View 844 Wednesday, October 01, 2014
“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009
The Ebola Scare continues. Stock Market rattled.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/first-ebola-case-is-diagnosed-in-the-u-s-cdc-reports.html <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/first-ebola-case-is-diagnosed-in-the-u-s-cdc-reports.html <–the hospital gave him drugs for his symptoms and sent him home 2 days before admitting him>
<–the hospital ER gave him drugs for his symptoms and sent him home 2 days before admitting him; 12-18 people are believed to have come in contact during this time
<–5 school-aged children may have been exposed to the patient during the 2 days between the first patient’s ER visits, attended school (but are not presenting symptoms)
<–district schools identified: 2 elementary, 1 middle, 1 high; original patient is not a USA citizen
<–ER triage nurse asked for, was given, his travel history, recorded it; information failed to get to the rest of the ER team
<–began presenting symptoms 2 days before his first ER visit; this means he was exposing people for 4 days before being admitted & quarantined; Dallas Co. Health Dept. denying a second patient is being monitored
Also if you do the arithmetic for death rates in Liberia from the graphic in that UK article, it is quite possible that the strain presenting in Liberia is the stronger strain: the known death rate in Liberia is just over 86%. The weaker strain has a 60% death rate, whereas the stronger strain has a 90% death rate. However, Sierra Leone and Nigeria are indicative of how proper care can change that, because they both have death rates between 30-40%.
<– original case upgraded to "serious (but stable);" where are his contacts?
<–second possible case
And this, folks, is how a pandemic can get started.
Interstellar Woman of Mystery
Am I mistaken or were we not reassured by our President that the US is ready to deal with Ebola in the United States, and that our system is prepared? Apparently the market is not as certain as he was.
A Sharp Drop for the Markets Amid Ebola Concerns
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSOCT. 1, 2014
United States stocks sank Wednesday, and the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points on disappointing economic news and a slide in airlines stocks over Ebola fears.
Investors moved money into the traditional havens in times of uncertainty: bonds, gold and stocks that pay large dividends, such as utilities.
But be of good cheer:
Wall St. bullish on Ebola cure
The first confirmed Ebola case in the U.S. is fanning fears around the country, but it’s also driving greed in some corners of the stock market.
Just look at the soaring stock price of drug companies scrambling to come up with a cure for the disease, which has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) surged 19% on Wednesday, leaving it up a whopping 180% since mid-July. Investors are betting the Vancouver-based company has a leg up on competitors because last month the FDA gave it a green light to provide its experimental TKM-Ebola drug to test subjects with "confirmed or suspected Ebola virus infections."
Richard Sacra, the American missionary infected with Ebola in Liberia, was given the drug last month before being released from a hospital in Nebraska.
Be of good cheer, we do not have domestic terrorism.
Oklahoma beheading suspect charged with murder, could face the death penalty
By Mark Berman
The man accused of beheading a co-worker in Oklahoma was charged with murder and assault Tuesday. Still, despite the horrific nature of the crime — which has drawn considerable attention and echoes recent beheadings in Syria — it appears that the attack was based on revenge for being suspended from work rather than any sort of religious motivation, a prosecutor said.
Major Nidal Malik Hasan shouted ‘Allahu Akbar!’ as he shot down unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood, but this has been ruled mere workplace violence by the Obama Administration, thus saving the taxpayers the monies that would have to be paid to victims and their families if this had been caused in some way by the War on Terrorism, which is both declared and non-existent depending on who is to pay for it.
The war on terror justifies bombing ISIS held towns in Iraq and Syria, but it is not really war, and murder of Americans in America, even though meant to be an act of jihad, is only workplace violence. Then there is the Boston Marathon bombing:
US Treasury Has Not Determined Boston Marathon Bombings Were ‘Act of Terrorism’
By Eric Levenson
Correction: This story initially said that indicated the US Treasury had ruled that the Boston Marathon bombings were not an act of terrorism under the federal statute. That is incorrect. As the Treasury spokesperson says, the Treasury has not determined that there has been an “act of terrorism” under the statute. The story also incorrectly said the state had issued $1.9 million in bomb-related insurance claims. It was the state’s largest property and casualty insurers that issued the claims, not the state itself.
The Boston Marathon bombing attacks have not been certified as an “act of terrorism” by the US Treasury, an important point holding up some insurance payments.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which created federally-backed insurance in cases of damage due to terrorism. Some Boston businesses were among those that bought the insurance.
Those purchases became relevant after the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013. Of the 160 companies located near the marathon’s finish line that submitted insurance claims, just 14 percent had purchased terrorism insurance, Insurance Journal reported.
But as of March 2014, many of those that held terrorism insurance had their claims denied. Why? The Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew has not certified the attacks as an act of terrorism for these insurance purposes, a requirement under the wording of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).
“The Secretary has not determined that there has been an ‘act of terrorism’ under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act,” a Treasury spokesperson emailed on Thursday.
That is the latest news I can find on the US ruling regarding terrorism in Boston.
It is a strange war. But if we count the Boston Marathon bombings as acts of terrorism (and thus, at least by inference, an act of war since we are in a war on terrorism), then must we not also account our bombings of inhabited areas in ISIS areas, and our lethal drone attacks in various parts of the world, ‘acts of terrorism’? Or are they acts of war?
I refer you to previous essays on the Principle of the Objective. If you do not know what it is you are trying to accomplish, it often complicates understanding what you are doing.
American Foreign Policy
RE: Ebola Arrives in Dallas. Policy and the Principle of the Objective – Chaos Manor – Jerry Pournelle <https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/ebola-arrives-in-dallas-policy-and-the-principle-of-the-objective/>
I wish for a consistent American foreign policy. I have wished for such since the Johnson administration. Excepting the Ford and Reagan administrations, I have not seen it.
In my experience, American foreign policy — especially so in the Obama administration — consists of rolling the dice to determine whom we bomb this week. I exaggerate, but not much.
To the extent of supporting American interests in the region, I can see arguments for arming the Kurds. I can see arguments for arming the Sunnis. In context, I see no defensible arguments for arming the Shiites. Nor do I see any reasonable arguments for continuing to support a unified state called Iraq.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I fail to see that bombing anybody in Syria will improve our standing in the Middle East. It sure as hell did not in Libya. Our interests in North Africa were better served by a stable Libyan gov’t with a dictator who knew the limits of his actions at the helm than with the screaming mobs that replaced him.
You brought up one point I want to look at: "ask the people of Detroit if they would prefer democracy or a government that delivered the mail, generated electricity, paved the roads, and organized a working Fire Department."
That’s it, isn’t it? That’s how we slide from Democracy to Empire. Democracy brings disorder to gov’t, and one day the People trade Freedom for Order.
As it was, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Live long and prosper
h lynn keith
Per omnia saecula saecorurum. A Republic, if you can keep it, Franklin said.
1530 Wednesday, 1 October 2014
U.S. Patient Aided Pregnant Liberian, Then Took Ill
Liberian Officials Identify Ebola Victim in Texas as Thomas Eric Duncan
MONROVIA, Liberia — A man who flew to Dallas and was later found to have the Ebola virus was identified by senior Liberian government officials on Wednesday as Thomas Eric Duncan, a resident of Monrovia in his mid-40s.
Mr. Duncan, the first person to develop symptoms outside Africa during the current epidemic, had direct contact with a woman stricken by Ebola on Sept. 15, just four days before he left Liberia for the United States, the woman’s parents and Mr. Duncan’s neighbors said.
In a pattern often seen here in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, the family of the woman, Marthalene Williams, 19, took her by taxi to a hospital with Mr. Duncan’s help on Sept. 15 after failing to get an ambulance, said her parents, Emmanuel and Amie Williams. She was convulsing and seven months pregnant, they said.
Turned away from a hospital for lack of space in its Ebola treatment ward, the family said it took Ms. Williams back home in the evening, and that she died hours later, around 3 a.m.
Mr. Duncan, who was a family friend and also a tenant in a house owned by the Williams family, rode in the taxi in the front passenger seat while Ms. Williams, her father and her brother, Sonny Boy, shared the back seat, her parents said. Mr. Duncan then helped carry Ms. Williams, who was no longer able to walk, back to the family home that evening, neighbors said. [Mr. Duncan later helped carry Marthalene Williams into the house, where she died a few hours later.]
* * *
Health officials in Dallas said Wednesday that they believed Mr. Duncan came in contact with at least 12 to 18 people when he was experiencing symptoms. So far, none has been confirmed infected.
The five children, who possibly had contact with Mr. Duncan at a home over the weekend, attended four different schools, which authorities said would remain open. As a precaution, they said all the schools — including one high school, one middle school, and two elementary schools — would undergo a thorough cleaning.
“This case is serious,” Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said at a news conference. “This is all hands on deck.”
Health officials on Wednesday continued to track down other people who might have been exposed to Mr. Duncan after he began showing symptoms, on Sept. 24, and will monitor them every day for 21 days — the full incubation period of the disease. Most people develop symptoms within eight to 10 days. As a patient becomes sicker and the virus replicates in the body, the likelihood of the disease spreading grows.
All of those who took part in the taxi ride in Liberia have since died of Ebola, with the single exception of Mr. Duncan, who is reported to be in critical but stable condition. Mr. Duncan would have taken at least two airplane flights to reach Dallas. It is said that he would not have been contagious at the time of the flights.
The Dallas hospital which treated Mr. Duncan but then released him with antibiotics has now found the information sheet in which he told the clerk that he was from Liberia; apparently that information was never given to the attending physicians.
Ebola patient says he flew on United, airline says
The Ebola patient being treated in Texas told authorities he flew part of his trip on United Airlines, a spokesperson for the airline said, citing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The airline believes the patient flew from Brussels to Washington Dulles and then from Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth on September 20, the spokesperson said.
"The director of the CDC has stated there is ‘zero risk of transmission’ on any flight on which the patient flew because he was not symptomatic until several days after his trip and could not have been contagious on the dates he traveled," the spokesperson said.
The Texas hospital treating the Ebola patient says there was no reason to admit him when he first came to the hospital last Thursday night.
"At that time, the patient presented with low-grade fever and abdominal pain. His condition did not warrant admission. He also was not exhibiting symptoms specific to Ebola," Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a statement Wednesday. "The patient returned via ambulance on Sunday, September 28, at which time EMS had already identified potential need for isolation. The hospital followed all suggested CDC protocols at that time. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas’ staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols."
The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, is a Liberian National who is 42 years old, according to a friend who knows the patient well. This is Duncan’s first trip to the United States, where he was visiting family and friends.
It is interesting that Mr. Duncan decided to fly to the United States following his exposure to two people who were dying of Ebola, but before he developed symptoms. One assumed that he went to the Dallas hospital the first time because he feared Ebola, but apparently was reassured by the ER that he didn’t have it. He later developed it, and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and exposed the ambulance crew to his vomit while on the ride.
If the US escapes this without further infections we should declare a national day of thanksgiving.
Dallas equipped to handle epidemic?
I’m watching PBS Newshour while reading your column. On screen, a Texas official has just stated that Dallas is equipped to stop the spread of Ebola?
Until recently, I’d lived in the Dallas area for most of the last 10 years. Apparently the official was not as familiar with West Nile virus as I have become. In my opinion, West Nile has been the 21st century’s own little secret epidemic in many of the Southern U.S. cities like Dallas with a) a high population of foreign arrivals and transients, and b) a lot of mosquitos. Without a long mandatory quarantine for recent arrivals, for which Dallas is certainly not equipped, I don’t understand what this person is talking about. I’m sure there is not any "screening" of recent arrivals for fever as there apparently is for passengers leaving Liberia (seemingly ineffective), and Mr. Duncan has identified himself as being ill — possibly an uncommon occurrence. It would probably not be possible for a U.S. official to trace all the international arrivals from the last two weeks, even just those arriving in Dallas.
Most surprising for me is that it has taken this long for a possible vector to come to light: my money would be on the side of the bet that this poor fellow is neither the first nor the last victim. While I’m sure that Dallas has only by chance been the first city "hit," I’m pretty much glad that I’m not living there any more.
It hasn’t been that long ago that countries did quarantine people and animals traveling internationally, or required pre-screening and certifications by physicians prior to travel. If we were really "equipped" to handle this disease, we’d have started these kind of measures last week — and we still would have missed Mr. Duncan.
http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/10/01/thompson-dallas-county-ebola-patient-cases/16524303/ <–director of Dallas Co. Health Dept. finally admits that, "Due to close contact with the diagnosed patient, a second person is under the close monitoring of health officials as a possible second patient…"
Perhaps it will end here. This time. Perhaps. But we have a “second person” and we know about the crew of the ambulance; and all the people in the house of his sister. And I simply do not believe that he was unaware of being exposed to Ebola when he went to the ER the first time and was released with antibiotics. There is more to that story, but I have been unable to guess what it is. When we send 3000 troops to Liberia, how many times will this story be repeated?
Who is the objective?
September 27, 2014 4:00 AM
The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist
It’s a fictitious name the Obama administration invented to deceive us.
We’re being had. Again.
For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.
Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.
Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.
There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.
You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the Iranian–Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.
The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.