American Elephants


Quarantines and Tests: Finding Out Sooner And Faster. by The Elephant's Child

The Daily Mail reports that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus may not be long enough. The World Health Organization advises the 21 day quarantine, but the WHO advised on Wednesday that there is a global plague, which can cause “vomiting, marked hypocalcemia, metabolic acidosis, convulsions and , in rare cases, even death. Not Ebola, but the overconsumption of energy drinks.

In Colorado, in the Corgenix lab in Broomfield, scientists are working on a new test—called a lateral flow dipstick type test — that can identify Ebola in 10 minutes, much faster than current methods that can take three days to diagnose. The test works much like a home pregnancy test. A drop of patient’s blood is placed on a test strip, then dropped into a buffer solution. Two lines show a positive result, one line means the test is negative for Ebola. It can be used in the field, and is currently being used to detect the deadly Lassa virus in west Africa. The new test will get the green light in about a year at the earliest, depending on the government.



The Kids Don’t Like Michelle’s Healthy Lunches. by The Elephant's Child

American children have responded to Michelle Obama” healthy lunches by dumping their full trays into the garbage bins. School boards are demanding that the Obama administration relax the standards.

  • 83.7 percent of school districts have seen an increase in plate waste.
  • 81.8 percent had an increase in cost.
  • 76.5percent saw a decrease in participation by students.
  • 75 percent of school leaders want an increase in federal funding for school districts to comply with requirements.
  • 60.3 percent want flexibility for school districts to improve their ability to provide good nutrition, without harm to other operations.

This is National School Lunch Week.  The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act calls for limits on fat, sugar and salt and a higher use of whole grains and veggies. The administration is quite sure it’s just not presenting them correctly. There are calorie limits for each meal, which I believe are the same for the 7 year-old and the 240 lb. football linebacker in high school. (That doesn’t seem possible).

Schools are urged to invite a legislator to lunch, or members of the press. There are special coloring sheets, word searches, crossword puzzles and more for the students to celebrate National School Lunch Week. Schools can win packets of stickers. There are tee shirts and aprons, posters and balloons and buttons.

Schools are urged to ask members of their staff if they would be interested in dressing up in different sports costumes for lunch. Add sports decorations to lunch lines. Rename some of your menu staples like ‘Touchdown Tacos, Fastball Fruit Salad, or Half-Time Hamburgers. Take pictures of your students enjoying lunchtime. Send them to the SNA Facebook page, but remember to get media release forms signed first. Ask local high school or college athletes to come in uniform to eat lunch with the younger kids.

That should do it.

School_Lunchschool-lunch   The left believes that to accomplish a good purpose, all you have to do is pass a law. They always forget that their prized laws affect real people.

 

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School Lunches

 

 

 

malia-sasha-obama-school-lunch-menu-oct-6-2014

 

 

ADDENDUM: Here’s another picture of a school lunch, as prescribed by Michelle Obama’s lunch program. Parents are furious. Some kids have the option of bringing a lunch from home , but many children depend on school lunches.This is pretty meager, unappetizing fare.

 



You Only Had One Job! by The Elephant's Child

josh-earnest-focused-ap“At the White House today, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that the American people should continue to be confident in the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola crisis, reminding reporters that they were “guided by science” as they continued to react to the disease.
This administration has been guided by the science, by our medical experts that have experienced with dealing with Ebola (sic).
Earnest did not seem open to appointing an “Ebola czar.” adding that more government officials would be appointed if the administration found it necessary.”

Screen-Shot-2014-10-14-at-1.56.57-AM-998x736“The federal government not ten years ago created and funded a brand new office in the Health and Human Services Department specifically to coordinate preparation for and response to public health threats like Ebola. …[P]erhaps the media could at least look at the roles that waste, fraud, mismanagement, and general incompetence play in the repeated failures to solve the problems the feds unrealistically claim they will address.” Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Ebola Czar, “says her major priority is to help the country prepare for emergencies and to ‘have the countermeasures—the medicines or vaccines that people might need to use in a public health emergency.'”

CDC-director-Dr-Tom-Frieden-More-US-cases-of-Ebola-not-impossible Tom Frieden, “the director of CDC first erred by leaving the impression that it was the healthcare worker’s fault. That explanation only angered many who believed the CDC was just shifting the blame. The explanation was later ‘explained.’ Now the CDC wasn’t sure how the individual got infected. Instead, the CDC would have to examine the protocols for patient care and update them if need be. But that “explanation” just triggered more headlines suggesting the CDC didn’t know hat it was doing.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Nearly 60 percent of Americans want the government to shut down flights to the U.S. from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, sources of the Ebola virus. Why isn’t the White House playing ball?… President Obama is refusing to cancel flights to the United States from the most stricken nations. Other nations’ airlines starting banning flights to and from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in August. …Instead of banning the flights, the White House has TSA workers taking the temperatures of passengers arriving at five U.S. airports. The fact that people may carry the virus for as much as 21 days before displaying any symptoms —including fever—renders this effort half baked at best.

MDG : Canada ending bilateral aid : CIDA :  Canadian flag on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on “Canada fights the war on Ebola without boots on the ground, develops vaccine. A made-in-Canada Ebola vaccine is ready for human trials, Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced Monday.

Forty healthy volunteers in the United States will undergo testing in Maryland to determine any side-effects associated with the VSV-EBOV vaccine. “This is promising and hopeful news,” Ambrose said. “It provides hope because, if it’s shown to be safe and effective, it can stop an outbreak.”



Pipelines, Fundraisers and Campaign Cash. Canada’s Had Enough. by The Elephant's Child

keystone1
The Obama administration has been holding up for six long years, any real decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline that would bring oil from the oil sands of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. Approving the project would have provided 20,000 well-paying  construction jobs, boosted the economy and helped to lower the price of oil on the world market, and reduce the influence of Russia and OPEC  in world affairs. The whole project was a huge win-win for both the United States and Canada.

Well, Canada has had just about enough. They are in the process of developing alternatives —one of which is a 2,900 mile pipeline that would carry a million barrels of oil a day from the oil sands region to the ice-free port of St. John, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy. There it would be refined and then shipped to customers around the world on supertankers. The Energy East Pipeline is a $10+billion (US dollar)project where an existing oil superport and refinery could export that oil to world markets, including India which is hungry for more energy.

Canada has already approved their Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline to Kitimaat British Columbia, a 1177 kilometer pipeline. That one is waiting approval from the many First Nation tribes that it would cross. There is also a 710 mi long Trans Mountain pipeline system operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners running from Edmonton, Alberta to terminals and refineries in British Columbia, Vancouver and the Puget Sound region in Washington. Kinder Morgan says expanding the existing pipeline, which they want to do by twelve times, is cheaper than Northern Gateway.

It is hard to over emphasize how annoyed the Canadians are over our failure to proceed on a mutually beneficial project because Obama wants campaign money from wealthy ideologues. Reuters says Canadian crude exports to the United States topped three million barrels per day last week. Much of this oil is moving by rail. Without a pipeline to a refinery and supertanker port, the U.S. is virtually Canada’s only buyer. Canadians are subject to price discounts of as much as $43 a barrel that cost Canada something like $20 billion a year.

The White House’s blockade of the Keystone XL hasn’t stopped domestic Fracking or development of Alberta oil sands. Instead, the industry transports oil and natural gas with 19th century technology — rail. Seven out of every ten barrels from North Dakota’s Baaken shale move by rail, and total carloads of crude have increased 4000% since 2008.

So naturally the president’s regulators are looking at the dangers of trains. The 2003 Lac-Mégantic oil explosion killed 47 people and destroyed parts of the Quebec town, an agency called the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is imposing new rail tank car design standards. Within three years, most of the 334,869 cars in the North American fleet must be retrofitted with thicker steel jackets, heat shields, better brakes and so on. Regulators, of course, claim to be acting in the name of rail safety, but according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) 99.9977% of potentially dangerous cargo arrives without incident.

Hardening of tank cars might prevent 0.0023% of accidents. Most (88%) of derailments are the result of cracked, split or washed-out tracks and welding. The need is for more track maintenance and inspection. The other major cause of derailment is human error. The real motive seems to be to force tens of thousands of tanker rail cars off the rails and slow the oil and gas development to which the enviros object.

Bloomberg has a long and fascinating article on Canada’s efforts to solve Obama’s intransigence over the Keystone XL, and their own need to bring their mother lode of crude oil to market. With one project, Energy East will give Alberta’s oil sands not only an outlet to eastern Canadian markets, but to global markets. Canadian oil and government interests feel they’re being played by Obama as he sweeps aside a long understood “special relationship” between the world’s two biggest trading partners to score political points with environmental supporters at home. (The Bloomberg piece includes maps that explain the pipelines).

It’s clear that his will be a huge benefit for Canada. The projects span the whole country, uniting Western oilfields with coastal shipping. The Keystone XL may still be built sometime, but failure to deal with our close friend and neighbor to the north in a timely and honest manner has deeply damaged a longstanding relationship and we missed out on jobs and economic growth for the sake of Democrat politics.



Liberal Dark Money Group Tries to Blame GOP for Ebola Deaths. by The Elephant's Child

When the Democrats get desperate, they get pretty disgusting. The Agenda Project, a 501(c)4 organization and liberal dark money group is placing ads in various battleground states is attempting to blame Ebola on the Republicans. According to an email signed by the group’s founder, one Erica Payne, and titled “if you die, blame them,” the group is starting:

a multi-pronged blitzkrieg attack tat lays blame for the Ebola crisis exactly where it belongs — at the feet of the Republican lawmakers. Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country.

Their internal polls must really be suggesting a Republican sweep. File this under “Guttersnipes.” Erica Payne has established a reputation for absurd attack broadsides against conservatives and Republicans. In 2010, she was responsible for an ad that accused Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) of killing senior citizens and a campaign to mock  Tea Party Americans who engaged in grassroots political activism called “Fuck-Tea.”

The Free Beacon notes that aside from the stupidity of the Ebola ad, it’s simply false. The U.S. Global Health Program budget has increased more than six-fold since 2001 and the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly approved a budget measure to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by $567 million, an 8.2 percent increase over the previous year.

Ten years ago the federal government created and funded a brand new office in the HHS department specifically to coordinate preparation for and response to public health threats like Ebola. As the Ebola Czar, Dr. Nicole Lurie’s job is to help the country prepare for emergencies and to have the countermeasures , the medicines or vaccines needed for a public health emergency.

Heard of her? Perhaps she is avoiding the public eye because there was a scandal a few years back. In November 2011, a front page expose in the Los Angeles Times described how a company controlled by a longtime political donor got a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist. The donor was Ron Pearlman, a controlling shareholder of Siga. The award was controversial in every way, including disputes about need, efficacy and extremely high costs. Even Democrats in tight election races were calling for investigations.

Last month Siga filed for bankruptcy after it was found liable for breaching a licensing contract. The company that fought the no-bid contract was Chimerix, which argued that their drug had far more promise than Siga’s. Chimerix’ Brincidofovir is antiviral medication being developed for smallpox, but also Ebola and adenovirus. Preliminary tests show some promise against Ebola, and the FDA authorized its use on Oct. 6 for use against some Ebola patients. It was given to Thomas Eric Duncan who died from Ebola.

The supposedly underfunded NIH has granted $702,558 for a study on the impact of televisions and gas generators on villages in Vietnam, $175,587 to the University of Kentucky to study the impact of cocaine on the sex drive of Japanese quail. $44.382 to study hookah smoking in Jordan and $592,527 to study why chimpanzees throw objects. Last year there were news reports about a $509,840 grant from NIH for a study that would send text messages in “gay lingo” to meth-heads. Preparation for an Ebola epidemic? Not so much.

And Erica Payne, and her Agenda Project? They have close ties to the Democracy Alliance, the Democrat’s billionaire donor club. Payne is a DA co-founder, and the Agenda Project is one of the groups to which Alliance donors can steer money to satisfy their annual $200,000 giving requirements.

We have had one Ebola death of a man who knew he had been exposed to Ebola, and lied to catch a flight to America. There are so many issues, important issues, facing the country that serious discussions would help to allay fears and to help the public understand why we are doing what we are doing, and if the administration is competent to manage our problems. Instead we get this, and a game of kick-the-can down the road till after the election, so maybe the people won’t find out.



Nobody’s in Charge, Nobody Knows Anything, Incompetence Reigns. by The Elephant's Child

The world is in flames, and those in charge don’t seem up to the job of taking charge. The CDC can’t get their information straight, and can’t seem to talk straight. Panic is allayed with calm, correct information, and knowledge of the facts. The Wall Street Journal addressed the question by saying “the fire-brigade approach clearly isn’t working. A sustained, coherent policy is vital to preventing pandemics.”

The spokesman who attempts to soothe the population with platitudes only makes matters worse. Straight talk, good information. When President Obama declared Ebola a National Security issue, he didn’t calm people’s fears, he inflamed them.

Americans are debating the wisdom of sending several thousand troops rather than asking whether U.S. assistance is organized as efficiently and effectively as it should be? Rather than an effort to deliver effective risk information, we were told that it was unlikely anyone with Ebola would ever enter the country and chances of an epidemic were extremely low.

ISIS is approaching Baghdad, taking precautions to avoid attack with our airstrikes, just as we were told that they would, melting into the population, ending their long parades of armored vehicles. There is some evidence they are using chemical weapons. The Kurds fight on, but desperately need the weapons we have not bothered to give them. Secretary of State John Kerry remarked that:

Kobani is just one community, and it’s a tragedy what is happening there…but we have said from day one it is going to take a period of time to bring the coalition thoroughly to the table, to rebuild some of the morale and capacity of the Iraqi army, and to begin to focus where we ought to be focusing first, which is in Iraq.

Enterovirus D68 is raging, and we are calmed with claims that it goes away in the winter, so don’t worry. Every mother knows that kids bring everything home from school, so people worry.

But never fear. “The Pentagon released a report Monday asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security with  increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster response as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.”

The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere,” Mr. Hagel said. “Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration….

While foreign policy experts have for years warned that climate change could present a future risk to national security, the Pentagon’s characterization of climate change as a threat demanding immediate action represents a significant shift for the military.

Never one to be outdone in the absurdity category, Secretary of State John Kerry  declared “Life as you know it on Earth ends if climate change skeptics are wrong.”

“But even if climate alarmists are wrong, nothing bad can come of enacting their taxes, restrictions and regulations,” Kerry said in a speech at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Another Democrat who never took a course in economics:

The worst that could happen to us is we create a whole lot of new jobs, we kick our economies into gear, we have healthier people, healthier children because we have cleaner air, we live up to our environmental responsibility, we become truly energy independent, and our security is stronger and greater and sustainable as a result. That’s the worst that happens to us.

Eighteen years of a complete lack of warming, and nobody seems to notice that the more immediate danger is a very cold winter and the EPA trying to shut down all of our coal-fired power plants with nothing — nothing — to replace that electricity. Numbers of hurricanes are way down, Numbers of  tornadoes are way down. But those are weather, not climate.

We are in the best of hands. When everybody is completely incompetent, what can possibly go wrong?



Well, Obama Doesn’t Do His Own Tweeting, But Yes It Does. by The Elephant's Child
October 12, 2014, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

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“Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgement that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas – jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy – reliably lead to oppression and murder?”

Sam Harris, Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon

So the American Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise of jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy and chopping off heads? And this is what passes for sober thought in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and fourteen?




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