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Company stops Ebola, Bureaucracy puts it on a plane

Compare the response of The Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia to the Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

The rubber plantation has 8,000 workers with 71,000 dependents. It  is an hour north-east of Monrovia, surrounded by Ebola outbreaks. The virus arrived on the plantation in March. Knowing that the UN and the Liberian government were not going to save them, the managers sat around a rubber tree and googled “Ebola” and learned on the run instead. They turned shipping containers into isolation units, trucks into ambulances, and chemical cleaning suits into “haz-mat” gear. They trained cleaners, and teachers, they blocked visitors, and over the next five months dealt with 71 infections, but by early October were clear of the virus. There were only 17 survivors (the same 70% mortality rate as elsewhere). But without good management, there could have been so many more deaths.

In contrast, the nanny-state takes a good brain and stops it thinking. In Texas,  trained health professionals were caught unprepared, following inadequate protocols they assumed were good enough, and even risking their own lives. A  nurse who cared for a dying Ebola patient — and knew how bad Ebola could be — still needed to phone someone to ask if it was OK to board a plane with a slightly raised temperature (99.5F or 37.5C). The official she spoke to “didn’t Google”, they just said yes because her temperature was lower than the official threshold of 100.4F. Let’s not blame her, she was doing her job, is now fighting for her life, and almost certainly did what so many others would have done. Let’s ask instead how we train workers to know that officials can sometimes get it wrong and they need to think for themselves. When the officials fail so badly, in so many ways, the failure is not single-point, or bad luck, but systemic. The nanny-state is selecting networkers and smoochers instead of decision-making leaders. Officials rarely lose their jobs and golden handshakes, or face a seriously investigative media — which would keep them on their toes. Surely either the nurse who called or the bureaucrat who answered would, if left to their own devices, have figured it was not ok to fly–but by the smothering dumbness of of bureaucracy she ended up flying.

Stability is good, but the system is so stable it’s ossified. Executives were so busy telling everyone not to worry, they forgot to worry themselves. The Firestone plantation is an inspiring story. It gives me hope.

Liberian Rubber Farm Becomes Sanctuary Against Ebola

Wall Street Journal

FIRESTONE, Liberia—As Ebola exploded here this year, a rubber farm embarked on a crash course on how to tame an epidemic that has killed thousands of people and derailed governments across West Africa.

One morning in March, when the first case arrived at the Liberian unit of Japan’s Bridgestone Corp. 5108.TO -2.96% , managers sat around a rubber-tree table and googled “Ebola,” said Ed Garcia, president of Firestone Natural Rubber Company LLC. Then they built two Ebola isolation clinics, using shipping containers and plastic wrap. They trained their janitors how to bury Ebola corpses. Their agricultural surveyors mapped the virus as it spread house to house, and teachers at the company’s schools went door-to-door to explain the disease.

“It was like flying an airplane and reading the manual at the same time,” said Philippines-born Mr. Garcia, who runs this 185-square-mile stretch of rubber trees.

Six months later, Firestone has turned the tide of infections, offering a sanctuary of health in a country where cases are doubling every three weeks.

Civil wars in Liberia ended in 2003 with some 250,000 deaths. Since then the company has rebounded but the country has barely  improved.

A third of the population fled, according to the United Nations, and those who returned found a country plundered. Many bombed-out government buildings were left roofless.

Firestone’s company hospital sat roofless, too, when its managers returned to the property at war’s end. Even the elevators had been looted from their shafts. Trees had been so poorly cared for that the farm, the world’s biggest contiguous rubber plantation, may not return to its 1989 output until 2032, said Mr. Garcia.

And yet the Firestone plantation a decade later is, in some ways, a microcosm of the America in Africa Liberia’s founders had envisioned. In a country where children walk to school over muddy paths, high-school students here board big yellow school buses, winding over country roads. Electricity flows from a private dam. Water towers, telephone poles, speed-limit signs and brick homes—all exceedingly rare in tropical Africa—stare out over mowed hillsides that resemble the landscape outside Nashville, Tenn., where Firestone’s head office is based.

The Liberian plantation probably has more of the original American spirit of independence than all the Institutions of America.

h/t Barry Corke.

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Company stops Ebola, Bureaucracy puts it on a plane, 9.5 out of 10 based on 122 ratings

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110 comments to Company stops Ebola, Bureaucracy puts it on a plane

  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    “In Texas, trained health professionals were caught unprepared”.

    Before Hurricane Katrina struck, I knew that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen.

    The US government was not aware of this.

    Why? I had read the National Geographic magazine, in the days before it joined the AGW push.

    230

  • #
    Yonniestone

    The Liberian rubber plantation acted to contain the risk, the first world medical professionals ‘homogenized’ the risk, CAGW ‘worlds best practice’ strikes in new areas, how exciting.

    210

  • #
    Pathway

    And a nurse who treated a patient in Dallas that died from ebola thinks that she should ask a government agency whether or not she should travel when she has a temperate, just shows how common sense and self reliance has left the building.

    380

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    If a bureaucrat makes a decision and somebody (rightly or wrongly) criticises it, his only defence is to claim “it was in accordance with the policy laid down”. That gets him/her off the hook.

    It does predispose bureaucrats not to make any decisions, and when they are facing some problem that doesn’t have any guidelines they enter a catatonic state. Sticking a sharp pin in them is the only way to get a response, but it won’t be the one you want.

    You can lead a bureaucrat to a problem, but you can’t make him think.

    330

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      I know it’s an exaggeration that is true in less than 100% of cases, and I don’t remember who said it, but:
      The greatest of committees is inferior to the least of individuals.

      In this situation the committee that succeeded was a small team acting in self-interest, as the managers won’t make money if their work force dies. The urgency of the threat to their business motivated them to act quickly and no doubt mercilessly in the case of people triaged into the “cannot be saved” group.

      Would the head honchos of health in USA/UK/Australia/Canada/NZ/India/China and the WHO be so sluggish on Ebola if they personally had some skin in the game? Well I guess with a handful of Ebola victims now outside of Africa we may soon find out. The problem with waiting for proof of the insufficiency of current preparations is that few will be left alive to say “I told you so”.

      220

      • #
        Kit

        Committee, a form of life with multple heads and no brains

        110

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        The whole point of a comity, is to spread the blame. So no one person can be held accountable. For some reason this confuses the courts too.

        80

      • #
        Manfred

        I think Robert Heinlein said that the intelligence of a committee is inversely proportional to its number.

        Jo wrote:

        Let’s ask instead how we train workers to know that officials can sometimes get it wrong and they need to think for themselves.

        So, it seems we’re talking about the resurrection of ‘common sense’, a useful and independent quality now largely outlawed by occupational health and safety (OHS), who are known to state that ‘there is no such thing’. Apparently they do so because ‘common sense’ is not ubiquitous in the population and it is a variable they cannot readily ‘control’. Instead, they prefer a box ticking process, seen elsewhere in hospitals as ‘quality control’, a process requiring a slightly greater IQ than a cretin (absolutely no disrespect to cretins intended) and a system that perfectly displaces responsibility away from the individual to ‘the process’. The Process is verifiable and above all, it encapsulates plausible deniability (providing all the boxes are ticked, The Process may be said to be at fault for failing to describe the accident or unforeseen event…[sigh...yes, I know]…which will require several committee meetings to address).

        As the societal cost of the OHS culture escalates arithmetically at best and exponentially at worst, it may be measured not only in the cultural and institutionalised decline of independence but by an increasing accident rate and an imposing, unproductive fiscal burden that far exceeds the cost of anything it ever tried to prevent. In the face of growing failure, the reflex response of the progressive collective as we are seeing in the ‘Climate War’ is to redouble central control, usually accomplished by the expensive creation of more boxes to tick. In the case of the doom-mongers, they peddle stridency, catastrophism, climafiction and model tweaking.

        No, I’m afraid it’s going to take far more than the viral crisis of an ebola outbreak to break the climate meme. This was well demonstrated by the strangled cries emanating from the US National Institute of Health for the funding of real scientists wanting to do real science that would have nailed ebola. Instead, they were drowned by the cacophony of meaningless noise from the ersatz, Conversational crowd of jetting ‘climate playboys’ with their insatiable clamour of catastrophe matched only by their screech for more money, in the role they are required to play as a member of the well known and sordid ménage à trois comprising politics, progressive ‘science’ and ‘Banking’.

        100

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Instead, they prefer a box ticking process…

          And so they do.

          It’s hard to tell exactly what you mean by that but there’s something to be said for a checklist to prevent omitting important things. For instance, the next time you fly see if you can get a glimpse inside the cockpit. It’s a complicated environment and it’s that way even in small aircraft. So be glad the crew has a checklist for every phase of flight, from preflight checks to landing and shutdown, including emergencies. And hope they follow it.

          Hospitals have checklists for the same reason. It’s when the checklist becomes a substitute for thinking and taking responsibility that ticking the boxes becomes a problem. Bureaucracies don’t like individuals to take very much responsibility if any. And that’s their downfall.

          Hospitals are certainly bureaucracies but there’s no room there for someone who can’t take responsibility or bosses who think the check boxes mean everything is OK.

          70

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            For a quick look at why checklists are important…

            The Boeing 777-300 flight simulator.

            I think what the average MD or RN needs to master and deal with correctly each day exceeds the complexity of this airplane’s flight deck.

            10

          • #
            Manfred

            Roy, as a pilot I am well familiar with check lists. They are very important and they enable the safe navigation of routines, ensuring lists are repeated accurately and methodically without omissions.

            On the other hand, what I clearly refer to in my post is ‘box ticking process’, and one that is quite different not only in mind-set but in execution. The suspension of critical analysis and conscious thought epitomised by the box ticking mindset, together with the shift in ‘fault’ from the ticker to the process, so long as all the boxes are ticked becomes the problem that ‘common sense’ could address so well.

            In pursuit of covering every eventuality and contingency in the wider workplace, the boxes grow ever more numerous, the engagement of thought ever shorter, and the sequelae self-evident.

            100

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Manfred,

              I agree. The process of simply trying to get things right or correct problems with more rules to follow is a real trap, both in the air and the hospital.

              The other thing I don’t like is simply piling on automation in an attempt to make up for human frailty. There is no substitute for learning to drive or learning to fly. And the same goes for anything you do, even medicine. Then you must be attentive to the job and thinking all the time.

              My flight instructor was a real SOB and more than once left me to fight with a problem I had gotten into. But I learned right away that I could do it and finally I appreciated his letting me fight it out — a good lesson in the value of thinking on your feet.

              00

        • #
          Wally

          It’s also when the checklist is skipped because (normally) intelligent people think they know better or that it does not apply to them…

          One of the common things in western hospitals now is infection caused because doctors think they don’t need to wash hands any more (and the culture of nurses not telling doctors off is still rampant).

          20

          • #
            Manfred

            Indeed Wally, the appeal of ‘lists’ to the cognoscenti is limited because they may feel they ‘know’ better, and therein lies the perennial challenge of guideline implementation, as we witnessed when seeing the bureaucratic fellow in a tweed jacket, following the biohazard suited figures carrying a stretcher-bound ebola case onto a plane, or the routine over-prescription of antibiotics for conditions that are usually self-resolving. Changing habits and cultures is difficult, in spite of what the evidence tells us. People cling to their homeopathic remedies.

            Upon reflection the inherent ‘appeal’ of behaviour compliance lists to the vast majority, not just the illuminati, is simply poor. People need and like to too feel some sense of autonomy and executive function. There might be only a small band on the bell curve amenable to list behaviour. The challenge is to somehow appeal to that executive function isn’t it?

            10

            • #
              Mark

              Go on, Manfred relate to us what happens at the extreme of aviation when you blindly follow automation and procedure….google children of the magenta.

              A quick explanation. Airline pilots are trained so religiously on using the automation to fly an airliner that when something simple as a runway Change is introduced…the system takes over and mad head down inputing into the FMS to make the automatics fly the new approach…where…all is required is to flip off the autopilot and hand fly the aircraft to the new profile and then land the thing. So much taining bashes the basic skill set out of an airline pilot.

              In this case…the nurse should know backwards how to care for a highly contagious patient by means of barrier nursing techniques but the training and protocols to follow become too complex to the point of confusion…hence…referring to the blame free bureaucrats. I believe that is the problem. Barrier is not KISS principle but over implication relies on the procedure and the automatics.

              00

              • #
                Mark

                Complication….spell checkers

                00

              • #
                Rolf

                You could start thinking Air France when it comes to checklists and the son doing the checking don’t understand why things happen and what to do. Result a splash in the Atlantic some years ago.

                00

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Mark, Rolf,

                You’re talking about Air France 447 I suspect. I don’t know why they did it but it’s quite clear that they flew into a thunder storm. There’s no checklist for flying into a thunderstorm because every pilot is trained to avoid them. They are deadly and no airplane can hope to fly through one safely. There’s no checklist for avoiding them either. It’s a matter of thinking ahead of your aircraft and situational awareness. And that’s a part of every pilot’s training, or used to be.

                If pilot training has deteriorated to the point where all they know how to do is push buttons then stay off that jetliner and take the car or book passage by ship. And I’m beginning to see evidence that they are button pushers now. And a retired airline pilot friend sees it the same way.

                10

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Clarification : Obviously the people within the plantation are the only people the company took care of. Still an open question as to what this small team would achieve if challenged to manage the outbreak in the whole country.

        10

        • #
          Spetzer86

          Or it’s an example of what the government could have done had they implemented the actions of the company prior to the outbreak. The company has no responsibility to the general population.

          10

          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Some processes don’t scale up. That aside, you have a good point about the process being important and not the actors.

            00

    • #
      Bruce

      This bureaucratic crap is just another iteration of the “Nuremburg Defence”: “I vas only following ze orders!” (Click heels, polish monocle………..)

      00

  • #
    Truthseeker

    Bureaucrats will never solve a problem. They will always perpetuate or exacerbate the problem because their job IS the problem. Solving the problem means they no longer have a job. Perpetuating the problem means that they will always have a job. Exacerbating the problem means that they will get more resources to “fix” the problem. Bureaucracies are good at tasks – think the Lands Office in your state.

    People solve problems and they do that best when they are not interfered with.

    180

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    There are two kinds of “community organizers”. The good kind organize for the benefit of all (Firestone Rubber) and the bad kind organize for their self interest (Obama).

    130

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I would say that Firestone organized for the sake of Firestone’s self interest too. Fortunately they knew what their real self interest was. As I said at comment #20, they had a lot at stake, valuable employees and lost revenue, both of which are the best incentive in the world to get it right. And maybe reputation should be added to that list.

      People always follow the real incentive they see in front of them.

      10

      • #
        George Grisancich

        Please supply a link to any evidence you may have that Firestone’s response was profit motivated. Until then, your comments are little less than the expression of your prejudices.

        31

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          George,

          I just look at what incentives were there in front of the Firestone management team. They could have run from ebola. They apparently knew little about it except that it was dangerous. But instead they chose to preserve that for which they had the responsibility to preserve it under any other circumstance, their people, their plantation and the reason they were all there in the first place, the revenue generated for Firestone and thus for them and the employees. You should be able to do the same. If I can do it, so can you. :-)

          00

      • #
        Mark A

        Roy Hogue, I would give them a bit more credit for humanity than just write it off as “self interest” don’t you think so?

        30

        • #
          Rolf

          Self interest could be not money but survival ?

          20

          • #
            Mark A

            true Rolf but Roy was specific about revenue and losing valuable employees amounting to same.
            but your point is taken

            00

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Mark,

          OK, let’s do that. Give them credit for humanity too. But I note with some interest that they closed their plantation to outsiders. Humanity can kill the humanitarian in the process of helping others. Sometimes you make decisions you don’t like making but if you’re wise you make them anyway.

          00

      • #
        Eddie

        Don’t confuse self interest with selfishness. Staying alive is pretty understandable self interest and as they say on the airlines, put your own mask on first before helping others.

        20

  • #

    The same principle applies to so called ‘regulation’.

    The businesses that are most thorough in observing regulations are often the businesses least able to deliver that which the regulations are supposed to facilitate, namely an efficient and effective service to the end user.

    In the real world one either has the sense to do the right thing instinctively or one doesn’t. No matter how many rules one imposes you cannot make the latter perform as well as the former.

    We should scrap regulation and devolve power to those who do the right thing instinctively.

    70

    • #
      Tim

      Doing the right thing instinctively is spot on. My instinctive response to CAGW is to believe the observed data rather than the hyped, homogenised, computerised and politicised.

      50

    • #
      Wally

      Unfortunately the world is full of people who don’t do the right thing.

      Communities are not small enough any more to “tin pan” out the wrongdoers. The world is full of con-men and those motivated only by short term profit.

      Sadly the Firestone story is the exception, not the norm.

      20

    • #
      ExWarmist

      Stephen says…

      <that which the regulations are supposed to facilitate, namely an efficient and effective service to the end user.

      Your kidding me?

      The purpose of regulation is to provide market capture to powerful incumbents who have co-opted the regulatory machinery to ensure their own profitability.

      Where on Earth do you think the end users are – by design – the systemic beneficiaries? Just noting that it is the powerful who design, and implement systems – not the weak.

      00

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Hi Jo. Headline. “Bureaucracy” is missing a “U”.

    Ta! No spellchecker on the headlines. – Jo

    60

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Have you seen the price of “U’s”, recently? And you want two!

      140

      • #
        Kevin Lohse

        It’s a question of market response. If demand for “U”s increases, the unit cost will be reduced and the “U” will be within the weekly budget of the masses.

        A “U” in every household!

        140

        • #
          • #
            johninoxley

            Rereke, I thought you would have plenty of spare “ewes” to spare. Sont be greedy kepping them all to yourself.

            10

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          I blame climate change for poor spelling…best add that to the List too….

          40

        • #
          DavidH

          The Inuits seem to have a lot of U’s as well as a lot of A’s – maybe they can spare some. I mean, do they really need all those vowels in this example from Wikipedia on the Inuit language?

          tusaatsiarunnanngittualuujunga
          I can’t hear very well.

          10

        • #
          Mental Wanderer

          If demand for “U”s increases, the unit cost will be reduced and the “U” will be within the weekly budget of the masses.

          Jumping ahead, aren’t you?  If demand increases, inventory will disappear and the price will shoot up.  Since the production of “U’s” is in the hands of the Monopoly Guys — who have used their control of government regulatory forces to raise insurmountable barriers to competition — the price will remain high in order for them to gouge as much profit as possible… that is, until we are forced to resort to using the Roman “V” in place of “U”.  When that happens, the Monopoly Guys will launch a vast and brutal public slander campaign from their top-shelf P.R. firms to ridicule the use of “V” in place of “U.”  Then, they will use their army of lobbyists to convince gullible conservatives that the Founding Fathers would be appalled a the use of “V,” and that it constitutes a clear and present threat to national security.  These heroic legislators will then enact legislation to suppress the basic civil right to use whatever letter you choose to use in place of “U”.

          If all that fails, only THEN you see the unit cost of “U” finally come down so that everyone can afford one.

          00

    • #
      Bob Campbell

      I’ll hide in a crowd – ‘ goggled “Ebola” ‘
      Bloody pedant.


      :- ) Damn I’ll sack that proof-reader… Thanks. Jo

      30

      • #
        Kevin Lohse

        My point is that the Forces of Darkness will seize upon this typo as an example of the illiteracy of us sceptics. Jo produces her posts at high tempo and the odd typo slips through. It’s in all our interests to deny ammunition to the enemy.

        120

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      It’s the sort of corny jape that Jim Hacker might say to Bernard and Sir Humphrey : I can’t make bureaucracy without U and U.

      60

      • #
        GM2

        I can’t make bureaucracy without U and U. A double U = bewrocracy

        20

      • #
        Bruce

        It gets worse. There is actually a company in Brisbane, Qld., called, wait for it…………”U-Mart”.

        They sell computer stuff, not letters of the alphabet.

        00

    • #
      Farmer Gez

      “If the demand for “U”s increases, the unit cost will be reduced”…Kevin, you obviously have not participated on the “U” market recently. Another bloody hobby “U” farmer.

      40

  • #
    bemused

    The problem is, if you’re not actually there on the ground where the sh*t is hitting the fan, you really can’t appreciate the gravity of the situation. What’s worse, today’s (mainly) Leftist governments, can’t even imagine there’s a problem until that same sh*t hits them in the face. A prime example is Labor screaming that Australia send troops et al to fight what they can’t comprehend.

    110

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      You can learn a lot from bomb disposal.

      The general, back at head quarters is responsible for identifying the types of bomb being used, how they work, what booby traps they have, how they might be defused.

      The Subaltern on the ground decides how each, specific, individual, bomb will be approached, based on where it is, and how accessible it is.

      But, at the end of the day, it is the guy with the spanner, who decides which bolt to unscrew first.

      150

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Well the USA isn’t mucking around with Ebola as Obama announces airstrikes against the disease, now there’s a true leader.

      40

      • #
        John Knowles

        Odd you should say that Yonniestone bcos I reckon the US military are ahead of the game on this one. In 2008 they researched the use of silver nano-particles for treating hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola. (see #32 on previous Ebola thread) and they employ a FilmArray™ diagnostics tool on their soldiers even though it is not approved for use on humans by the FDA. From what I can tell it uses Polymerase Chain Reaction tests to screen for Protein Numbers and compares results with known Protein Number sequences found in samples like HIV or Ebola. It only takes an hour and can be run by technicians with a minimum of training as the operating procedure is laid out in the computer program.
        Maybe this is an internet spoof on Star Trek. Does anyone know of BioFire Diagnostics Inc ?

        http://filmarray.com/the-filmarray-system/

        If Texas Presbyterian Hospital has one of these units in their research dept it’s a pity they didn’t do some “research” on that poor Duncan chap even if it is only ~90% effective. I read that they spent $39k on one a few years ago.

        10

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        In the movie “Outbreak” they were going to use AFBs to cleanse whole infected towns…..dont give them ideas…

        20

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        You had me on that one Yonniestone, until I read “Many international security experts agree that Obama is taking the safe approach since Ebola does not have significant air defences capable of shooting down US airpower and is usually how the US solves complicated international crises anyway”

        10

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Yes I forgot the sarc tag again, apologies to anyone who clicked on the link expecting a serious story, BTW I’m not making light of those unfortunates who have died from Ebola it just seemed like something Obama would say in an Anchorman teleprompt moment.

          I have the utmost respect for the POTUSA…./sarc.

          20

      • #
        Tim

        Yep – Phosphorus will kill them lill critters stone dead.

        30

      • #
        Robert

        “The United States of America can’t simply sit back and let the world be terrorized by this killer,” Obama said

        The sad part is, whether consciously or subconsciously, he was talking about himself and the American public is too stupid to realize that these days.

        Yea, “dear leader” is certainly a piece of work…

        10

  • #
    TdeF

    I am surprised the company wanted this printed? Unfortunately it reads like a safe oasis, if the epidemic worsens, they will be overwhelmed and wiped out! They provided a geographic barrier which should be one of many. It is a story of practical solutions based on information and common sense. The question is how you can bring help to ignorant and terrified people who attack and kill the people trying to help? Isolation and quarantine areas are needed. Containment, the enforced quarantine and isolation of whole areas.

    Of course the other is a vaccine. Is it any different to small pox in speed of transmission? For now anyone coming from these areas needs to be quarantined. Anyone dealing with such people need quarantine too. A terrible and deadly virus, it is very obvious when someone has the disease and the incubation period is short, shorter than small pox. Somehow in a modern world, a lost few weeks seems a great imposition. It isn’t. When ship travel took one to six months, it was not considered so onerous. The idea that anyone in contact with the virus travels at all on a normal flight is amazing. From the reaction of authorities, it appears they already consider the virus is airborne, at least in a wet humid environment with forced circulation.

    60

  • #
    TdeF

    Is the reason nothing seems to be coordinated that countries do not really want to take responsibility now as in the terrible wars which preceded this? America does not want another battle. Its interests are economic, as was the case in the Phillipines and Hawaii before WWII.

    Even though Liberia was a creation of American Citizens to make amends for the slave trade, it is small and surrounded by European creations, French and British. Over time people have been caught up in the area like the Quaker Cadbury family charged with using slave labor in the early 20th century, Firestone as late as 2005. Rubber and chocolate. No oil. It is surprising the French and English have done so little, although the Medicins San Frontiers have been amazing as always. Is what we are seeing the sort of thing for which the UN was designed, to coordinate international assistance in times of peaceful crisis or is each country disinterested in a pandemic as long as they escape unscathed? Where is WHO?

    Is the lack of action a continuation of old colonial rivalries and resentments and the US dislike for colonial powers? Or is it simply an area no one really cares about, apart from what has been reported as a potential rise in the price of chocolate? A vaccine is the greatest hope but air travel is the vector which never existed before, with the ability to decimate countries far away. People are concerned about the big colonial countries but imagine Ebola migrating to Indonesia, India, Egypt or China or Japan?

    A similar lack of cooperation existed with the Spanish Flu in WWI because no one was prepared to admit it even existed, except the Spanish who were neutral, so they earned the name. Spanish flu killed far more people than the war itself, 30-100 million and may have been the entire reason Germany lost the war. Like the Black Death, it selectively hit young people with strong immune systems. The UN is really needed here, but with 70 years of near peace, do the UN bureaucrats care about much more than funding? The billion dollars a day on windmills and the like would fix such problems.

    62

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … imagine Ebola migrating to Indonesia, India, Egypt or China or Japan?

      Put the point of a compass on Hanoi, and the marker on Kabul, and draw a circle. Over half of the world’s population lives inside that circle.

      60

      • #
        TdeF

        It is the areas of huge population density and low hygiene which have always been extremely vulnerable. Some areas like Java and Bangladesh, cities like Kolkota, Bagkok, Manila, Jakarta where quarantine would be impossible and hygiene a dream. Even advanced cities like Shanghai and Tokyo and Hong Kong now have incredible population densities. We have never had a threat like this with mega cities much bigger than whole countries. England in the time of Queen Eliazbeth had only 4 million people. The War of the Roses would be between suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney. A modern pandemic would be unprecedented in scale and effect. The UN needs to stop making pronouncements and get on with the job. I read Canada is shipping a vaccine.

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        Greg Cavanagh

        The idea that it gets to Indonesia scares me. Not because it’s close, but because of the people density and the useless government. I would trust China and India far more. The Japanese are meticulously clean people, not sure it’d get far there either.

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          ImranCan

          I live in Jakarta ….the same thought has occured to me.

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          Roy Hogue

          The thought that it gets anywhere scares me.

          Not many places are prepared for it, including the United States it would seem. We do have a nice brand new Ebola Czar however, freshly minted from a recycled political hack who, I’m sure, will have no trouble solving his bosses political problem by getting the country distracted or strongarming the critics.

          But it has a nice ring to it don’t you think? Ebola Czar sounds really classy and important.

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    Peter Miller

    I am sure this gives us all a warm fuzzy feeling about foreign aid.

    Western governments funnel huge amounts of our taxpayers’ funds – without their permission – into foreign aid bureaucracies. We might as well burn most of the money, for by the time the bureaucrats, bureaucratic ineptitude, the policy enablers, the banks, the ‘experts’, the administrators, the politicians (and remember there are many layers of these), the distribution companies of the politicians’ relatives, and tolerated theft have been accounted for, there is rarely all that much left.

    And the reason we do waste all this money? Because our smug politicians can say something like: “I am extremely proud of being able to have done this.”

    Sending money to foreign aid or ‘climate change’ bureaucracies is like sending money to money heaven, it simply disappears and does little or no good.

    I assume now that someone has noticed what Firestone did that this company will now become a pariah and accused of all sorts of wrong doings by sundry lefties or those in the bureaucracies it has shamed.

    Let us never forget the saying of: “Let no good deed go unpunished.”

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      OriginalSteve

      Once agin the private sector does it best….

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      Greg Cavanagh

      I believe most charities and foreign aids, are simply a way to pay a wage.

      I remember many years ago a charity in Brisbane got busted, I think by Daren Hinch. Only 10% of the donations got to the people on the ground. The rest disappeared in rent and wages. After that got aired on TV, nobody gave to that charity any more and they went under. Can’t remember the name now though.

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    crosspatch

    Democratic Party propaganda in the US: Travel bans don’t work.
    Reality: Travel bans are the only things that have been shown to work.

    Democratic Party propaganda: We don’t have a vaccine yet because you haven’t give us enough of your money.
    Reality: Canada, a country with an economy smaller than the US state of California, ships Ebola vaccine to WHO.

    In the US we have an election coming in a couple of weeks. We have a choice. We can vote for a Democrat or we can vote for an American. It really is that simple. Those people are total freaking morons.

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    Ebola vaccine advertisment.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfwfMFBV34g
    The chance that it may not be effective is less than 200 percent.

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    ImranCan

    The complacency and total lack of real world awareness are simply staggering.

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    ImranCan

    The complacency and total lack of real world awareness is simply staggering.

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    Oh dear, the only reason the farm has lasted is because the looters couldn’t find it on a map. Now they’ve got a high profile.

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    Hopefully, the majority will eventually learn that Government can only mess things up. That’s why Governments can only be trusted to deal with criminals. Criminals are the one’s we want to be messed up and stopped if possible.

    The rest of us should be left strictly alone by Governments so we, who have the vested interests in having things work, will make things work at the lowest possible cost of time, effort, and expenditure of previously created wealth. That is the way civilizations are built, maintained, and advanced and human lives are properly lived.

    Governments can only destroy civilizations unless they stay out of the process. That is except for dealing with criminals and crime. Even then, they don’t do a very good job but it is the only safe thing for the rest of us to have Governments to be doing. What little crime is left over can be easily dealt with by mutual agreement and a well armed population.

    As it is, we have due process substituted for justice and piles of shape shifting words substituted for truth. Nothing that is said is really meant. What is really meant is not said. The dealings of Governments is, by clear intention, made to be misunderstood in as many ways by as many people as possible. It is such that the Government cannot be held accountable for anything it does or doesn’t do. The consequential repeated crises are used as an excuse to confiscate ever more wealth and the continuous increase of Government’s intrusiveness into the lives of those from whom the wealth is taken.

    All this even as we are commanded, at the point of the Government’s gun, to trust the Government. I, for one, have lost all trust in Government being anything but what it is a very long time ago. A pit viper is a pit viper, a scorpion is a scorpion, and a Government is a Government. ALL must be kept at a distance with as little interaction as is humanly possible. Otherwise, they are a clear and present danger to our lives, our fortunes, and sacred honor.

    “We hold these truths to be self evident. All men are created equal and have an inalienable right to their lives, their liberty, and their pursuit of happiness.”

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      Truthseeker

      Even if things are as you say they should be Lionell, it is not a guarantee. Governments can just frame things so that everyone is a potential criminal. It has been calculated from the extent of regulations and the loose interpretation of the courts that everyone in California is guilty of at least three felony level offences every day. Just make the definition of “criminal” wide enough and you can prosecute anyone you want to.

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        A pit viper is a pit viper, a scorpion is a scorpion, and a Government is a Government. They are all dangerous to your health if you get too close and too involved with them. This IS guaranteed.

        Just because a Government calls an act criminal does not make it a crime. For example, I can call an apple a baseball but I can’t play a game of baseball with it. A thing is not made either by its definition nor its name. It is what it is and must be understood accordingly.

        Only the violation of individual rights by initiation of force or fraud upon another is a crime. A Government that initiates force upon its citizens is itself a criminal and has lost all moral claim to legitimacy. It has become nothing more than a gang of thugs committing fraud, theft, extortion, and worse. That the gang of thugs call themselves a government and has defined crime by what they have determined to be “due process” does not change the moral character of their actions.

        This is part of why I say that we don’t need better people in Government. We need better ideas in the people – ALL the people. If that were to happen, Government would become better. GIGO is inescapable. If the ideas are garbage, the consequences will be too.

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      ExWarmist

      Memories are short.

      Hustlers & Conmen rely on the short memory of the average mark.

      Occasionally they get it wrong and end up dangling from a lamppost – only occasionally – it’s not such a risky line of work.

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    nc

    Here is an example bureaucracy and political correctness can put a six year old girls life in danger let alone the testing she will have to endure.

    http://www.250news.com/2014/10/16/routine-vaccination-turns-into-long-term-testing/

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      Roy Hogue

      The mistake was in allowing HIV to become a political problem instead of a medical problem. Theory has it that this nurse cannot pass HIV to a patient, yet here is a clear cut case that it can and may have been passed on to someone who had a right to expect no such danger from a medical professional taking care of her. And the girl’s right to safe treatment trumps any nonsense “human right to work”.

      When will we learn?

      I wonder where they got this human right. Could it have come from the UN so concerned with rights that it is complicit in the potential infection of an innocent person with HIV?

      Nuts! :-(

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        GM2

        Human Rights is just another term for selfishness,because we aren’t talking about the right to safety food shelter jobs but the right to do whatever takes our fancy,whether that be having sex with who or what pleases,to violently protest against anything and everything.
        All we would need is a vested interest group to push for those infected with the Ebola virus to be left alone,that it would violate their “human rights”.
        You don’t think that it could happen,here in Australia we have Federal politicians who would be only too pleased to do something like that.

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    Roy Hogue

    I think the difference can be explained by one word, incentive. Firestone has a lot at stake, valuable employees and lost revenue. A bureaucrat has nothing at stake except pleasing the boss, most of whom are pleased by following the rules, not by thinking on your feet.

    Which one would you expect to get the job done right?

    Once we have a Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and a National Institute of Health to rely on (and let’s not forget the Surgeon General whose job appears to be making pronouncements about alcohol and smoking danger), the same thing happened that happened when computers invaded the business world, thinking was shoved off onto the computers (I have seen a vivid demonstration of this) and onto the government institutions.

    If we had none of those things there would have been greater self reliance at the local level. Texas might have stumbled in the beginning when faced with ebola but by now they would be imitating Firestone because they would never have been in the habit of looking to someone else who has no real stake in the outcome. And if one hospital is getting it wrong the rest won’t be dragged along by being hitched to the medical bureaucracy. There’s nothing wrong in learning from someone else who’s being successful. But never be dependant on the rest for what should be your self sufficiency.

    The public schools are another example of this problem. Get rid of the federal and state educrats and put the responsibility for education decisions where it belongs, the local school boards and parents. There are two benefits right away: it’s a lot harder for anyone to subvert the many hundreds of independent school districts and if one district is making a mistake the entire state or country doesn’t get dragged along for the ride. Again, nothing wrong in learning from someone else who’s getting it right. But never let yourself be dragged along by being hitched to the educrats.

    And above all else, let’s not forget what we once knew. When I was a kid if you had chicken pox, measles, mumps, scarlet fever and probably others, you were quarantined in your home and if necessary. They didn’t let you free to infect others. And this was a state law with enforcement power behind it. It didn’t take a Department of Health and Human Services to do it. It’s a big mistake to have forgotten this lesson in basic public health. And I don’t buy the arguments against stopping anyone from an ebola hotspot from entering the country. That’s pure political correctness.

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    I think that you mean “moochers”; selecting a person on their kissing ability is applicable for other industries.

    Please insert diatribe about baseless assertions and the groan inducing and totally meaningless cliche, “nanny state”.

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    [...] government-funded healthcare. Jo Nova tells how the Bridgestone Corporation in Liberia responded to [...]

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    DonS

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People will not follow procedures if they do not understand the reasons for the procedures. It’s all very well to tell them what protective gear to use and how to put it on but if they are not told why each step is done the way it is then it allows for complacency to set in.

    In Texas you have nurses in a nice clean hospital who deal with very sick people every day. If they are given protective gear and told how to use it, but not why each step in the procedure must be followed, then complacency will set in, especially if they put on and take off this gear 2-3 times a day. No doubt they regard themselves as health care professionals and as such would think themselves qualified to decide which parts of the procedures could followed and where they can take short cuts. I’ve seen this before, too much knowledge can be as hazardous as too little.

    By contrast on the Liberian plantation you have a group of ordinary people who are willing to follow the procedures they are shown, or read about specific to Ebola, as they have no other reference point in disease control. Being surrounded by dozens of people suffering agonising deaths probably helps to focus the mind on how carefully you follow procedures as well.

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    [...] He contrasts this against the Ebola outbreak and how the Bridgestone Corporation in Liberia responded: [...]

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    [...] He contrasts this against the Ebola outbreak and how the Bridgestone Corporation in Liberia responded: [...]

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    Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

    You’ve got to wonder what the hidden agenda is with some of these bureaucrats.

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    richsrd

    I love that story, would make a good film.

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    John Knowles

    No-one has mentioned Ebola symptoms to the medical staff at Lithgow Hospital, NSW. A crowded Emergency Dept with my wife and only one other on duty would be the perfect setting to spread it around. Plenty of people come in with a temp of 37.5ºC and get assessed as to their urgency from 1 to 3 but it would be hard to distinguish between Ebola and a whole range of lesser illnesses.

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    John Knowles

    Even within the Firestone plantation mothers will remain at home with sick children and then make a mad dash for the hospital when the situation becomes critical but at least these families have access to proper medical facilities. Firestone reckon there are normally around 9000 clinic visits a month.
    Elsewhere villagers mistrust the governing authority class so they hide their sick. Perhaps this is part of the reason why communication of the disease is so rapid.

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    You can hardly expect the US to focus on something as mundane and boring as Ebola when it is busy with exciting, progressive stuff like transgenderizing its public school restrooms.

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    [...] [More] This entry was posted in Featured and tagged ebola outbreak, us health care. Bookmark the permalink. ← Officials warn 500 million financial records hacked /* [...]

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    [...] Health Here is an interesting observation by Jo Nova of two sets of reactions in an article titled Company stops Ebola, Bureaucracy puts it on a plane: The rubber plantation has 8,000 workers with 71,000 dependents. It is an hour north-east of [...]

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    Bruce

    “Company stops Ebola, Bureaucracy puts it on a plane”

    The aircraft concerned isn’t called “Ebola Gay” by any chance?……………..

    ……….Sorry,……..a bit.

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    There is some other good news for those already infected:

    http://classicalvalues.com/2014/10/ebola-and-cannabis/

    There is good scientific evidence that cannabinoids, and in particular Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn provide protection from viral infections (4). Cannabis has already been recognized to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials. (1)

    Ebola is a complex RNA viral organism that causes the cell to engulf it by pinocytosis, and then the virus hijacks the cell to replicate itself. This replication can involve many mutations in the RNA code that make it difficult to impossible to create an effective vaccine. There are U.S. Patents showing evidence that Cannabinoids have significant anti-viral activity. (3) (4)

    ============

    More at the link including other links and news.

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    Interesting article. But one should be sceptical about an article in the Wall Street Journal lauding a major US corporation’s activities in Africa. Is a rubber company in Liberia really better for its local population than the government of Texas is for its?

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