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1  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Recent development most dangerous to U.S. nat'l security? on: Today at 03:11:48 pm
Option 2.  While Option 4 is quite bad, I don't see where a continuing outbreak would be able to occur in the US as we're not culturally wedded to burial practices that have contributed to the long-lasting nature of the West African outbreak.

That seems like a convenient scapegoat. While burial practices have certainly contributed to the spread of the disease, in late June/early June, it was reported that the World Health Organization identified three main causes of the epidemic. Cultural practices was one, but the other two were dense populations and cross-border trade. The US certainly has dense populations and a lot of cross-border movement.

Furthermore, some of the behavioral problems seen in West Africa today are not cultural but rational.

(a) people are afraid to seek out health from health workers. This is rational because health workers cannot cure or even substantially ameliorate the disease; going to a treatment center only increases the chances that you will be infected, whereas a person merely showing symptoms might not be infected at all. There is nothing culturally specific about this problem. This is the main behavioral problem, because the primary means of fighting ebola today is isolation and containment. Yet when people do not seek out health workers, they cannot be isolated and potential transmission chains cannot be tracked down.

(b) health workers themselves refusing to treat the sick. This is rational because of the high level of contagiousness of the disease. There are not enough biohazard level 4 labs around the world to send all the sick to these places.
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Recent development most dangerous to U.S. nat'l security? on: Today at 02:41:02 pm
Option 4, by far.
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: Today at 02:26:00 pm
A reminder of why ebola is treated as a biohazard level 4:

The head doctor fighting an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease

"It was not immediately clear how Khan had caught the virus. His colleagues told Reuters that he was always meticulous with protection, wearing overalls, mask, gloves and special footwear. Three days ago, three nurses working in the same Ebola treatment center alongside Khan died from the disease."

The high risk to health workers is one of the most insidious aspects of this disease.

Also...

"In a sign of the growing frustrations with the failure of region's governments to tackle the outbreak, a Liberian whose brother died from the disease set fire to the Health Ministry in protest on Wednesday."

Also...

* Dozens of nurses at a government hospital in eastern Sierra Leone town of Kenema went on an indefinite strike on Monday following the death of three of their colleagues on Sunday. They demand " "immediate relocation to an isolated area of the Ebola ward and its takeover by the French medical agency, MSF".

As we know, MSF is already stretched beyond its limits. This is the only hospital in the country with an ebola testing center.

* Dozens of laboratory technicians at Sierra Leone's only Ebola-testing facility went on strike last week over a $20 monthly risk premium which they were promised but never paid.

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/21/us-health-ebola-africa-idUSKBN0FQ0XO20140721

The problem is, you have to pay these health workers huge premiums to work under these conditions. And then the worse the outbreak gets, the more tourism and investment falls, the less able the society is to deal with the disease. So it's a vicious cycle of economic collapse, which makes dealing with the outbreak harder, which leads to further economic collapse.

* According to reports in local media, the doctor mentioned mentioned above, Dr. Khan, is one of two "prominent" doctors showing ebola-like symptoms.

* "a national broadcaster last evening reported that following the deaths of eight ( 8 ) nurses within one month, ostensibly from Ebola infection, the Kenema city Ebola Unit is now abandoned by nurses who accuse the Health Ministry of being “incapable” of protecting health workers."

http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_200525829.shtml
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Subsidies through Healthcare.gov may be illegal. on: July 22, 2014, 11:43:42 am
Absurd. A clear reading of the entire text of the law clearly indicates that sufficient subsidies were intended to be included for those below a certain income threshold so they can afford insurance, or else none of the rest would make sense. There is plenty of evidence for that in the 2009 and 2010, and earlier proposals for the individual mandate going back to the 1990s, as well as for the fiscal requirements of the law. Legal precedent requires the courts to make a determination on the basis of legislative intent and all permissible interpretations thereof, as well as to avoid absurd results. Striking down the subsidies would certainly make the rest of it absurd, as not enough people would sign up to support the new regulations. The court claims it can do this because absurd results were the effect in certain U.S. territories and an area of the law dealing with nursing homes, but those were marginal areas of the law where the evidence of Congressional intent was far more scant. The court claims that evidence of Congressional intent is scant in this case too, but that is because it is looking only for explicit claims; there are few explicit claims because the assumption that subsidies would be available for all exchanges was so deeply embedded and such an obvious assumption that it was not thought worth mentioning. The text of the law certainly supports this assumption, IMO.

The court is attempting to strike down the will of Congress and statutory authority in favor of rule by un-elected judges.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: July 21, 2014, 07:17:28 pm
Ebola reported in the Democratic Rep. of the Congo

Four Nurses have contracted ebola at hospital in north-central Liberia; the hospital had received a donation from Gus and Hope, a US-based Lutheran Church, as recently as March. In February, patients and nurses had abandoned the hospital due to ebola fears.

Precautions professionals take around ebola; which include full body suits that are burned afterwards (cost of $80 each), two fences six feet apart; a decontamination chamber from which nothing ever comes out except people.

Ebola is rated at a higher biohazard level than anthrax, HIV, SARS and tuberculosis. There are only a few labs around the world rated high enough biohazard level to deal with ebola.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

"In addition to BSL-3 considerations, BSL-4 laboratories have the following containment requirements:

Laboratory practices

Change clothing before entering.
Shower upon exiting.
Decontaminate all materials before exiting.
Safety equipment

All work with the microbe must be performed within an appropriate Class III BSC , or by wearing a full body, air-supplied, positive pressure A suit.
Facility construction

The laboratory is in a separate building or in an isolated and restricted zone of the building.
The laboratory has dedicated supply and exhaust air, as well as vacuum lines and decontamination systems."

http://www.cdc.gov/training/quicklearns/biosafety/
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Most characteristically Democratic state on: July 21, 2014, 07:05:47 pm
New York. The roots of the Tammany machine there go back to the 18th century. The Democratic party was founded there. In the 1860s, they rioted against Lincoln. It is the most urban of all states. It has always been an entry point for immigrants. It is the center of capitalism, which means the center of resentment against it (OWS). It was the testing ground for the New Deal. Franklin Roosevelt was from there. And so on.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: July 21, 2014, 10:24:23 am
The introduction of chikungunya (non-fatal, dengue fever like disease) into the western hemisphere is a bigger immediate concern.

While the symptoms of chikungunya may be similar to ebola for 1 or 2 weeks, ultimately it is not a fatal disease.

~

"The articles I read in the English-language press decry the absence of functioning healthcare infrastructures in the African nations hit by the Ebola virus. But I am not convinced that the United States would do much better. There are a great many things that western medical institutions and personnel do extraordinarily well. We have sophisticated surgical technology and an advanced pharmacopeia of medicines to treat hundreds of diseases. But the bulk of our medical resources go towards curing rather than prevention. What we do dedicate to prevention tends to be limited to proximate factors such as germs and personal behaviors such as smoking that make individuals sick. We also divert resources into campaigns for procedures such as mammograms which detect but do not prevent disease. We pay less attention to poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and, yes, globalization, as root causes of sickness.

...

We need to learn about public health emergencies around the world not only because they might become our emergencies, but also because those emergencies could be better contained and managed if we were to invest our expertise, our attention and our resources into community, national and international health preservation. For a fraction of the money that Western countries have poured into military campaigns in Africa, it would have been possible to support local governments in building functioning public health infrastructures. "

America’s shameful ebola ignorance: The troubling truth about our attitude toward the virus
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best Year of Each Decade on: July 20, 2014, 10:33:49 pm
1949, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1982, 1994, 2000
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Decades (conservative, moderate, or liberal) on: July 20, 2014, 04:52:02 pm
Obviously the 70s were far left by today's standards. I put right because the world shifted right by 1980 compared to 1970. Edit: just realized this was domestic politics. In that case, probably moderate. But on a global scale definitely right.
10  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi on: July 20, 2014, 01:20:01 am
I got the impression that the front page summarized the rest of the book well. "Capitalism is dead, etc. etc." Well 1943 was the nadir of capitalism, as it turned out.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Hillary Clinton on the Daily Show on: July 20, 2014, 01:06:33 am
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/extended-interviews/aw9j6p/hillary-clinton-extended-interview

She was great. Jon Stewart was great, too.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Vladimir Putin on: July 20, 2014, 12:49:12 am
The only good thing about him, as a fellow 5'5 guy is that how he exudes masculinity LOL pretty soon Napoleon complex will have to be Putin complex
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Decades (conservative, moderate, or liberal) on: July 19, 2014, 10:08:03 pm
1950s- right
1960s- left
1970s- right
1980s- right
1990s- right
2000s- right
2010s- too soon to say
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: July 19, 2014, 06:56:19 pm
Ha ha guys, keep laughing.

Meanwhile, last week a guy was left outside Liberia's largest hospital puking blood for half an hour while a crowd of onlookers gathered in because health workers were too panicked to figure out what do with him.

Quote
On Wednesday, right under the nose of the man spearheading the massive call for support to the fight against Ebola in Liberia, Assistant Health Minister for Curative Service, Tolbert Nyenswah, a suspected patient was kept lying in front of the Cholera unit now operating as the Ebola treatment center.

...

The arrival of the suspected patient quickly drew the attention of some residents of the 24th street community where the JFK Cholera Unit is situated as many rushed to take a glimpse at the patient who was lying squarely before the entrance of the unit vomiting with blood while awaiting heath workers to attend to him. The brother of the patient who preferred not to be named informed FrontPageAfrica on the scene that since two days, his sick brother has always complained of cold in his body and earlier Wednesday morning the situation became worse as his brother began vomiting profusely with blood and was weak to move around.

...

For perhaps failing to contact the Ebola hotline for an ambulance to pick up his sick brother from their West Point residence, for nearly thirty minutes, the suspected Ebola patient was seen lying abandoned by health workers while he vomited with blood at the entrance of the JFK Cholera unit.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407170961.html

The kicker is the guy took the taxi to the hospital, potentially leaving his bodily fluids all over it and infecting however is the next person to take that taxi. There was no mention in the article that the taxi was tracked down and de-fumigated. One can easily imagine a person taking a taxi to the airport and getting infected.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Obama on: July 18, 2014, 06:55:32 pm
Republicans tell me you're going to declare the United States a socialist country by executive order, so I was wondering when you'll get to doing that.

Well let me clear, I think we've got to look past pat ideological answers and turn to technocratic solutions. That's why I brought such esteemed gentlemen such as Tim Geithner and Larry Summers to turn our economy around during my first term.

Quote
Why won't you stop unnecessary deportations?

Well Thomas, let me explain. First of all, I feel deep sympathy for the children and the families of these children who are just trying to do what's best for them. And I've been gratified at the support I received from the Hispanic community throughout my career and we've been working closely with the Hispanic caucus. But make no mistake. We can't accept an unlimited number of children. That's why I've asked the Republicans in Congress to fix the problem, and the buck stops with them now.

Quote
How many thousand people has Obamacare killed so far? Which numerical target would you set to consider it a success?

Who let the Fox News reporter in the room?

Quote
Can you confirm that any conspiracy theories are actually true?

Well some of them are, yes.

Quote
Coke or Pepsi?

Coke.

Quote
Boxers or briefs?

I'm not going to answer that.

Quote
Spit or swallow?

...

Quote
Insert Quote

Were you born in Kenya,Niger, or Rwanda?

Are you a Muslim?

Why do you hate the free world?

Why is a filthy darkie like you in the WHITE house?

Why are you spying on hard-working, tax paying American citizens?

Mister Cheney, with all due respect, Mr. Holder and I have been quite lenient with you.
16  General Discussion / History / Re: Chat with The Mikado about cool history topics that interest you on: July 18, 2014, 03:05:27 pm
When and why did Charles de Gaulle change his mind about Algerian independence?
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Obama on: July 18, 2014, 01:06:51 pm
The year which he first actually supported gay marriage.

I'll have to defer to Joe Biden on that one. Joe?

Quote
Do you speak for him in an official capacity? I thought you were a Clinton person.

I don't know what you're talking about. Bill and I have an excellent relationship.

Quote
Does he want to get jiggy with it?

I - uhm. Well I did when I saw Mitt Romney talking about the 47 percent! And last year when Ted Cr--uhm-- well I was devastated, by, uhm, the shutdown of the government, I was so devastated I wanted to get jiggy.

Quote
1) If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, what penalty would you support for the offender?

Kitty has been dear to my heart since I first learned about her during the '88 campaign. Even though I was in Kenya at the time, and about to start law school, she was a great inspiration to me. A great, great inspiration. Heh-heh. You know, I meet with an awful lot of folks and they tell me, "we don't oppose all executions, we just oppose dumb executions." So that's what we'd try to do if -uhm- somehow this ended up being -uhm- the responsibility of the Federal government. You know, Michelle tells me all the time, rape is rape, and she's smarter than me. What's important is that we don't -uh- deny these rape victims access to birth control.

Quote
2) When you were debating Hillary Clinton in 2008, did you ever ask her "Just between you and me, who really hired Craig Livingstone?" during the commercial breaks, just to mess with her head?

Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh. No, no, Hillary -uhm- you know, those were some interesting times. Hillary was certainly a good sport. A lot of people were for her. I don't want to take that away from her. She was likable enough- and I certainly wish her the best in all her future endeavors.

Quote
Why do you hate America so much?

Well I didn't know I was going to be interviewed by Cliven Bundy. I was certainly proud of my country when I won the Iowa caucus, I'll tell you that.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Meetup 2014 on: July 17, 2014, 11:47:06 pm
Well I don't usually do things like this, but given this would be so close I'd consider it...
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Ask Obama on: July 17, 2014, 11:43:08 pm
Well, what do you want to know about the president's opinions? Ask away.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: July 17, 2014, 11:38:29 pm
Everything is going to be okay, dude. This isn't going to be like Contagion.

Well not the people who get it.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Ebola Thread on: July 17, 2014, 11:18:24 pm
WHO can't fully deal with Ebola outbreak, WHO warns

Quote
"The situation in West Africa should be a wake-up call to recognize that this weakening of this institution on which we all depend is not in anybody's interest," Scott Dowell, director of disease detection and emergency response at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a briefing in Washington. "In my view, there's no way that WHO can respond in a way that we need it to."

22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Single mom facing jail time in NJ for self-defense, honesty on: July 17, 2014, 05:33:18 pm
Misleading headline, there was no "self-defense" involved here. The mandatory minimum of 3 years is absurd crap, though. It should be a slap on the wrist as this obviously wasn't gun trafficking.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: July 17, 2014, 03:45:04 pm
Russia has shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet flying in Ukrainian airspace.

This is after shooting down a high altitude Ukrainian military transport plane last week.

They are openly engaging in acts of war now.
Before believing the Ukrainian government too much, it should be noted that they haven't proven very trustworthy in the past, for example going as far as claiming that the insurgents in Slavyansk shelled the town themselves to make the Ukrainian army look bad.

Why are you such a Russian hack? Do you work for Pravda or something?
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Malaysian Airlines 777 shot down over Ukraine, 295 people on board. on: July 17, 2014, 03:28:24 pm
The British government has called for a session of the UN Security Council over this.

That's kind of like calling a session of the police commission to investigate the police commissioner.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Malaysian Airlines 777 crashes in Ukraine on: July 17, 2014, 11:01:13 am
This is actually the second plane which has been shot down in Ukraine recently, after the Russians had reportedly destroyed a Ukrainian jet fighter yesterday evening. Maybe the Ukrainians decided to strengthen their air defences and got a little too nervous.

Which raises the question why civilian passenger planes are still allowed to fly in that area in the first place...

Well obviously it's the government's responsibility to warn the public if they're just going to start shooting down planes at random.
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