Alarm after vomiting passenger dies on flight from Nigeria to JFK | New York Post

A plane from Nigeria landed at JFK Airport Thursday with a male passenger aboard who had died during the flight after a fit of vomiting — and CDC officials conducted a “cursory” exam before announcing there was no Ebola and turning the corpse over to Port Authority cops to remove, Rep. Peter King said on Thursday.

via New York Post.

Just how much dishonesty is going on here?

We are told that it would be “counterproductive” to ban flights from infected areas into the US.

We are told that it is not airborne, even though it apparently is: http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/121115/srep00811/full/srep00811.html

This is crazy.

 

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“What Was the Point of Obamacare?”

Last week, the Washington Post delivered a bombshell report: “Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month.” Instead, the overwhelming majority of those who are enrolling in insurance plans on the ObamaCare exchanges already had insurance.

The lie of the year for 2013 was President Obama’s promise that, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” The lie of the year for 2014 is going to be the claim that ObamaCare would insure the uninsured.

ObamaCare has failed to attract those who lack health insurance, seemingly because they have decided that the premiums are too high for the bare-bones coverage the exchanges offer. In other words, the Affordable Care Act has failed to offer affordable care. Instead, most of ObamaCare’s sign-ups are merely migrating over from an existing health-insurance plan—in many cases involuntarily, after their plans were canceled for failing to comply with new ObamaCare regulations.

via The Federalist

The “point” of Obamacare seems to have been to get Americans’ health care under government control, so that the NSA and their buddies would have more data and the government could force nuns to pay for birth control – out of sheer malice.

Am I oversimplifying? Sorry – feeling cynical lately, as people quite seriously argue whether Christians ought to be formally scapegoated for the sins of the world (all in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity”, of course) or even allowed to exist at all.

Did we ever come up with a good reason why a law disliked by voters of both parties – and now proved wildly ineffective – “cannot” be repealed?

“Only a special prosecutor can get truth about IRS abuse”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa points to tone deafness to explain the choice of an Obama donor to run the Justice Department’s “investigation” of IRS targeting of conservative, Tea Party and evangelical political groups during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns. But the California Republican is being entirely too diplomatic. Putting a donor in charge is more like flipping the bird to Obama’s critics.

When the IRS harassment abuse first became public last year, Obama promised a complete investigation. Attorney General Eric Holder described the IRS harassment as “outrageous and unacceptable” and ordered a joint investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department.

via WashingtonExaminer.com

Some scandals affect the core of government – that is, they raise the question of whether the nation’s integrity is compromised.

That such scandals should be investigated fully and thoroughly ought to be a bipartisan thing.

“The single most objectionable thing about the EU (in a crowded field)”

How can we deal with a body that is not just open about, but proud of, its readiness to bend the rules?

Anglosphere exceptionalism is summed up in the words John Adams used when designing the Massachusetts state constitution: “a government of laws not of men”. Actually, the phrase wasn’t Adams’s: he was quoting a seventeenth-century English radical called James Harrington – a reminder of the deep roots of our shared Anglosphere liberties. But the point holds: the Anglosphere miracle lies in the elevation of the law above the state rather than the other way around. How sad that, debilitated by 40 years of EU membership, we appear to have dropped that principle.

via  Telegraph Blogs.

“Belgian Senate to vote on child euthanasia next week”

Far from affecting only the terminally ill or the person in extreme suffering, euthanasia has become a free-for-all.

Consider recent cases that have shocked the world. There was a transsexual euthanized after a sex change operation, because he didn’t want to be a monster. Belgian twins were euthanized, not because they were suffering or dying, but because they were going blind. And at least two women suffering from mental illness – anorexia and depression – have been killed as well. These are just the stories that have made international news.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Belgian Senate is going to be voting on a bill next week that will allow the euthanasia of children, where it is expected to pass.

via Live Action News.

“Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries”

The Backlash gets media attention:

Many of us yearn for a return to one golden age or another. But there’s a community of bloggers taking the idea to an extreme: they want to turn the dial way back to the days before the French Revolution.

Neoreactionaries believe that while technology and capitalism have advanced humanity over the past couple centuries, democracy has actually done more harm than good. They propose a return to old-fashioned gender roles, social order and monarchy.

You may have seen them crop-up on tech hangouts like Hacker News and Less Wrong, having cryptic conversations about “Moldbug” and “the Cathedral.” And though neoreactionaries aren’t exactly rampant in the tech industry, PayPal founder Peter Thiel has voiced similar ideas, and Pax Dickinson, the former CTO of Business Insider, says he\’s been influenced by neoreactionary thought. It may be a small, minority world view, but it’s one that I think shines some light on the psyche of contemporary tech culture….

…“Reactionary” originally meant someone who opposed the French Revolution, and today the term generally refers to those who would like to return to some pre-existing state of affairs….

…Perhaps the one thing uniting all neoreactionaries is a critique of modernity that centers on opposition to democracy in all its forms. Many are former libertarians who decided that freedom and democracy were incompatible.

“Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the ‘People,’ such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems,” Anissimov writes. “On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one.”

Exactly what sort of monarchy they’d prefer varies. Some want something closer to theocracy, while Yarvin proposes turning nation states into corporations with the king as chief executive officer and the aristocracy as shareholders….

…Yarvin proposes that countries should be small – city states, really – and that all they should compete for citizens. “If residents don’t like their government, they can and should move,” he writes. “The design is all ‘exit,’ no ‘voice.’”

via TechCrunch.

They are ignoring the problem, of course, which is that there is nothing at all to stop abuse when citizens have no voice.

Of course, why would that bother them, anyway? They imagine themselves the kings, not the subjects – a naive thought, but then their expertise is in tech, not politics.

To be clear though, pure neoreaction is an extreme minority position that will probably never catch on beyond a tiny cult following. But there has been an explosion of interest since late 2012, despite the fact that Hoppe, Sailer, Yarvin and others have been writing about this stuff for years (and neoreaction’s European cousin archeofuturism has been around even longer). And this interest just happens to coincide with growing media attention being paid to the problems of the tech industry, from sexism in video games to “bro culture” in the tech industry to gentrification in the Bay Area.

And many professionals, rather than admit to their role in gentrification, wealth disparity and job displacement, are casting themselves as victims. This sense of persecution leads us to our next neoreactionary theme.

The Cathedral

Neoreactionaries believe “The Cathedral,” is a meta-institution that consists largely of Harvard and other Ivy League schools, The New York Times and various civil servants. Anissimov calls it a “self-organizing consensus.” Sometimes the term is used synonymously with political correctness. The fundamental idea is that the Cathedral regulates our discussions enforces a set of norms as to what sorts of ideas are acceptable and how we view history – it controls the Overton window, in other words.The name comes from Yarvin’s idea that progressivism (and in his view, even today’s far right Republicans are progressive) is a religion, and that the media-academic-civil service complex punishes “heretical” views.

So what exactly is the Cathedral stopping neoreactionaries from talking about? Well, the merits of monarchy for starters. But mostly, as far as I can tell, they want to be able to say stuff like “Asians, Jews and whites are smarter than blacks and Hispanics because genetics” without being called racist. Or at least be able to express such views without the negative consequences of being labeled racist.

Speaking of which, neoreactionaries are obsessed with a concept called “human biodiversity” (HBD) – what used to be called “scientific racism.” Specifically, they believe that IQ is one of – if not the – most important personal traits, and that it’s predominately genetic. Neoreactionaries would replace, or supplement, the “divine right” of kings and the aristocracy with the “genetic right” of elites.

To call these claims “controversial” would be putting it lightly, but they underpin much of anti-egalitarian and pro-traditionalist claims neoreactionaries make. Delving into the scientific debate over race, genetics and IQ is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ve included some links on the topic in the reading list.

It’s not hard to see why this ideology would catch-on with white male geeks. It tells them that they are the natural rulers of the world, but that they are simultaneously being oppressed by a secret religious order. And the more media attention is paid to workplace inequality, gentrification and the wealth gap, the more their bias is confirmed. And the more the neoreactionaries and techbros act out, the more the media heat they bring.

“Treating Mental Illness Seriously”

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, is set to tour a New York gun show, the first such visit since she was shot.

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, a former combat pilot and astronaut, are scheduled to be with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair on Sunday to highlight a voluntary agreement and stricter state gun control law.

It will be latest event by Giffords and Kelly in their national campaign for expanded background checks for gun sales.

via CSMonitor.com.

Some people may blame guns for what happened to Giffords, but I blame the fact that, although Loughner was known to have serious mental health issues, the law prevented any of the many people who saw the problem from being able to solve that problem.

People tried to get this man help. The real scandal is that they could not do so.

Before Miriam Carey drove her car into a White House gate, led police on a car chase to the Capitol, and was shot dead to protect public safety, her boyfriend tried to prevent it from ever happening.

According to CNN, he “contacted police in December saying he feared for the safety of their child, who was 4 months old at the time. The boyfriend said the woman was acting delusional, claiming the president had placed Stamford under lockdown and that her house was under electronic surveillance.” He thought she had post-partum depression, but police found medications for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression in her home.

The most likely scenario is that Miriam was not taking the medications or they weren’t working. Either way, someone who was dangerous was on the streets.

We know how to stop this. What we need is mandatory and monitored community treatment for those known to have serious mental illness and a history of dangerousness, incarceration, or needless repeated hospitalizations.

Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a court order to stay in treatment as a condition of living in the community. To be eligible, individuals must have serious mental illness and a past history of dangerousness, incarceration, or needless hospitalizations caused by going off effective treatments. The decision is made by a judge, and only after consulting with the patient, their lawyer and observing full due process. Other protections ensure it is rarely used, is time limited, and is not abused.

According to media reports, Miriam Carey had a prior psychiatric hospitalization and acted dangerously toward her four-month-old child. While not enough is known yet, she may have been eligible for AOT. But Connecticut, where she lived, does not have an AOT law.

New York State has the largest and most studied program, called Kendra’s Law. Studies found those enrolled in Kendra’s Law are four times less likely to engage in future violence than those in a control group. Other New York studies found it reduced homelessness by 74 percent; suicide attempts, 55 percent; substance abuse, 48 percent; physical harm to others, 47 percent; property destruction, 43 percent; hospitalization, 77 percent; arrests, 83 percent; and incarceration, 87 percent. These results are consistent with those in other localities that use it.

By reducing the use of jails and locked psych wards as treatment settings, AOT saves a lot of money even accounting for the increased costs for court proceedings, case management, and prescriptions…

via National Review Online.

More on “[the] price of victory”, “settled”, and legitimacy

As Politico’s Todd Purdrum has compellingly argued, Mr. Obama is facing the natural and predictable consequences of his decision to force transformative health care legislation without bipartisan support and using every possible parliamentary maneuver after the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate following voter rejection of the bill in a special election after the death of Senator Ted Kennedy in the very liberal state of Massachusetts. The President and his supporters also used every possible argument without particularly caring whether their case stood up over time—though they insisted before the law’s passage that it was not a tax, they happily embraced the Supreme Court’s decision that the law fell within the Congressional authority to tax. That angry Republicans legislators should show little restraint in response may be tactically unwise but should not be surprising to anyone

via The National Interest.

From Politico:

Twenty years ago, when he was trying to persuade Bill and Hillary Clinton that universal health care was a politically unrealistic goal, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan repeated one insistent warning: Sweeping, historic laws don’t pass barely. “They pass 70-to-30,’’ he said, “or they fail.”

Four years ago, when he was trying to persuade Barack Obama that he would pay a terrible price for jamming health care reform through a reluctant Congress on a partisan vote, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel begged his boss to settle for a vastly scaled-down plan.

We now know what happened: Obama’s bill made history — and caused all-out political war….

…[T]he president has fair ground for accusing the House GOP of shutting down the government “over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” as he did on Tuesday. But he could have predicted that his own crusade to bring them coverage would unleash the political whirlwind that is now likely to last for years to come — whatever the merits of his cause. And Republicans are doing their best to make sure no one forgets that he rammed through the health law with Democratic support alone.

“You reap what you sow,” said Whit Ayres, the veteran Republican pollster. “When you force through a major and very significant change to our economy, and you do it on a pure party-line vote, and at the very end change the rules to cram it through, you simply set up a long-term political battle that will never end.”

Robert Blendon, a health policy expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, offered a less partisan but equally pungent analysis. “The long-term future of bills that have absolutely no minority support and are not popular when passed is not good,” he said. “This law is vulnerable not just for this week, but for the 2014 elections, and if not then, for whenever the minority party does become the majority.”

…No major law of the 20th century — not Medicare, nor the 1957, 1964 and 1965 civil rights and voting rights acts, nor the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act nor Social Security — passed the Congress by anything like the narrow, partisan margin of Obamacare. The Senate approved that 60-39 — a virtual squeaker by that chamber’s modern standards — and the House by just seven votes, 219-212.

Perhaps only the progressive income tax, which the Senate approved by a vote of 44-37 in 1913, had such a narrow margin of support. And, not coincidentally, it is the one measure among all those landmark laws that remains the subject of the liveliest debate a century later….

…Democrats outlined their goals in terms almost as obdurate as those voiced by Republicans now seeking to overturn or scale back the law.

“We will go through the gate,” then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in January 2010. “If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed.”

…Last week, Obama mocked the extremism of his critics, noting that one state legislator — Rep. William O’Brien (R-N.H.) — had called the Affordable Care Act the greatest intrusion on personal liberty since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. That infamous measure required states that had once harbored escaped slaves to return them to their Southern owners. It outraged the North and helped lead to the Civil War.

But just for the record, even though 20 senators declined to vote on that noxious law, it still passed the Senate 27-12.

via POLITICO.com.