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August 29, 2014, 05:01:02 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rand Paul: US interventionists abetted rise of ISIS on: August 28, 2014, 02:19:55 pm
Well, Rand Paul got what he wanted in 2013, and now we've got ISIS. I don't see how he can claim vindication when the path Obama followed was the path the isolationists wanted and not what Rob Ford and the interventionists wanted. They were in charge and here we are.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 27, 2014, 10:01:36 pm
"We have staff at the gate who do nothing but turn away people. This is not easy, because we don't know where they could go," said Karline Kleijer from MSF.

In West Africa, the Ebola epidemic is still spreading rapidly. To help patients MSF opened an emergency clinic last week in the Liberian capital Monrovia. After four days the clinic was full.

Currently there are about 200 patients in the clinic. According Kleijer that could have been more than 600 already if they had opened the doors. That can not be, because so many people infected with Ebola would be a danger to the employees of MSF.

Not administered
Because there are not enough emergency clinics and regular healthcare is not functioning most Ebola patients can not be administered. Therefore, the clinic expanded by another dozen beds. But even that is not enough. "We know that there are thousands of patients are walking in the street, infecting other people," says Kleijer.



Crematorium exhausted:

"Monrovia (AFP) - The crematorium in the Liberian capital Monrovia is struggling to deal with the dozens of Ebola victims whose bodies are being brought each day, the Red Cross said Thursday.
Fayah Tamba, the secretary-general of the Liberian division of the charity, said workers were having to return corpses to a hospital in the city after being told there was not the capacity to cremate all the victims.
She told a local radio station that she believes it may now be necessary for international organisations to take over responsibility for handling the crisis from the national authorities."



Ebola-infested bodies lying the street being consumed by dogs:

3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: August 27, 2014, 12:08:33 pm
NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine — Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Exhausted, filthy and dismayed, Ukrainian soldiers staggering out of Novoazovsk for safer territory said Tuesday that the forces coming from Russia had treated them like cannon fodder. As they spoke, tank shells whistled in from the east and exploded nearby.


When was the last time there was a territorial land grab in Europe from one state to another (as opposed to civil war within a pre-established state, e.g. Yugoslavia?)
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 27, 2014, 11:53:44 am
C.D.C. director Tom Frieden is touring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (his initial flight was cancelled because Senegal is no longer allowing Brussels Airlines flights to stop over in that country). Here are his comments:

He emphasized that the toll is "far larger than has been recorded, not because they are trying to hide anything but because they are really overwhelmed by these numbers." Beyond this, he said, the cases "are increasing at an extremely quick rate, and this is very alarming."

Because of the outbreak, Liberians who require other kinds of medical care have avoided seeking help. "Urgent health needs are definitely going unmet," Frieden said. "Hospital occupancy" is 10 percent. This means one of the urgent tasks ahead is to make sure treatment is available to patients who are not suffering from Ebola.

Ending the crisis hinges largely on improving infection control and burial practices, Frieden said. Until now, "cremation was not part of the burial culture here," he said, but people are increasingly accepting it.


The situation is not slowing in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The only realistic solution to this is going to be a massive public education campaign. Since there are not enough health workers to deal with treating the sick, and disposal of bodies is going to become a much more labor-demanding task as deaths pile up, only massive cooperation by the public is going to stop this epidemic. In countries that have not yet seen ebola yet are at risk, such as Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria, massive training through community leaders, church leaders, the media, schools and government must be undertaken to get the population to practice the correct behaviors.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 26, 2014, 10:22:12 pm
First good news for Africa in a while -- the situation in Nigeria seems to be stabilizing.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 25, 2014, 04:54:38 pm
True. Part of the reason the healthcare system was knocked down so easily is that it was so weak to begin with.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 24, 2014, 09:40:40 pm
The kid who was shot in the leg during the West Point riot last week has died. The kid had a totally treatable wound, he was on the front pages of the news all over the world. It's not like this was a massacre, only two or three people were shot. Most prominent was this teen, who had gone to the store to buy food and got caught in the crossfire coming home.

Apparently, the kids' family drove him to JFK hospital where he was refused admission; then they drove him from hospital to hospital all over Monrovia and not a single one admitted him. Finally he ended up at Redemption Hospital and bled to death. He needed an infusion of blood but there was no one in the whole city who could give him blood, so after 2 days he just bled to death, his wound totally untreated.

This is a guy who was on national news and his photo was splashed over every paper in the country. And he couldn't get someone to treat a simple wound for 2 days, and died. Health workers dressed in full ebola gear came to pick up his body and wouldn't let his family near him.

There are stories of pregnant women wandering from hospital to hospital in Monrovia and getting rejected, finally giving birth with no care and some of them died.

This is the new Liberia... NO health system AT ALL. You might as well be in the stone ages. On top of that, it is reported that there are thousands of HIV patients who are no longer getting their retrovirals because the clinic they were going to has stopped functioning.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Elizabeth Warren: I'm not "Ready for Warren" on: August 24, 2014, 12:46:48 pm
jfern, you're forgetting that Obama is a career politician with an incredible entitlement mentality.

Warren never ran for political office until she was 62 years old. You need an obsession for power to run for president, and Warren just doesn't have it. She cares about the issues, I'm not sure she cares for the daily rough and tumble of politics.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: U.S. Weighs Direct Military Action Against ISIS in Syria on: August 24, 2014, 02:00:59 am
No guys, Hillary wanted to support the real good guys on the ground, the moderate rebels. And yes, there were moderate rebels. Now we're left with supporting a guy who gasses kids. I hope you're proud of that, jfern.

People always say Islamist this, Islamist that, but Starwatcher is right, Assad's killed far more than ISIS. The latest estimates for the death toll of the Syrian civil war is 191,000. It all started when Assad ordered his police forces to open fire on peaceful demonstrations. Ironic, considering what the left is screaming about in Ferguson now, demonstrations over one guy who robbed a convenience store and physically assaulted a police officer. But in Syria they're on the other side.

It's always "but oh no the Islamists." But as I said last year, if you look at Middle Eastern history, it's the secularists who have killed the most:

2) The secular forces in the region often tend to be more violent. All the Ba'ath dictatorships were heavily anti democratic. The secular Turks kept using the military to fight the Islamists. The Afghanistan cluster was initiated by a communist coup then invasion. The seculars in Algeria suppressed the Islamic election victory bloodily. Gadhafi was a violent autocrat. Assad is hard steel. The Egyptian military is more violent than the Muslim brotherhood. All of pre 1977 Arab Israeli wars were started by left wing governments, whether from the Israeli or Arab side. Oh yes let's not forget the bloody Iran Iraq war started by Iraq. How many we're killed in that one?

The West always think secular = Western-style liberal democracy, but that's no so. The Middle East is a difference place, if you give people democracy, they will vote in one form of Islamist government or other. That's why "secularists" always end up supporting the military thugs with the guns. And that's why they'll continue to lose support in the Middle East, because that will not win any hearts and minds.

ISIS is not a threat for one reason: no one likes them. Not even the people who live under them like them. It's sort of like communism: they may retain power for a long time through the barrels of their guns, but if they are too oppressive, eventually the people will rise up and demand change.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 24, 2014, 01:51:14 am
It rolls on: Senegal, Ivory Coast, have shut their land borders and other states have shut sea links.

Food shortages are starting to develop, as ships required to bring in imported rice are reluctant to dock in disease-hit countries. Communal work arrangements have broken down, threatening the harvest.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 23, 2014, 04:32:00 pm
Most charities have shied away from creating specially dedicated pages for ebola fundraising, but UC San Francisco has a page where you can give directly to the response effort. For $50 you can provide personal protective gear for one health care provider. I've given $300 to the ebola effort thus far this year. (A wealthy donor has pledged to match all donations over $250).


Watch the video as well; MSF, WHO, and the Ministry of Health are not taking care of this.
12  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: "Having children is a human right that should not be denied by society." Really? on: August 22, 2014, 12:32:45 pm
Voted yes because having a reasonable number of children should be a right. What the PRC does is unconscionable.

But having children ad infinitum should not. At that point, the externalities to society become significant enough that some regulation should not be out of the question.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 22, 2014, 11:53:01 am
Heroic American Christian aid workers have been cured and released from Emory University.

Donald Trump's reaction.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 20, 2014, 11:02:57 pm
A visual of the situation (and keep in mind W.H.O. says these numbers are "vastly underestimated"):
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: CA-17: San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed endorses Ro Khanna for Congress on: August 20, 2014, 10:51:52 pm
It should be noted that "tech worker" and "tech CEO"/"tech industry" are not the same. Labor is labor, the bosses are bosses, regardless of which industry you are in:

"On May 4, 2011, a former software engineer at Lucasfilm filed a class action lawsuit charging Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar with violations of antitrust laws by conspiring to fix and restrict the pay of their employees and entering into "no solicitation" agreements with each other. Similar complaints were later filed by other employees"

That being said, it's just a matter of time before the industry (bosses) take over local politics. Honda is old, and Khanna or someone like him will replace him sooner or later.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If Kerry had won Ohio, would the world economy have crashed in 2008? on: August 20, 2014, 07:12:19 pm
Yes; by January 2005, the bubble was already in full swing; besides, Kerry was clueless as to what was wrong with the economy. If he had known, I'm sure he would have brought it up more forcefully. In 2004, the Democrats were still campaigning on the 2001 recession.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Howard Dean: I hope Hillary Clinton becomes president on: August 20, 2014, 06:30:42 pm
Hillary's problem is that her political instincts are genius-level good. She knows exactly what the right thing to do is, and then goes and does the precise opposite. Take for example her position on arming the Syrian rebels. While she more likely than not was correct, she should have seen it was a losing proposition politically.

Next I expect to see her with a new proposal to ban violent video games, strengthen the NSA, and declare war on Iran.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 20, 2014, 06:02:25 pm
The latest update from W.H.O. is not good. Guinea is accelerating again after a long dormancy. The international orgs are fully on top of this now yet they are stretched beyond their limit to respond. Any additional scale up would have to come from national governments, but at this point the costs are getting increasingly prohibitive. World leaders may have missed the chance to nip this thing in the bud. Obama is distracted.

Meanwhile, riots in West Point today; apparently the coast guard has also been called out to prevent people from boarding rafts. They're still going to have to get food in...
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 19, 2014, 09:06:23 pm
“All entertainment centers are to be closed; All video centers are to be closed at 6:00 PM.; Commencing Wednesday, August 20 there will be a curfew from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM,” she said in a nationwide address on Tuesday. The President said West Point in Monrovia and Dolo Town in Margibi is quarantined under full security watch meaning there will be no movements in and out of those areas.

Holy sh**t, imagine living there right now.

20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: August 19, 2014, 08:34:29 pm
The international community has made "almost zero" response to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, with western leaders more interested in protecting their own countries than helping contain the crisis that has now claimed more than 1,200 lives, a senior international aid worker said on Tuesday.

Brice de la Vigne, the operations director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said politicians in industrialised countries urgently needed to take action, or risk the outbreak spreading much further. "Globally, the response of the international community is almost zero," he told the Guardian. "Leaders in the west are talking about their own safety and doing things like closing airlines – and not helping anyone else."

21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 18, 2014, 05:07:23 pm
I thought they were gonna say he had PCP or something.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Some GOP evangelicals feel left out, without a standard-bearer on: August 18, 2014, 04:56:14 pm
As much as I would love to see national humiliation for Ted Cruz, him coming within 20 points of the presidency is still enough to wake me screaming in the middle of the night.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Ted Cruz is not actually that dumb. He just plays a dumb for the Tea Party... if he were actually in the WH I don't think he would be as crazy as his public persona suggests.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Amanda Curtis? on: August 17, 2014, 11:23:51 pm
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 17, 2014, 11:21:16 pm
I assume there's a toxicology report in the works.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Where We Come From, State By State on: August 17, 2014, 11:10:53 pm
I see D.C. has never been majority native.
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