Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

             When I was in college, I was lucky enough to meet a Saudi Arabian prince who was attending Princeton at a party. We had friends in common.  When my two eldest children were at university, they met, spoke to, and befriended a number of Saudi princes who were attending their university for a year or so.  I also had a chance to meet them all a couple of times.  I have been fortunate enough to know some Saudis, and to consider them friends. I don't need everyone I speak to to share every view I have.  Because my father was a world explorer, we sometimes had visitors to the house who were from the Middle East, and so I tend to take each person as they come, rather than group them and make decisions about groups of people.

                 I did not know and I have never conversed with Jamal Khashoggi. What I know is that Khashoggi tried to get official copies of his divorce decree from the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC, then tried in London, and that he was told he would have to get the from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Istanbul Turkey. He had planned to remarry a Turkish woman shortly. He made the trip to the Saudi Embassy and they told him they would have his documents that afternoon, and that he should come back.  Then, the Saudi Embassy sent its employees home and waited for Jamal Khashoggi to return.  When he did, he was accosted by what European news anchors have called a "Hit Squad".  He is alleged to have been drugged, murdered and dismembered within a brief period of time following his return to the embassy.  This story has been told again and again by everyone from Turkish Police to British intelligence. What we know is that Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen anywhere since his entry into the Saudi Embassy. This week, the Turkish police in a "joint Saudi operation" have entered both the embassy and the home of the Saudi Ambassador. Evidence has been located indicating that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered there.

                 This is incredibly disturbing. Traditionally, the US and Saudi Arabia have been strong allies. We sell them defensive weapons and weapons systems. They support us in a number of ways in the Middle East and world wide.   The US has an important strategic air base there, in a place in the world where we now have few friends. The Saudis have also had the most moderate stance toward Israel, our ally.
                Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the de facto leader in Saudi Arabia. He is a young man who has many visions as he diversifies his nations economy and brings both women and men into this century as contributors to it.  However, there is a darker side to the man more commonly referred to as MBS.    In the past, MBS placed royal family members under house arrest and did the same to the elite in his nation. He has had more than one hundred journalists jailed.  Khashoggi's fate should make us wonder if they are actually alive.  MBS does not tolerate opposition. After all, Saudi Arabia is a kingdom and not a democracy. I am not aware of voting there at present.   Many of us have tried to focus on the positive things MBS has been doing.   For the first time, women may drive. Movie theatres are back, and there are attempts to weave women into a more modern world.  He also seeks to diversify his nation's economy from an oil dependent one, to a financial and business hub.  Many nations in the world had joined the Saudis with the intent to make the MBS vision a reality.   Saudi Arabia is also at war with Yemen. Eight million people, mostly children are starving because the area where their food is being sent in, is repeatedly being hit with Saudi air strikes.  An entire generation of children has died or has been damaged enough that they will never reach their intellectual potential.

               However, it is naive and unrealistic to pretend that MBS was not completely aware of the plan to entrap Khashoggi who had spoken against him in the past.  Hit squads don't fly in to other nations because they think their leader might approve of a forced rendition or a murder. They aren't known for their independent thinking. Many experts think the theory of a Saudi"rogue general" is absurd.

              I understand that the US and many other nations have invested heavily in Saudi Arabia. I understand that many young people like the vision of MBS very much for their future, but I urge all of you to think again.  A man who sends a squad to entrap, drug, murder, and dismember so that, in their faith, the subject person cannot reach Heaven, is not someone you should be investing in, or leaving as a guardian of anyone's future.

               I urge President Trump, the US Congress and Senate, and all nations and companies of the world to reconsider your dealings with Saudi Arabia until another leader is managing the kingdom.  I commend Sir Richard Branson for being one of the first to say that, in good conscience, that he would not presently serve on the board of Saudi companies at this time.  Others should follow him. I commend those who are shocked by these revelations and who believe sanctions must be leveled against Saudi Arabia.

             It would be foolish to make a dangerous man, more powerful on the world stage than he already is.  I also believe that as long as MBS is in power there that we should rethink our own dealings with him.

            Please pray for the family of Jamal Khashoggi, for his fiancee, and for his many friends.

Friday, September 7, 2018

"Westward: The Novel" Has Arrived !

"Westward: The Novel is a 6x9 inch paperbound book with 322 pages. It is also available electronically.

                  For those of you who gather paper bound books for your collection in order to read during the day during power outages or in other emergencies, may I make a suggestion.   "Westward: The Novel" is my fifth book, and second novel.   This time, it's not about disaster preparedness, the true story of a family dealing with the death of a child, a novel about an intelligence analyst and his family making a go of life on a large acreage during an economic collapse, or the true story of the life of an American world explorer.  This time, it's a novel that traces the life of a young woman with small children who must return to work after the death of her husband. She not only finds work and builds a new career for herself while parenting her children, but she finds the second great love of her life.  This is a story of overcoming obstacles and then taking chances. It also follows her through the process of blending a new husband who has never been married or had children to a family with four of them.  This book was designed to be read by either men or women.

             Today, it is available at this website   https://assets.booklocker.com/pdfs/9981s.pdf 

It should shortly be available on Amazon.    In the weeks that follow, it will ultimately be available worldwide and will be available at any bookstore and also eventually at libraries.   I will update as I learn of its availability.

            It's ISBN # is:   978-1-59113-643-9

            If you do purchase this book, particularly on Amazon, if you could write even a brief review that helps to get more people interested in the book and in reading in general.  Thank you !

           This is the first time that "practical Jane" has written what is, in part, a love story so it covers new ground in that respect.  I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stan Brock, Founder and President of Remote Area Medical, Dies

Stan Brock, and his assistant Sherri Elizabeth, taken recently.


                     It is with great sorrow that I report that today, while at work, Stan Brock, the founder and president of Remote Area Medical, died.  Brock was a television star who hosted Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom in 1968.  In 1985, he founded Remote Area Medical which provides medical care and dental care to those without access, both internationally and in the United States. They have treated more than a million people.

                     Today, I send sincere condolences to his family, his friends, his co-workers, and especially to a dear friend of mine, Sherri Elizabeth, who was his assistant.

                     Stan Brock leaves an incredible legacy for those of us who remain on Earth.  He also ensured that the important work of RAM both internationally and domestically will continue.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Rational Preparedness is Recognized !


        Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Rational Preparedness blog for the last ten years. Today I learned that this blog has been recognized as "One of the best blogs for survival for 2018"
            Thank you, and best wishes everyone.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Value of a 7% Saline Solution Treatment Via Nebulizer

This is a standard nebulizer set which is familiar to many.  Notice the mask attached to the nebulizer set. Such peripherals can only be used for one person.  You need a peripheral nebulizer kit for each person who is using the device.   Some are disposable, as in hospitals, and others are designed for boiling and reuse with the same patient for a period of time.

  Disclaimer:  The following post is informational and is designed to spur important conversations with you, and your physician or nurse practitioner. Families are encouraged to speak with their primary care provider before altering his/her orders where their family members are concerned, or instituting a new treatment without their physician's knowledge.

  If your child is having difficulty breathing, please call 911.

                       There are many types of family emergencies.  Some are of a more desperate nature, while others can be simply mammoth inconveniences.  If you were stuck at home with an adult or child, and you could not get out to a physician for a day or two, and your child began with a cold or flu which had large amounts of thick mucus, what would you do?     First, hydration is most important. The child or family member needs plenty of varied fluids. Pedialyte for small ones is a good idea if there is diarrhea or vomiting.  Gatorade (the standard formulation) would be beneficial to an older child.  Plain drinking water is underrated, and this is also a good idea.  Secondly, you wish to feed them moderately and contain a fever.   Many physicians leave a fever to burn out a viral syndrome, and they use Tylenol ( name used in the US, paracetamol in many other nations) ( also known as Acetaminophen) to treat a fever of 102 or greater.   I don't use Ibuprofen (Motrin in the US) on children without a direct physician's order to do so.
                        There is something else you can do that will help to break up thick secretions on both children and in adults.   Physicians usually order this treatment for children with cystic fibrosis, or for adults with COPD or other respiratory illnesses where excessive thick mucus is a problem.

                         An increasing number of families own a nebulizer. A nebulizer or nebulizer/compressor aerosolizes medication so that a child or adult can inhale it over a period of time.  EACH PERSON who uses the nebulizer needs their very own nebulizer set which attaches to the device with a long thin tube.
  It is important that such respiratory materials are not shared between family members who often do not have the same respiratory or oral organisms, especially in the presence of another chronic disease.

This is a Pari compressor/nebulizer.

                        When a physician orders a nebulizer device for a child or adult, he also orders a solution to be placed in the device for each treatment. Often these are bronchodilators which means they open the airways.  Drugs called Albuterol, and an analog of Albuterol which does not cause the increase in heart rate, is called Xopenex (the generic name is Levalbuterol).

                        Sometimes, following the bronchodilator as listed above, the physician will order another solution. Sometimes, such a solution will be a salt solution. Salt, in solution, when used in a nebulizer treatment can be a potent mucolytic, which means it can help to break up thick secretions. Salt does several things when used in a respiratory solution. First, it does act as a counter-irritant, and the patient does tend to cough, expelling mucus from areas he may not have prior. Secondly, a higher percentage of salt solution may make it more difficult for viruses and bacteria to replicate in the mucus lined regions of the lungs. For this reason, those with respiratory infections,may benefit from nebulizer treatments with salt solutions, two or three times a day, particularly during acute respiratory infections.

                   The amount of saline or salt in normal body fluids is 0.9%     Although there probably is some value in receiving a cool nebulizer treatment with 0.9% salt solutions, physicians often order a hypertonic saline solution. This means that the solution is stronger than the amount of saline found in normal body fluids.

                   In respiratory treatments, physicians have been known to order 3% saline solutions, but more often today, they are ordering 7% solutions for those with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchiectasis, and even as an adjunct in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Some people with asthma who also have an concurrent infection have benefitted from such treatment when physician ordered.

                   When breathing nebulized fluids deep into your lungs, or the lungs of a family member, it is very important to ensure great cleanliness and often sterility of the articles used, including the fluids. When you open a medication that is pre-packaged, it has been presterilized. but when you make your own 7% saline, you must take great care to have everything sterile, otherwise you are introducing new organisms into the respiratory tree, which could be dangerous.

Making Your Own 7% Saline Solution for Nebulization:

You will need the following items. Please assemble them in advance.

1. Measuring spoons, washed in the dishwasher.
2. 5 cc syringes without needle.
3. A bottle of unopened distilled water
4. A polypropylene pharmacy grade bottle with the plastic code #5 on the bottom.    

      Do not use any other type of plastic as they may leach plastic ingredients into your solution. This bottle can be purchased from your pharmacy or through your physician.

5. A container of salt without additives.  (No iodine or other additives. NO Lite Salt, as that is partly potassium chloride)  Kosher salt, or pickling salt may be used. Some use plain sea sale successfully.

6. Medical Nebulizer with face mask or mouthpiece, tubing. (You need to have one of these for each patient in your family.) Some of these are designed for one time or several time use.  I would prefer you get a reuseable one that can be boiled for five minutes after each use.
(The best nebulizer on the market according to many pulmonologists is the Pari.  I like the Pari Vios Pro, because it delivers the solution very quickly and well and can run frequently with much less chance of overheating.)   https://justnebulizers.com/pari-vios-reg-pro-nebulizer-compressor.html

7. Glass measuring cup calibrated in mls or ccs  (available at Wal-Mart's cooking section. Pyrex, clear glass with red writing.)   Wash it in dishwasher.

Directions:       Always wash your hands before any procedure.

1. Pour 250ccs (same as ml or milliliters) distilled water in your clean new #5 polypropylene bottle.

2. Add one level teaspoon of the salt described above to the bottle.  Gently shake.  These amounts will yield a 7 % solution.

3. Place in clean microwave with lid off for 15 seconds.  Allow to cool completely before use. Then recap when cool.

4. Use any ordered bronchodilators (albuterol etc.) via nebulizer first, before using 7% saline to help to avoid excessive coughing and bronchospasm.

5. When any pre-treatments are concluded, you may use four cc's as measured with your clean needleless syringe, and place it into your nebulizer bowl and start your nebulizer treatment.

When concluded,  prepare for your next treatment by:

Removing the lid from the 7% saline solution, and microwaving for 15 seconds, once again.  When cool, reapply lid.

Boiling your nebulizer peripherals (but not the tubing) for 5 minutes. Then place on clean paper towel to dry. When dry place in plastic zip lock bag until next use.

Store your reboiled cool solution in the refrigerator and replace it every three days.

Please follow directions exactly, as they improve your margin for safety.

Premade, sterile, pre-measured 7% saline is available via prescription from a physician.  If your physician orders it for you, this will save the procedure outlined in this post.  However, for some this is a continuous expense they cannot continue along with other medications they must have.    If you are out of it, and cannot replace it quickly enough, you have a procedure for making a 7% saline solution yourself.

           Inhaled 7% saline can be a very valuable strategy in the treatment of upper respiratory illness of varietal causes.

Other helpful posts on or related to this topic:






Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Massive Expulsion of Russian Diplomats and Spies from Many Nations


Russian Diplomats and Potential Spies: Being expelled from a nation near you.

       By now, all of you know that in early March of this year, Sergei Skripal,  former Russian spy/apparent double-agent and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent Novichok, while in the British sovereign soil of the small city of Salisbury, in England.  Former British spies and businessmen have been emigrating to London and to other parts of England, in the last few years, as was also true of murdered British subject, and former KBG agent Alexander Litvinenko.

  My prior posts on the subject of the Litvinenko murder were:


                     When Skripal and his daughter, who was in her early thirties, were found unconscious on a park bench, and the police officer who attended them became ill also, the British military cordoned off the area and took samples.  The result was Novichok, a chemical weapon without a clear antidote, which is more dangerous than VX nerve gas, in even smaller amounts.
                       Compelling evidence must exist which implicates the government of Russia because not only has Britain expelled a large number of Russian diplomats, but fourteen other suspicious deaths in the UK are being reopened, and other actions are being taken against the government of Russia..  On the heels of this investigation, another Russian, Nikolai Glushkov, who was a witness in the Litvinenko investigation was found in his London home, dead in suspicious circumstances.
                       Yesterday, it was announced that the United Kingdom is not the only nation to be expelling their diplomats and potential spies.

This is a present list from both France 24 and the Miami Herald

— CANADA: Four Russians expelled; 3 applications for additional diplomatic staff being denied.
— UKRAINE: 13 Russian diplomats expelled.
— GERMANY, FRANCE, POLAND: Four Russian diplomats expelled from each country.
— CZECH REPUBLIC, LITHUANIA: Three Russian diplomats expelled from each country.
— SPAIN, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, ITALY, ALBANIA, AUSTRALIA: Two Russian diplomats expelled from each country.
— HUNGARY, SWEDEN, CROATIA, ROMANIA, FINLAND, ESTONIA: One Russian diplomat expelled from each country.
— LATVIA: One Russian diplomat expelled, plus one Russian representative of a Russian company blacklisted.
__BRITAIN: 23 Russian diplomats expelled.
__US: The closure of the Russian Embassy in Seattle, Washington, and the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats.

              Imagine how compelling the evidence that the Russian government must be involved in these poisonings must be for all of these nations to have taken such actions, knowing full well that Russia will likely expel the same number of diplomats from their own embassies in Russia.

               This uneasiness with Russia is not simply over Russia attacking and killing people on the soil of another sovereign nation, and endangering innocent people there also.  It is also about the treatment of Ukraine, and about the increasing illegal flyovers of the US, Britain, Canada, and other places in the world by a Russian regime which feels that it's own wishes seem to supersede international law and treaties.

              Remember that the Russian people themselves are decent hardworking and generous individuals who possess great creativity and have developed a fascinating culture, however if prior behavior is an indicator of future behavior, then Putin's regime will not stop at propaganda, cyber attacks, military attacks which thwart our own efforts in other parts of the world, and likely worse, if it benefits their regime.

               Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in stable yet critical condition. They may not survive, and if they do, they may never recover.

              There is also another aspect of this.  Although the world must stand up and tell Russia that continued interference with propaganda,  Russian flyovers in the sovereign airspace of other nations, and the execution of now British subjects who once worked for them as Russian citizens, are all unacceptable, we have some problems.  Russia will, and always does, strike back following each limitation or correction placed upon her. They too will expel diplomats and
those who may function as spies on our own behalf. The result is that Russia will not be monitored as well as it has been. We may also not be communicating with Russia as well as we once did.   Keep in mind that we stopped training those to be really skilled in Russian language, after 9-11 when we made Arabic our focus to the near exclusion of all else. 

  Subject of another one of my articles:  https://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2013/04/we-need-more-russian-speakers-and-more.html

       In any event, souring relations with Russia will yield additional problems that we need to better anticipate.

UPDATE:  April 4, 2018       Both Yulia and Sergei Skripal have awakened from the attack and are no longer in critical condition.  Sergei's cat and two guinea pigs who were at home were not nearly as lucky.     



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article206826664.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Rational Preparedness Movement: A 30 Year Old Brainchild of Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel


Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel,   Author of Rational Preparedness:The Blog and Rational Preparedness:A Primer to Preparedness, 2012

          I came to preparedness in 1981, the result of graduating with a new nursing degree and then passing licensure as a registered nurse. At the time, registered nurses needed to start discharge planning from the time a patient was admitted to the hospital. Part of discharge planning was how such a patient, on discharge would survive a normal emergency.  For example, if a patient with ALS went home on a portable ventilator, how would he survive either a failure of the ventilator, a power outage, or other emergency. Before a patient with a long term care or equipment need could be discharged, this type of emergency planning needed to be completed. This type of planning also needed to be done on new diabetics, those with special dietary needs, etc.  Today, hospitals are no longer staffed so that this level of preparation can be done before discharge. Today, it is more often done by the employees of a medical supply equipment company, the patient's family, or even the nurse at their primary care physician. Sometimes, disaster planning for a newly discharged medically dependent patient isn't done at all.  This was my first introduction to disaster preparedness.
                    In other positions I had afterward, other nurses and staff knew that post discharge disaster planning for patients was an interest of mine, and so I did a fair bit of it. After awhile, I created post discharge templates for different disease processes or for different equipment needs.
                    The fact is that we all need to make reasonable plans for normal disasters. Depending upon the location in which we live, ice storms, snowstorms, protracted power outages, flooding, earthquakes, forest fires are all possibilities, for all people, as well as those with a medical issue.
                     In the 1980s, I also became aware, through a patient family, that there were fairly large numbers of people who were preparing for an interruption in normal society where they believed that they would need to function for months or even longer without the benefits of normal society.  Some of them were stockpiling food for seven years or more.
                     The problem is that although preparing for normal and reasonable disasters is an intelligent thing to do, particularly if you have a vulnerable medication or machine dependent family member. However, diverting large sums of your income to seven to ten years of food, saps money from the present day. It also takes money from your relative who might have a limited lifespan on Earth anyway.
                     It was at this time that the Rational Preparedness movement was born.  My plan for Rational Preparedness, is that people make reasonable plans for the reasonable types of disasters that are most likely to occur within the next ten to fifteen years or so.  It is not possible, or even financially expedient for most families to make disaster plans for all of the possibilities.  My point was that purchasing gas masks for your children, and a pair of night vision googles for yourself, means that your children might not have the funds and opportunities that allow them to excel within the world as it exists today.
                   Therefore, my contribution to the preparedness community was the concept of Rational Preparedness.  This means that each family should prepare for reasonable disasters that are most possible in the area in which one's family is living.  Each family should make plans to "Shelter in Place" or "Evacuate Family" (including pets).  Most every disaster will fall into either the category of sheltering in place or evacuation of family.  If course, when people with medical issues, children, pets, farms or other issues consider this concept, it becomes more complicated.  A diabetic child requires more supplies during an evacuation than a child without medical issues.  Sheltering in place with a great grandparent who normally gets pharmacy supplies each week could be challenging when the power distribution and roadways are impaired for a time for some reason.
                    In 2011, I agreed to do a series of podcasts, using the name Rational Preparedness. The series was well received.   I also began the blog Rational Preparedness, so that listeners could find not only a synopsis of the broadcast, but urls for the information I may have quoted or for suppliers for helpful items with regard to preparedness, both medical and otherwise. 

                   Please know that in the years that both the blog and the book have existed, that I have never advertised anything that I have not personally used or can endorse fully.  Unlike my copycats, I do not receive monies to endorse any preparedness or medical products whatsoever.

                    In 2012, my book, Rational Preparedness:A Primer to Preparedness was released.  The concept of the book is that it would introduce families who did not have a prior history of knowledge with regard to the topic,not only an introduction for the need to make advance preparations for disasters, but to read the book quickly, and to begin a solid framework of family disaster planning within the space of one weekend.
              Since the release of the book, work on the blog has continued. Rational Preparedness:The Blog now has more than a thousand votes as a favorite blog within the category of preparedness and survivalism.

               It probably should not surprise me, but at least twice now a US based website, and a facebook group has formed using the name Rational Preparedness, which attempts to capitalize on my thirty years of experience in this field, on my book and on those who have followed me. The website also seeks to sell products and is therefore using the name for which I am known to sell goods that I may not endorse or approve.   I have also been made aware that a foreign source has reproduced and is selling my book, for which I do not receive royalties.

          When seeking reliable information, please make sure that not only the name Rational Preparedness appears, but my name and photograph appears on the work as well.   Rational Preparedness: the blog and Rational Preparedness, the book, are both fully copywritten materials and the use of these intellectual properties without permission is a violation of United States copyright law. 

 Official Links:

Rational Preparedness Blog    Official

Rational Preparedness Book    Link for Official Copy of Book

Author of Rational Preparedness_Amazon Author Page