Tag Archives: India

Bits and Pieces – 20180411, Wednesday


In a recent unreleased Bits and Pieces, I started to formulate a reorganization of the format to help focus my thinking in several areas. This post has the preliminary format.

Some years ago I formulated the position that the two great threats to civilization – our society, culture, politics and geopolitics – where socialism and Islamism. I would now add a third – globalization or globalism. Interestingly, Bits and Pieces has never had categories for these movements. While this fact invites more thought on my part as to why, the topics that have emerged are the ones that I see as having more direct impact on daily life. Right now, war is the dominant one, in all its manifestations. To this end, this inaugural post retains all the category and sub-category headings. Future posts will not show empty topics.

Bits and Pieces – 20170810, Thursday

Commentary: Martin Armstrong’s computer model has picked Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 11-12 as two key dates when a Korean conflict may begin: North Korea – Beware August 2017. That makes this weekend critical. There is more below that shows the growing tensions. George Friedman thinks there will be war but offers his thinking on NK behaviour: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations. Finally … US “Confirms” N.Korea Has ICBM-Ready Nuclear Warheads, North Korea Responds To Trump Threat, Says It Is “Seriously Considering” Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On Guam, and Trump Threatens North Korea With “Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before”. Which side makes the first move?

Some folks are beginning to look at the cost of a war with NK. Since the extent of the destruction cannot be known in advance, one can identify impacts while not being able to estimate them accurately. Read: How A Renewed Korean Conflict Is Going To Be Felt Around The Globe and “Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like.

Late comentary provides insight into one of the preferreed options: Pentagon Unveils Plan For “Pre-Emptive Strike” On North Korea. Most parties agree the a negotiated settlement would be the preferred option of them all.

I thought summer was supposed to be the quiet time when everyone went to the beach. The fall should be a doozy.

Bits and Pieces – 20170502, Tuesday

Commentary: I’ve been struggling for a while with the problem of how to organize information. To capture one idea, that of “memes“, I include this short post: The ‘Taxation Is Theft’ Meme Has Officially Gone Mainstream.

The scientific method is simple: a) form a hypothesis; b) survey the literature on the topic, and; c) construct experiments to prove or disprove the hypothesis. At the masters level of graduate work, the object is to complete step “b” – master a subject or topic. At the doctoral level, the object is to complete step “c” after “a” and “b”. This is a very focused and narrow task.
Several times I have believed something to be true, formulated it as a hypothesis and begun to research the topic only to find that the hypothesis is false. But having hypotheses is valuable because they focus inquiry, reading and effort. As we read, we either find supporting evidence to strengthen and deepen our hypotheses or we find dissenting evidence that leads us to the conclusion our hypotheses are wrong.

I would extend the idea of a hypothesis into a larger concept I will call a theme. A theme  is more of a topic of interest than a fixed and limited proposition. As long as it remains open or active, there is a constant evaluation of information relevant to the theme with an assessment of how it affects the current body of knowledge comprising the theme. There is an immense amount of information available to us with a few keystrokes. It becomes important to have themes or other structures to act as filters in two ways.

2 + 2 = … Anyone’s Guess

See if you can add this up:

  1. The US which has transformed its police forces into paramilitary units (read: Congressman Hank Johnson Will Introduce Bill To Stop The Militarization Of Police; also Police Militarization In Ferguson, Missouri) still can’t figure out how to control mass protest and violence (read: One Shot, In Critical Condition, 7 Arrested After Protesters Break Ferguson Curfew). Shooting them doesn’t seem to be working.
  2. WHO is still reporting only 12 cases of Ebola in Nigeria out of a total of 2,127 cases (WHO: 15 August 2014). This is down from 13 on Aug. 8 but up from 9 on Aug. 5.
  3. Spain and India are now reporting five suspected cases of Ebola, all in patients who recently returned from Nigeria (read: India, Spain Testing Suspected Ebola Patients; Liberian Quarantine Center Raided).

Connecting the Dots

Working in reverse from point 3: recall that in the Caveat section we added at the end of Are We Ready for Ebola? we suggested under-reporting of cases was a risk. Note that the five cases in Spain and India being assessed are all from Nigeria.

Then in point 2, note the small number of cases reported by Nigeria, a number which has actually decreased from Aug. 8. How is it that so many suspected cases are coming out of Nigeria whose reporting suggests the disease is contained and of insignificant impact.  Surely given what we know about Nigerian authorities in many other matters there is no reason to suspect they are under-reporting or incompetent.

Finally, when the country in the world with the most resources at its disposal can’t contain civil unrest in this day and age, have we anything to worry about in terms of a country specific Ebola epidemic morphing into a global pandemic?


Two days after we wrote this we read that 2 cases of suspected Ebola have surfaced in Austria. And the patients are recently from … drum roll … that country that doesn’t have an Ebola problem: Nigeria. From Zero Hedge: Cameroon Blocks All Nigeria Borders As Ebola Cases Rise, 17 Liberian Escapees Recovered. As of Sept. 4 however WHO reports 3685 cases with 1841 deaths. The disease has not reached the critical mass necessary to move to a global pandemic. It may be contained eventually and the 20,o00 number Who put out as a cap may be an upper bound.

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