Politicizing Ebola

And right before a major election, too.

On Oct 12, the Agenda Project Action Fund released a political ad called “Republican Cuts Kill,” which according to the group, has been scheduled to air in Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, and South Dakota—all states with high-stakes Senate elections in November. The ad juxtaposes pictures of dead bodies and body bags in West Africa with Republican lawmakers like Sens Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul.

“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,” said ad producer [Agenda Project Action Fund] Erica Payne[.]

A Tidbit

…of a concept that’s lost on one of the main groups of central planners of the world, those of Russia.

This one comes from an article in Pravda, which plays a role for the Russian government similar to that of The New York Times for the Democratic Party’s administrations. Interestingly, in addition to being missed by the Pravda author, it’s also missed by Tom Friedman, who cited the article in his NYT article.

The Government and Privacy

The government is continuing to misunderstand the import of the 4th Amendment’s stricture regarding searches, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects and especially Warrants…particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, and of the major purpose of our Constitution generally.

Even accepting things like Edward Snowden’s leaks and the NSA’s overbroad and non-particular descriptions of things for which to be “searched” in our cell phone metadata as being aberrations, the existence of the aberration demonstrates the fragility of government handling of that much searching capacity.

Privacy and the Government

This time, as represented by the FBI.

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation urged Silicon Valley Thursday to reverse course on encrypting phone data, suggesting the pendulum on privacy issues “has swung too far” against the government in the wake of revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

No. It hasn’t swung far enough, as too many judges’ attitudes illustrate.

FBI Director James Comey added,

We also need a legislative and regulatory fix.

In Which the Florida Supreme Court Gets One Right

Police in Florida aren’t allowed to use a cellphone to track someone’s movements according to a sweeping new ruling from the Florida Supreme Court.

The court by a 5-2 vote ruled Thursday that authorities in Broward County had no right to stop and arrest Shawn Tracey for possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine.

The police had a warrant to tap his cell phone calls, but that warrant didn’t include authorization to use his cell phone to track him.

Leading from Behind

…and continuing the Obama administration meme of letting the “international community” dictate our foreign policy—and now our domestic policy, also.

A quarantine against travel from the Ebola-infected nations of western Africa to the United States, ideally as part of an international effort but plainly not dependent on it, is critical to mitigating the risk to the United States of the Ebola epidemic spreading to here. I’ve answered the CDC chief’s objections to a travel ban here and here. Others more knowledgeable than me also are calling for such a travel ban.

Here, though, is what Obama’s State Department—medical experts all—claim in all seriousness:

Another Excessive

…and a community responds.

An employee of a Mom and Pop hardware store in Cape Coral, FL, placed a half-dozen American flags where they could be seen on the hardware store’s property; the flags were to honor the man’s six relatives who were veterans of the United States military.

Foul. It turns out that the location was on city property—the right of way to the hardware store—and Cape Coral has an ordinance against planting signs and banners, including the American flag, on the city’s rights of way. The city ordered the man to move the flags.

Excessive

The Dearborn Heights District 7 Board of Education chose a less severe punishment for the honor student who was initially expelled after a pocketknife was found in her purse at a football game.

On Monday, after two hours of deliberation, the board voted 6-0 to allow [the high school senior] to take online classes. She then will be able to graduate with her class in 2015.

A lesser punishment than originally imposed? She still was punished, severely. Because zero tolerance. Because, the Board of Education persons claim, state law.

Yet Another Reason for Smaller Government

German factory orders fell 5.7% in August, real GDP is stagnant or falling in many European countries, Standard & Poor’s has downgraded France to AA from AA+….

There’s more.

[T]he 18 euro area countries had zero real growth in the volume of production during the second quarter of 2014. Euro area real GDP grew only 0.5% in 2013 after falling 1% in 2012. In other words, output was lower in mid-2014 than it was at the end of 2011.

And yet—or because:

Another Reason for Smaller Government

Even with lives at stake—lives in the middle of a budding pandemic—Big Government bureaucracies are more interested in protecting turf and responsibility ducking than they are in their fundamental task of protecting American citizens’ safety from foreign problems.

Worse, one of the bureaucracies involved in this cynical ego-based Federal road block has nothing to do with the medical questions involved. First, the experts, at least by training and experience, if not by smooth performance: