someone asks an employee to use a bit of common sense and is told “It’s more than my job’s worth to do that, mate.”

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              On “jobsworth,” I’m still a bit confused. Clearly the slur can’t apply to nurses like Nina Pham, who risked their lives to save their patients, as indeed have many others at Texas Presbyterian, given the malfeasance of the MBAs running the place.

              So I take it your slur is aimed at working people, generally?

        1. dearieme

          “Our lords and masters do not show up at job sites to supervise”: then jail a few, pour encourager.

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            I don’t think that you get it; the ones making the policy decisions in our “Health Care System” are The Suits, and most likely not equipped by their training to recognize, let alone to supervise the professional delivery of health care. They know balance sheets, not medicine or epidemiology. The system is set up for failure when this is the case. When money takes priority over medicine, as clearly demonstrated in the power relations, it’s only a matter of time until the wrongheadedness of this will catch up with you.

    1. jrs

      it should wipe out the organization. I mean even it was the only hospital that was in your narrow network POS ACA plan, would you really want to go there? A heart attack might be less risky than the pneumatic tubes contaminated with ebola.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Your biases are showing; actually, they are flashing like red strobe lights.

      You make the major assumption that registered nurses, ER doctors, and their ilk are equivalent to ditch-digging morons, being equipped neither by training or experience, nor intelligent enough to develop and exercise good judgment. Considering the imperatives of our so-called “Health System” to shove potential loss-leading visitors to the ER out the door as fast as possible, perhaps the problems arose with policies imposed upon the front line medical personnel from above? You know, policies imposed by the suits who know little and care less about the dire potentialities of highly infectious and lethal diseases? That’s just the sort of people who may have been making the crucial policy calls that could override the professional judgment of the health professionals, the ones qualified to actually set policies that address the realities of identification and containment of contagions in an increasingly interlinked global society. Granted, the ER staff could have benefited from a heads-up along these lines from the policy level; but they didn’t get such a heads up, and then laying the blame for the subsequent abject failure on them? I don’t think so.

      1. Yves Smith

        You need very specific protocols AND EQUIPMENT to handle an Ebola patient.

        This is not something a nurse can handle properly in isolation. You need the right infrastructure around him/her.

        The fail in Spain, where a nurse got infected, appears to have been when she REMOVED her protective gear. Remember, you may have Ebola goo on the outside. So how do you get off the clothes without contaminating yourself? If the hospital does not have equipment to decontaminate the outside of the gear before you remove it, taking it off is a non-trivial task (it’s actually better done other people who are in gear, that is how fraught that step in the process is). It requires specific knowledge to do that. This is beyond the competence of the overwhelming majority of nurses and MDs and hospital admins. They don’t need to know how to do that to do their day-to-day work.

      1. marym


        So when Ebola struck in West Africa, Cuba was quick to step up to the plate. In recent weeks, it has dispatched 165 health workers to Sierra Leone, making it the largest nation-provider of medial professionals working to help contain the epidemic. And it’s preparing to send another nearly 300 workers to Liberia and Guinea in the coming weeks.

  4. Marianne Jones

    Traveling after treating an Ebola patient….


    Employers have asked me to postpone / cancel travel plans. My response was “Certainly! The cost to me for missing my non-refundable flight is X. How will you be reimbursing me?” This always brought the discussion to an end. If the hospital was avoiding procurement of adequate PPE for their staff, no way would they be reimbursing the staff to uphold travel bans.

    I suppose the CDC could put all health workers on the Do Not Fly list?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the government should step in and pay, or make the airlines allow cancellation/postponement.

      1. optimader

        If everyone agrees to not exchange bodily fluids at the airport/in the flying iron lung, no worries.

      1. ambrit

        Better stay out of light aircraft for a while or you might ‘crack up’ for real. Imagine, trying to tell our Overclass what to do with their flying toys! (They do not have a sense of humour when it comes to possessions. Trust me on that.)

  5. wbgonne

    Nice round-up, Lambert. I really like the AM/PM programming.

    The America the Petrostate article is very informative. It seems we are wrecking our environment for very little national gain. So maybe, as a matter of national policy, we shouldn’t do it. We should think about it at least.

      1. craazyman

        It’s not mine, that’s for sure. It’s only mine in my mind.

        I was just walking by one afternoon with a camera.

        1. craazyboy

          Bummer. I had assumed New Yawk apartments came with community sitting grounds like that.

          Now you’ve spoiled my image of New Yawk.

          1. craazyman

            they have gardens like that where Yves lives but not where I live.

            that’s why I want the 10-bagger!

            It’s in Virginia, just a house somewhere on Memory Lane, for me anyway. One thing’s for sure. If whoever’s house it is sees this on the internet, they’d freak!

            “Oh my God Harold isn’t that our chair!?”
            “What? We’ll I’ll be . . . I think it is.”
            “Well for God’s sake, how did that get on the internet? Who took that?”
            “I don’t know.”
            “Should we call the police? maybe they took a picture through our window!”
            [They didn’t. I promise.]
            “I don’t know. That is our table, isn’t it? That’s our yard! Well I’ll be!”
            “We should call the police.”
            “Now wait a minute, hold on . . . .”
            “I’m calling the police. Somebody’s spying on us and I wanna have them arrested!”

            Oh man. No spying. No windows. Just air, light, sun, trees and memories of endless summer afternoons when things were young and the future was infinite.

            Not everybody understands this stuff. Ecce Homo.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I believe that Henry James once said the most beautiful phrase in the English language is “summer afternoon.” Particularly in Autumn, when every afternoon that’s summer-like could be the last.

            2. optimader

              I thought if you sat in NewYak community sitting grounds you would be tazered, no?
              Maybe you need the appropriate colored wrist band?

              1. optimader

                Which reminds me of a funny perception story.
                A musician friend was performing in NewYak and he flew in a fairly provincial session musician colleague from down south. In the limo w/the others he was apparently a bit pensive about being in NewYak for the first time. After revealing his concern about the mugger stories he’d heard, one of them in the car offered up, “nahh.. don’t worry *****, the muggers all agree to take Wednesday night off”

            3. craazyboy

              Aw well, too bad. Haven’t been in New Yawk since the early 80s, but then I know they had that “I Love NY” movement. I guess when I saw your pic my expectations were too high.

              BTW: Do they still have those mimes in Central Park miming that they are in quarantine?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The picture is nice too.

      It reminds one of a Chinese landscape painting where humans are dwarfed by Nature…in this case, so dwarfed that we have two empty chairs.

      “No messing with Nature or Nature will mess with you!!!”

  6. slick

    ““Anyone Looking to Scare You Is Out for a Profit” [Cracked]. As usual, the only real mainstream news is in the humor outlets.”

    If only this were true. I spent an hour with our health center’s (one of the largest in the nation) leading Ebola prep persons last night, and I will only describe the visit as sobering. I have been paying attention to date, but will be paying very close attention to this situation from now on. I can tell you that any outbreak of scale is not something that we are prepared for with regard to training, facilities, or supplies.

    How many people on the flight with the nurse? How many people on the next flight on that plane? Where are they now?

    1. Yves Smith

      I am posting on this tomorrow. I have no idea why the CDC is panicking people over airborne transmission. This is just not a vector for Ebola and it is virtually impossible for it to become one. Are they THAT desperate as a bureaucracy to cover for their screw-up in Dallas?

      1. optimader

        Cui Bono.. who’s shorting airline stock?

        Ebola versus influenza and some thoughts on screening

        Traveling With Ebola Is Not Traveling With Influenza –

        In addition, there’s no selective advantage to becoming airborne for Ebola. It is clear that Ebola’s current mode of transmission is working well. The virus is spreading and reproducing successfully. This means there is no selective pressure on the virus to keep any mutations that might confer airborne transmission, especially when this kind of significant change would most likely bring with it some serious deleterious side effects. And while some argue that this is the first time Ebola has been replicating to this extent in humans, we need to keep in mind that it’s been doing this for far longer in the wild in the primate species it infects and in its bat reservoir host. And yet, this mutation hasn’t happened.

      2. Slick

        Look, I am not trying to panic anyone. However, in our discussion I was quickly able to extrapolate that the demands of ANY sort of serious outbreak will quickly (almost instantly) outpace our ability to respond and treat the infected. The CDC mandated protocol for protection is not an acceptable defense measure (this was tested, and it failed). There was (perhaps) not a screw-up in Dallas, instead the protocols are not effective. I will not go into the details, but I will tell you this is a super virulent pathogen. The CDC’s directions for how to treat patients (and keep yourself safe) may not be effective. It’s easy to blame humans screwing up, but the problem may be the how infectious the virus is… pay attention, this may become very serious, very quickly.

    2. skippy

      All I have to say is – the Texas Health Commissions media scrum today, was not comforting, not about what they said, but, their body language and over all demeanor.

      Skippy… something like the enemy’s under the wire feel about it all…. ummm….

      1. optimader

        It is worth pointing out that the four nurses(2-TX, 2-Spain) were not infected in incidental contact secenerios with victims that were asymtomatic or in early stage presentation. They were in close treatment contact with victims that were near death virus factories AND they were equipped with inappropriate PPE and apparently untrained(ill-trained) in proper hygiene protocol.
        Regarding the business of aerosols there is no scientific basis to establish it as a transmission mode. OTOH, the WHO CDC are probably disinterested in specifying PPE protocol that the creaky healthcare juggernaught is ill prepared to deploy (fullbodysuits PPE with positive ventilation/HEPA filters etc… )

        So that said, our healthcare employees doing the dirtywork (literally ) should be given the benefit of the doubt with all reasonably deployable PPE (and training) because the downside risk is substantially terminal.

        In Kikwit, there were two powerful ways by which aerosol transmission of Ebola was ruled out and the necessary PPE was defined.

        The first of these was through transmission data collected from patients and family members. Once all the information was in, it was clear that only the person who took care of an Ebola patient got infected. There were zero cases of people becoming infected without direct contact with an Ebola patient. Zero. This is taken from the paper published on it by Dowell et al 1999:

        “All secondary cases had direct physical contact with the ill person (rate ratio [RR], undefined; P,.001), and among those with direct contact, exposure to body fluids conferred additional risk (RR, 3.6; 95% confidence interval[CI], 1.9-6.8). None of the 78 household members who had no physical contact with the case during the clinical illness were infected (upper 95% CI, 4%)”
        Did you catch that? Every secondary case was due to direct contact with a symptomatic Ebola patient. This is why it’s so frustrating to see people in W. Africa without gloves, wearing respirators or covering their mouths and noses with their t-shirt, like this man in a WHO photo. They clearly don’t know where the real danger is and we’re not effectively helping them understand it.

        The second way in which aerosol transmission was ruled out in Kikwit was by the way they contained it. When Pierre Rollin got to the Kikwit General Hospital it was a mess. There were contaminated needles scattered around the floors, blood and other bodily fluids smeared everywhere. It was filthy and patients weren’t being treated. No one was providing supportive care because they were afraid to start an IV or give an injection. Pierre initiated and supervised clean-up efforts, starting with PPE, and it got the outbreak under control. He gave the health care workers and family members the basics, including gowns, surgical masks and gloves and once that was implemented the transmission stopped. It. Stopped. The only case that occurred in that outbreak after that, occurred in a small nun-run hospital outside of Kikwit.

        They didn’t have tyvek suits and PAPRs. All they had was protection from liquids, not aerosols, and they didn’t get any more infections. This was striking evidence that Ebola is not airborne. It also argues that when the basics are used early and used correctly, Ebola can be contained. This was also the case for the Marburg outbreak in the DRC that occurred from 1998-2000. For me, this just illustrates how seriously under supplied W. Africa is. Had basic PPE been available at the beginning of this epidemic, things would have been different. But now we’re behind it, unable to catch up and terrified people are lying about exposure and fleeing the area. Because of this, Ebola is going to keep killing a lot of people in Africa….”

        “…The last thing that needs to happen before the newly made virus particle can go on to infect other cells or other organisms, is that it must leave your cell. And instead of politely declining that last round of synthesis and using the door, it busts through your cell membrane, taking part of it in the process. Yes, it inserts some of its own proteins into the membrane, sidles right up and gets cozy (doesn’t even buy it a drink) and BAM wraps it around itself and rips it off. Now it is a complete virus particle safely surrounded by what had been your cell’s lipid membrane, with viral proteins embedded. This is what we refer to as the viral envelope and the completed viral particle is called a virion. Ebola virions are shed through bodily fluids which can transmit the virus. I’m sure you can tell by the shape that the budding virus in this graphic representation(wikimedia commons) is not Ebola. Ebola is long and filamentous, but this one is better for illustrating the concept. Here’s a really nice paper on the Ebola life cycle if you want to read more about this amazing process.

        Still with me?

        Well, it turns out this new shiny viral envelope is actually Ebola’s Achilles’ heel. Not all viruses have envelopes, and those that don’t are actually much more stable in the environment. Those viruses are encapsulated in what is known as the viral capsid, which is made of proteins, not lipids, so it’s very sturdy. All the viral proteins are tucked safely into the capsid so it’s much more difficult to inactivate those viruses. Unfortunately for an enveloped virus like Ebola, that lipid membrane it stole is pretty susceptible to many environmental factors like sunlight (UV radiation), heat and drying, but also to all sorts of disinfectants and detergents, even alcohol. So even hand sanitizers work on Ebola, as long as the concentration of alcohol is over 60%.

        So washing with soap and water is good, disinfecting with a 10% solution of bleach in water works well and hand sanitizer is effective, as are all medical grade disinfectants. When washing or sanitizing hands, sing Row Your Boat three times and you’ve done it long enough. ;)

        So, because Ebola steals our cell membranes it is more susceptible to disinfectants and environmental factors, and given enough resources and training, the people fighting it will prevail…”

        1. skippy

          Hay why the broad side… I still remember all my NBC training and wife is quite plugged in. That said, it does not relate to the yeehaw boys looking quite disheveled, that’s my observation.

          skippy…. personally I think they should get Ron Paul to head the response….

  7. Garrett Pace

    “Initially, Sarkeesian stated her intention to hold the talk despite the threat, but was forced to back down after discovering that it was impossible to prevent guns being taken to the event.”

    Welcome to Utah.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      But it’s all good. Doesn’t she understand that if some bad guy in the audience stands up and starts shooting at her, the good guys in the audience will shoot the bad guy? Liberals.

      1. abynormal

        you got 2 spews out of me today…this went thru nose, Ouch
        (‘hope the insiders got out today’…knee slap’n)

    2. reslez

      Looks like the terrorists won. Of course, politically motivated death threats made by white men aren’t held to the same standard as “real” terrorism.

      1. hunkerdown

        Where? Perhaps not in Utah by Utahns, but (as SJWs and others who live in their narratives instead of the real world are absolutely petrified to recognize) power is contextual and contingent.

        “Terrorist” is, of course, merely the way adult infants (most Americans) deal with the scary bugaboos of the world and the consequences of their own arrogance, and has no business in serious conversation unless the topic is social manipulation.

    3. ambrit

      That’s a shame. Standing up to a bully is the way to neuter one. Especially male bullies. They operate out of a perceived feeling of inferiority already. (Funny how I assume the threats to be from men.)
      As for the “Code of the West,” it was legal to shoot someone in the back if they were carrying a firearm. That was one big reason behind the Deadlines instituted in some towns. Carrying a weapon past the deadline landed you in jail, or dead. The event sponsors should have offered a bulletproof podium shield and some ‘regulators’ on stage to do the shooting back at the least. The fact that the sponsors didn’t try to bring this off disturbs me.

      1. hunkerdown

        Never, ever trust an activist who’s enamored of the word “struggle”. Those are the people who are in it for the game and actively work to bar winning holds any time a win is within reach (see also: public option, card check). They’re playing the meta game on behalf of the Establishment and their own careers and prestige. They may not be informants and they may not be working directly for The Man, but they don’t need to be in order to benefit The Man.

        Most SJWs are just reenacting Augustinian Christianity with different uniforms anyway.

  8. EmilianoZ

    So, the fundraiser grossed a total of $80,000 from 1250 donors (approximately). That makes an average donation of about $65. I wonder if the distribution of donations looks like a gaussian centered on 65. Were commenters more likely to donate than readers only?

    1. craazyman

      It’s probly a Chi-squared distribution since you can’t have negative donations and therefore a Gaussian distribution would be truncated, which is mathematically impossible.

      This could be a research project for the economist who wrote the post on happiness & utility!

    2. ambrit

      If $65 is the average donation, I’m curious as to the median donation. The distribution of income levels among the donators would be interesting to know. The best part is the rise in the number of contributors. That indicates an overall rise in steady readership. Traction, traction, influence.

  9. Peter Pan

    The question of how to clean an elevator morphs into how to clean a pneumatic tube delivery system?

    Surely President Obomber will pressure the DOE into developing a super-mini-micro neutron bomb to decontaminate elevators, pneumatic tubes, emergency rooms, ambulances, apartments, aircraft, airports, buses, taxis and …. humans?

  10. hunkerdown

    Of course one doesn’t kick and hit a disorderly party member in public in a face-conscious cultuure. Or where there is something called a “Crimes (Torture) Ordinance, which carries life sentences for those found guilty of inflicting severe pain on another person while performing official duties.”

    Must be nice.

  11. themomcat

    Sadly the voters in NY11 have really bad choices. We have a bad tempered rep with an arrogant attitude under a 20 count federal indictment who may use his reelection as a bargaining chip and inserted racism into the campaign;

    Mr. Grimm has been almost entirely abandoned by Republican campaign committees and fund-raisers.

    But some outside help, including about $100,000 from Defending Main Street, a Republican “super PAC” that aids moderate Republicans in tough races, has helped Mr. Grimm with field operations and allowed him to air commercials calling Mr. Recchia a “puppet” of the Rev. Al Sharpton, and to print fliers showing Mr. Recchia next to a stock-footage image of a man with face paint, a red ball nose and oversized bow tie. “Which one of these clowns raised property taxes 18 percent and voted to hike our tolls $8?” the flier asks. [..]

    Mr. Grimm has asked that his trial, set to begin in December, be delayed out of fear that negative ads could taint the jury pool. But re-election could furnish him with the bargaining chip of his own resignation, which other politicians facing federal prosecution have traded for lighter sentences.

    Mr. Grimm, in an unorthodox sales pitch, says voters should stick by him if only so that they will get a fresh slate of candidates should he have to leave office.

    “If things don’t go my way, right? And I had to step down in January, then there will be a special election, and at least the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn can then have qualified candidates to choose from,” Mr. Grimm told the radio talk-show host Geraldo Rivera this month.

    The Staten Island Advance reported last week that Republicans had begun floating the name of the borough’s district attorney, Daniel M. Donovan Jr., as a potential special-election candidate in 2015.

    The other choice is a former NYC Council member from Brooklyn who has no clue about international affairs or much else.

    See Recchia get skewered on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (video)

    The last debate between Grimm and Recchia will be televised and live streamed on Oct 28 from the College of Staten Island

    There is no good choice here

    1. Carla

      That’s a feature, not a bug.

      If there’s a third-party candidate on your ballot, don’t waste your vote on a Republicrat.

      It really doesn’t matter too much what the third party IS. The point is to vote “other” if you can.

      1. themomcat

        That’s my usual strategy. Only the 3rd party candidate is on the same sinking ship as the other two idjuts. I may just vote for Recchia and cross my fingers. Recchia’s not a genius and, hopefully, someone with a modicum of sense would take him under their wing. I know that’s called unrealistic expectations but whatever happens it won’t be pretty

  12. abynormal

    Passenger Wears A Hazmat Suit To Dulles Airport [PHOTO]
    One passenger at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. is apparently not taking any chances.

    A female passenger dressed in a hazmat suit — complete with a full body gown, mask and gloves — was spotted Wednesday waiting for a flight at the airport. Another traveler snapped a photo of the woman and provided it to The Daily Caller.

    “Miles clutched Quinn’s elbow. “Don’t Panic.”
    “I’m not panicking,” Quinn observed, “I’m watching you panic. It’s more entertaining .”
    Lois McMaster Bujold, Brothers in Arms

    1. afisher

      A sad made for media event, courtesy of the far right wing of the country who want the sound factor to be at 15 sigh.

      How did I know it was a MFM ploy? Look at the gloves – not taped . If for real, the person is an idiot…your choice.

  13. optimader

    “What higher purpose, after all, can a garden serve…. ?”
    A dusk feeding salon for rapacious mosquitos

  14. Jack

    The whole Gamergate/Sarkeesian thing is extremely convoluted. Firstly they aren’t actually directly connected, they’re two separate, though related, things. Secondly, Gamergate is getting lots of media coverage on the sexism aspect, but judging by all the talk I’ve seen among gamers the majority only really care about the corruption among video games journalists. There are a vocal, idiotic minority that care more about berating Zoe Quinn as a ‘slut’ and similar, and that seems to be getting all the coverage.

    As for Sarkeesian, she’s an idiot who doesn’t seem to have actually played most (if any) of the games she critiques, steals content from other peoples playthroughs and overviews and took a lot of fundraising money and doesn’t seem to have actually invested much of it into improving the quality of her videos. However none of this remotely justifies the insane reaction this has generated among the gaming ‘community’ (funny, because I don’t remember ever signing up for any community or asking these jackholes to represent me). The adult response would be to just shrug and ignore her, but clearly many of the entitled, whiny man-children that make up the most vocal portions of the gaming subculture are incapable of doing that.

    Probably the most damnable thing of all is that for all the specifics she’s wrong about there is a lot of validity to Sarkeesians overall stance, and the absurd, extremely gender focused outrage she’s sparked more or less proves her points better than anything she could have ever said or wrote herself.

    All of the screaming morons need to either just shut up and go back to their games, or better yet focus their outrage and energy into a cause that actually, you know, matters. I suppose an addendum to Huxley is needed: you don’t just satiate and distract the masses with entertainment, you make sure that they have inconsequential things they can get passionate and outraged over.

    1. hunkerdown

      Controlling who’s in and who’s out of “community” is one of the go-to mechanisms of cultural colonizers.

      Orwell actually covered that part in the figures of Goldstein, the Two-Minute Hate, and never being at war with {East,Eur}asia. His work and Huxley’s may be best read together. Contrary to popular opinion, neither offers a workable turn-key system for controlling a population like today’s individualistic Westerners (safe distance, perhaps?), but a reading between the two offers to reveal synergies and contingencies that bring it stunningly up to date. Mass drugging could be psychotogenic rather than anesthetic. Surplus population doesn’t have to be dealt with at euthanasia centers. Socialism doesn’t have to be the backdrop, as long as power relations are similarly unidirectional and authoritarian. And, as Orwell indicated in his appendices to 1984, the language itself can be shifted through abuse and torture toward an ideological pole and drag any number of historical writings and concepts with it — what does democracy mean today, now that voting is little more than a bread-and-circus of gladiators of whom none rightly ought to escape being thrown to the lions?

  15. Paul Niemi

    “Getting out of the two party game. One strategy not mentioned is simply voting against any incumbent.”
    Do I have a convert? Since I have mentioned this strategy to “throw the bums out,” several times here, I have seen references to this on other blog sites, all saying “throwing the bums out won’t work, of course.” My surmise is that these other commentators don’t really want the bums thrown out. They are perfectly happy with the bums they have now. If that is true, then they are guilty of disingenuousness in griping about the status quo, political gridlock, and etc. I will happily go down the ballot and vote against the incumbents. Even if only a few are dislodged, reducing the margins of victory for the rest could get many of them off their rear ends.

  16. ewmayer

    Re, CDC and Ebola – It just keeps getting better:

    Report: CDC Gave Latest US Ebola Patient OK to Fly With Slight Fever

    So “the experts” at the CDC are shown to be clueless even about really basic concepts like “spiking a fever”, in the sense that to get from a normal temperature to a high fever, one’s temperature MUST TRAVERSE ALL VALUES BETWEEN THOSE TWO EXTREMES, and thus that a low fever may indeed be worrisome, depending on the trend and stage in the disease-latency window.

    Sorry, but I for one am done listening to any of these PR-spewing bureaucrats in government, the CDC and the medical/industrial complex, who have been proven serially wrong about national preparedness, disease transmissibility and even early-stage symptomology. I will follow the data as they ermerge, listen to the front-line responders and draw my own conclusions. Like I said over a week ago, these lying liars and incompetent fools are putting us all at risk.

    1. Faye Carr

      Exactly. The destruction of trust in science has been very successful. Nevermind the on-going hate of any sort of government.
      When I read the comment sections (ugh) of general news sites regarding Ebola and the “handling” , I pretty much tear my flaming hair out.
      Might as well just believe everything I think. Which seems to be the operating model of the public.
      Visualize me with arms raised, hands flapping, feet dancing, turning in circles, screaming “We’re all gonna die!”

      Then I go out, pull some weeds and plant another row of winter veggies.

      1. ewmayer

        Science has very little to do with “soothing PR balm” as trotted out by the PTB.

        Being a trained scientist myself – applied math and physics – I am perhaps less reliant on the pronouncements of experts than your average scientifically illiterate ‘Merican. For example I understand that pathogenic disease spread obeys the same kinds of mathematics as other branching processes (e.g. chain reactions in A-bombs) and that as long as the reproduction factor remains above 1, things are not under control.

        Also, when “the experts” first assure us of “no airborne transmission”, then later admit that transmission via aerosol droplets, the kinds a sneeze releases many, many thousands of, is possible, that immediately points to a huge credibility gap.

        So take whatever “point” you were trying to make and shove it.

  17. JTFaraday

    “As I’ve said, I’d rather claw out my eyeballs than write about 2016…”

    I’d rather claw my eyes out than read the news tomorrow. It’s just one disaster on top of another.

    As it happens, I have to watch my niece tomorrow for most of the day.

  18. jrs

    No paid sick leave will spread ebola:

    Yes of course but also EVERYONE comes into the office even with 5 days paid sick leave when they are sick, last year the sound all day was people coughing for a couple weeks in cold and flu season, and well they are jawbs and jawbs nowhere are great under capitalilsm, but it’s not that threatening a workplace, they aren’t going to fire people for using sick time. I’m sure people will stay home sick more often with paid sick leave but people still come in, there’s even an attitude “why waste a day off actually being sick” (better to enjoy it and call in fake sick I guess). Maybe if there was more paid sick time – 10 paid sick days maybe? So that people can use it for getting the car or house fixed etc. and still have some to use when they are actually sick. Or in addition to 5 paid sick days, 5 paid personal days, so people don’t use up all their sick time on personal stuff. What I know is the office became a much more dangerous workplace in terms of germs when they eliminated telecommuting as an option, as people often telecommuted when sick, now they probably won’t take sick days, as either work is way too important or sick time way too precious. So they’ll come in, infect everyone.

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