Opinion: White House in Full Spin Control Mode

In this week’s address President Obama attempts to reassure the American people that Ebola is contained, well understood, and will not be a problem. He covers a few basic facts in his weekly address:

  1. Only 3 cases of Ebola in USA;
  2. Ebola is a difficult disease to catch… the only way to contract Ebola is to come into contact with the bodily fluids of somebody already showing symptoms;
  3. We know how to fight the disease and we’re stepping up our response;
  4. We can’t cut ourselves off from Africa, so we can stop it at its source.

Here are my responses to these facts:

  1. True. But two of those people are healthcare workers who thought they were doing what was needed to protect themselves. So, in partial response to his third point, we obviously don’t know how to fight this disease. He also later states that this fight will take a long time and the surfacing of more cases are on the table. So while this point is true, it’s pointless. This is just the beginning of a bigger problem.
  2. Disputed. In a recent report from CIDRAP, (The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota), another set of infectious disease experts say:

    We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not face masks.

    The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering facepiece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run.

    In other words, some experts say it may be possible to contract Ebola if bodily fluids from an infected person are aerosolized in a tight space.

  3. Disputed. In a recent Congressional Hearing aired on C-SPAN we witness many times over the doubts of some of our elected representatives on the adequacy of the White House and CDC’s response to the Ebola problem. Clearly there are many people in Washington DC that believe we should be doing much more, and that the CDC doesn’t have a firm grasp of the problem.
  4. True, but this is not a black & white situation – no pun intended. We can secure our borders and restrict air travel without shutting down efforts to stop Ebola at it’s source.  This idea was suggested repeated by several politicians during the recent Congressional Hearing.

The Conclusion I Draw

I think the White House is in full spin control mode as a national security precaution. If the White House were to issue any other message, especially one that sparked more concern, people might panic and that could collapse efforts to control the disease.

So while their motives may be well-intentioned they have no legs to run a long race. You can’t dismiss a growing problem with spin indefinitely. In fact when you do this you increase the backlash when the public wakes-up or is leveled-with.

My Recommendations


I think the Obama Administration should take a different path, and in this week’s address he laid the groundwork for this alternative by saying that every American citizen will have a role to play.

This is an opportunity to kick-off a health-centric civil defense program, which might even help promote and support Obamacare indirectly.

The primary core message for jump-starting this program would be confronting Ebola head-on with an overwhelming force. It’s not an over-reaction to fear but a calculated asymmetrical assault on the disease that confronts every possible avenue this enemy could take. It’s not a war on Ebola, which would be too cliche, but an strategically overwhelming response that closes all gaps for this disease to spread.

Such a bold move could also earn President Obama serious kudos. Instead of attempting to downplay the risk, which the public sees as weakness and avoidance, he could use the appointment of Ron Klain as the catalyst for this shift in approach.

Immediate actions for a health-centric civil defense program could be:

  1. Encourage people to build-up their immune systems. Make it widely known that eating less gluten, dairy, fast food, manufactured food, etc, weakened the immune system and increases an individuals chance of beating any bug. Strengthened immune systems start with a healthy gut. When your gut is clogged with cheese, gluten, and empty calories they become a breeding ground for bad gut flora, and your health deteriorates.
  2. Develop and distribute a Home Ebola Early Detection Kit along with the necessary personal protective (PPE) gear and information to help people isolate households where Ebola is discovered. This should be as easy to use as a home pregnancy kit and come in easy safe disposal packaging.
  3. Encourage people to wear PPE gear as soon as they feel sick or travel in public – even if Ebola has not reached their area. Gloves and an N95 mask, plus good safe handling measures (avoid touching face, or unnecessarily touching surfaces) can give someone an edge over any contagious disease including the flu.
  4. Be ready to distribute supplies and care information to households where Ebola emerges. This will help folks voluntarily shelter in place for long time periods. At some point hospitals may not have space or adequate numbers of healthcare workers to handle a growing number of Ebola patients. If this happens we will need a back-up plan ready to roll. The most obvious next step would be to empower people to shelter in place and care for themselves.
  5. Provide people with assurances that they will not loose their jobs or income if their household needs to be quarantined. I realize this could get very expensive financially, but giving people the security to isolate themselves should help eliminate the pressure to leave their quarantine.
  6. Build a robust plan to keep public utilities operational like the power grid, water system, teach pickup, and sewer. Work immediately to decentralize the power grid to eliminate key points of failure and improve the overall robustness of the grid.
  7. Immediately ramp-up the manufacture of PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) forced air breathing units and other necessary PPE gear. While the current message from the WHO and CDC says that Ebola is not airborne, others suggest that it can be under certain situations. So as an informed precaution give healthcare workers and emergency responders the best PPE possible. This will also help keep people on the job longer.
  8. Until the danger has passed, improve control at the borders. Require waiting periods of up to several days to monitor for signs of infection. Use disaster relief housing units at the borders as temporary housing.

Consider making this kind of civil defense program international since the problem can travel everywhere. Then, like the powers-that-be are already suggesting, ramp up the international response in Africa. Heading off the disease at its source should be the top priority.

So just to recap… where I disagree with the White House is in the domestic approach, not the efforts in Africa.

What to Do?

I’m skeptical that our government is capable of implementing anything like this, or inclined to do so, we should consider these kinds of measures for ourselves.  This you can do right now are:

  1. Learn how to improve your own immune system and make those changes now.
  2. Acquire basic PPE gear now (N95 masks, gloves, etc), and learn how to use it in an emergency.
  3. Be ready to shelter in place for an extended time.
  4. Reduce your exposure to all pathogens by limiting travel and unnecessary activities outside the home.
  5. Prepare back-up plans for electricity, water, and sewer.

An Ebola epidemic in America is on the table. We must not give into fear and respond stupidly, but we should not cling to the idea that everything is under control until the American people themselves feel empowered to defend themselves against this enemy.

 

 

Data Point: Obama Says He ‘hugged and kissed’ Ebola Nurses

“I shook hands with, hugged and kissed not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory, because of the valiant work they did in treating one of the patients. They followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so…” – President Obama via story at RT USA

This could be bad if the healthcare authorities are wrong about how Ebola is transmitted. I guess we’ll just wait and see if the President and his entourage show signs of Ebola. I can’t even imagine the government’s response if The President gets Ebola so early in this (likely) pandemic.

Boots on the Ground

Some U.S. military advisers could end up in front-line positions in the fight against Islamic State militants, the White House said on Wednesday, although President Barack Obama vowed that America would not fight another ground war in Iraq.” – Reuters

Sounds like SOCOM will be taking the lead to me. Special Forces, are also known as military advisers. Makes sense since they’ve been the spear point in the Middle East this whole time.

But it continues to blow my mind that the President can say with a strait face that there will be no ground war and how so many Americans continue to support Obama.

For example, if ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State attack U.S. us on our soil, imagine the popular support for war. It would go through the roof.

Photo above credit: Reuters/Larry Downing. Image below to Gallup.

Gallup Daily - Obama Job Approval

U.S. Strikes Move West Toward Syria

The U.S. military took a unilateral giant step toward bombing targets inside Syria over the weekend as it swung its crosshairs west and began bombing Islamic militants in the western Iraq province that borders Bashar al-Assad’s war-ravaged country.” – TIME

Obama seemed to convey weakness (could also call it careful thoughtfulness) on Face the Nation this weekend – and then we get this news of airstrikes inside Syria. This is not going to end well.

Photo via LA Times.

Obama to Unveil Strategy for ISIS/ISIL on Wednesday – The Day Before the 13th Anniversary of 9/11

President Obama appears to have stepped up his rhetoric from ‘contain’ to ‘defeat’ as he stated “we will hunt down [ISIS] members and assets wherever they are,” but carefully added putting U.S. troops on the ground would be a “profound mistake.” – Zero Hedge

It will be interesting to see what kind of strategy can defeat a terrorist group without putting boots on the ground. If that were actually possible there would be no more need for war, right?

Oh wait! Maybe he’s just going to pay-them-off and make them an ally! That would do it all right? Just make friends with them and they will leave us alone. Sure… that would work.

That was sarcasm by the way.

 

Data Point: America May Not Be Paying Attention – Yet

President Barack Obama wore a tan suit Thursday … and the Internet exploded. Good to see this country has its priorities straight. Then again, I write about Justin Bieber for a living. Obama spoke Thursday at the White House, addressing military conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine.” – San Jose Mercury News

Some Americans too notice of President Obama’s suite while he delivered his “no strategy about ISIS” talk and Nero fiddled while Rome Burned.

Data Point: President Obama Acts with Impunity, Again

The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria after President Barack Obama gave the OK, U.S. officials said, a move that could pave the way for airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets there.” – The Globe and Mail

I could find nowhere that President al-Assad gave permission for this action. If this was sanctioned by the Syrian Government then the data point it mute.

Why does President Obama think he has the authority to invade Syria’s airspace? More importantly, why does the U.S. Government think it can actually advertise they can break the law and deploy spy drones anywhere they want? Why aren’t the American people in the streets demanding that our government abide by international law?

Oh right… if the government doesn’t like a law they just change it to make their illegal actions legal.  Oh right… anything done in the name of American national security is peachy keen. WTF falls into the definition of national security anyway? Oh right that’s classified, top secret, and so f-ing scary nobody wants to know.

So reading between the lines… data points like this point to the underlying truth that to hold the USA together (a.k.a protect national security) some very freaky shit (illegal military actions) has to happen.

Get it? See the glue? See the duct tape? See the bailing wire? You’re not seeing things. See the man behind the curtain? Yes… he’s on life support. If he wasn’t then why the heck would the wester powers be so fricken hell-bent on starting a big war to protect their assets?

Side note: By the way, I was once a life-long democrat and voted for Obama the first time around. Sometime during his first term Obama’s actions inspired me to turn my back on all political parties. I’m still the most liberal guy you might ever meet, and totally political party free.

If you’re waking-up to the fact that the left/right paradigm is a farce, and that we’re conditioned to cheer for a red or blue political team, consider becoming totally party free and re-register to vote and ‘decline to state’ your political part affiliation.

 

Chess Moves Toward World War

Dang this latest news is better than any false flag. Obama now has the smoking gun he’s been seeking and a war with Iran will seem justified.  It has been reported that Ahmadinejad’s cameraman has delivered key evidence into American hands.

“The Iranian cameraman assigned to document President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent trip to the UN has defected, and new reports claim that with his exit he has handed the US a trove of never-before-seen footage of his homeland’s nuclear facilities.” – RT.

I oppose war entirely. We didn’t go to war with India or Pakistan when they declared they had nukes. We didn’t go to war with Israel because they are suspected of having nukes.

I wish Obama would use this evidence to pressure Iran’s friends (China & Russia specifically) to help encourage Iran to work with the international community and give America & Israel no viable reason to start a war.

But sadly it looks like the joint US/Israel attack is loaded in the breech.

“After months of urging from Israeli authorities for the US to intervene in a rumored Iranian plan to procure a nuke, a source speaking on condition of anonymity tells Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf that the two allies have come close to signing off on an attack against Iran.
Although no plan of action has been set in stone yet, the source says the attack will likely be from the sky and consist of drone strikes and bomber jets for only “a couple of hours” at best but would not require more than “a day or two” of action.” – RT

So lets just say this happens – after all it’s on the table. A couple of questions pop into my mind:

  • How will China or Russia respond? Will they jump in militarily and make WWIII official or will they continue to play their cards close to their chest and continue their subtle chess moves? I suspect the latter.
  • What will happen to the oil flow from the Middle East? We all know about the vulnerability of the Strait of Hormuz. We all know that Iran is well armed. This could go very badly for Americans at home if gas goes higher.
  • How will Americans respond? Will they support Obama and give him a landslide election or tell him to make up with Ahmadinejad and let the oil flow? I suspect both but would he seek peace?
  • Could this be the catalyst to collapse the petrodollar? An attack on Iran seems like it would have the potential to split the world in two – east & west. If this happened would oil trades cease to be made predominantly in U.S. Dollars? Seems plausible.
  • If the petrodollar collapses does the dollar collapse? Technically speaking – yes. Hyperinflation would be the result of a massive increase in the money supply, so if the demand for dollars suddenly dropped due to its abandonment for oil trades the dollar should technically drop in value – possibly collapse.
  • Would the U.S. Government go back on the gold standard to support the dollar? I think might – in fact I think the powers-that-be would do anything to protect the American way of life. There has been some speculation that the gold design features of the new $100 bill hints that this might be the case.
  • If there were a world war, and the U.S. went back on the gold standard, and replaced all old dollars with gold dollars, what would happen to all those foreign held paper dollars? Oh right, they would be made worthless – obsolete. That would also strengthen the dollar significantly and destabilize any nation relying on those old dollars.

I’m just asking questions and making guesses. I used to be a fairly good chess player and this reminds me of the thought process one uses to win. You know… if I move X, my opponent will move Y, Z, or… Q!? It’s always guess work but helps a player see ahead a few moves.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out… now I just need to go dig a bunker so I have somewhere to watch the game unfold.

Crazy world… and all for this.

We Are on the Brink of War

When I went to Google News this morning the top story was on our Peace Prize Packing President taking off the gloves… oh wait his gloves have been off since the get-go.

“US President Barack Obama will warn Iran on Tuesday that the United States will “do what we must” to prevent it acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on US diplomatic missions in Muslim countries.” – Obama to warn Iran: US will do what it … JPost – International.

Today is going to be an interesting day.  Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in New York speaking at the UN General Assembly, Obama will be there too to draw a line in the sand, a fleet of western warships is off the coast of Iran, the Middle East is in an uproar and hating America more than usual, and Israel is battening down the hatches on this Yom Kippur. Fingers off triggers folks!

Obama to Spend more than Bush on Military

If you don’t believe that post title read it for yourself in the New York Times.

Now I may be the most liberal guy you’ll ever meet, in fact I’m so liberal I don’t listen to the ‘liberals’ because they are usually just as full of propaganda as the conservatives. Instead I make up my own mind based on the facts. So this post may come as a surprise because it sounds the other guys.

This news is coming from the horses mouth too, Obama’s Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates. He’s asking for the military budget to continue to grow at 1% a year, plus the costs of the war.

PLUS THE COST OF THE WAR!?

Yep, and when you add up the tab it shows that Obama will spend 6.1% more than Bush on the military. I assume this also takes into account news that the Pentagon is shutting down an entire military command (Reuters) in an attempt to ease the concern over increased spending.

So my question is, and now it seems like a good time to ask it again, has America gone insane?

We, the united American people, really need to drop our petty differences and political parties and unite against these greedy bastards and take our democracy back before they totally screw things up.

…sigh…

On a related note, curious to see what’s really happening in Afghanistan? Here’s a little documentary style show from a liberal online TV station. Looks like the Taliban has the ‘good guys’ chasing their tails.

Part One

Part Two