October 16, 2014

"Ebola now functions in popular discourse as a not-so-subtle, almost completely rhetorical stand-in for any combination of 'African-ness,' 'blackness,' 'foreign-ness' and 'infestation'..."

"... a nebulous but powerful threat, poised to ruin the perceived purity of western borders and bodies. Dead African bodies are the nameless placeholders for (unwarranted, racist) 'panic,' a conversation topic too heavy for the dinner table yet light enough for supermarket aisles."

ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news. The issue is swirling within our politics, and this is a separate phenomenon from the disease itself.

Time to read/reread the 1978 Susan Sontag essay "Disease as Political Metaphor."
In the sense of an infection that corrupts morally and debilitates physically, syphilis was to become a standard trope in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century anti-Semitic polemics. In 1933 Wilhelm Reich argued that “the irrational fear of syphilis was one of the major sources of National Socialism’s political views and its anti-Semitism.” But although he perceived sexual and political phobias being projected onto a disease in the grisly harping on syphilis in Mein Kampf, it never occurred to Reich how much was being projected in his own persistent use of cancer as a metaphor for the ills of the modern era.
You need to pay to get farther at that link. Here's a link for buying the book with that and more. (I've just bought it myself.)

355 comments:

1 – 200 of 355   Newer›   Newest»
Scott M said...

Just how affluent does a society have to be to give rise to idiocy like this?

Brando said...

Silly me! Here I was thinking Ebola was a deadly disease that kills horribly, and that people are reacting the way you'd expect any time a communicable disease starts hitting closer to home. Sort of like how Africans aren't worries so much about obesity as it's more a western problem right now.

I'm glad this writer is here to educate me that this is all really just a racist plot, just like everything else, and maybe we need more guilt and shaming to fix this.

It's nice to see that even in the face of a tragic spread of a deadly disease, idiots will still go on spreading the same sort of crap they usually did. Sort of a Keep Calm and Carry On type of thing.

Henry said...

The virus doesn't care.

traditionalguy said...

That was 100% Bull Shit. It was from The Onion, right.

gerry said...

The virus doesn't care.

That is perfect.

Don't ever let a crisis go to waste. Exploit the misery for political gain.

St. George said...

Yes, bullshit.

I wondered how long it would take for this notion to arise.

The next thing will be that it's wrong to quarantine anyone who is not white because racism.

RecChief said...

"
"Ebola now functions in popular discourse as a not-so-subtle, almost completely rhetorical stand-in for any combination of 'African-ness,' 'blackness,' 'foreign-ness' and 'infestation'...""


Bullshit. It is a short hand for incompetence in how the federal government can't handle crises. Race has nothing to do with it. The CDC spending millions on stupid shit instead of ....Disease Control (that function is in their name, for pete's sake), it's just the latest shorthand is all.

MayBee said...

Thomas Eric Duncan was black, he was poor, and he was African.

Was Thomas Duncan poor? Or is she putting her own bigotry into her assumptions?

Big Mike said...

Perhaps she's writing about what she perceives over there in the UK. Here Ebola is a stand-in for a government that personifies the phrase "utterly inept."

EMD said...

he was poor

Compared to whom?

Curious George said...

I'm sure crack will be by to tell all you racist crackers that you're wrong.

What time does the library open?

Original Mike said...

This was inevitable.

April Apple said...

Even in the face of a deadly virus (one that is color blind), it's still about optics, tribalism, racism, and political correctness.

Depressing.

& yeah- it is Bullshit.

LYNNDH said...

Left out was "Republican/Bush"

Gahrie said...

Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news.

The only people 'processing" the news this way are the professional victims on the Left.

Fen said...

"turned away the uninsured Liberian immigrant"

He was a Liberian national visiting on a visa, not a US citizen. Not an immigrant.

RecChief said...

ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news. The issue is swirling within our politics, and this is a separate phenomenon from the disease itself.


Who are these "some people", Althouse? And why are they processing the news in this way? You threw that out there, just like with my young troops, it's always "they", my first question is always "Who is they?"

Shanna said...

The virus doesn't care.

^^^^^^

These people are crazy.

Should we have imported SARS lest people worry that Asians were not the kind of people we cared about?

was afforded access to an experimental drug though West Africans were not

Is she aware of the politics and the history surrounding offering 'experimental drugs' to Africans?

Michael said...

No doubt there was a time in 13th Century Europe when only a few people had the Black Death. Did that mean there was no reason to panic? Or was it racist to worry because the disease apparently originated in Asia? Or can't you say "Black Death" any more? Better thousands should die than the sensitivities of the Guardian should be offended.

Shanna said...

We will not mention that Nigeria hasn’t had a live case in six weeks.

Bullshit. Nigeria has been held up as a standard for what to do to stop an outbreak.

MayBee said...

"ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news. "

Yes, there are always some people thinking some things. Always.

tim in vermont said...

Sure, this is how people are processing it. Not sure if there is any point in attempting to engage somebody that far gone, or so completely steeped in their prejudice and bigotry regarding people who don't think like them to warrant the investment of time.

Mockery is the only sensible response.

Fen said...

"was not the right kind of victim for the west"

Because he selfishly and knowingly exposed hundreds of people to a Biosafety Level 4 virus.

Note that everyone was sympathetic to the 2nd nurse Amber, calling her heroic etc, until we learned she needlessly exposed 132 innocents to Ebola by boarding a flight when she had a fever.

Brando said...

"The only people 'processing" the news this way are the professional victims on the Left."

Yeah--most people in the middle are in a state of confusion, not sure what to make of this--time to panic or not?--and on the right, there's a lot of (justified, I think) criticism of the government for mishandling this.

Frankly, the race-mongers would have a better argument if everyone in America wasn't actually taking Ebola seriously, because they thought it was just an African thing and couldn't affect white people. Then, I'd say racial bigotry was at play. But so far the general public (and perhaps eventually our government) is taking it pretty seriously, and last I checked the West has been devoting a lot of resources to help fight the disease in Africa itself. But I guess that's just condescending imperialism according to professional morons like this writer.

tim in vermont said...

Some people "processed" 9-11 as a Bush led conspiracy too.

garage mahal said...

Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Republican!

Michael K said...

"It was from The Onion, right."

No, The Guardian is less believable. But it does give us a peek at the leftist mind and what I call magical thinking. There is no reality, as represented by Ebola and death. Everything is just a mental exercise and we can change the subject if it is too unpleasant.

Reality is for those who can't handle drugs, as the 60s saying went.

Fen said...

"We will try to hide our fear behind jokes with dying black bodies as their punchlines"

And thats the difference between my tribe and yours - we think of them as dying *people* while you think of them as dying blacks.

You're just another racist.

Alexander said...

Ms. Althouse,

Do you live in America? Because believe me, we don't need some quote today to come to the conclusion that some people "process" any news as 'Whites are a bunch of racists.'

In fact, I'd say more than anyone, Althouse readers are well aware of this phenomenon.

Hagar said...

You should not try to think so much if you are not equipped for it.

The main thing I see about "Ebola" is that the CDC was not, and is not, able to get the word out to even the medical industry what Ebola is and how to treat it. And the CDC is a very "white" Federal Government operation.

The "Spanish Flu" of 1918 arose from a mutation on a farm or ranch in southwestern Kansas. There is no telling where the next "Andromeda Strain" might be or where it may come. And he Government has known that for a long time. Yet here we are again, "unexpectedly" ....

Brando said...

"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Republican!"

It'll be more like "the Democrats who claim to be the party of effective government cannot competently handle the most important things that governments should do! Throw them out!"

At this point, the Democrats should be thankful that this didn't hit in early 2012 or Obama would have been tossed out like bad laundry.

Fen said...

you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news

No, I do not. Even the commenters over at the guardian are calling bullshit.

JPS said...

Ms. Giorgis writes:

"The problem with the west's Ebola response is still fear of a black patient"

No. The problem with the west's Ebola response is that as yet they're more afraid of public overreaction than of the disease. So the confidence they feel they must project breeds complacency inside their ranks, and rings hollow to outsiders. Every time they make a mistake - and every mistake will be high-profile - they convince people they don't know what they're doing, yet they think they do.

(The Nigerian government has acquitted themselves impressively. I wish I could say the same about ours.)

Prof. Althouse writes:

"Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news."

I'm aware. Sorry to psychoanalyze but I think it's a way of remaining inside their comfort zones. If the real problem is the spread (scope yet to be seen in Europe, America or Asia, but terrible in West Africa) of a viral hemorrhagic fever, Ms. Giorgis and her ilk have no idea what to do, and nothing useful to suggest. If the real problem is racism, then they have something useful to contribute and we should all listen to them.

Michael K said...

"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Republican!"

Very sensible of you garage. Or you could just say "
"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Competence."

Fen said...

ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not -

See? Even you know its bullshit, albiet on a subconscious level. Else, why the need for the disclaimer?

garage mahal said...

"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Competence."

The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?

Anonymous said...

Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news.

Why? The existence of race hucksters and their dupes was already known to me.

Fernandinande said...

Is Thomas Sowell the only black writer who isn't a bilge-spewing self-obsessed moron?

Fen said...

was afforded access to an experimental drug though West Africans were not

"Is she aware of the politics and the history surrounding offering 'experimental drugs' to Africans?"

Ace called this catch-22 early on: treat the white guy and you are discriminating against blacks; treat the black guy and you are experimenting on black "animals".

Why, its almost as if the Social Justice Warriors don't care, they just want to use black people as props to promote their critical race bullshit.

Christy said...

Bullshit! But hey, let us go with the idea. Who will die if Ebola gets a foothold here in America? Don't you think it will, in overwhelming numbers, be the same Americans who have lost the most economically from the policies of Obama? Who lacks the resources to survive Ebola? Sure, we'll lose some of our own (say both racists and the progressive elite) but mainly it will kill all those OTHER people.

Shanna said...

Yes, there are always some people thinking some things. Always

Yeah. Dumb people.

with dying black bodies

This usage of the word 'bodies' rather than people or lives irritates me. I'm sure it is meant to.

MayBee said...

Some people "processed" 9-11 as a Bush led conspiracy too.

Great example, considering Althouse's invocation of Sontag.

EDH said...

Remember, she's talking about America under a president who is a black Democrat, not the previous Republican president who helped save a continent from AIDS.

To be black – African or otherwise – is to be born into a world that anticipates your death with bated breath (or botched execution cocktail, or vigilante bullet, or syphilis needle).

So, she couples the false narrative that the Tuskegee Experiment involved infecting black patients with syphilis in order to deny individual black people full human agency when it comes to the consequences of their criminal conduct?

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Competence.

Garage: "The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

Reductio ad absurdum. Even the most die-hard Tea Party member believes the government has certain duties, like controlling the borders.

Shanna said...

Frankly, the race-mongers would have a better argument if everyone in America wasn't actually taking Ebola seriously, because they thought it was just an African thing and couldn't affect white people.

It is actually the government who isn't taking it seriously, because they thought it couldn't happen here, only in Africa. They were clearly wrong.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FWBuff said...

The referenced article claims that Eric Duncan's personal story was ignored because he was black and African. That is absolutely wrong. Here in the D/FW area, Duncan's local family, African family, church, and neighbors were all extensively interviewed and featured in broadcast, internet, and print news. There have been many more stories about Duncan, his back story, his fiancée, and their estranged son than there have been about Nina Pham (his nurse) or her dog. Believe me, everyone in this area is very aware of the personal dimension of this terrible disease. It has already crossed racial and ethnic and economic lines here. Our biggest worry is how to effectively keep it from spreading, and especially how to protect the health-care workers who are on the front lines. To assert false racial claims trivializes those who are suffering and diverts the focus from containment and cure.

JPS said...

Garage:

"The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

Is that the same as wanting the federal government to do a few things well, rather than to get involved, always expensively and often incompetently, in damn near everything?

traditionalguy said...

Eugenics as racism always promised healthy people and suggests killing off other races for being Pollution of the Only Good Race.

But the Nazi's cult re-made that into either being able to use psychic powers or being psychic power antibodies. That means a spiritual religious war. Today's war is with Islamic brain disease.

Ebola is a living another day antibody. To see Ebola as a race issue requires an irrational ideology.

Fen said...

Eugenics as racism always promised healthy people and suggests killing off other races for being Pollution of the Only Good Race.

Never understood the logic in that. Mutts make the hardiest breeds.

Henry said...

Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news.

I find it truly odd -- and often dispiriting -- how often people are confused by the difference between rhetoric and matter. The way something is described is not the same as what that something is. A proof through metaphor leaves matter untouched.

I love both rhetoric and matter, but not conflated.

James Pawlak said...

Other than coffee and water melons, what good has come out of Africa?

damikesc said...

...then the people who believe this are free to keep the infected in their homes for 21 days.

Why should others be sentenced to possible death because of their guilt?

Note that everyone was sympathetic to the 2nd nurse Amber, calling her heroic etc, until we learned she needlessly exposed 132 innocents to Ebola by boarding a flight when she had a fever.

Though she apparently called the CDC, mentioned her symptoms, and they gave her the OK to travel.

The head of the CDC is still employed...why?

Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Republican!

Given the amazing level of border security at our border...can you say it isn't true?

Remember, Obama isn't even telling the governors of states expected to handle the onslaught of illegal aliens that they are being sent to their state.

Odds are, medical tests aren't being done.

The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?

Has the government accounted itself terribly well here?

Has massive increases in government spending for years and years now done a damned thing to improve our situation in terms of basic competence?

The VA kills vets and people are rewarded while none are punished.

The IRS targets political enemies of the President and they routinely flout law and nobody gets punished.

The DoJ armed Mexican drug gangs. Only Border Patrol officers and Mexicans dealt with the punishment of death.

The CDC cannot handle controlling a disease, which is their ONE JOB, and nobody is punished.

The INS has decided to stop enforcing border security (yet not reduce their funding, which is kinda odd) and nobody is punished.

Can you explain WHY we should give this group of incompetents MORE money?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Why don't we just quarantine everybody, rather than profiling. Like with TSA searches.

garage mahal said...

Why oh why did Rick Perry invite Ebola into Texas? Does he just identify with Africans? He's on THEIR side and NOT ours!

Michael said...

Since Africans are likely to visit other Africans or African Americans whn arriving in the US the only conclusion we can reach is that Obama is willing to kill blacks in America so as not to appear hostile to Africans. Were he a Republican the left would be crying for flights to be halted.

Lem said...

I thought Silence = Death

Maybe we need an Ebola Code... in Spanish is dog whistle free.

AReasonableMan said...

Partisan-driven hysteria, rather than racial hysteria.

The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital. Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves. It is not rocket science.

Alexander said...

Garage continues to conduct himself in a way that invites recognition of the respectability of his position, I see.

Shanna said...

Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves.

Spoken like someone who has never worked in a hospital.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Partisan-driven hysteria, rather than racial hysteria.

The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital.
--------------------------

The primary screw-up was not banning air traffic from the hot zone. Keep telling yourself that this was the nurses fault.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

James Pawlak said...

Other than coffee and water melons, what good has come out of Africa?

Despite their obvious flaws, I kinda like humanity and civilization, but then I might be a bit biased.

Bob Ellison said...

AReasonableMan said, "Partisan-driven hysteria, rather than racial hysteria...It is not rocket science."

That's good to know. I'd like some numbers, though. What percentage of ER workers contract the diseases that they encounter, for example?

But it's not rocket science. That's why the people dealing with it don't look like rocket scientists.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital."

-- On the "not rocket science part," it sounds like the protocols they received from higher ups like the CDC were flawed [one of the doctors on CNN, I think? Tried to use the same protocols and couldn't succeed in not potentially being exposed to the chocolate syrup or whatever they put on the suit to simulate Ebola.]

They've known this was a possibility since 2008, and the government, as the government usually does, did not bother to prepare people. And, as usual, people are going to die. And, as usual, instead of focusing on how the government screwed up and got people killed, we're going to watch as it turns into a political football.

Those two nurses are probably going to die because in 2008, the government decided Hope was a perfectly effective strategy.

MayBee said...

The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital. Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves. It is not rocket science

Or, perhaps it is a little harder than the infectious diseases they deal with every day of the year.

I suspect the "it's no big deal, US Hospitals deal with this every day" is the attitude the CDC had, which ultimately led to two sick nurses.

ScottD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ScottD said...

This is how some people (actually a lot of people) process every bit of news. "Higher" education is the primary purveyor of this poison. You, personally, avoid a key issue by writing, "Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not..." How about you? Do you agree with the analysis? I don't. Look at the hype around the bird flu epidemic a few years ago and then factor in the 50% plus death rate from Ebola. That is sufficient to explain the public response so far.

Whether or not you personally agree with quoted analysis, the fact that it is peddled and will be believed is why diversity does not and cannot equal strength -- anywhere. Diversity reduces trust, increases suspicion and is the fuel that feeds paranoid responses.

Being aware that some people will process the news like this doesn't matter, because there is no way to overcome it. If you think the analysis is not true, and you think there is actually a way to combat it, what are you doing about it?

Douglas said...

Garage wrote: "The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

I think this has been explained before, but you seem to have some trouble understanding so I'll give it another go. One of the proper functions of government is to provide public goods, i.e., goods or services that the supplier can't limit to those people who pay for them. National defense and basic scientific research are good examples. Another is protection against infectious diseases. So protecting the country from an infectious, mostly fatal disease like Ebola is exactly the kind of thing that small government conservatives think that the government ought to be doing.

The problem in the current situation is that the Government appears to be completely incompetent. It even turns out that about 10 years ago, when Bush was president, an office in NIH was created just to deal with this kind of problem - to coordinate responses to a plague. Alas, the head of that office (the "Ebola Czar") has been MIA in the current crisis. This failure of the Government to perform its most important tasks, while pissing away vast amounts of energy and money on non-essential tasks, is endlessly frustrating to small government conservatives.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Note that everyone was sympathetic to the 2nd nurse Amber, calling her heroic etc, until we learned she needlessly exposed 132 innocents to Ebola by boarding a flight when she had a fever."

-- In her defense, the CDC told her she wasn't a risk to them and to fly anyway.

The Cracker Emcee said...

What a great example of how, potentially, reality could absolutely crush political correctness. It's all on sufferance, folks. And when reality turns ugly the PC clowns will, at best, be utterly ignored, or, at worst, stood against a wall.

BrianE said...

So, the takeaway is 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'? And if you worry, you're probably racist?
Is the concern that an individual American will contract Ebola irrational? Probably.
But compare that with previous viral outbreaks such as the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and the attitude is very similar.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/178097/one-fifth-americans-worry-getting-ebola.aspx
The poll results are very similar even though the ebola virus is significantly more deadly.
I do think it dispells the myth the concern is racially motivated.
It's worth looking at a timeline of how the Japanese handled the 2009 swine flu outbreak.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic_in_Japan
I think the suggestion that the US government restrict commercial flights from West Africa and instead rely on charter and military airplane to handle the ferrying of aid workers and supplies is practical and would relieve some American concern about increased introduction of the virus.
My wife was in Liberia in June on a short term mission trip and to visit our adopted son's family. She's fine. Thanks for asking.
We're very concerned about the family, as the resources are extremely limited. His grandmother earns the family income by reselling bread along the street in front of their house, which means constant contact with the public. Food prices have risen, especially the staple, rice.
Fortunately they live in a rural area that hasn't been heavily impacted at this point.
Chlorine is available, but I'm concerned about the toxicity of chlorine itself, given the crude methods they have to measure it when diluting for use.

MayBee said...

Susan Sontag, the week after 9/11:
The disconnect between last Tuesday’s monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a “cowardly” attack on “civilization” or “liberty” or “humanity” or “the free world” but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word “cowardly” is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s slaughter, they were not cowards.

You have to know there are people out there who processed it that way.

The Crack Emcee said...

Curious George,

"I'm sure crack will be by to tell all you racist crackers that you're wrong.

What time does the library open?"

Nice shot - and sure I'll vote with you. Forget the black shit, this is insane:

I'm watching a bunch of white folks ARGUING FOR PANIC!

ROTFLMAO!!!!

Oh man, for anyone looking for evidence of mass pathology/psychosis/somebody help me out here in American society, it doesn't get any better than this,...

traditionalguy said...

Egypt is in Africa. As the Coptics love to quote, "out of Egypt I have called my son.".

Matthew Sablan said...

Ebola is not on our border, unless we're letting Texas go again.

RecChief said...

Garage: "The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

More Bullshit. Only speaking for myself, I don't want to end government, I just want to shrink the federal government, and limit its ability to create mischief in my life.

MayBee said...

I'm not afraid of Ebola.

I'm afraid of a government that thinks it is so competent it doesn't bother to do the hard work of achieving competency.

Shanna said...

-- In her defense, the CDC told her she wasn't a risk to them and to fly anyway.

Yeah, I don't blame her, except for being too trusting. I blame the CDC.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
Partisan-driven hysteria, rather than racial hysteria.

The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital. Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves. It is not rocket science.

10/16/14, 10:13 AM"

The primary screw up occurred letting this guy into the country. As for the rest of your comment, actually they do manage to infect themselves fairly often as well as others which is why they are required to get vaccinated and very few facilities are equipped with bio-hazard level 4 equipment.

CStanley said...

While it is useful to understand how other people think, at some point you get the gist of it and can't stomach any more. I'll pass on the book.

David said...

On the other hand an American hospital and scores of American health workers endangered their lives to care for him, and thousands of Americans (sone volunteers, some not) are in Africa to deal with the disease. None of this is pure altruism of course, but it is a noble effort nevertheless.

Right now we do not have an Ebola epidemic in this country but we do have an Ebola panic. Yet flu kills thousands every year in this country. Despite this many fail to get the flu vaccine. Why are we so fearful of Ebola and so complacent about flu?

1. Ebola is new and mysterious and thus we fear it for that reason alone.
2. The level of mortality for those contracting the disease is very high.
3. Healthy people are vulnerable while flu is a mortality risk mostly for the already impaired.
4. The illness has disgusting symptoms and a painful death.
5. For good reason, we lack confidence that our government is reacting competently to the situation.

Does the fact that the disease originates in Africa contribute to the panic and fear? Probably yes. Is that because of blackness and foreignness? Again, probably yes. But it is also a fact that Africa has issues with disease that we are unaccustomed to here, and those issues are well publicized (often as part of an effort to help the Africans.) Nevertheless, I seriously doubt that the panic reaction would be much different if the disease had originated in China or South America, or in New York or Louisiana for that matter. What we are seeing is a pretty standard reaction to the possibility of epidemic.

Julie C said...

ARM- You haven't heard about hospital-acquired infections? How about c.difficile? There are many ways this stuff is spread in a hospital setting. Relying on a hospital staff to contain every possible virus/bacteria isn't possible. That's the problem.

If every Ebola patient went to Emery or Nebraska's facilities, that might be different. But your local medium-sized hospital is another story.

Hagar said...

But he had a clipboard!

These pictures about says it all.
Difficult to find anything racial about it, though.

Bob Ellison said...

Health-care workers need a bit of a shout-out.

Many of them don't make much money, especially the clean-up, cafeteria, and other menial crews.

They do it anyway. The Cleaning Guys in Texas took the job. Nurses and doctors and paramedics, and cops and firemen, rush in, not knowing the risks.

Just wanted to point that out.

Disclosure: my wife is a primary-care Nurse Practitioner in a district with lots of poor patients, and I have a piss-poor immune system.

chillblaine said...

"Black death is remarkable only to the extent that its perpetrator could also affect citizens more deserving of sympathy, of news coverage and of life."

This person has a lot of self-loathing. Might there someday be a leader who addresses this free of scorn.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

I think we can cut our way out of this.

April Apple said...

Message from the left: /or/ Meet the new message, same as the old message:

This administration and the CDC are blameless and hold NO responsibility.

April Apple said...

The health care workers took Duncan in and cared for him, and the left, right on cue, blame the health care workers.

Disgusting.

AReasonableMan said...

Bob Ellison said...
Health-care workers need a bit of a shout-out.


Couldn't agree more.

Brando said...

"It is actually the government who isn't taking it seriously, because they thought it couldn't happen here, only in Africa. They were clearly wrong."

The government clearly fell down on the job, but I hardly think Americans in general are shrugging it off. Those who believed they'd keep the spread from reaching the U.S. are quickly losing faith.

The Crack Emcee said...

From Wikipedia:

"Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction. Panic may occur singularly in individuals or manifest suddenly in large groups as mass panic (closely related to herd behavior)."

Let's see, herd behavior. Why that's one of the main topics of my blog! Weird. Bartender! Two for my white friends!

I remember talking to Meade, about fear, once before. I think - when we can see whites here openly ARGUING FOR PANIC - we can maybe agree I've won that debate? It ain't blacks. Whites shook it out of us and replaced it with ambivalence. I mean, when your fellow countrymen ask "What time does the library open?" how much is American life worth? If you're black, it's gone from being the most expensive thing whites can have - but with no freedom - into freedom from whites, but now everyone's worthless to the point of being expendable. And while whites laugh about it.

"What time does the library open?"

Great system y'all put together here.

A truly charming democracy,...

Fen said...

Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves.

Wrong. They can't even keep the rooms clear of superbugs.

"In 2011, KPC came to one of the nation’s flagship research hospitals, the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, known as the NIH. What followed was an outbreak even they still can’t fully explain."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/health-science-technology/hunting-the-nightmare-bacteria/a-superbug-outbreak-at-nih/

AReasonableMan said...

April Apple said...
the left, right on cue, blame the health care workers.

Disgusting.


But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election? Some fancy conditional morality you've got working there. Still better than the conspiracy theories that you usually peddle.

Brando said...

The fact that our "screening process" for letting people from infected areas into the country consists of asking them if they were in contact with Ebola is mind-bogglingly stupid. If someone is afraid they might have Ebola, and thus desperately wants to get into the U.S. where they can get proper health care (despite the fact that the Left has been telling us for decades that our health care system sucks), why on earth would they not lie and say they had no such contact? It's not like we could punish them worse than giving them Ebola.

But hey, we elected the smart, tech-savvy geniuses who would show us that government can work for the people again. Surely they know what they're doing!

William said...

A reasonable person would say that Germans had a fair number of legitimate grievances. A reasonable person would also say that Hitler exploited those grievances and made them into something grotesque and grandiose. In the end, it wasn't the Versailles Treaty that left Dresden in ashes, but the resentment of that treaty and the sense that Germany was always the victim........Just so with this writer. Her exaggerated sense of grievance is as much a cause as a result of prejudice.......This Duncan character is a low life. He knew he had been exposed to the virus and he came here and exposed his fiancée and her family to that disease. The writer is far more judgmental and critical of the hospital's clinical error than of Duncan's moral flaws.......When a vaccine is developed, you can bet it will be developed by whites. And you can bet that that the Tuskegee experiment will remain a more crucial piece of evidence than an Ebola vaccine in her brief against whites.......Mbekei, the former President of South Africa caused the death of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen because of his ignorance and prejudices regarding the treatment of AIDS patients. You may be sure that this has no place in the writer's ledger books.

Achilles said...

RecChief said...
ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news. The issue is swirling within our politics, and this is a separate phenomenon from the disease itself.


"Who are these "some people", Althouse? And why are they processing the news in this way? You threw that out there, just like with my young troops, it's always "they", my first question is always "Who is they?"

That made me laugh.

We called it the Private News Network or PNN for short. Privates that listened to the PNN usually ended up pretty strong.

Anglelyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

No, the people who want it to focus on real important stuff unlike this one.

The Centers for Disease Control told the incoming Obama administration in 2008 that it should establish 18 regional disease detection centers around the world to adequately safeguard the U.S. from emerging health threats like Ebola, according to an agency memo.

But six years later, as the government struggles to contain the fallout from a deadly Ebola outbreak at home and abroad, the CDC still has only 10 centers — and none of them operates in the western Africa region hardest hit by the deadly virus.



Shanna said...

Right now we do not have an Ebola epidemic in this country but we do have an Ebola panic.

I don't think we have panic, yet. True panic looks different. What we have is concern, quickly rising to alarm as we see the authorities fall down at the job.

Yet flu kills thousands every year in this country. Despite this many fail to get the flu vaccine.

As mentioned, flu generally kills people who are older, or have poor immune systems. A vaccine already exists, and the only people who really need it are people in high risk categories (older, immune compromised, health care workers). Also, flu does not kill at 50-70% rates (unless you're talking about something like the 1918 flu, which is a whole nother story). So Ebola is quite different in many ways.

Does the fact that the disease originates in Africa contribute to the panic and fear? Probably yes. Is that because of blackness and foreignness? Again, probably yes.

No. Ebola is scary because it has very high death rates, scary symptoms like hemorrhaging, and because a ton of people read The Hot Zone.

It has never been seen in the US before, so it does have that 'new disease' scariness, but people in Africa are scared of it too. It's also apparently really painful.

Anglelyne said...

I see that all the requisite sarcastic responses have already been made to the suggestion that we need "awaring" on the existence of lumpenintellectuals dumbing-down and looning-up public discourse.

On a lighter note, I was just laughing at this comment on a West Hunter blog post on ebola:

"While the majority of carriers are West African TPTB will be incapable of any sensible response. If/when a large enough number of non West Africans are infected then they’ll suddenly switch to massive over-reaction instead and you’ll have the NSA coming out of your *** and shooting people for sweating too much in a public place.

(Not all giggles and outrage - some good discussion for anybody interested.)

tim in vermont said...

I agree with Crack. It is racist to argue for shutting down the route that brought Duncan into the country.

We whites care about money more than other people's lives, and just because one ebola patient can basically shut down a hospital's ICU for all comers at this stage, there is no reason to try to limit cases in any effective way. That would be racism based panic.

You see, caring about the integrity of the system, whether it be the health care delivery system, or the monetary system is cruel and heartless.

Achilles said...

"ADDED: Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news. The issue is swirling within our politics, and this is a separate phenomenon from the disease itself."

This looks like a way to tar those awful racists out there who won't buy an effort to rationalize voting for Hillary. No matter how smart you are straw men are the toughest opponents it seems.

Achilles said...

garage mahal said...

"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Republican!"

If you want at least semi-competent management of the situation you will. Because the CDC and the administration are not competent.

tim in vermont said...

The Centers for Disease Control told the incoming Obama administration in 2008 that it should establish 18 regional disease detection centers around the world to adequately safeguard the U.S. from emerging health threats like Ebola, according to an agency memo.

That would have been the CDC under Bush, that did not consider the agency just one more division in the Democrat army.

April Apple said...

So sayeth the leftwing worshipping unreasonable hack who just finished blaming the victims.

F off arm.

Achilles said...

Fernandinande said...
"Is Thomas Sowell the only black writer who isn't a bilge-spewing self-obsessed moron?"

Walter E. Williams is also pretty awesome.

AReasonableMan said...

Oh April, I can't point out blatant hypocrisy when I see it? What is this world coming to?

tim in vermont said...

Enforcing border controls is racist! Vote Democrat!

I am sure that will work for you garage, I just wish I could finance the ads for you.

Achilles said...

garage mahal said...
"Ebola/ISIS is at our border. Vote Competence."

"The people that want to drown government in a bathtub?"

No, the people that want the Center for DISEASE CONTROL to focus on DISEASE CONTROL retard. We are tired of the CDC doing studies on gun violence and obesity. The guy running it is one of Bloombergs soda banners for christs sake.

You can't argue against anything but your own straw men.

MadisonMan said...

he was poor

Poor people generally cannot afford airline tickets from Africa to the USA.

RecChief said...

"We called it the Private News Network or PNN for short. Privates that listened to the PNN usually ended up pretty strong."


yeah, back in my day too. Now, I hear references to the 'E-4 Mafia' but not so much about the PNN.

If you mean that they ended up strong because the result was the front leaning rest, I concur

CWJ said...

"Let's see, herd behavior. Why that's one of the main topics of my blog! Weird. Bartender! Two for my white friends!"

What, both of them?

April Apple said...

To prove you are not an unreasonable hypocrite, ARM, please answer Matthew Sablan's comment @ 10:23.

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
April Apple said...
the left, right on cue, blame the health care workers.

Disgusting.

"But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election? Some fancy conditional morality you've got working there. Still better than the conspiracy theories that you usually peddle."

AReasonableMan said...
"Oh April, I can't point out blatant hypocrisy when I see it? What is this world coming to?"

Putting blame in the right place is not Hypocrisy.

Everyone here even the evil tea-baggers like me believe we need an organization with a charter to manage crisis situations with communicable diseases. The CDC has plenty of resources to accomplish this. They have more money now than they have ever had.

The CDC no longer functions as a government organization built to manage diseases and crises. They now fight the "disease of obesity" and the "plague of gun violence." The government needs to focus on the limited powers they were given and stop chasing the windmills that infest progressive minds.

tim in vermont said...

It would have been cool if we had a real president, you know, a CEO for the company, somebody to deal with crises as they arise.

Instead with have a guy who thinks his role is about legislation and fundraising.

Achilles said...

RecChief said...

"If you mean that they ended up strong because the result was the front leaning rest, I concur"

We had to change it to "corrective training." It has to be more "comprehensive" now. "Smoking" is no longer acceptable.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how ebola is Texas's fault and Katrina was Bush's fault.

"All of the assholes are on the other side!"

BarrySanders20 said...

The virus doesn't care. Neither do insects!

Need a Virus Politics tag.

And a virus spread by insects? Oh! The humanity!

No wait, Oh! The lack of compassion!

Hagar said...

My post above has a "link" that does not show as such for some reason, so here is the whole plug-in:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2794854/what-thinking-mystery-man-without-hazmat-suit-seen-helping-2nd-ebola-nurse-board-plane-atlanta-joining-them.html

n.n said...

Cibola- City of Gold

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Funny how ebola is Texas's fault and Katrina was Bush's fault.


And, right on cue, we get the whole truth - Katrina envy.

Why do you guys always need to bring Bush into the argument?

AReasonableMan said...

April Apple said...
To prove you are not an unreasonable hypocrite,


This is already self-evident.

Michael said...

Out of curiosity who pays for these private jets to wing the sick from state to state, from good to great hospitals? Will Obamacare, the patient's Obamacare, pay for this?

I know this is rude to ask but still….

April Apple said...

To prove you are not an unreasonable hypocrite, ARM, please answer Matthew Sablan's comment @ 10:23.

tim in vermont said...

"And, right on cue, we get the whole truth - Katrina envy."

Sauce for the goose, ARM.

Anglelyne said...

David: Right now we do not have an Ebola epidemic in this country but we do have an Ebola panic.

No we don't, David. Brain-dead, click-bait journalism isn't the public panicking. People understandably frightened because there is a high likelihood that they have been exposed to a deadly virus does not constitute a "panic". Disgust with the evidence of incompetence in, and the insulting PR issuing forth from, our public institutions is not "panic".

The smug assholes running around panicking about everybody else's "panic" (and various other forms of wrongthink) had better pray that they never get to find ought what a real public panic looks like.

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
tim in vermont said...
Funny how ebola is Texas's fault and Katrina was Bush's fault.

"And, right on cue, we get the whole truth - Katrina envy."

Self awareness is really not your thing.

Michael said...

Out of curiosity who pays for these private jets to wing the sick from state to state, from good to great hospitals? Will Obamacare, the patient's Obamacare, pay for this?

I know this is rude to ask but still….

Richard Dolan said...

"Whether you agree with the quoted analysis or not, you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news."

Not exactly a news flash. An ideological perspective -- any ideology -- has that effect, providing a framework through which events are organized and perceived. Race/class/gender are the reigning categories in academia today -- hard to find a contemporary course on American history that isn't organized along those lines. This take on the public reaction to Ebola is more of the same from that perspective -- just as voter ID laws, welfare reforms, immigration controls, policing tactics, AIDS prevention and on and on are attacked in the same terms and for the same reasons.

It's not possible to view the world without some organizing framework providing perspective and reference, but trouble arises when the framework blinds the viewer to what is staring her in the face.

April Apple said...

ARM - "Self-evident".

Grade: F

Explain to the class what you mean? Since you're so reasonable.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Sauce for the goose,


I don't really have a problem with this line of thinking as long as we all recognize that it is just a partisan game that has no basis in the reality of this particular problem.

Fernandinande said...

the grisly harping on syphilis in Mein Kampf,

I've never thought much of Sontag, and syphilis was a big deal in the 20s and 30s, as can be seen in medical books from that time.

The full text of Mein Kampf is here.

Tuberculosis is mentioned nearly as many times as syphilis, none of the mentions of syphilis are "grisly", and the first part below is the only one to reference Jews, and that one is rather obligue ("Judaization of our spiritual life"):
++
"The cause, however, lies primarily in our prostitution of love. Even if the result of this were not this terrible disease, yet it would still be of deepest danger for the people, for the moral devastation which this depravity brings with it are sufficient to destroy a people slowly but surely. The Judaization of our spiritual life and the mammonization [sic] of our mating impulse sooner or later befouls our entire new generation, for instead of vigorous children of natural feeling, only the miserable specimens of financial expedience come forth."
...
"Moroccan syphilis drives thousands of victims towards a cruel death. Tens of thousands of young Germans, partly while dreaming, partly while intoxicated, are dragged to the Foreign Legion."
++

Here's a link for buying the book

I'll pass on that.

AReasonableMan said...

April Apple said...
Explain to the class what you mean?


I only teach to the top of the class. We have X-files reruns on a computer at the back of the room for you.

The TRUTH is OUT THERE.

richard mcenroe said...

What's Ebola MC have to say about this?

Skeptical Voter said...

Indeed Ms. Althouse, one needs to know that some people are processing the news in that fashion, as you have advised us.

But you see, finding people who are "processing the news in that fashion", i.e. the entire staff of the Manchester Daily Guardian, is a mentally hazardous activity. I figure that just reading a single column inch in the Guardian paper will cost the average person a thousand lost brain cells. Stupidity is contagious.

And while even a person of average intellect has tens of millions of brain cells, reading the Guardian for a week can cause a drop of 2 I.Q, points.

You have been warned of the risks in reading the Guardian.

RecChief said...

"We had to change it to "corrective training." It has to be more "comprehensive" now. "Smoking" is no longer acceptable."

yeah, I know. I miss the old days.

tim in vermont said...

That was exactly my point.

Liberals blamed Bush for Katrina for partisan advantage.

Liberals blame the the Texas hospital for ebola for partisan advantage.

I am just pointing it out.

richard mcenroe said...

Shanna-- "Should we have imported SARS lest people worry that Asians were not the kind of people we cared about?"

If you never caught the Black Death as a sign of support for the Chinese people and diversity, you be racist!

grackle said...

… this is how some people are processing the news.

Better:

This is how some people(academics, intellectuals, the MSM, Hollywood, "journalists," etc.) process ALL the news.

RecChief said...

"David: Right now we do not have an Ebola epidemic in this country but we do have an Ebola panic."


I don't think so, but if we do have a panic, it's not about the disease, but about the federal government's response.

April Apple said...

Also, since you refuse to respond to obvious correct observations, please tell the class why you think Reuters is a conspiracy.

Gahrie said...

Other than coffee and water melons, what good has come out of Africa?

Elon Musk

Quaestor said...

ARM scribbled: This is already self-evident.

Thanks for confirming April's supposition.

BTW, the use of Aristotle's image is hugely ironic. Always good for a chuckle.

Ann Althouse said...

"Tuberculosis is mentioned nearly as many times as syphilis, none of the mentions of syphilis are "grisly", and the first part below is the only one to reference Jews, and that one is rather obligue ("Judaization of our spiritual life"):"

Yes, the Sontag book doesn't miss that:

"Hitler, in his first political tract, an anti-Semitic diatribe written in September 1919, accused the Jews of producing “a racial tuberculosis among nations.” Tuberculosis still retained its prestige as the overdetermined, culpable illness of the nineteenth century…. But the Nazis quickly modernized their rhetoric, and indeed the imagery of cancer was far more apt for their purposes. As was said in speeches about “the Jewish problem” throughout the 1930s, to treat a cancer one must cut out much of the healthy tissue around it. The imagery of cancer for the Nazis prescribes “radical” treatment, in contrast to the “soft” treatment thought appropriate for tuberculosis— the difference between sanatoria (that is, exile) and surgery (that is, crematoria). The Jews were also identified with, and became a metaphor for, city life— with Nazi rhetoric echoing all the Romantic clichés about cities as a debilitating, merely cerebral, morally contaminated, unhealthy environment."

Sontag, Susan (2013-10-01). Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors (Kindle Locations 863-870). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.

Sontag, Susan (2013-10-01). Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors (Kindle Locations 862-863). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.

Quaestor said...

What Althouse really needs is a better grade of lunatic troll.

Ann Althouse said...

"Modern totalitarian movements, whether of the right or of the left, have been peculiarly— and revealingly— inclined to use disease imagery. The Nazis declared that someone of mixed “racial” origin was like a syphilitic. European Jewry was repeatedly analogized to syphilis, and to a cancer that must be excised. Disease metaphors were a staple of Bolshevik polemics, and Trotsky, the most gifted of all communist polemicists, used them with the greatest profusion— particularly after his banishment from the Soviet Union in 1929. Stalinism was called a cholera, a syphilis, and a cancer. To use only fatal diseases for imagery in politics gives the metaphor a much more pointed character. Now, to liken a political event or situation to an illness is to impute guilt, to prescribe punishment."

Sontag, Susan. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors.

RecChief said...

""But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election?"


You're making an assumption that it's all about the elections. For people who think like me, it's more basic than that. While President Obama and others believe that the Federal government can take care of the citizenry in ways large and small, people like me think that humans make mistakes. Those mistakes are magnified by losing focus. The CDC diving into the "plague of gun violence" is an example of losing focus. I think that the Federal government should stick to the powers clearly spelled out in the constitution. And more importantly, the only duties that are mandated in Article 4 Section 4. The current administration has provided many examples that strengthen that point of view, and Ebola is simply the latest. Simply put, the Federal government has succumbed to an accelerating mission creep for the last 80 years.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Thus Obama's claim that the planet would be healed convinced you to vote for him.

RecChief said...

"Modern totalitarian movements, whether of the right or of the left,"

What totalitarian government was of the right?

The NASDAP ( Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei/ National Socialist German Workers' Party - NAZI for short) was a socialist party. Don't succumb to the myth that because they hated Soviet Communism that they were on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Let's see, herd behavior"

Gee, I wonder how demographic voting statistics would look if viewed in that context.

Sigivald said...

you need to be aware that this is how some people are processing the news

Yes, but the Guardian is always deranged like that, so I don't see why I should care that the usual suspects are - as usual - projecting everything through their lenses of Racism And How Awful White Westerners Are.

RecChief said...

The Nazis also used images of vermin like rats to depict Jews. It's about dehumanizing those that you want to scapegoat and provide an enemy for the populace to unite against. Kind of like community organizing, a subset of the population is organized against a perceived enemy.

Babaluigi said...

In the past 3+ decades, I have met quite a few people employed at the CDC in various positions. As is probably true across the human spectrum, many of them are intelligent and responsible...but I have to say that some of the Lab employees were "interesting", and I am not talking about their personalities. I have subsequently had limited confidence in the agency.

When so much has been wasted by the CDC, in typical government fashion, on ridiculous studies and causes, it has become obvious that Ebola has caught them flat-footed. Ever since Ebola first surfaced in Africa (was it the 90's?) they should have developed definite protocols. When the disease resurfaced this year they should have been able to take that package off the shelf, and disperse the information to the medical community in order it would be prepared just in case the disease made its way to the US. Why were they not out ahead of this? Where was the vision? Were there any plans at all? Why were they not ready?

They have certainly failed.

chuck said...

The Guardian *is* the disease, it infects the body politic. Academics and other vulnerable groups suffer 100% brain death after contact.

RecChief said...

"I only teach to the top of the class. We have X-files reruns on a computer at the back of the room for you.

The TRUTH is OUT THERE."


Ever heard the phrase, show your work ?

richard mcenroe said...

"Ever since Ebola first surfaced in Africa (was it the 90's?)..."

60's, I think. There was even a previous related outbreak in Germany back then (Marburg), although that strain was less lethal.

It's not just that we were caught flatfooted. It's that the Obama Administration arbitrarily revoked protocols and restrictions that were already in place.

jacksonjay said...

We must not issue a travel ban on terrorists. It would only spread the problem. Allowing travel will help us contain the terrorist in the Middle East.

I hereby repent for using the word terrorist. I should have said "extremist" instead. Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology.

Fen said...

But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election?

We are blaming the CDC because they have demonstrated gross incompetence.

Its not Ebola that Americans are concerned about, it government hubris.

Fen said...

It has never been seen in the US before, so it does have that 'new disease' scariness, but people in Africa are scared of it too. It's also apparently really painful.

Even the experts that work with BioSafety 4 pathogens are afraid of it.

One was asked: "Why don't you work with Ebola?"

Response: "Because I don't want to die"

RecChief said...

We are blaming the CDC because they have demonstrated gross incompetence.

Actually, I'd be willing to stipulate that the majority of CDC staff are competent. But, it's leadership is not.

tim in vermont said...

Socialism and Fascism are the conjoined twins of the left.

You can change from one to the other with a change of letterhead and a memo to marketing.

Henry said...

I'll have to read the Sontag works to consider this in detail, but from just a few snippets, I propose the "almost completely rhetorical stand-in" accusation redounds on those who proclaim it.

From the Amazon summaries: "In Illness as Metaphor , Sontag argues that the myths and metaphors surrounding disease can kill by instilling shame and guilt in the sick, thus delaying them from seeking treatment."

Who is propounding myths and metaphors about Ebola? Is it not those that equate any worried response to it with racism?

CWJ said...

grackle @11:40,

Ding ding ding!

The gentleman wins a new Hamilton Beach food processor.

Richard Dolan - lovely parting gifts for you as well.

Brando said...

"Actually, I'd be willing to stipulate that the majority of CDC staff are competent. But, it's leadership is not."

That actually goes for the government in general. For the most part at federal agencies, you'll find dedicated and competent civil servants who know their jobs well and take their duties seriously--even at scandal-plagued agencies like the IRS or VA. (There are always cases of incredibly incompetent or corrupt people at all levels, but this is true of any large organization, and the fact that public sector unions and civil service rules protect many bad eggs from accountability can make it far more outrageous in government).

The problem here, as often, is in the leadership. Despite all their campaign rhetoric, the president and his team have not instilled a culture of competence in this government. How many times has he kept failing bureaucrats at their jobs, or informed us that he only learned of the scandal through the newspapers? We don't need a Carter-like micromanager, but overdelegation and a "lead from behind" attitude has been a key part of this president's failings.

Bush wasn't perfect either--his team's reaction to Katrina was poor, and he also conveyed a sense of aloofness about what was going on during his watch. But Obama's been taking this to new levels, and the whole raison d'etre of his brand of liberalism is competent government that can solve problems (as opposed to being "on your own" as they characterize the GOP message).

One area where even most libertarians would want government to be active would be in preventing serious threats like infectious, deadly diseases from spreading around our country. If they fail at this, who wants to give them anything else to be in charge of?

Fen said...

"That actually goes for the government in general - "

Agreed. My experience is that not only is it impossible to fire the 10% incompetents, they are usually promoted **to another branch** to get them out of everyone's hair. Rinse cycle repeat until you get SES morons that couldn't manage their way out of a paper bag.

Fen said...

A huge red flag as a Fed is someone who keeps shuttling around different departments every few years.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I wonder if Ms. Giorgis' incoherent ramblings are symptomatic of mental illness.

Meanwhile, Obama steadfastly refuses to order a travel ban from West Africa. Why is that?
Could it be that he actually believes Giorgis' ramblings?

damikesc said...

The primary screw-up occurred at a Texas hospital. Clinicians and researchers deal with deadly infectious diseases every day of the year in dozens if not hundreds of facilities around the country without managing to infect themselves. It is not rocket science.

Number of ebola cases in the US is...what?

And the CDC has fucked this up so royally it blows my mind and kills any credibility that agency ever had.

But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election?

If an agency fucks up its core mission, it SHOULDN'T be noted?

The NASDAP ( Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei/ National Socialist German Workers' Party - NAZI for short) was a socialist party. Don't succumb to the myth that because they hated Soviet Communism that they were on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

Indeed, they had few problems with Communism outside of the need for Moscow to run things and not Berlin.

Note, Hitler didn't sign non-aggression pacts with Britain. He did do so with the USSR.

Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexander said...

Oh how cute, Crack now wants to be viewed as our 'countryman'.

You've made it perfectly clear that I'm not on of yours, and you're certainly not one of mine. A sad circumstance of geographical proximity doesn't make you my neighbor or countryman anymore than a Tutsi and Hutu get along simply because you rename them both "Rwandans'.

Course, instead of butchering yours with children armed with machetes, we ask you 'What time does the library open?', instead.

Fun fact: blacks invented libraries.

furious_a said...

Was Thomas Duncan poor?

He could afford an airline ticket to the US from Liberia.

Brando said...

"A huge red flag as a Fed is someone who keeps shuttling around different departments every few years."

That's true, though I have known a number of excellent feds who get detailed to another agency, generally to pick up additional experience and help workloads there. But it's true a lot of times people get shuffled around departments or promoted out of their current position because their current boss has too many hoops to jump through to get rid of them.

From the organization's standpoint, it would make more sense to offer early retirement and a big severance, as at least then the employee can't screw anything else up within the agency. It's sad that that's become the state of labor and employment law.

Brando said...

I recall reading that the only thing worse than a person without compassion is a person who would take advantage of another person's compassion.

I'd add that the only thing worse than a bigot is a person who would take advantage of another person's fear of being labelled a bigot.

If you have to play the race card, you're a lowlife.

libertariansafetyguy said...

Okay, I'll lean into this. Yes, there are two situations. The first situation involves 4300 people and 2300 deaths and the actual response to Ebola.

The second situations is how we are reacting to Ebola and what biases, assumptions, and mental models we carry that might affect that reaction. And those biases, assumptions, and mental models might be more notable in a stressed environment, like the one where on where there is the potential for a large epidemic.

I think the dangerous thing is for us to label all reactions as a reaction to a black, African disease. This stereotype may affect some people but we'd be over generalizing to assume it affects everyone - not without a lot more data and scrutiny of how were interpreting that data.

I may be best to acknowledge that our biases, assumptions, and mental models are always in play, we should do our best to addess them, and move on. Those biases don't mean a whole heck of a lot if this disease exponentially spreads.

furious_a said...

But it is not disgusting to blame the CDC in an effort to inflame partisan passions right before an election?

Just as disgusting as it is to blame Republican appropriators in an effort to blow smoke over the CDC's manifest incompetence and inflame partisan passions right before an election.

Especially when the evidence of manifest incompetence, resource-draining mission creep and bid-rigging by the so-called "Ebola Czar" favor the latter interpretation.

Lesbian obesity studies? Gay-themed tweets to meth-heads? Seriously, CDC? YOU HAD ONE JOB!

RecChief said...

Note, Hitler didn't sign non-aggression pacts with Britain. He did do so with the USSR."


Actually, Hitler thought that the British would acquiesce to the new erality in Europe. He also banked on Churchill's hatred of Communism to reach an accomodation. It's been posited as one of the reasons why only the Luftwaffe was allowed to attack at Dunkirk. The Wehrmacht would have wiped out the British forces on the continent. As always, many factors came into play.

AReasonableMan said...

damikesc said...
Number of ebola cases in the US is...what?


There have been at last eight cases of Ebola treated in the United States. Four were US missionaries, one was a NBC cameraman, one foreign national Liberian, now dead, and two US nurses infected at a Texas hospital.

At only one facility was there are failure to adequately quarantine the disease. Somehow the CDC did not fail at any of the other facilities.

Logic would suggest that this failure is not entirely the CDC's fault.

RecChief said...

"But it's true a lot of times people get shuffled around departments or promoted out of their current position because their current boss has too many hoops to jump through to get rid of them."


The piece of the federal government that I am most familiar with moves people around quite frequently to fix broken organizations. Once you get tabbed as a problem solver, you get moved around alot.

Anglelyne said...

AA quoting Sontag: "Modern totalitarian movements, whether of the right or of the left, have been peculiarly— and revealingly— inclined to use disease imagery.

"Peculiarly". Really? Is the inclination to use disease imagery "peculiar" to totalitarian movements? Is disease imagery used significantly more often in the writings of totalitarians than in other kinds of writing?

Could be, but I'm dubious, because disease makes a pretty handy and obvious metaphor, and its use as such is ubiquitous. (I'm pretty sure I've used disease metaphors unthinkingly a couple of times already today alone, and I wasn't even trying to "other" anybody.)

Come to think of it, Sontag famously used a certain fatal disease "for imagery in politics" to give her "metaphor a much more pointed character" and to "impute guilt, and prescribe punishment". (Never read Illness as Metaphor - did she critique her own earlier rhetoric in that book?)

Anonymous said...

The government always makes things worse and never better. They need to get out of the way and let the invisible hand of the marketplace fix this Ebola problem.

furious_a said...

Ever since Ebola first surfaced in Africa (was it the 90's?) they should have developed definite protocols. When the disease resurfaced this year they should have been able to take that package off the shelf, and disperse the information to the medical community in order it would be prepared just in case the disease made its way to the US.

CDC should have been prepared starting when a mutated form of the virus appeared in a primate facility in Reston, VA in 1989.

"He concludes the book by saying EBOV will be back." SHUDDER.

LarsPorsena said...

AReasonableMan said...
damikesc said...
Number of ebola cases in the US is...what?

There have been at last eight cases of Ebola treated in the United States. Four were US missionaries, one was a NBC cameraman, one foreign national Liberian, now dead, and two US nurses infected at a Texas hospital.

At only one facility was there are failure to adequately quarantine the disease. Somehow the CDC did not fail at any of the other facilities.

Logic would suggest that this failure is not entirely the CDC's fault.
________________________________________

The US military will quarantine any of its personnel that are going to be assigned to the hot zone for 21 days.

Health workers treating the infected are expected to quarantine themselves..BUT Obama refuses to restrict air traffic from West Africa the source of the infection.

Shanna said...

The smug assholes running around panicking about everybody else's "panic" (and various other forms of wrongthink) had better pray that they never get to find ought what a real public panic looks like.

Yep. We are nowhere near panic yet, imo. Panic is shooting soldiers running a quarantine or doctors who are trying to help you. If we get Ebola on a wide scale we will have panic, which is why we need to stop it now.

That is what all the 'flu kills X, Malaria kills Y, Lightning kills Z' people are not getting. The best time to stop an epidemic is before it spreads.

RecChief said...

"AReasonableMan said...

There have been at last eight cases of Ebola treated in the United States. Four were US missionaries, one was a NBC cameraman, one foreign national Liberian, now dead, and two US nurses infected at a Texas hospital.

At only one facility was there are failure to adequately quarantine the disease. Somehow the CDC did not fail at any of the other facilities.

Logic would suggest that this failure is not entirely the CDC's fault.



Last I read, the only place where someone was treated for Ebola outside of Emory University and Omaha was at Dallas Presbyterian. I could be wrong on that. I saw an interview with a nurse at Dallas who said the communications from the CDC were changing frequently, and the protocols were insufficient as well.

If you look at pronouncements from the CDC, to paraphrase - you can pass ebola on a bus but you can't catch ebola on a bus - not to mention the problems with Lurie (where is she anyway?) and no bid contracts to Democrat Party donors, and wasting money on stuff that doesnt have anything to do with disease, Logic dictates that there is a problem with the CDC that causes a crisis of confidence in the population.

You can worship at the altar of Government if you want, but please stop forcing your religion on me.

RecChief said...

madisonfella said...
The government always makes things worse and never better. They need to get out of the way and let the invisible hand of the marketplace fix this Ebola problem.


Reducto ad absurdium.
I don't think anyone except you has said this. It's childish. BUt what I've come to expect from you. I doubt you're stupid, why act that way?

Rusty said...

madisonfella said...
The government always makes things worse and never better. They need to get out of the way and let the invisible hand of the marketplace fix this Ebola problem.

Yes. Like Firestone did on its rubber plantation in Liberia.

Rusty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanna said...

Ever since Ebola first surfaced in Africa (was it the 90's?)..."

60's, I think. There was even a previous related outbreak in Germany back then (Marburg), although that strain was less lethal.

Marburg surfaced in the 60's, Ebola in the 70's. They are both filoviruses (viral hemorrhagic fevers), but Marburg is not Ebola. (there are five strains of ebola, one of which does not infect humans. The strain we are dealing with right now is Ebola Zaire.)

Fen said...

"Yes. Like Firestone did on its rubber plantation in Liberia."

Bamm! That left a mark.

Shanna said...

The first situation involves 4300 people and 2300 deaths and the actual response to Ebola.

I think those numbers need a double or tripling at this point.

At only one facility was there are failure to adequately quarantine the disease. Somehow the CDC did not fail at any of the other facilities.

The previous patients were treated at one of only four facilities in the entire country equipped to handle BSL4 level cases. It was the CDC’s decision 1. Not to transfer Duncan to one of those facilities, 2. Not to train the hospital which had never before seen an Ebola case and 3. To more or less mail out inadequate protocols (far less than those being practiced at those four facilities) to regular hospitals, assume that would be the end of it, and call it a day.

buwaya said...

My nightmare is that this gets to my hometown Manila. The most likely way its going to get there is from a US airport.

If it does, in that crowded place (the term "sea of humanity" has real meaning there), the consequences will be not plague alone but all the four horsemen.

The US really can take care of itself if it needs to. Hundreds of dead in even the worst case, serious economic disruption, adjustments to food distribution systems, maybe rationing, etc. But it can be handled.

But elsewhere ? Nuclear war level casualties for a generation.

tim in vermont said...

Funny how ARM's main concern seems to be the mid terms.

RecChief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...

This article by Heather Wilhelm is a pretty good summation. There is also a funny story about not panicking

Anglelyne said...

Shanna: That is what all the 'flu kills X, Malaria kills Y, Lightning kills Z' people are not getting. The best time to stop an epidemic is before it spreads.

Yes, that "flu kills X" stuff is just stupid. It's like saying "hey, I'm at a much greater risk of dying from lightning or a car accident or the flu than from an accident at a nuclear plant, so I guess it's no big deal if we slack off on adhering to all those tight-ass safety and containment rules that used to be considered SOP in plants". That there isn't much likelihood that ebola could become a catastrophic epidemic here is not the freakin' point.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Funny how ARM's main concern seems to be the mid terms.


Sad reflection this one. I am only holding up the mirror. I strongly doubt that the views of any member of this forum will influence the mid-terms.

AReasonableMan said...

Anglelyne said...
there isn't much likelihood that ebola could become a catastrophic epidemic


Finally, something I can agree with.

RecChief said...


buwaya said...
My nightmare is that this gets to my hometown Manila.


just out of curiosity, have you heard of any travel bans instituted by the phillipine government?

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