Monday, October 20, 2014


NOTE:
You will not find commentary on Ebola or any other issue of this high a quality on screeching, roaring Marxian-Leftist-Progressive-Liberal-Demcratic blogs which devote themselves strictly to spewing sarcastic denunciations, fabrications, and vitriolic distortions aimed at Conservative and Libertarians. Ms. Noonan is and always has been a perfect lady.

The Travel Ban 
And the New Czar

Peggy Noonan’s blog

Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.










12:19 am ET

Oct 19, 2014


Saturday morning I was thinking of Pascal ... He had a mordant observation about the physicians of his time. Doctors in those days dressed fancy—long robes, tall hats. From memory: Why do doctors wear tall hats? Because they can’t cure you.
Why do public health officials speak in public as they do, with the plonking bureaucratic phrases and the air of windy evasion? Because they can’t cure you. Because they don’t really know what they’re doing. I think they are reassured by their voices, like children who wake up from a nightmare and say in the darkness, “That’s not true.”

* * *

In his Saturday radio address, the subject of which was Ebola, the president warned the public against “hysteria.”
Again, the public isn’t hysterical but concerned. One reason is that they have witnessed a series of bad decisions by the government and its institutions. Another is that they know there’s no one to trust in this crisis, no official person who is in charge and seems equal to the task.
A third component of public anxiety has to do with what normal people can see and imagine, which they have a sense the government isn’t capable of seeing and imagining.
What normal people can see and imagine is that three Ebola cases have severely stressed the system. Washington is scrambling, the Centers for Disease Control is embarrassed, local hospitals are rushing to learn protocols and get in all necessary equipment. Nurses groups and unions have been enraged, the public alarmed—and all this after only three cases.
What would it look like if there were 300? That is not a big number in a nation of over 300 million. Yet it would leave the system hyperstressed, and hyperstressed things break down.
How many people and professionals have been involved in the treatment, transport, tracking, monitoring, isolation and public-information aspects of the three people who became ill? Again, what if it were 300—could we fully track, treat and handle all those cases? If scores of people begin over the next few weeks going to hospital emergency rooms with Ebola, how many of their doctors, nurses, orderlies, office staffers, communications workers and technicians would continue to report to their jobs? All of them at first, then most of them. But as things became more ragged, pressured and dangerous, would they continue?
This is why people are concerned. They can imagine how all this could turn south so fast, with only a few hundred cases. This is why the White House claims that we will not have a widespread breakout is fatuous: Even a limited breakout would take us into uncharted territory.
The only thing that will calm the public is competence. Until they see it, warnings about hysteria will be experienced as patronizing and deeply self-serving.

* * *

On the subject of a travel ban, the administration and those media members who function as its allies have produced a number of airy statements and sentiments. All of it feels like deliberate obfuscation and confusing of issues.
We have experienced Ebola in the United States because a Liberian citizen carrying the illness came here on a plane. That is why two of his nurses, so far, have gotten sick, and why scores of people are being tracked.
In order to enter the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan had to apply for a U.S. visitor visa. He did so, saying he wished to travel to Texas to attend his son’s high-school graduation. Mr. Duncan was granted a visa and flew from Monrovia to Brussels to Dulles to Dallas.
The question is whether the U.S. should, for now, ban the issuance of visas to citizens of the three West African nations where the illness is known to exist. That is what a travel ban would be.
Those opposed to it have taken to noting that there are no or very few direct flights from the affected nations to the U.S., and that citizens from the affected states can fly to other nations first, and then connect to the U.S.
That has nothing to do with the question of a ban. Direct versus indirect flights don’t matter because airplanes don’t catch and die of Ebola, people do. No matter how you get to the U.S. from the affected regions, to get in legally you need a visa.
There is the charge that a travel ban would isolate the three nations. But why “isolate?” First, we are only talking about U.S. travel; we are talking about keeping citizens of the affected nations from entering the US. Help can and would continue to go into those nations. Charter planes certainly could and would go in. Other airlines might too. Health workers would continue to go in, as would supplies of all sorts.
On returning from the nations in question, U.S. citizens and others would presumably have to be placed under quarantine. But health-care volunteers, of all people, wouldn’t let that stop them.
The president, in his Saturday address, argued against a ban: “Trying to seal off an entire region of the world—if that were even possible—could actually make the situation worse.”
Well, no one has called for trying to “seal off” anything, not to mention “an entire region of the world.” This is just the president trying to paint those who oppose him as frightened and delusional.
And how would a ban make the situation worse? The president: “It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth.” But again, how? Why? Health-care workers would continue to go in.
“Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.” This appears to be wordage in pursuit of a thought. If citizens of the three nations need a visa to come here, and are not given those visas, exactly what does the president think they will do to harm themselves, their countries, or us? Duncan himself, in fact, evaded screening even with a visa: He failed to self-report having been near Ebola when asked about it at the Monrovia airport.
Nor will the new screening at U.S. airports prove an adequate replacement for a ban. Those carrying the virus who show no symptoms will breeze through, as Duncan did.
What will help keep people with Ebola from entering the U.S. is denying U.S. travel visas to those from the affected countries.
Some critics, finally, say that a ban won’t work 100%. Let’s posit that. But if it works 78%, or 32%, isn’t it worth it?
The burden is on those who oppose a ban to make a hard, factual, coherent and concrete case. It is telling that so far they have not been able to.

* * *

On the appointment of Ron Klain as the president’s so-called Ebola Czar, much is made of his lack of medical or scientific background. I’m not sure that’s important.
More significant is that Klain is a longtime, hard-line Democratic Party operative who is known more for spin and debate prep than high-level management. That suggests the White House sees the Ebola crisis as foremost a political messaging problem. The president certainly seems unafraid of appearing to see the problem as a political messaging one. Obama's primary focus when choosing Klain looks self-indulgent: “Whom do I trust and like to work with? as opposed to “What does the public require and the situation demand?”
Ebola is going to prove spin-resistant: In fact, the more you spin down the deeper you’re going to get in the hole.
A problem with the Klain appointment is that he does not have natural commanding presence and public authority. The administration blew its initial handling of the crisis. What is needed is a Gen. Schwarzkopf sort of figure who could stand there at the morning briefing and tell you what’s happening and you know he’s telling it to you true. A straight-shooting retired general or admiral, or a civilian—an independent CEO with a public reputation, someone known for getting things done, someone with his own lines of communication to the media and political class. A Mike Bloomberg—someone who doesn’t need you, who can walk away from the job if he doesn’t get the tools and is feared inside because he can walk.
Someone who is not only bigger than Ron Klain but bigger than Barack Obama.
Instead, the president appointed a political mover and partisan operator who was played in a movie by Kevin Spacey.
Why does that seem such a consequential mistake?

40 comments:

  1. How much more evidence of this administration's incompetence and of the general incompetence plaguing us here in the 21st Century do WE THE PEOPLE need? See Edola Protection Guidelines On CDC Website Riddled With Mistakes.

    Also see my post today. My site has become a plague blog. Damn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just saying it like it is.October 20, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      You can blame the likes of the Lefty imbicals that go there only to disrupt your blog. Why? Because you are not a member of the Progressive Gastopo like Comrade Ducky is for example.

      Delete
  2. A period of quarantine is NOT a "Travel Ban".

    The words "Travel Ban" are a strawman, fake-Absolutist argument that liberals use to dismiss the application of common sense to the ebola outbreak out of hand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Free Thinker said
    "You will not find commentary on Ebola or any other issue of this high a quality on screeching, roaring Marxian-Leftist-Progressive-Liberal-Demcratic blogs which devote themselves strictly to spewing sarcastic denunciations, fabrications, and vitriolic distortions aimed at Conservative and Libertarians"

    This only goes to show you what has become of our confidence in our Government since Barack Hussein Obama became President? There has been a loss of confidence in every aspect of our Government since Barack Hussein Obama became President, and wherever and whoever you speak to will tell you that they no longer trust or believe anything that is said ot us by any member of the administration, about anything. But don’t worry our drear leader will take care of you. He’ll send in a “Czar“ to fix whatever wows you may have...And as late here has been the continued loss of confidence Americans regarding the information told to us by the Center for Disease Control, the Secret Service, the Department of Justice and even the Internal Revenue Service. The term and a half of Barack Hussein Obama has been a series of lies, scandals, and failures.
    The latest example was the naming of Ron Klain Ebola tp be the Ebola Czar! Like we really needed another Czar! We saw what happened the last time Obama appointed a “Czar“, didn’t we! Well this time our “Czar“, seems to have NO Medical or Health background or experience, NONE at ALL! But who needs any experience when you have the credentials of being a former chief of staff to Al Gore and Joe Biden.
    Does a background with those credentials make you feel any safer about the threat of a Ebola epidemic? Will Mr. Klain help us prevent an outbreak of the plague? Well, you figure it out! I think that most Americans, not including the Progressive crowd aka the “low information” ignorant ones, who are calling us Republicans-Conservatives,”Fear Mongers” are a bit more than disappointed with the President these days. And it’s totally understandable. Who wouldn’t when their Hero, their “Messiah” got the worst marks ever for his handling the Ebola situation, as well as the situation in Iraq, with 52 percent disapproving rating, his lowest yet. DISSATISFACTION with Obama’s handling ISSI, and his foreign policy has shot up among both Republicans and Democrats in the past month and he has been sinking in the polls with members of his own party so much that they don’t even want his endorsements in the upcoming November elections. In fact most of the members of his own party don’t even want o be seen with him. ,
    We’re still feeling the effects of the Obama Recession and its obvious that this failed liberal policies are not working, not at home and not abroad. And guess who was in charge of Obama’s “stimulus” program? RON KLAIN, THE NEW “EBOLA CZAR”.
    Only the naive or ignorant uninformed believe that the government knows what they are doing. Their answer to every problem government encounters is spend more money. .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Free Thinker said
    "You will not find commentary on Ebola or any other issue of this high a quality on screeching, roaring Marxian-Leftist-Progressive-Liberal-Demcratic blogs which devote themselves strictly to spewing sarcastic denunciations, fabrications, and vitriolic distortions aimed at Conservative and Libertarians"

    This only goes to show you what has become of our confidence in our Government since Barack Hussein Obama became President? There has been a loss of confidence in every aspect of our Government since Barack Hussein Obama became President, and wherever and whoever you speak to will tell you that they no longer trust or believe anything that is said ot us by any member of the administration, about anything. But don’t worry our drear leader will take care of you. He’ll send in a “Czar“ to fix whatever problems or troubles you may have..And as late here has been the continued loss of confidence Americans regarding the information told to us by the Center for Disease Control, the Secret Service, the Department of Justice and even the Internal Revenue Service. The term and a half of Barack Hussein Obama has been a series of lies, scandals, and failures.
    The latest example was the naming of Ron Klain Ebola tp be the Ebola Czar! Like we really needed another Czar! We saw what happened the last time Obama appointed a “Czar“, didn’t we! Well this time our “Czar“, seems to have NO Medical or Health background or experience, NONE at ALL! But who needs any experience when you have the credentials of being a former chief of staff to Al Gore and Joe Biden.
    Does a background with those credentials make you feel any safer about the threat of a Ebola epidemic? Will Mr. Klain help us prevent an outbreak of the plague? Well, you figure it out! I think that most Americans, not including the Progressive crowd aka the “low information” ignorant ones, who are calling us Republicans-Conservatives,”Fear Mongers” are a bit more than disappointed with the President these days. And it’s totally understandable. Who wouldn’t when their Hero, their “Messiah” got the worst marks ever for his handling the Ebola situation, as well as the situation in Iraq, with 52 percent disapproving rating, his lowest yet. DISSATISFACTION with Obama’s handling ISSI, and his foreign policy has shot up among both Republicans and Democrats in the past month and he has been sinking in the polls with members of his own party so much that they don’t even want his endorsements in the upcoming November elections. In fact most of the members of his own party don’t even want o be seen with him. ,
    We’re still feeling the effects of the Obama Recession and its obvious that this failed liberal policies are not working, not at home and not abroad. And guess who was in charge of Obama’s “stimulus” program? RON KLAIN, THE NEW “EBOLA CZAR”.
    Only the naive or ignorant uninformed believe that the government knows what they are doing. Their answer to every problem government encounters is spend more money. .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Advice from an INFORMED left wingerOctober 20, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Why do politicians, pundits and bloggers on the right continue to spread fear and misunderstanding about Ebola?

    Answer: OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME

    If you're getting your information from those sources,or from the ones above it is no wonder you're hiding under your bed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Republicans are definitely winning the "War on Women"...

    Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor Tina Brown said that Democrats were struggling to attract female voters ahead of the 2014 midterms because women don’t feel safe under President Obama’s handling of the various crises facing the nation.

    “The fact is that Obama’s down with everybody; let’s face it. And I think that particularly for women, I don’t think he makes them feel safe. I think they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe economically. They’re feeling unsafe with regard to ISIS. They’re feeling unsafe about Ebola. What they feel unsafe about is the government response to different crises.

    I think that they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody. So there’s a slight sense of that.”

    ReplyDelete
  7. Suddenly, it feels like 2002. Democrats got creamed in midterm elections that year because the women voters they had relied on throughout the Clinton years deserted them. In 2000, women favored Democratic congressional candidates by nine points. In 2002, that advantage disappeared entirely. The biggest reason: 9/11. In polls that year, according to Gallup, women consistently expressed more fear of terrorism that men. And that fear pushed them toward the GOP, which they trusted far more to keep the nation safe. As then-Senator Joe Biden declared after his party’s midterm shellacking, “soccer moms are security moms now.”

    Unfortunately for President Obama, the security moms are back. And as a result, the levee Democrats were counting on to protect against a GOP hurricane is starting to crumble.


    More from the Atlantic

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the 2002 "Security Mom" mentality prevails in 2014, the "Gender Gap" among women voting Republican will be reduced from -7% to -4%

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Ms. Noonan is and always has been a perfect lady."

    A passive aggressive harpy.

    "Again, the public isn’t hysterical but concerned."

    That part of the public that pays more attention to this than it's worth is retarded.

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
  10. We have experienced Ebola in the United States because a Liberian citizen carrying the illness came here on a plane. That is why two of his nurses, so far, have gotten sick, and why scores of people are being tracked.

    Unlike the previous models, updates on the two nurses have stopped being announced.

    Why?

    RN's all over America are nervous. They still don't have the necessary gear as outlined by Dr. Fauci on yesterday's Sunday press shows.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is medically ethical -- believe it or not....Quest Diagnostics To Doctors: Not Accepting Ebola Blood, Patients.

    Quest is the largest blood-testing laboratory in the United States.

    The medical ethics: on the grounds of "unequipped to handle that condition."

    The same grounds were used here in Northern Virginia when Virginia Hospital Center refused to accept the Pentagon Puker, designated at the time as "potential Ebola case."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pray tell, good sir, what is this "war on women,' and how may I enlist in it?

    The Democraps make it sound like so much fun!

    Calling conservative women harpies like the cigarette-smoking baboon does, and getting away with it because he is a doctrinaire leftist has got to be a blast!

    And using politically-incorrect words like 'retarded' and getting away with it because you are on the cool kids' team must be an awesome rush.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear, FT,

    You may have wondered why I haven't commented here in a very long time? I'll tell you. It has nothing to do with you or the articles you post most of which are very good. It's the commentary that drives me away. Everyone on both sides seems to angry and all they do is trade insults or post prepared statements that have little or nothing to do with the items you present. It's discouraging and depressing, so I just withdraw.

    I certainly support your endorsement of Peggy Noonan. She may be the last of a dying breed. Mona Charen is another calm, sweet voice of reason, but she too has been around a long while.
    I don't see any younger people coming up through the ranks who might carry on in the tradition of expressing definite and decided views without being openly insulting, belligerent and accusatory, do you?

    The way we behave has a lot to do with the way we deserve to be treated. Too many have forgotten that, so all we have left is a slugfest.

    And now I will go back to watching the skateyeighth rerun of Murder She Wrote. Later on it will be one of the Lassie movies they're running all day. That and good old novels written before Heller, Mailer, Doctorow and The Catcher in the Rye came along are all we have left to keep us from going mad.

    Best to you, FT.

    Helen Highwater

    ReplyDelete
  14. 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' - FOR

    We can count on the fringe element of the GOP to opt for fear.

    Unethical politicians know fear is an
    effective way to control people.

    Nothing more need be said.

    BTW jmj, your point is a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. RN is just the RX for those of us on the beleaguered left!

    Keep poking those nasty rethuglicans in the the rear, RN!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Unethical politicians know fear is an effective way to control people.

    Ferguson, Ferguson, Ferguson. ASSAULT Weapons!
    Violence against WOMEN!
    Repeal Roe vs Wade...

    You may be right, RN.

    ReplyDelete
  17. May be right? I am absolutely right.

    Problem is too many don't recognize when THEY are part of the fear brigade.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Too true, RN. Manipulating people's ENVY, now THAT is the more SCRUPULOUS way to go!

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  19. Manipulating people's fears is simply something "beyond the pale!"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well Thersites, if the shoe fits wear it. If it doesn't, good on you.

      Delete
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  21. Helen,

    I find no fault in your opinion, because, very sadly, it is not "opinion," it is undeniable fact.

    Blessed is the man who walketh not in the path of the self-righteous, nor standeth in the way of the deluded, nor sitteth in the seat of scornful ...

    Thank you, Thersites, for your succinct refutation of sadly mistaken notions the delicate irony of which was not lost on me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The silver swan,
    Who living had no note,
    When death approached
    Unlocked her silent, silent throat.

    Leaning her breast
    Upon the reedy shore,
    Thus sang her first and last,
    Then sang no more.

    "Farewell, all joys,
    O death come close mine eyes.
    More geese than swans now live;
    More fools than wise."


    ~ Orlando Gibbons

    ReplyDelete
  23. Helen Highwater, the wicked witch of the Right.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Interesting -- and apparently legal: Harvard BANS students from traveling to West African countries affected by Ebola outbreak - unless they receive permission from the university first

    A few details:

    In new guidelines, Harvard University discourages students, faculty and staff from traveling to Ebola-stricken Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

    Says those who wish to do so must obtain permission from Provost first

    Upon return, they then must undergo medical screening by health service
    May even be asked to stay away for 21 days (disease's incubation period)


    Will the Left condemn Harvard as hysterical? Hmmmmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Speaking of fear,you know it's election season because the dems are out there telling the minorities that the GOP doesn't care about them and they are racist,that they want to take cancer screenings away from women and Social Security away from seniors.

    Same ol,same ol' from the fear mongering story tellers

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lisa,
    Spot on.

    You know what? I hate the two weeks leading up to Election Day.

    I'm not going to take a blog break, but I am going to spend less time participating on the web from now until November 5. I think that most voters have already made up their minds by now. Do you agree?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! Ebola turned women into Republicans... must be the "sex" of America's two Obama travel policy "victims".

    Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It makes sense to keep people from going there. But closing the borders, according to leading experts, is just another dumb, low-brow, simplistic brain fart from the right.

    JMJ

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  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  30. ut closing the borders, according to leading experts, is just another dumb, low-brow, simplistic brain fart from the right.

    Somebody better inform the Nigerians that their isolationist border closing policies will NEVER work!


    Oooops.

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  31. btw - Have you tried booking any flights out of Liberia recently? Good luck finding one.

    But you're right, travel bans don't work... until they do.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Note the table...

    Airlines Destinations

    Air Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan, Freetown(all services suspended)[a]

    Arik Air Accra, Lagos[29] (all services suspended)[b]

    British Airways London-Heathrow (suspended until 31 December 2014)[30]

    Brussels Airlines Brussels, Freetown

    Eagle Atlantic Airlines Abidjan, Accra, Freetown (all services suspended)[31]

    Gambia Bird Accra, Banjul, Dakar, Douala, Freetown, Lagos[32] (all services suspended)[a]

    Kenya Airways Accra, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta[33](all services suspended)[34]

    Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Freetown

    Gambia (beginning in July 2014) and Côte d'Ivoire (beginning 11 August 2014) have banned all flights and passengers from Guinea, Liberia, & Sierra Leone due to the ongoing Ebola outbreak.[26][27][28]

    ReplyDelete
  33. ps - Arik Air above is Nigeria's prime air carrier. They didn't ban travel to Liberia... they simply suspended all air service to/from there. Not a travel ban... something ENTIRELY different, but achieving the same result.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thans to all who aided in the search for Truth.

    ReplyDelete

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