Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Head Strong or Head Hidden? Ebola and Beheadings

It seems to me the whole controversy over quarantine policy for people entering the country from what is now being called the Ebola "hot zones" could have been avoided had the President made a decision at the outset.

Forget what the science says.  That hasn't yet been proven and when lives are at stake why not err on the side of caution?  The quarantine accommodations could have been arranged for when the first Doctor was transported to this country. Protocols, procedures and training could have been in place. That would have avoided the tent and surly screeners that so offended returning nurse Kaci Hickox.

Why she didn't understand why it was being done is beyond me and why she thinks she can ignore precautions just because she doesn't feel bad offends me.  It's just such an "up yours" attitude that does put us at risk.

Rather let the degree of quarantine be lessened as it's shown unnecessary rather than trying to ramp it up if it is.  At least the military has it right and poor Chuck Hagel has for once listened to them instead of his commander-in-chief.

Any time something seems unlikely, like Ebola coming to the United States, red flags should be raised every where.  Another example of creeping circumstances comes from a cavalier attitude about the radical Islamic danger to the nation.  Today there was another beheading.  This time in New York, a college professor by her son who then jumped in front of a train.  Was it a terror attack?  I haven't seen that speculation but the young man did have a history of mental problems.

So what's the point? Well, what if it was radicalization? Ignoring the extent of it has been fool hardy as we're seeing. While still few in number there is an increase never-the-less. If the killer was not radicalized then the use of beheading as a way to murder is chilling.  That idea dawns then from publicity rather than ideology which actually could be worse. No matter the cause, pussy footing around the issue of it's existence should not preclude the need for vigilance - especially of those with known mental issues. After all, all extremists have them.

The same goes for the Ebola scare. Ignore precautions at your own peril but don't put me in peril!

Death from either Ebola or beheading is not a pleasant way to die. Cautions put forth and explained by leadership could mean all the difference in the world to anyone stepping out beyond their front door.  Including themselves.

Monday, October 27, 2014

There Are Good Democrats

There are good Democrats just like there are good Republicans.  I'm banking on it because my ballot this year leans heavily Democratic on the local level.  That's saying something in a predominantly Republican area.

The Republicans here, in large part, have gotten lazy and sloppy and too sure of themselves.  It's time for some change.

That being said, back to the Democrats. It angers me that so many are running from the President's policies only because those policies have become detrimental to election or re-election.  If they were so against said policies why didn't they stand up to be counted when it counted?  We know why.  Fear of repercussion.  This is not a Democratic issue alone.  The Republicans do the same thing in order to get their members to march in lock step.

It's wrong, just plain wrong. It's no way to govern. It is expected these protestations are going to fall on deaf ears and the Republicans will be running both houses of Congress come January.  Will we then see compromise?  Will the new Senate majority leader bring bills to the floor for a vote?  So what if the President vetoes them?  A statement will have been made for which only the President will have to answer.

The President has shown in no uncertain terms he has no interest in leading the government nor the country.  I would wonder why he ran in the first place except the answer is obvious. To leave race out of it I'll leave it at ego.

In that vacuum there will be new opportunity for the parties to come together and find workable answers to our many problems.  Hopefully enough like minded people will be elected to make this possible. I hope it's not just wishful thinking. Ideology still holds too much sway.

It's time too to begin looking and listening to those who have been positioning themselves for 2016.  Who is saying what they really believe versus who is trying to please everyone depending where they are speaking.

When Hillary tells us to not believe that businesses create jobs that would only be the truth if she carried it one step further.  Consumers create jobs because then businesses need to hire to keep up with demand.  That is no where near what she was saying.

That's what happens with candidates who expect to be elected on the strength of soundbites rather than substance.

It's time to start listening.  Let's see if we can do a better job of it than the politicians do.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Three Weeks Could Be A Lifetime

Kudos to the states that have taken the initiative to quarantine people, no matter who they are, coming to this country from the Ebola ridden nations of Africa.

Of course there are complaints about the action.  Even though the regulations have already caught the first infected person.

Ideally, every one leaving one of those nations would be quarantined over there and allowed to travel only after they've passed the quarantine period free and clear.  For whatever reason that doesn't seem to be on the drawing board so we can only look at what we have and try to better it.  Which New York and New Jersey have done with Connecticut and Illinois following suit.

It's the rationale for not doing so that troubles me.  They, whoever they are, say it would dissuade aide workers from going over.  To my way of thinking it shouldn't.  They can factor that extra three weeks into their schedule protecting not only themselves but all with whom they come in contact.  Of all people, why would an aide worker complain?

Coming in illegally is another problem to be sure, especially if one comes across a porous border where entry can be achieved without benefit of passport.  It puts a whole new emphasis on our border problems and the urgency of getting them straightened out.  Now it's not only the possibility of criminals, it's the dangerously ill.  Come on politicians!

Still, I'm thinking the media in trying to keep the Ebola saga on the front pages is doing a disservice to those who are trying to take steps over and above what the government is putting in place.  The government is not all knowing about this disease and are over burdened as is with playing catch up.  Let the states step up to the plate and enhance the programs and the media would do well to encourage it rather than finding fault.

Let's face it, three weeks isn't a lifetime. But it could be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The IS Maze Versus Our Own

It hasn't been easy, this war against the Islamic State.  Even though Turkey now seems ready to let the Iraqi Kurds help the Syrian Kurds other aspects of the war aren't going too well.

We've been put on notice that Wednesday is dooms day for the next American and we've air dropped a load of arms meant for the Kurds right into IS territory.

It gets worse and we here in America should take note for there is a lesson in it. Sunnis in Lebanon are now leaning more in support of the IS cause because of the same old reason that allowed the movement to get a foot hold in the first place.  The exclusion of Sunni Muslims in government.

Hezbollah is gaining a strong foothold within Lebanon's borders much as Hamas has done in Gaza. The alternative is to look at the radical groups and none have the victories to tout more than IS.  While having enough on their hands as is for the time being, I'm sure the IS leadership is pleased with the turmoil in Lebanon.  Will even the moderate Sunni's join forces with them?  It has happened elsewhere and could again.  That means another front for the war and still too few to fight it.  Even with the Kurds valiantly providing boots on the ground they are outnumbered and remain out armed.

Could this repeat itself here?  Could a group that feels marginalized be pushed to the brink of extremism?  You see the ground work in places like Ferguson, MO.  The protests have far surpassed reason.  The truth of what happened the night young Michael Brown was killed by a police officer is still muddy yet that didn't quell the violent protests.  Led, in many cases, by rabble rousers from out side the community whose only purpose was to create and perpetuate unrest.

They've succeeded for the anger still is palpable, deserved or not.  We need to address this.  We need to quell the radical outliers who want only more tragedy to avenge tragedy. The ones who want to foment hatred for the sake of hatred and nothing more.  This is how movements begin and trying to solve the problem with political correctness is an exercise in futility.

The symptoms need addressed before the fever hits. Can we do this in our country before we turn into a nation of malcontents and the worst of us reign?

We can if we have the will.  The will to understand ethnicity and economic conditions play a part yet have the courage to enforce that which is right and that which is wrong without caveats. It must be the first priority if we are to remain a civilized nation.

Exclusion, whether great or small, breeds discontent and there is quite enough of that going around these days.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What If The Republicans DO Win?

The news cycles have calmed down a bit over the week end.  The U.S. has finally started sending much needed relief to the Kobani Kurds even though Turkey is not happy about it. What's going on around Baghdad is for another day.

The Ebola hoopla has settled thanks to a lot of people being able to leave quarantine.  Imagine.  Who would ever have thought that our advanced methods of care would be more dangerous to the care givers than what's being done in West Africa.  There's a lesson to be learned there and I think we've learned it.  At least I hope so.

So the news cycled back to the mid-terms and who was likely to win the tight races.  While some say the Republicans are a slam dunk, just as many aren't so sure.  Even the Republican wonks.

There is good reason for this.  It's like they are the stealth party.  Where are they? Who do we know?  Let's see.  McCain, Graham, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Paul, Gowdy.  These are names that just pop into my mind.  None of them are in leadership.

Maybe a Dogwalk solution is needed for the last weeks of campaigning.  If the Republicans win the Senate every leadership position in the House and Senate would be up for grabs.  No more shoo ins because of seniority. They need some leadership with a firm grasp of House and Senate rules along with a personality! Not fire brands, mind you, just a personality.

Toss in an actual agenda for the new leadership to articulate and I'd feel a whole lot better about a lot of things.  Unfortunately, as with most of my Dogwalk solutions, this one has as much of a chance of becoming reality as the Democratic Senate producing a budget.

I'm beginning to relate to partisanship.  There is a lot I'm willing to compromise on but these two items are not negotiable and with most things approached in such a manner I expect gridlock. In other words, if the Republicans win the only change I predict will be the faces.