Friday, October 31, 2014

'Fearbola': superficially like AIDS crisis, but scarier

It is a bit of a misnomer to compare Ebola and the present day versus HIV of the '80s and '90s.  While it is true that both are viruses deadly to humans which emanate from Africa from an unknown source, no objective person would claim that an apple and a banana are the same thing just because they are both fruits.

For starters Ebola, a biosafety level four virus—the most dangerous type known to mankind—is far deadlier than HIV which by direct scientific comparison is only categorized as a level two virus.  HIV in the Reagan era was based on rumors, medical ignorance and fear of the unknown.  Contrarily, the panic related to Ebola is based upon facts easily gleaned by any interested party instantly through the internet which didn't exist when HIV first reared its ugly head.  

The first line of defense against diseases such as these is as tried-and-true as it is ancient: Byzantine emperor Justinian who as far back as 549 A.D. enacted a policy to separate the healthy from the sick in Bubonic plague-infested regions of the world.  Today, this common sense concept known as a quarantine remains the simplest and most effective policy to deal with the spread of deadly viruses.  That means a travel ban to and from the afflicted counties.  It is nonsensical, irresponsible and scientifically dishonest for Tom Frieden, a medical doctor and the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to claim that such a policy "won't keep Ebola contained and away from American shores."  Maybe not, but leaving the door wide open has already enabled patient zero otherwise known as Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man, to come to the major metropolitan city of Dallas which has led to the documented transmission of Ebola to two nurses while potentially exposing scores of others.  Specifically, it didn't help matters that the second nurse, one Amber Joy Vinson--medically trained in her own right and supposedly cleared by a phone call to the CDC--threw caution to the wind by boarding a commercial flight to Cleveland, Ohio.  Given the fact of recycled air in a contained environment creates a petri dish for germs.  Unfortunately, unaware of the potential danger, Frontier Airlines kept the same plane in service for several additional flights before grounding and decontamination.  This dynamic is like an eerie throwback to that '70s Farrah Fawcett Faberge organic shampoo commercial where her face continues to double until it fills the TV screen and she says "you'll tell [infect] friends and they'll tell [infect] two friends and so on and so on...."  

Since its discovery in 1976 Ebola, per the World Health Organization, has an average kill rate of 50% which can spike to 90%.  It is not paranoia, but reason to express concern given what is known and/or physically avoid the infected.  History has already shown that Ebola is a biological ticking time-bomb on two legs: only a plane ride away.

Similarly, experience has also already demonstrated that America's hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with Ebola safely.  It is in fact so deadly and contagious it must be handled by multi-gloved scientists in space suits utilizing elaborate safety and decontamination procedures in sealed rooms and highly secured buildings with reverse air pressure to prevent exposure or escape.  Such places are known as hot zones and for good reason: it is like playing Russian roulette with the devil.  It is the type of real-world situation that horror scribe Stephen King is on record for giving him nightmares; not the type of risk that our soldiers should undertake or our standard healthcare system contend.

Thus far, the Obama administration is even more lackadaisical than the Reagan administration was in the '80s, but with more information, better technology and fewer excuses.  Given the fact that the incubation period for Ebola is 2 to 21 days, it remains very easy for exposed individuals, like Mr. Duncan, to lie to airport officials and easily overcome temperature-taking screening by the consumption a couple of ibuprofen pills.  Indeed, why a West African travel ban remains off the table despite political pressure from both sides of the aisle--something Reagan undoubtedly would have done immediately with a phone call--remains unclear.  

Therefore, by any objective standard, Mr. Obama is demonstrating a much greater degree of head-in-the-sand (trap) syndrome than Reagan did: just last week he interrupted one of his numerous golf outings to make a brief follow up phone call to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell.  Furthermore, canceling fundraising activities to hold "high-level" talks, appointing a political operative, Ron Klain--a man who is not even a medical doctor--as Ebola czar and fallaciously blaming Republicans for reducing funding to the CDC which they actually increased is nothing more than playing politics with a potentially deadly health crisis.

Before Mr. Duncan graced our shores with his presence the probability of Ebola infection to Americans was virtually zero.  Now it is two nurses and that is two too many.  AIDS has a long latency period--unlike Ebola which can kill in days--and it has no life-prolonging drug cocktail.  Like Mr. Reagan's reputation was tarnished by his lack of responsiveness to AIDS, it is very likely that Mr. Obama will go down as the Ebola president.  The pivotal difference lies in the fact that there is still time to make sensible and medically-sound choices: close the southern border, initiate travel bans, localize the afflicted in the U.S. to one specialized treatment facility and restrict access to the African hot zone countries to highly-trained medical professionals.  This is one epidemic America can do without.  In the final analysis our national policy should reflect the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Michael Brown: Today’s Trayvon Martin

Regardless of color, every loss of life to gun violence is a calamity.  This is especially true of Chicago, the home city which Barack Obama represented politically and supposedly “organized” before rapidly ascending to the White House as our first African-American president.  Despite Chicago having the strictest gun control laws in the United States, the Fourth of July weekend’s explosive sounds of celebratory fireworks were tragedy augmented by eruptions of gunfire in which 82 people were shot, 14 fatally.  Shockingly, these events did not warrant front page treatment like the demise of one young man, Michael Brown: a recent high school graduate reportedly too timid to play football or have fisticuffs who had a physical altercation with a white police officer which resulted in his shooting death.

At 6-foot-4 and 292 pounds “Big Mike,” as he was known to his intimates, must have been an intimating figure.  In any case, he certainly stood out on convenience store surveillance video when he brashly stole $48.99 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars and shoved a much smaller store clerk out of the way who attempted to block his departure.  Minutes later, he and his partner in crime, friend Dorian Johnson, were found foolishly walking down the center line of a main thoroughfare when approached by Darren Wilson’s police cruiser.  Through his attorney-spokesman, Mr. Johnson claimed that Big Mike’s actions were a “prank” and that Officer Wilson attempted to grab his friend by the throat through the window of his police car.  The logistics of a presumably seated police officer reaching Big Mike’s neck through an open car window frankly defies me.  On the other hand, if the officer was standing, I still don’t understand the purpose of reaching for a suspect with a car door as a barrier.  Indeed, despite the boiler-plate facts of a shooting death of a black teen by a white cop, many aspects of this situation remain unclear.
What started out as store looting in Ferguson, MO has mutated into full-on civil unrest due to the young man’s tragic death.  To this violent hotspot basking in the soft glow of mass media cameras, the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson—who like Mr. Obama habitually ignore Chicago’s greater number of shooting fatalities which just this past weekend as an example amounted to 7 deaths and 29 injured—have made appearances.  Ironically, Mr. Brown’s parents have hired the attorneys that represented Trayvon Martin; another supposed victim of white prejudice by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, a man of mixed race.  As with the Trayvon Martin case, President Obama has weighed in “deepest condolences.”  Interestingly, he remains silent on the war zone that his hometown has become.  Indeed, why are the deaths of these particular two young men so much more important to the president than the deaths of scores of other young men who ‘look like him and could be his sons?’  As the first black president with vast powers at his disposal, why doesn’t he do something to stem the tide of gun violence in the black community?

The truth lies, I suspect, in a few political calculations.  Firstly, Chicago is run politically by the Democratic machine and to highlight the ongoing problems of inner community minority violence would be a grave political embarrassment.  Secondly, as the black vote is already statistically in the bag—and the vast majority of African Americans support the president no matter what he does or doesn’t do—he  doesn’t feel the need to be proactive in their interests by addressing deep-seeded cultural problems like the obscenely high dropout, unemployment or abortion rates.  Therefore, Michael Brown—the Trayvon Martin of today—serves as a political pawn to keep the populace divided against itself along racial lines.  This dynamic distracts from true societal problems like a corrupt, highly dysfunctional federal government that lies and spies against its citizens.  After all, it is said that a happy, prosperous nation votes Republican and an unhappy one votes Democrat.  In the final analysis, how racist could an America be who has elected a black man to the U.S. presidency twice?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Green sees green, I see red (White collar crime pays big)

Today, the aptly named Ephonia Green--for her ironic love of the 5.1 million greenbacks she stole from her non-profit employer--has every reason to smirk.  She embezzled and enjoyed a tax-free fortune that most of us will not earn in our lifetimes and for her eight years of avarice her dream team of attorneys got her the deal of the century: 46-months.  With good behavior she will be out in half the time.  This situation is even more amazing given her previous convictions for the same criminal behavior.  Indeed, Robin Hood and all his thieving merry men are green with envy: they could not have imagined such a scenario in their wildest imaginations.  What wouldn't be hard for Robin Hood to grasp is that it is easy to be charitable when being generous with other people's money.  Naturally, at some point the authorities will get around to seizing Ms. Green's ill-gotten assets, no doubt worth a fraction of what she stole.  Given Ms. Green's duplicitous nature, I would not be a bit surprised if there is a slush fund in the Cayman Islands just waiting to be liberated.  Indeed, I predict greener pastures in Ms. Green's future: palm trees, a tropical locale and ice cold Coronas.  At 44, life is long despite a short prison stint.  White color crime may cause the rest of us to see red, but it seems to pay off just fine when you've got the green as Ms. Green could tell you.   

Friday, July 18, 2014

Impeach the bystander president (after November's 2014 mid-term election)

While Malaysian Flight 17 still smoldered, downed by a surface-to-air missile likely fired by pro-Russian separatists incinerating 298 people, the president continued his scheduled fund raising and speechifying—in which he stated this ‘may be’ a terrible tragedy—without missing a beat.  This dynamic was eerily similar to his reaction the day after the Benghazi travesty in which four heroic Americans were slain futilely defending an overrun and under-secured American embassy.  The president was troubled not a smidgen by this, or other legitimate scandals such as the IRS targeting of conservative groups or NSA spying on rank and file Americans, which he termed ‘phony.’  He has usurped the legislating powers of Congress by the repeated administrative manipulation of the deadlines and requirements of Obamacare for his own political benefit.  Unlike the rest of us, this “Tiger Woods” president seems to exist on a fantasy island (or is that Martha’s Vineyard?) of publically demonized millionaires and billionaires unencumbered by Chinese and Russian aggression against their neighbors, terrorism’s spread in Syria and Iraq, war in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, nuclear enrichment in Iran and lest I forget the Katrina-like flood of illegal immigrants that have shredded our Southern border worse than the Constitution our Constitutional lawyer president consistently disregards.   When the secret service used the code name ‘Renegade’ for this president, they certainly got that one right.  Congress, do your duty: impeach Obama.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Naked Truth (Two Parts)

I think it is a universal truth that teenagers often make foolish or short-sighted decisions.  Certainly, creating child pornography of oneself and sending the video to another teen is ill-advised--and technically illegal--but unfortunately it not uncommon in this wired-in generation.  However, when Prince William County police take pictures of the boy's flaccid penis "as evidence" not only does it magnify the initial crime by creating further instances of child porn, but also such an act by the state is likely traumatizing to the minor.  As if this isn't heavy-handed enough, Prince William County prosecutors further want the teen to be forced to receive an injection so that his erect penis can also be photographed.  As a result, he has to flee the state to escape the warrant.  All of this is frankly Orwellian.  What happened to the boy's right to privacy or his right against self-incrimination?  It seems that Big Brother has supplanted Uncle Sam in America.
A 17 year old is legally and biologically a child.  When this Manassas youth foolishly sent explicit images of himself to his teenaged girlfriend while it is technically considered child pornography--and therefore illegal--it is a child's mistake and should be treated gently with a judge's stern warning and community service hours.  He should not have to submit to the invasive humiliation of police comparison photographs of his genitalia.  Indeed, he should not suffer an overzealous persecution by Prince William County prosecutors: their plan to medically-induce the boy's erection to gather "evidence" was finally abandoned only after public outrage.  Given the propensities of this technically-savvy generation, this situation is not likely to be in isolated incident.  The law needs to be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor for juveniles.  This is a simple case of hormones overwhelming common sense.  The boy's is understandable; police and prosecutors not so much.  

References: Explicit photos won't be used in 'sexting' case (Tom Jackman, Washington Post) &  Va. 'sexting' case reignites debate (Rachel Weiner, Washington Post)
 ‘Police to take graphic photos of teen as evidence’ & 'Police back off on plan to take explicit photo' (Matthew Barakat, The Washington Times)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lt. Governor Brown and the Clintons: Birds of a Feather

When sonny-boy with his driver’s permit totals the old, dependable family Honda any sensible parent doesn’t shrug his shoulders, soothingly pat the boy’s head, and minimize the mistake by handing over the car keys to the  new Lamborghini.  Former president Bill Clinton did just by praising current Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown during a million dollar fundraiser.   Maryland’s failed online health insurance website—so incompetently managed by gubernatorial candidate Brown that the state had to junk the whole system at a rumored cost north of 100 million hard earned taxpayer dollars—does not speak well of Mr. Brown’s track record when it comes to governance.  Naturally, what Mr. Clinton blithely terms a 100 million dollar “mistake” by Brown is small potatoes compared to his wife Hillary’s loss of 6 billion dollars during her lackluster turn as Secretary of State.  She, like Brown, also aspires to higher office.  I have no doubt that both Mr. Brown and Mrs. Clinton feel a sense of entitlement to higher and higher stations in life.  Indeed, it is always amazing to me when incompetence in public service gets promoted; it is a testament to America where anything is possible.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to give a cadre of middle aged arrested adolescences with no sense of responsibility keys to the kingdom.  It’s great to be a Democrat in 21st Century America.
Postscript: In addition to the favored Mr. Brown, who won the Democratic nomination, (no surprise) the colorful cast of Democratic contenders included lesbian (you-go-girl!) Heather Mizeur whose "big idea" included legalizing marijuana to tax the hell out of it in order to further fund social programs, and attorney general (enforcer of state laws) Doug Gansler who attended a house party in which underage teens were getting liquored up.  He refused to stop it as it was, according to him, "not his job." 

No doubt that Mrs. Brown was already picking out curtains for the governor's mansion as the Republican nominee was a nobody named Larry Hogan who has received so little press that he might as well be the invisible man.  However, in the biggest shocker of the 2014 campaign, the Republican won by 8 points!  This hasn't happened since Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. in 8 years.  Sanity has briefly reared its ugly head in Maryland politics. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Save Mickey!

Stop the presses!  Mickey Mouse’s endangered country cousin, the meadow jumping mouse, has been spotted in the rural areas of New Mexico.  Man the parapets!  Fence off the parched, predatory cattle chewing their cud.  Trust us you locals, we know better; we’re from the Federal Government and we’re here to help!  Perhaps if the cattle were legally designated as illegal aliens the Feds would leave them alone to enjoy their federally protected watering hole.  Welcome to 21st Century America.

Re: 'Feds rile ranchers by fencing off water to cattle; Forest Service says it's mouse habitat' (Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Brandeis President defends hypocritical ban of women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her “intolerance”

Part of Fred Lawrence’s letter dated April 27, 2014 verbatim: “I made the decision to withdraw the honorary degree invitation previously extended to Ayaan Hirsi Ali with great consideration after I was made aware of extremely troubling statements she has made in the past that I believe are contrary to the core values of Brandeis, among them religious tolerance. Ms. Hirsi Ali has had a distinguished career on issues of human rights--advocating against violence toward women, forced marriages, honor killings, and female genital mutilation. As you may know, I am a staunch advocate for free speech and if this had simply been an invitation to speak on campus this would have been a clear decision.  However, an honorary degree is fundamentally different in that it unreservedly endorses an individual.”

I have been greatly dismayed by some of the frankly questionable decisions Brandeis has made over the years.  One example is the long term employment of Anita Hill.  Though well qualified on paper, given her past actions and accusations, she remains a controversial political figure ill-suited to represent a University whose motto claims to value Truth and moral character.  Equally bizarre to me is the fact that Brandeis, America’s premier culturally Jewish university, would give honorary degrees that “unreservedly endorse” individuals who are apparently outspokenly anti-Semitic.  This latest wrinkle, the president’s withdrawal of a well-deserved honor to the heroic Ayaan Hirsi Ali in order to capitulate to Muslim fanaticism is both mystifying and completely inexcusable.  It is said that evil flourishes when good men stand by and do nothing.  The same holds true for a university that sticks its collective head in its ample nether regions.

Re: ‘Academic dishonor at Brandeis; Ayaan Hirsi Ali discovers the truth about a university’s ‘core values’’ (Clifford D. May, The Washington Times, Commentary section)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

‘For hairdresser, there’s no brushing aside art’ (John Kelly's Column, Washington Post)

Like stars in the heavens, it seems there is no end to the Washington Post’s insipid campaign of boot-licking pop culture puff pieces that wrong-headedly venerate the Obamas.  I’m not sure that an amateurish rendering by a professional hairdresser using real human hair (creepy!) and artificial eyelashes (tacky!) in a pose of prayer (idolatry!) is art, but in any case, it is not newsworthy.  How about a fact based column on how much the American taxpayers have paid to subsidize the Obama’s frequent vacation travel expenses on Air Force One?  Or, better yet, an exposé on the reality that the first black U.S. president has done nothing to address epidemic level problems in the black community such as black-on-black violence, poverty or an abortion rate at 50%?

My dream is to have a Post reporter who actually holds the Obamas accountable for their words and actions.  Their propaganda pieces such as this one fool no one.  It is as fake as painter White’s hair color and no amount of glossy nail polish will obscure the nakedness of their politically correct agenda.

Friday, February 28, 2014

‘The veto of Arizona’s religious freedom bill is only the beginning’ (Tammy Bruce, The Washington Times)

Demonstrating the wisdom of a modern day King Solomon must either be a great gift or a great burden.  As Ms. Bruce correctly predicted, my knee-jerk reaction was to join the faceless, nay-saying chorus.  Then I realized that she is right.  Christians acting out of religious conviction is valid and should be respected even when it is disagreed with.  Indeed, no one would force a Jewish organization to serve pork or a Muslim organization to produce images of Mohammad.  Politicizing the issue by using the mechanisms of progressive government or the force of law to mandate some artificial, one-size-fits-all, politically correct Orwellian Utopia won’t work.  That’s splitting the baby in half: nobody wins.  Therefore, when two sets of competing values with equal validity exist the marketplace should determine the results.  Simply put, if you don’t like the vendor take your business elsewhere.  Nobody is harmed and everyone’s needs are met.  No doubt King Solomon would approve.  But I suspect Ms. Bruce knew that already.

'For Debbie Dingell, a life primed for politics' (Ben Terris, Style, Washington Post)

Since when is a longtime trophy wife of a U.S. Congressmen entitled to his seat?  Just because he has held the seat for 58 years and she has conveniently been married to the old man for 33 years (nepotism), knows people/attends lots of midday cocktail parties (luncheons), takes 'serious looking' photo-ops and has worked for GM, a company with deep business ties to her family—no potential favoritism there—doesn’t make her objectively qualified to take over.  Good to know such obvious nepotism of the ruling Democratic elite is so blatantly celebrated by The Washington Post.  Her married name might be Dingell, but given her questionable track record she sounds more like a dingleberry to me.

Postscript: Democrat Debbie Dingell has won the 12th District House seat to succeed her husband, John, who is retiring as the longest-serving member of Congress (November 4, 2014)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Genderqueer at the Gym (Marion Cory, Outlook section, Washington Post)

While it is scientifically true that all human beings are biological amalgamations of testosterone and estrogen, gender is--and remains--a static principle unless one undergoes hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.  In truth, the gender of the partner one sleeps with only defines that person as much as he or she allows it to.    It is clear from Ms. Cory's article that the primary judgment she suffers from is self-imposed.  After all, would a truly confident person care about the accusatory looks or snickered whispers of the insensitive or ill-informed?  Would that same person politicize what amounts to be an internal character flaw by writing an editorial in The Washington Post subtly blaming society-at-large for some perceived slight?
Building the body is healthy and can indirectly aid self-esteem, but it doesn't take the place of a good therapist.  Ms. Cory should stop playing her version of Facebook's game of fifty-seven flavors of gender labels.  It may be more fun and diverting than hitting the gym or those dusty law books at Georgetown, but her effort is ultimately counterproductive because it sees this issue through a divisive prism.  Indeed, any observation with its roots in the politics of race, gender or class promotes alienation not understanding or acceptance.  That's what truly makes this a queer issue.

Monday, February 10, 2014

No concessions from Obama

- - Monday, February 10, 2014 

What the heck is Ben Wolfgang talking about?  Exactly what are Mr. Obama's "concessions" to Republicans?  This snake oil salesman--allegedly a Constitutional lawyer--has repeatedly violated his Presidential oath to "faithfully... preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution by cherry-picking law enforcement and ruling by executive fiat with a "magic" pen and phone.  Mr. Obama--likely the most radical and polarizing president in U.S. history--doesn't know the meaning of the word "compromise" and he certainly doesn't concede anything to Republicans.  Mr. Wolfgang's statement is, at best, misleading if not completely untrue.  Indeed, Mr. Wolfgang's journalistic duty is to hold government accountable not to provide cover for a corrupt administration.


Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Obama: 'A pen, a phone, a precedent' (Rationalizing an Imperialist American president)

As any informed grade school student could educate Ms. Marcus: Congress makes the laws, the President enforces the laws and the Court interprets the laws.  That, in a nutshell, is our governmental system.  Indeed, per the oath of office, the primary responsibility of the President is to “support and defend” the Constitution.  Not to perpetually rule by executive fiat (a.k.a. the pen and phone) cherry-picking the laws you like and disregarding or arbitrarily amending the laws you don’t agree with or are not politically convenient.  That is the purview of whimsical Kings and autocratic Dictators.  That, in practice, is “lawlessness” as any clear-thinking person knows.

Ms. Marcus' attempt to muddy the waters is feeble.  By suggesting that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—which freed the slaves and actually affirms the fundamental principle of the Constitution that “All men are created equal”— is the same thing as suspending certain deportations of non-US citizens (not “defending” the law) is profoundly Orwellian reasoning.  Likewise, that Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase (Is the State Department or diplomacy suddenly no longer a part of the executive branch?) and delaying, revising or rewriting—Ms. Marcus' words—Congressional edicts by the Obama Administration (a.k.a. “legislating” not “executing” the law) demonstrates willful ignorance and a dereliction of her journalistic duty.

Ms. Marcus is certainly doing her part to ensure that transparency and the rule of law are the touchstones of the Obama presidency.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog