Michael Walsh identifies ten things Americans can learn from the Obama Administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis.
1) If a retread party hack like Klain is the best Obama can do, then the Democrat talent pool is incredibly shallow. Naturally, though, Obama wouldnâ€™t think of going outside it.
2) The President considers Ebola a political/messaging problem, not a medical problem. Klain is an an insider process guy, not an expert in the field.
3) The fact that we need a â€œCzarâ€ to cut across federal agency red-tape and make things happen expeditiously is an indictment of the federal agencies themselves, although no Democrat would ever dare to suggest such a thing. The choice signals that, as Ronald Reagan said, government itself is the problem, not the solution.
4) The reason they wonâ€™t dare is that the federal agencies â€” unelected hives of beetling bureaucrats, scurrying beneath the media surface â€” are the sources of their power. You donâ€™t alienate or fire your most ardent union voters and financial supporters.
5) This is a government devoted to process, not results. Its most deeply held belief â€” a by-product of its quasi-Marxist belief in the â€œlabor theory of valueâ€ â€” is that putting in hours and hitting â€œmetricsâ€ is the job itself, not whatever it ostensibly happens to be about; hey, even if you die, they get paid. In this sense, bureaucrats are similar to to the education majors who teach our children in the public schools, with no particular expertise in anything but theory. And the results speak for themselves.
6) With theory ascendant over common sense, the governmentâ€™s adamant refusal so far to ban travel to and from West Africa and its affected nations proves conclusively that Leftists are perfectly willing to have you die for their ideological beliefs.
7) The longer this goes on, the more the panic will spread â€” look what happened at the Pentagon earlier today, or on this cruise ship. If you havenâ€™t started to panic yet, then read this.
8) Regarding the open borders and open airports, a larger issue: why is the Left so adamantly opposed to the peopleâ€™s right to defend themselves? There is nothing â€œracistâ€ about closing the country to travelers from certain countries in west Africa â€” heck, the Africans have already done it themselves.
9) In twice electing Barack Obama president Americans made a choice: professional politicians over men of integrity. Symbolism over substance (hello, Nobel Peace Prize). Potential over accomplishment. Guilt over responsibility.
10) If the naked malevolence of the Leftist project for America isnâ€™t visible to you now, then youâ€™re beyond help.
Clarice Feldman strikes her lyre and proceeds to read an ancient scroll containing the record of a story that might sound strangely familiar.
The father of the Emperor was said to be a god from an ancient land across the sea who often imbibed too much mead and had many wives. Others whispered his real father was the pedophilic poet who lived on the other side of the island with his wife. These people said the Emperorâ€™s mother made up the story about the father god. In any event, the Emperor never lived with either man. The man from across the sea sailed away soon after his birth. …
The Emperorâ€™s education was also remarkably strange. True, he was sent to the islandâ€™s most expensive lyceum, but his free time was mostly spent with his grandfather and the island lowlifes. He smoked a lot of choom, the weed of strange dreams, and was educated to despise order and thrift, diligence and competence. Natural-born genius leaders of men have no need of such characteristics. His teachers and friends and family led him to believe that the people of his island were responsible for all the ills of the world, that want and disease were caused by the islandersâ€™ greed.
Vice President Joe Biden held up traffic around Los Angeles for a second day on Tuesday, but it was President Obama himself on the minds of many Southern California drivers as bumper stickers began appearing on area cars featuring the word Ebola with the Obama logo replacing the letter “o.”
The scathing stickers come on the eve of President Obama’s Thursday trip to LA for a fundraiser at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow and on the same day that the LATimes reports that it may be premature for Mr. Obama’s government to declare that the deadly Ebola virus is not transmitted by air.
Mark Steyn notes that when government gets too big, it completely loses its sense of priorities, devoting unlimited energy to enforcing petty regulations while totally failing to perform its legitimate functions in cases when it really matters.
Thomas Eric Duncan has the distinction of being America’s Patient Zero – the first but not the last person to develop Ebola symptoms in the United States.
Is he a US citizen? No, he’s Liberian.
Is he a resident of the United States? No, he landed at Washington’s Dulles Airport on September 20th, in order to visit his sister and having quit his job in Monrovia a few weeks earlier.
So he’s a single unemployed man with relatives in the US and no compelling reason to return to his native land. That alone is supposed to be cause for immigration scrutiny.
In addition, visitors from Liberia have the fifth highest “visa overstay rate” in the United States. That’s to say, they understand very clearly that all that matters is getting in. Once you’re in, they’ll never get you out.
And, of course, Liberia is one of the hottest spots of Ebola’s West African “hot zone”. It’s been all over the front pages, except apparently in The US Customs & Border Protection Staff Newsletter, where it rated a solitary “News In Brief” item at the foot of page 37.
Just to give you an example of how hard-assed the boneheads of America’s immigration bureaucracy can be when they want to:
The legendary Gord Sinclair, longtime news director of CJAD in Montreal, had a ski place near Jay in northern Vermont, and he invited his engineer on the show to come down and visit him. “What’s the purpose of your visit?” asked the agent at the small rural border post.
“Oh, just a relaxing weekend at my boss’ place,” said Gord’s colleague affably, and then chortled, “although I don’t know if it’ll be that relaxing. He’ll probably have me out in the yard chopping wood all day.”
So the immigration agent refused him entry on the grounds that he would be working illegally in the United States.
They all had a good laugh about that back on the air on Monday, but it took forever to straighten out. A single man with contacts in the United States: He says he’s coming for the weekend, but we all know any Montrealer would willingly trade a job at Quebec’s Number One anglo radio station for casual yard work in Vermont, right?
And yet the unemployed guy from an Ebola hot zone gets in.
Every day CBP agents pull stuff like that weekend-in-Vermont thing, screwing over perfectly obviously law-abiding persons – tourists, businessmen, legal residents and, indeed, citizens.
But the Ebola guy gets in.
What is the priority of America’s deranged border regime right now? As I wrote two months ago:
This weekend [Campbell Webster] was returning to New Hampshire from a competition in Canada, which is how a newspaper story comes to open with a sentence never before written in the history of the English language:
‘BAGPIPERS have expressed their fear over a new law which led to two US teenagers having their pipes seized by border control staff at the weekend.’
They can chisel that on the tombstone of the republic. On the northern border, bagpipers are “expressing their fear”, while on the southern border gangbangers have no fear and stroll through the express check-in.
As do Ebola-bearing Liberians at Dulles. US border security devotes more time and resources to Campbell Webster of Concord bringing in a bagpipe than to Thomas Duncan of Monrovia bringing in Ebola.
Karin McQuillan, at American Thinker, thinks Ebola can be lethal politically as well as epidemiologically.
The Democrat/Progressive Party may be signing their own death certificate in the 2014 elections with their mishandling of Ebola. One and half million people are quarantined in Sierra Leone. The first case has hit America. And all Obama has done is make a speech saying everything is fine here, but heâ€™s sending American troops into harmâ€™s way there. A ghastly virus that kills 50-100% of its victims and has no known treatment is something people notice. It is something women notice. Ebola is creating an epidemic of fear, for good reason. The Democrat ruling eliteâ€™s complacency, incompetence and leftist pieties are losing them the public trust.
Have you seen the photos from the TV Dallas/Fort Worth chopper of workers cleaning the Ebola victimâ€™s vomit from the sidewalk in front of his apartment building? The CDC has it under control — they ordered the vomit to be power washed. The area is not cordoned off, the workers have no protective clothing, and passers-by are tracking through the water in sandals. The blogger who posted them comments: â€œfrom the casualness of the guys doing the power-washing, it is unlikely that (1) they put any disinfectants in the power-washer or (2) they were even told what they were cleaning.â€
The decontamination of the sick manâ€™s apartment, including dirty sheets and towels, has not begun, even though his girlfriend, her son and two grown nephews are confined there. This is a nightmare for them. The CDC only learned from a CNN report that the sick manâ€™s sweat-soaked sheets were still on the bed. They had done nothing to help the quarantined people.
Trust the government to keep us safe? Tell that to Duncanâ€™s neighbors, the EMT workers now in quarantine, and the five men from the Sheriffâ€™s department, all allowed to enter the apartment without protective garb. They went there to serve the official quarantine papers â€“ also done a day late.
This liberal douchebag is my Yale classmate David Quammen. Quammen can write very well. Quammen can do a terrific job of research. He just can’t think straight. He can’t make sensible judgements because his head is stuffed full of stupidity.
Quammen is currently poised to make a potfull of money. He is a long-time Nature writer, and has recently made a personal specialty of publishing books on zoonotic diseases, diseases like rabies, Ebola, influenza, West Nile, which originate in wild animals and then are transmitted to humans. He’s got a new book, Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, coming out on October 20th, which could hardly be better timed to sell like hotcakes.
But, when you are deciding whether or not to buy David Quammen’s latest screed, first note the perspective that the author recently shared with NPR:
Human behavior is causing this problem. More and more, we’re going into wild, diverse ecosystems around the world, especially tropical forests.
Some scientists believe that each individual species of animal, plant, bacterium and fungus in these places carries at least one unique virus, maybe even 10 of them.
We, humans, go into those wild ecosystems. We cut down trees. We build mines, roads and villages. We kill the animals and eat them. Or we capture them and transport them around the world.
In doing that, we expose ourselves to all these viruses living around the world. That gives the viruses the opportunity to spill over into humans. Then in some cases, once the virus makes that first spillover, it discovers that it might be highly transmissible in humans. Then you might have an epidemic or a pandemic.
Dave Quammen is a typical 1960s Yale genius. You can’t isolate or quarantine Liberia during an epidemic of an extraordinarily dangerous, usually lethal, disease, no, no, no! It would never work and besides, it would be WRONG. But you can, tra-la! isolate the natural world generally, and especially all tropical wildernesses, from all human economic activity, residence, or new colonization. The latter is perfectly feasible. Right, Dave!
The Mirror is reporting that a female worker at an embassy in Lesotho became violently ill in the course of a flight from Johannisburg to Heathrow. She subsequently died, and her symptoms were described as reminiscent of Ebola.