A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

Who Am I to Judge?

By 10.24.14

The logic of Pope Francis’s claim that “God is not afraid of new things” calls for some comment, and the crossing of several pons asinori.

First, if you are a Christian, it is a statement of the obvious: God, as God, is not afraid of anything. (Christ, as a man, was apparently afraid of crucifixion — His sacrifice would have had no meaning if it had not included fear — but that is a different matter.)

While God is not afraid of new things, there are many instances in which Man should be afraid of new things, from bio-engineering to nuclear weapons. Both Nazism and Communism had claims to be new things, new orders sweeping away old dead orders.

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A Further Perspective

‘New’ CDC Ebola Strategy Still Too Dangerous

By 10.22.14

Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced its new Ebola strategy. It includes more training and more protective gear for hospital staff. The CDC is also encouraging states to designate certain hospitals for Ebola preparation. For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is designating eight Ebola “supercenters.” The CDC is presuming that a few days is enough to make a hospital Ebola ready. That’s a gamble. Texas Health Presbyterian, a highly regarded 900-bed hospital, couldn’t handle Ebola. The CDC is betting on other hospitals to fare better. A safer strategy would be to expand capacity at the nation’s four bio-containment hospitals, which have treated Ebola patients successfully without the virus spreading to a single healthcare worker.

Most Americans have virtually no risk of getting Ebola. But doctors and nurses treating an Ebola patient are at high risk, despite assurances by the CDC that its “protocols” work.

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A Further Perspective

Ebola vs. ‘The Last Ship’: One of Them Isn’t Fiction

By 10.20.14

I’m embarrassed to admit that this summer I watched a new cable TV series called The Last Ship. When I stumbled on a TNT trailer of the new series featuring the use of a Navy ship and authentic shipboard scenes, I decided to watch the first episode. It was pretty lame drama, but I was hooked.

The premise of the series is that a deadly virus has spread around the world, decimating the population, and a doctor on board an uninfected U.S. naval vessel is the only hope of developing a vaccine to save the world.

The mission is simple: Find a cure. Stop the virus. Save the world. The crew of 217 men and women of the lone unaffected U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, the USS Nathan James (DDG-151), must find a way to pull humanity from the brink of extinction.

The reality of the current Ebola outbreak in Africa, which has spread to the U.S. and elsewhere, is a forceful reminder that the TV series is only fiction. This current epidemic is a very real danger that can’t be solved before the next commercial break.

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Ultimatum to Nurses: Make a Mistake and You Die

By 10.14.14

On Sunday, health officials announced that a nurse who had treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola-infected Liberian, has the virus and is in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the same hospital where Duncan died. This news exposes the falsehood behind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s repeated assurances for months that “U.S. hospitals can safely manage patients with Ebola.” That’s a whopper.

Dr. Dan Varga, the Dallas hospital’s chief medical officer, confirmed that the nurse became infected, despite wearing CDC prescribed protective gear, including waterproof gown, gloves, goggles, and a plastic face shield when caring for Duncan. Eighteen other hospital staff are being watched for symptoms.

No wonder. Treating Ebola patients is a deadly job. More than 233 doctors and nurses have caught Ebola and died in Africa this year. Many had limited equipment and training, but the fatalities also include renowned epidemiologist John Taban Dada, medical director of the two largest hospitals in Liberia, U.N. doctors, and two healthcare workers from the highly trained Doctors Without Borders teams.

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Marijuana’s Anti-Environmentalists

By 10.9.14

On California’s northern coast are three counties that marijuana aficionados call the Emerald Triangle. In their view, the growers there have perfected a strain of cannabis that has high potency and consistently high quality. Result: There are many growers, most tending their crops in remote corners of these mountainous, heavily wooded counties.

This produces serious environmental damage. In Humboldt County where the largest amount of Emerald Triangle marijuana is grown, the sheriff’s office conducted an aerial survey and counted 4,000 visible outdoor grows, nearly all of them illegal. (California was the first of 22 states to permit medical use of marijuana, so some grows were established to serve users who have permit cards.)

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The Juggernaut

By 10.8.14

The Supreme Court’s decision this week to let lower courts impose gay marriage on the states is one more blow to what is left of the traditional family in America. The unwillingness of the justices to defend the obvious constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage signals the imposition of gay marriage on the entire country. The court’s avoidance of the issue is an illustration of its contempt for the people and its support for elitist change by judicial revolution.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that the lesson of Roe v. Wade is not that the court ignored the Constitution but that “it moved too far, too fast.” In other words, the job of a justice is to invent constitutional rights at politically opportune moments. The liberal justices are content to let lower courts do their work for them and then ratify that judicial activism at a safer time.

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Swords About the Cross?

By 10.6.14

Bill O’Reilly’s idea of a mercenary force to defend what used to be called Christendom has some very old, if not exactly similar, precedents.

Many of the Orders of Chivalry — the Knights Templar and the Orders such as the Knights of St. John and St. Lazarus, originated to give both military protection against Muslim fanatics and medical care to Christian pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land.

They helped beat back Muslim raiders who had established strongholds in France and Italy, as part of a pincer movement to conquer and destroy Europe, and who had even sacked the Vatican.

The order of the Knights of St. John was originally established to set up outposts along the route to the Holy Land. One of the knights’ main tasks was to provide hospitals, and today their eight-pointed cross is seen on ambulances and first aid organizations. However, their military wing grew in importance and they became primarily a military order.

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‘A Workplace Violence Story’

By 10.1.14

Not so long ago the Left was mocking Oklahoma for joining the “anti-Sharia movement,” treating its worries about creeping radical Islam in America as paranoid. Liberals chortled over the silliness of the state’s measure to prevent judges from considering Sharia law in any of their decisions.

Last week those concerns looked considerably less idle. The state witnessed one actual beheading by a Muslim and another threatened one. The latter involved a Kenyan-born nursing home worker who was arrested after he reportedly told a co-worker he was planning to cut her head off, saying that he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians.”

The FBI is treating the beheading of a co-worker by Alton Nolen at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, as an act of “workplace violence.” This has met with the approval of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, for whom the story contains no connection to radical Islam. “It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story,” she said.

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The Past Cleverness of President Obama Is Finally Starting to Catch Up With Him

By 9.30.14

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.

The biggest issue in this fall’s election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama’s contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?

Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.

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Marijuana Cookie Monsters

By 9.29.14

It was all high fives on New Year’s Day in Denver’s marijuana shops. That was the day sales began under Colorado’s voter-approved measure to make legal “recreational” use of marijuana.

More than a few state bureaucrats, on the lookout for new revenue sources, must have looked on with warm smiles. After all, proponents had said often that legalization would give a boost in tax receipts to the state’s treasury.

Not to be left behind, the Colorado Symphony announced it would play a series of “cannabis-friendly” concerts to be called “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” With dwindling audiences and a deficit, the orchestra’s CEO, Jerome Kern, told the Associated Press, “The cannabis industry obviously opens the door to a younger, more diverse audience.”

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