Troubling Information on Possible ‘Airborne’ or Aerosol Transmissability of Ebola ****

Editor’s Note (Oct 16): See the statement released today by CIDRAP related to this commentary.

Editor’s Note (Sep 17): Today’s commentary was submitted to CIDRAP by the authors, who are national experts on respiratory protection and infectious disease transmission. In May they published a similar commentary on MERS-CoV. Dr Brosseau is a Professor and Dr Jones an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Authors’ disclaimer: This commentary reflects the personal opinions of the authors. It does not represent the opinion of the University of Illinois at Chicago or any other organization. The authors have not received any compensation for the preparation of this commentary or any associated public statements. The authors do not endorse any specific manufacturer or brand of personal protective equipment (PPE) and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the use of a specific brand of PPE. In the past one or both of the authors have received research funding from numerous government agencies and organizations, including 3M.
Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures.

The precautionary principle—that any action designed to reduce risk should not await scientific certainty—compels the use of respiratory protection for a pathogen like Ebola virus that has:

No proven pre- or post-exposure treatment modalities
A high case-fatality rate
Unclear modes of transmission

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 facemasks.1


I begin this column by offering a measure of what I choose to uphold what ought to be a standard of esthetics, at least in portraiture. It is by no means my only measure, but it does reflect a person I once knew, and who is still close to my conception of a romantic ideal. If she is reading this, she will recognize herself.

Lady Agnew of Lochnaw is a luxuriant representation of the kind of woman a man ought to want: In the frank, steadfast glance at her auditor is the knowledge of how she is being regarded, that knowledge shamelessly obvious in the set of her eyes and face, in the quiet confidence of her bearing, in her total expression. It is, from my own perspective, at least, a seductive, come-hither look. The hues of her satin gown, the purple sash, and the relaxed set of her arms, the surrounding colors of the armchair, the neutral background, in terms of composition, together all highlight and are all calculated to guide one’s glance to the focal point, that unforgettable, alluring face….

I have other such conceptions. Some are photographic, others cinematic. But Lady Agnew has been anchored in my gallery most of my adult life. A framed reproduction of it hangs on one of my walls. Two of my fictional characters are also painters and portraitists, literary versions of my projection of a romantic ideal: Stella Dawn in Run From Judgment, and Dilys Jones-Skeen in the Cyrus Skeen detective novels.

Well, enough of that. My point here is that this caliber of art has virtually vanished. There are some capable, unsung artists able to produce that quality of portraiture, but they are invisible to the cultural establishment, and if recognized, then shunned, banished, and deprecated. I happen to know at least two such artists, but only one has a website.

Another Tack: The 14th century in Washington : Sarah Honig

Kerry treacherously crossed a redline in a calculated move that should send chills down the spine of every thinking person.In all fairness, it’s not just the Obama administration which is fond of insinuating that somehow Israel is to blame for all that ails the Mideast.

This has been the underlying theme of the US State Department since Israel’s birth in 1948.

The variations in the stance vis-à-vis Israel derive from the intensity of antipathy – the subtlety and sophistication of the tone in which it’s expressed. Given its strident hectoring, the Obama administration is doubtless America’s least-subtle and least-sophisticated ever.

While past presidents and their secretaries of state took greater pains to pretend not to side with glaring Arab anti-Israel falsehoods, such niceties are all but absent from Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s rhetoric.

Anti-Israel idioms and calumnies are repeated by them as an obvious and infallible politically-correct gospel.

And thus Kerry had the colossal gall last week – significantly at a White House ceremony for the Muslim fest of Id al-Adha – to claim no less that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (i.e. the Jewish state’s struggle for survival) bolsters the mass appeal of Islamic State radicalism.


Ya’alon’s requests to meet with Secretary of State Kerry, Vice President Biden in Washington were turned down this week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration this week refused Israel defense minister’s requests to meet several top national security aides, still miffed over negative comments he made about Secretary of State John Kerry’s Mideast peace efforts and nuclear negotiations with Iran, US officials said Friday.

While Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Kerry on his five-day trip to the United States. The administration had sought to stop Ya’alon from seeing Power but the objections were made too late to cancel the meeting, according to the officials.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the snubs, which were first reported by several Israeli media outlets.

Their comments were reported hours after publication of a report by the Israeli news-site Ynet, which said Ya’alon had been denied the meetings because the US administration was settling scores with Ya’alon for statements he made in January in which he called Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which came to an abrupt halt in April. Ya’alon also privately derided Kerry’s security proposals for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank.

Turkey: The “Great Muslim Democracy” by Burak Bekdil

Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists — mild or otherwise — rule a county, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed.

“A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey.” — Hasam Kilic, President, Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

The prosecutor demanded a heavier penalty for the victim than for her torturers.

The European Commission identified government interference in the judiciary and bans imposed on social media as the major sources of concern regarding Turkey’s candidacy for full membership.

“We have made the conservative, pious [Muslim] masses not just a part, but a major actor of the political system.” Thus said Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, not even trying to hide his pride.

Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists — mild or otherwise — rule a country, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed. The seal of approval for the terrible failure of what U.S. President Barack Obama once called a “successful Muslim democracy” came from the country’s top judge.

Hasim Kilic, President of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, and himself a conservative, recently said that, “A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey;” and he called on the Turks “to resist [it], and not give up.” It is not always easy to do so.


Was this the Metropolitan Opera’s Peter Gelb speaking?

“”This is a very, very tough subject, and we’ve tried to approach it honestly and fairly”

Or how about this? “…….” that the Israeli occupation of land once owned by Palestinians justifies their terrorism”….Or this: “A sympathetic Palestinian says that he and other terrorists (the Basque ETA gangs, the IRA) simply want to return and live in their old homes. The blame for their terrorism rests on those who now live in those homes and refuse to leave. ”

And how about: “Cultured Palestinians passionately explain: “We are for twenty-four years the world’s largest refugee population. Our homes taken from us. Living in camps. No future. No food. Nothing decent for our children.”

He also blames Jews for turning the Palestinians “into animals” and charges them with exploiting guilt over the Holocaust.

Was Alice Goodman the librettist of the Klinghoffer travesty the one who said “…… the creation of Israel a “mistake,” blamed Israel for “the whole shameful history of the dreadful suffering of the Palestinian people,”and advocated policies to undermine the state.”

How about the linking of Jews and money? Is this from the opera? ”

A leitmotif linking Jews and money will make more than a few viewers wince. “…..A Mossad handler growls: “I want receipts!”We’re not the Rothschilds, he says, just a small country. “We need receipts. You got me? Whatever you’re doing somebody else is paying for it.” Or: “A Jew and a Frenchman – we could haggle forever.”

Well no. This is all from the vile movie “Munich” which won so many awards and accolades. And Alice Goodman’s anti-Semitism pales in comparison to Tony Kushner….the “librettist” of “Munich”…Briefly, the movie presents, via pulse-pounding scenes of kidnaping, death, stalking and more death, the message that Israel was brutal, bungling and immoral in its reaction to the massacre. True, the hostage-takers were also brutal; but dispossessing Palestinians, we soon learn, lies at the root.

These are all quotes from a review by CAMERA…

And finally: “Again, no. Indeed, merely to state clearly this argument is to refute it. A man who murders innocent by-standers is not the same thing as a man who resists oppression. The first is defined by his actions, the second by his aspirations. And if someone seeks freedom by murdering innocents, he is to be condemned as a terrorist, even if we sympathize with his aspirations. He may even forfeit those aspirations.”


The lull in the coverage of all things Islamic was broken by two terrorist attacks in Canada, a reminder that so long as the world does not unite to destroy the Islamic State, we shall all remain vulnerable. A “lone wolf” terrorist can kill you just as dead as one in a terrorist organization, particularly one encouraging these attacks.

While the media’s herd mentality continues to report about Ebola in West Africa and gears up for massive coverage of the forthcoming November 4 midterm elections, the Middle East remains in a low state of boil, never failing to produce bombings, skirmishes, and the usual inhumanities we associate with Islam.

Americans pay attention to the Middle East only when blood is flowing and at the present time the only element generating that is the Islamic State (ISIS) which continues to attack Kobani in northern Syria and assault the Yazidis and other targets in Iraq. The U.S., Britain and France are bombing ISIS forces, largely to protect and assist the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the only fighting force of any consequence.

Virtually unreported are the 18 million Muslim refugees throughout out the Middle East. The U.N. reports that these and internally displaced persons reflect the turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq. Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. To grasp this, think about what either the U.S. or Europe would be like with a comparable number of refugees.

As David P. Goldman, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Wax Family Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, noted October 20 on the Forum website, “That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs.”

Barry Shaw:Obama’s dangerous strategy of linking Iran, ISIS and Israel.

In fifty days of Gaza conflict, Israel launched 5500 precision air strikes against terror targets. In 70+ days, the US launched less than 500 air strikes in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Why?

It’s not lack of planes and fire power. It’s a lack of political will, despite all the rhetoric of having to degrade and defeat the Islamic State rampage and mayhem.

Despite Obama’s late decision to launch air strikes he has only tickled the enemy. He could do more. He won’t. He doesn’t want to. What is the reason for this procrastination?

Part of the reason for Obama’s reticence in attacking ISIS with more force seems to be contained in a think tank policy document he commissioned entitled “The Iran Project. Iran and its Neighbors. Regional Implications for US Policy of a Nuclear Agreement.”

Experts who signed off on this document include Thomas Pickering, Brent Scowcroft, Daniel Kurtzer, Nicholas Platt, and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The document mistakenly sees the possibility of using ISIS to drive Iran and Israel closer together in a common cause. This misguided strategic fantasy is described thus, “If ISIS were to continue to progress, Israel and Iran might find themselves with a common enemy.”

The dream of bringing Iran and Israel together seems so devoutly to be wished by the Obama Administration that it surmounts any political reality to facts on the ground.

Could this be the reason that America has not applied the full measure of air power at its disposal in killing and driving back ISIS?

Releasing Criminally Convicted Illegals onto Our Streets By Arnold Ahlert

In a revelation that will surprise almost no one at this point, the Obama administration has been caught in another lie. Records obtained by USA Today contradict the administration’s assertions the 2,228 people freed from immigration jails in 2013 only included those with minor criminal records. Instead, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released a number of illegal aliens facing serious criminal charges that include “kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide,” the paper reports.

Despite last year’s furor surrounding the release, the administration continued to insist that only “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” had been set free. That statement was part of the hundreds of emails and spreadsheets obtained by the newspaper showing that while two-thirds of those released had no criminal records, several had significant criminal records.

These realities blatantly contradict testimony by then-ICE Director John Morton before the House Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2013. Morton assured the Committee there were “no mass releases of dangerous criminals underway or any planned for the future, just efforts to live within our budget.” He also had the following exchange with Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA):

Forbes: Let me ask you this question. On the aggravated felonies that you talked about, I am looking at the list here, and I am just running through a couple of them. But no one on that list was charged or convicted with murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?

Morton: They were not.

USA Today, which obtained the ICE data via a Freedom of Information Act request, reveals the fraudulence of Morton’s claims, noting there was “one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers,” the paper states. “Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon.”

Ottawa Attack: Contrasting the Mothers of Terrorists Posted By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

The mother of the Muslim terrorists who attacked Canada’s parliament building on October 22 says she is weeping for her son’s victims, not for her son. What a contrast with the mothers of Palestinian terrorists who murder Israelis.

Mrs. Susan Bibeau, the mother of Canadian terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, told the Associated Press on October 23: “If I’m crying it’s for the people, not for my son…I am mad at my son.”

If only Palestinian mothers felt the same way! Instead, they have the jihad mentality, too.

Last year (on Jan. 27, 2013), the Facebook page of Fatah, the movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, posted a feature about the mother of 23-year-old Wafa Idris, the first female Palestinian suicide bomber. She murdered one Israeli, and wounded over 100, by blowing herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket in 2002. The posting quoted Wafa’s mother as saying “She is a hero…My daughter is a Martyr (Shahida).”

The Fatah page added: “Wafa’s mother said that she is proud of her daughter, and hopes that more girls will follow in her footsteps.”

More recently, in an interview with Israel Television on June 29, the mother of one of the Hamas terrorists involved in the kidnap-murders of three Israeli teenagers said: “If they [the Israelis] accuse him of this [the kidnapping], and if it is a true accusation, I will be proud of him until Judgment Day. If the accusation that he did it is true…My boys are all righteous, pious and pure. The goal of my children is the triumph of Islam.”