Common Sense!

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Experts: Quarantines may dissuade Ebola volunteers

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Stricter quarantines for dealing with potential Ebola cases in the U.S. could discourage health workers from volunteering in the impacted West African countries, thereby making the outbreak harder to contain, experts say.

New York, New Jersey and Illinois announced mandatory 21-day quarantines for those arriving back in the United States after having direct contact with Ebola-infected individuals in West Africa. The outbreak — the largest in history — has left more than 10,000 people infected and nearly 5,000 dead, the World Health Organization announced Saturday.

“It may be politically the obvious thing to do but it may well be counterproductive,” said Stephen Morse, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University. “If people are forced to quarantine for three weeks that means most of them will not be able to do any sort of work and that means essentially lost income.”

The new mandates are also worrisome since people in the general public, if included in mandatory quarantines, may be less likely to come forward if they have symptoms because such measures will increase the stigma surrounding the virus, Morse added.

“We need to rethink this with science and reason,” said Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, located in New York City’s Upper East Side. “It’s going to discourage health care workers from going out to the source, which is where we need to be.”

A health care worker — who treated Ebola patients in West Africa and is being quarantined at University Hospital in Newark, N.J. — tested negative for Ebola on Saturday, health officials said. The nurse revealed her identity as Kaci Hickox in a first-person story published Saturday by The Dallas Morning News, where she criticizes the treatment she received when she arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday.

“I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa,” Hickox writes. “I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine.”

In announcing the new quarantine mandates, New York and New Jersey said they will work to establish an interview and screening process to determine a person’s risk level by considering where they traveled and their level of exposure to the virus.

“Depending on the risk level, a person could require mandatory 21-day quarantine, or at a government-regulated facility,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Low-risk would be regularly monitored for temperature and symptoms. Others will have a protocol developed to fit their particular circumstances.”

New York’s first Ebola patient is Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old emergency physician being treated in an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital Center after he tested positive for virus Thursday. He recently returned from Guinea where he volunteered for international health care group Doctors without Borders.

Saturday night, New York health officials said Spencer had entered the “next phase of his illness, as anticipated with the appearance of gastrointestinal symptoms.” He is said to be awake and communicating.

Spencer’s treatment includes required supportive therapy as well as antiviral therapy which has been used at Emory University Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“Our region is a dense region,” Cuomo said. “A ride on a train can affect hundreds of people. Several weeks of normal activity can affect several thousand individuals.”

While there have been no confirmed Ebola cases in Illinois, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he was enacting the measure because quarantines are “too important” to be voluntary.

“We must take every step necessary to ensure the people of Illinois are protected from potential exposure to the Ebola virus,” he said.

Morse said he expects other states will enact similar rules, adding the federal government might also get on board to take action as fear of the virus spreads.

“They will be under pressure to be seen as trying to ‘protect the public,'” Morse said of federal officials.

Still, the measures could provide peace of mind to a wary public, said Albert Wu, a professor of health policy and management and an attending physician at Johns Hopkins University.

“I suspect that this mandatory quarantine wouldn’t add very much except for providing reassurance for people panicked by the idea,” he said.

So far, 10,141 people in Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States have been infected by the disease, according to the World Health Organization. The group said 4,922 people have died from it.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Glatter said. “There are many cases to come.”

Contributing: Raecine Williams

From the blogmeister- How about, this is the most responsible thing that I’ve seen two politicians do in years! If the volunteers cannot observe a common sense quarantine the I could care less if they are motivated to go on those missions! PC idiots need to get their heads out of their assess and quit miring common sense in politics and feel-good bullshit rhetoric! These “Experts” need a good kick in the ass and for the free thinkers to take EVERYTHING that these people say with great skepticism.  

From Followthemoney.org

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Names in the News: Michigan’s DeVos Family

The DeVos family of Michigan—Republican stalwarts who have given large contributions to socially conservative ballot measure committees—didn’t hesitate to take advantage of Michigan’s new campaign finance law.1 2 The law, which doubled contribution limits, had a little-noticed quirk in timing that the DeVos family used to contribute more than $700,000 to the state’s Republican house and senate campaign committees during the course of two days.3 4

Though substantial, the $700,000 was a drop in the family’s bucket. Members of the Devos family—Richard Sr. and Helen, their sons Daniel, Douglas, and Dick, along with the sons’ spouses, Pamella, Maria, and Betsy, and grandson Richard III—have contributed $45.6 million to state campaigns since 2000. The fortune for such prolific giving stems from Richard DeVos Sr.’s role in co-founding Amway, the direct sales corporation. The family has since widened its holdings to include a variety of businesses, including an NBA franchise.

The recent spate of giving is striking for not only the size of the contributions, but because the DeVos family has not previously focused on giving to state legislative campaign committees. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics data since 2000, members of the DeVos family had given $464,394 to house and senate Republican campaign committees up until the new law took effect—meaning that in just two days the family far exceeded its previous lifetime contributions to Michigan Republican legislative campaign committees.

Previously, the DeVos family had contributed primarily to state political parties. Family members donated $5 million to the Michigan Republican Party (which Betsy DeVos chaired from 1996 until 2000), $3.7 million of which came from Richard DeVos, Sr. The family also contributed $1.1 million to the Republican Party of Florida.

TABLE 1: DeVos Family Giving to Michigan Party Committees 2000–2012
Committee Total
Michigan Republican Party $4,937,500
Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee $267,394
Michigan Senate Republican Campaign Committee $191,500
TOTAL $5,396,394

Most of Dick DeVos’ giving occurred in 2006, when he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Michigan. Of the DeVos family’s $45.6 million in giving since 2000, $35.4 million came in the form of self funding by Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy DeVos, who donated $130,596 to his campaign. Other members of the family combined to contribute $21,935 to his gubernatorial campaign.5

TABLE 2: DeVos Family Contributions Totaling More Than $50,000 to Ballot Measures, 2000-2012
State Year Committee Amount
MI 2004 Citizens for the Protection of Marriage $50,000
FL 2006 Florida4Marriage.org $100,000
MI 2008 Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science & Experimentation $275,000
MI 2008 Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids $60,000
FL 2010 Protect Your Vote $100,000
MI 2012 Protecting Michigan Taxpayers $1,750,000

The DeVos family has also contributed generously to ballot measure campaigns in Michigan and Florida. Richard Sr., and Douglas and Maria DeVos, gave a total of $50,000 to support Michigan’s 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In 2008, Richard DeVos6 gave $100,000 to a similar measure in Florida, while other members of the DeVos family contributed $60,000 to fight the legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan, and $275,000 to fight an attempt to legalize stem cell research in Michigan. In 2010, Richard Sr. and Helen each gave $50,000 to opposeefforts to reform redistricting in Florida. Members of the DeVos family combined to contribute $1.8 million to oppose a 2012 Michigan constitutional amendment that would have guaranteed a right to collective bargaining.

-Just a small tidbit to inform people where a great deal of the DeVos family’s money goes; into hate speech, insuring inequality, bigotry and keeping the working person in line. 

True Freedom

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Hello friends, 

I guess that I am getting used to the ‘out of the closet skeptic/atheist’ thing in that I’m being forced to put on my Skepo-vision goggles more often. I still do tend to knee jerk on some things and am trying harder to catch myself when it occurs so bear with me. I was pondering the subject of freedom the other day and came to a conclusion about most of the rhetoric coming from the media about it today. Most liberals hail Edward Snowden as a hero for exposing what he called invasions of public privacy and want him to be fully pardoned. Conservatives want him shot for treason and used as an example of what happens to people who ‘betray U.S interest.’  

I say that freedom is a double edged sword that can cut unclear both ways. People had true freedom in the early 1800’s in that they could strike out on their own, stake a land claim and die of disease, get attacked and slaughtered by the natives or starve to death. In some instances things worked out very well for these people, and as it did, they expanded Government to take on more of humanity’s problems. Branches of Gov. on food inspection, disease, healthcare, etc. started popping up and problems got solved, but as usual, Gov. always oversteps bounds because it is controlled by the greedy and dishonest life form Homo Sapiens. Now we find ourselves watched by cameras on every building and street corner, drones are starting to pop up in the civilian circle and spy equipment has become so sophisticated that it can be used to see through solid walls.

Today we are living in a world that is the natural outcome of the installation of central Government. We cry about violations of our freedom, yet like thought police we tattle on co-workers who talk of non-politically correct things. We curse the police for not coming sooner but decry the use of drones to identify criminal perpetrators. We want to be free of cameras but get pissed when mugged for our paychecks at an ATM. There are many more. Humans do nothing in moderation and usually take the path of least resistance, meaning that we want our freedoms but we will also allow Big Brother access to certain private matters KNOWING that if given them, BB will abuse the people’s trust almost every time! Freedom has it’s trade offs. If you want certain safety, then you have to roll the dice and hope that these safeguards won’t be used for invading your privacy. The human thing to do is to use these safeguards for selfish reasons, so there are your consequences for a central Government. If done away with, the country goes back to robber barons and chaos with people dying at an average age of 40-50. This is actual freedom; really not what you thought of when defining the word, huh? Excuse the simplistic view and analysis, but I was looking for a generic explanation to convey a complex thought. Peace! 

 

Pat Robertson….

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I think that we all can agree that Pat Robertson and all of the idiot Sky Fairy believers are a bunch of out-of-touch assholes who give the most bullshit irrelevant advice based on their Book of Lies. From now on, if you see Sky Fairy and Book of Lies I am referring to god and the kabible! I am taking the liberty to photoshop a huge ebony penis and a gay pride T-shirt on to a photo of Pat Robertson! Since he talks about gays all the time I assume that he is a frustrated closeted homosexual and in need of my help. I am also submitting his name to Rentboy.com in the hopes that he will meet a man that can truly satisfy him! Pat’s misunderstood and needs our love and cast-off sex toys! Please take time to let him realize his true sexuality and let him live his inner freak! I will excuse myself now to put on the punk rock music, put on my makeup and dance with my dick tucked between my legs! It puts the lotion in the fucking basket!

The book of whatever!

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I begin the book of whatever with the continued understanding that all of the supposed historical claims of the bible are still entirely false. No archeologist, paleontologist, whateverontologist has EVER been able to give credence to the fable that is the testament of the one true god! As the research goes on the bible fades further and further into the realm of fairy tale nonsense, freeing it’s followers to embrace a more ridiculous claim or to come to their senses. The sensible claim of course is to listen to provable science and expell the insane explanation in it’s favor.

I see today, a Romney ticket devoted to the perverse supposition that an old man in the sky sees us 24/7. The worst of it is that the christians had decried this idiot’s Mormon beliefs only 10 short years ago. Now that he is the strongest candidate the christians are willing to basically start in motion their own book of Revalation by voting for the ‘Apostate from Hell.” Mormonism is an affront to christianity as described by the christians themselves but now that the only choice is the black dude or the Mormon they will vote for the ‘demon.’ Love you guys! You are all deluded into thinking that your god is alive and you waste countless hours going to church to learn useless baseless crap! None of the religions practiced today have a shred of trackable, provable, historical proof as to their validity and would do best with being outlawed as damaging to the psyche.

Personally, I believe that Obomney cannot help any of us and should be abandoned, but one of these crooks has to be elected. Chose the one to give away more tax dollars to the ‘poor’ or the one who gives us away to the billionaires! They are both crooks! Fuck the generational poor AND fuck the billionaires! Fuck Obama AND fuck Romney! On one end you get the ‘one true gawd’ and on the other you get bigger gubment! No win sitch! I will have a dozen beers on it and call y’all later! I am pissed and confused!