Ebola: The political power of panic

The Republican Party is going all in on Ebola paranoia because of politics. They believe by ratcheting up fear, panic and paranoia it will rebound on President Obama and, by extension, Democrats. But imagine what that means: They are willing to engender national panic, something that could be far worse than Ebola, just to get votes.

But that shouldn’t be a surprise — they’ve been willing to crash the economy, shut down the government and keep millions out of work just for political gain, so why not dangerous panic?

And as a political ploy, it’s worked pretty well for them. That’s a testament to how screwed up our political process is. If Republicans win votes because of this panic tactic, we as an entire nation should be deeply ashamed.

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Delphi musings

Delphi, the online discussion forum service, has become 99.9% flaming and .1% enlightening debates and rational discussions, IMO.

Assholes weary me, but somewhere in the back of my mind I’m just not willing to acknowledge that most of the assholes I deal with are confined to Delphi, and far less in the real world or even on Facebook. (No, I’m not talking about any recent dustups here – most of those have been minor – I’m talking in general, over the last few years.)

If I could pull myself away from the Delphi cesspool, actually have the courage to shut down this forum and walk away from the whole service, I would have much less aggravation. It really seems there are far more Kingpacos and right wing flamers than there are JRs and Peskydangs these days.

I like to argue and debate – I’m addicted to wrestling an issue and manage to do it with my friends in real life without anyone getting personally angry – but so rarely does an argument or debate stay civil on Delphi anymore. You can’t get more than five or six posts in before someone flings out a “Liar!” accusation or some other sort of ad hominem, and then the flames get flamier until it’s a long-running feud spilling across multiple forums, with people bringing up crap from years ago, or assholes bashing you over something you forgot about in the last decade, people stomping out of forums vowing never to return again, and evangelizing other Delphi forums with how bad THAT forum is.

And once you find yourself in a shooting war it’s awfully hard not to start shooting too. Very few are able to do it. I’m not.

I’m just wondering what the point is, and why I can’t bring myself to put an end to it. Maybe I’m just waiting for Delphi to die its inevitable death and comfort myself with the knowledge that I hung out until the very end. But is that really worth it?

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The freakout virus

I guess the one thing our advanced societies absolutely cannot contain is the freakout virus.

We’ve got measles outbreaks and whooping cough outbreaks because of parents refusing to vaccinate children, and everyone yawns. 30 people die a day in gun violence, no 24-hour coverage on the networks. Hundreds can die in a “normal” seasonal flu outbreak every year, still no freakout. Ebola? From Africa? OH MY GOD IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD! GAAAA!

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2nd health worker infected with Ebola in Dallas

There seem to have been some major protocol failures at the hospital in Dallas where Mr. Duncan was treated — now a second health care worker has become infected.

It is unconscionable that while this is going on the Republicans have continued to block the approval of President Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General merely at the behest of the NRA.

DALLAS (AP) — A second Dallas hospital worker who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has tested positive for the disease, and officials on Wednesday began reaching out to passengers who had been on a flight with her the day before she fell ill.

It’s not clear how the worker contracted the virus, though the second case among health workers pointed to lapses beyond how one individual may have donned and removed personal protective garb.

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A Congressman spreads Ebola-Obama conspiracy theory

Note that this is an actual lawmaker, an elected official spreading this brainless Ebola conspiracy theory nonsense, not some wacko fringe radio host in the middle of nowhere.

People actually elected this idiot. This is why the American political system is a complete failure.

Rep. Steve Stockman yesterday chatted with End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles, telling the “Trunews” host that President Obama may be delaying the government response to the Ebola epidemic because he wants the virus to spread. Once it spreads, Stockman argued, then Obama will use the Ebola outbreak as a justification to declare emergency powers.

The Republican lawmaker insisted that was simply just asking the question: “It’s just bizarre there’s not enough action up front and I’m wondering if that’s — I’m not saying this — but I’m wondering if that’s intentional in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth.”

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McCain wants an “Ebola czar”

John McCain wants President Obama to appoint an “Ebola czar.” Remember when right wingers hated the term “czar” and used it to accuse President Obama of being a socialist (even though Bush was the first one to call certain appointees “czars”)?

McCain also whined that he doesn’t know who’s heading the US fight against Ebola. I guess McCain has never heard of the CDC.

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Don’t want to compromise? Then government will never work.

The way to stop gridlock in Congress is to stop electing people who promise to go to Washington and refuse to compromise. Compromise is absolutely essential to our political system. Without it, nothing gets done.

Here’s the problem. A politician promising to go to Washington and reach across the aisle to get things done for the American people never makes it through a primary. We vote people like that down, and then complain about the resulting gridlock.

We get the government we deserve.

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