Tuesday ReadsPosted: October 14, 2014 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: Hillary Clinton, medicine, Mitt Romney, morning reads, Republican politics, social media, U.S. Politics | Tags: Ann Romney, Arlington MA, Brianna Wu, CDC, Darren Wilson, ebola, Ferguson MO protests, Kent Brantly, Michael Brown shooting, Nina Pham, sex trafficking, Stephen Brill, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Texas tort laws, Thomas Duncan, Tom Frieden, upskirting, women and video games |64 Comments
The photo at the top of the page was taken on Mystic Street approaching Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center, Arlington, Massachusetts. I’ve lived in this town since the 1970s. The population in 2014 is less than 43,000. The Center has some stores, but it’s not really a shopping district. There’s a Starbucks, the public library, the main Post Office, a number of restaurants, that sort of thing. We don’t have a mayor. There is a town manager and a town meeting with elected members. Basically, Arlington is a small town, but it’s also part of Greater Boston. It’s a close suburb to Boston, situated between Cambridge and Lexington.
Arlington has always been a safe place to live, and I still feel that way about my neighborhood. But recently, big city crime has arrived here, and I’m kind of shocked. In September, the Arlington Police Department was involved in a sex trafficking case involving men from Rhode Island and Massachusetts who exploited a teenage girl and forced her into prostitution. Also in September, a man who worked for Arlington’s Department of Public Works was charged with “upskirting” in a local restaurant bathroom. That’s a crime I hadn’t even heard of before. It when someone uses a camera to look up women’s skirts. Ugh, how creepy. And this morning I woke up to this from The Boston Globe:
Video Game Developer: Twitter Rape, Death Threats Forced Me From Home.
An Arlington-based video game developer said she and her husband had to temporarily leave their home after they received graphic threats of sexual assault and death on Twitter—a response, she believes, to her online activism on behalf of women in the tech industry
Brianna Wu, head of development for the indie video game publisher Giant Spacekat, contacted Arlington police Friday evening after a Twitter account named “Death to Brianna”—whose profile description read, “I’m going to kill Brianna Wu and her husband Frank”—posted a number of graphic death threats.
Read some of the tweets at the link.
Arlington Police confirmed that the department is investigating the origin of the message. Twitter has since suspended the account.
Wu said she is “harassed on a daily basis,” often receiving rape threats and unwanted pornographic images, but that Friday night’s messages “crossed a line to the point [she] felt scared.”
“I left the house because I felt unsafe,” Wu wrote in a Facebook message to Boston.com. “I told the officer, and he felt that was reasonable.”
There’s no truly safe place left in America these days, I guess. Maybe it was always like that, and I just didn’t know it. At least we don’t have any Ebola cases yet.
Here’s the latest from Dallas.
AP, via the Seattle Times, About 70 hospital staffers cared for Ebola patient.
About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized, including a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed the Liberian man who was visiting Dallas, according to medical records his family provided to The Associated Press.
The size of the medical team reflects the hospital’s intense effort to save Duncan’s life, but it also suggests that many other people could have been exposed to the virus during Duncan’s time in an isolation unit.
On Monday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the infection of the nurse means the agency must broaden the pool of people getting close monitoring. Authorities have said they do not know how the nurse was infected, but they suspect some kind of breach in the hospital’s protocol.
According to the AP, the hospital shared medical records with the news agency, but “the CDC does not have them.” WTF?! Why?
The CDC has not yet established a firm number of health care workers who had contact with Duncan.
“If this one individual was infected — and we don’t know how — within the isolation unit, then it is possible that other individuals could have been infected as well,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “We do not today have a number of such exposed people or potentially exposed health care workers. It’s a relatively large number, we think in the end.”
Caregivers who began treating Duncan after he tested positive for Ebola were following a “self-monitoring regimen” in which they were instructed to take their temperatures regularly and report any symptoms. But they were not considered at high risk.
Typically, the nurses, doctors and technicians caring for a contagious patient in isolation would be treating other people as well, and going home to their families after decontaminating themselves. The hospital has refused to answer questions about their specific duties.
Jesus. It sounds like the hospital is still trying to protect itself rather than doing everything possible to keep this disease from spreading.
This story from Reuters is a must read, Following the mistakes in the Texas Ebola story. As we all know now, Thomas Duncan, the Ebola patient who died at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital initially went to the emergency room with a fever of 103, and he openly told heath care workers he had recently arrived in Dallas from Liberia. But they sent him home anyway. You’d think his family would be able to sue the hospital for millions, but they probably can’t.
As this Reuters report notes:
Texas tort-reform measures have made it one of the hardest places in the United States to sue over medical errors, especially those that occurred in the emergency room …. To bring a civil claim in Texas over an emergency-room error, including malpractice, plaintiffs have to show staff acted in a way that was “willfully and wantonly negligent,” meaning that the staff had to have consciously put Duncan or others at extreme risk by releasing him, rather just having made a mistake.
In other words, tort reform in Texas means you can’t sue a doctor or nurse for making a mistake, even a stupid, fatal one. Or even one that might end up causing multiple fatalities if Duncan gave the virus to others after he was allowed to leave the emergency room.
The author of the article, Stephen Brill is currently “researching a coming book on the economics and politics of U.S. healthcare,” and he has some interesting questions based on the Ebola case. He has found that in the U.S. expensive tests are frequently used–supposedly to protect against malpractice suits. Questions:
Have hospitals tightened their own quality-control and disciplinary processes because they know that doctors don’t have to worry about lawsuits and, therefore, want to add accountability measures of their own to deal with staff mistakes?
Or have they loosened discipline because they don’t have to worry about being sued for their staffs’ mistakes?
Brill also wonders why the hospital hasn’t named the nurse or doctor responsible for sending Duncan home after his initial visit to the hospital.
Yes, I would like to read a story about the person who made the mistake. What is his or her record? Was the emergency room busy when Duncan showed up? Or was the staff sitting around with little to do, yet still failed to react carefully enough? And were policies, explicit or implicit, in place encouraging them not to admit uninsured patients whose bills are likely to go unpaid?
What disciplinary action did, or will, the hospital take? What usually happens in a situation like this at that hospital and at hospitals generally?
But more than that, I would like to see a story exploring the issue of personal responsibility and public accountability when private people make mistakes that have huge public ramifications.
I’d like to read a story like that too.
In more positive news, a man who survived Ebola has donated blood plasma to the Dallas nurse who is sick.
The Rev. Jim Khoi, pastor of the Fort Worth church attended by Nina Pham’s family, said she received a transfusion of plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies Monday afternoon.
Samaritan’s Purse confirmed the plasma came from Dr. Kent Brantly, the Texas doctor who survived Ebola. Brantly contracted Ebola while working with the nonprofit medical mission group in Liberia.
Samaritan’s Purse spokesman Jeremy Blume says Brantly traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Sunday to donate the plasma.
Brantly said in a recent speech that he also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan, but that their blood types didn’t match. Duncan died of Ebola on Wednesday.
In politics news, it looks like we won’t see a third Romney presidential run, because Ann Romney has laid down the law.
From the New York Daily News, Ann Romney quashes rumors of Mitt 2016: ‘Mitt and I are done’.
“Mitt and I are done. Completely,” the wife of the two-time Republican presidential candidate has said to quash rumors that another campaign is in the works.
“Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Mitt Romney, 67, has said repeatedly he wasn’t interested in running again, but in recent weeks he’s been seen as flirting with the prospect.
With no clear Republican frontrunner for 2016, he has taken to the campaign trail to support Senate hopefuls, including Joni Ernst in Iowa on Monday, and has also kept up relationships with key GOP donors.
But his wife, Ann, seems to think a third time is not the charm.
I hope she really means it!
Another potential 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton spoke about a number of current issues yesterday in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Las Vegas crowd Monday night that more needs to be done to ensure young people can achieve their dreams and free students from onerous college debt “that can feel like an anchor tied to their feet dragging them down.”
“I think our young people deserve a fair shot,” she told about 900 people gathered in a Bellagio resort ballroom for the annual UNLV Foundation dinner benefiting the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Later, talking about the American public’s possible reluctance to get involved in conflicts around the world, Clinton referred to the threats posed by the Ebola virus and the Islamic State militant group.
“They want to bring the fight to Europe and the fight to the United States,” she said of the terrorist group.
And Ebola is not going to stay confined, the former first lady said.
Read more about her remarks at the link.
The New York Times has an article about the latest protests in Ferguson, Missouri. I can’t excerpt any of the text, because the Times has found a way to prevent it on some stories; it’s a good article and worth reading at the link. Here’s another report from the AP via ABC News: More Than 50 Arrested in Ferguson Protests.
Pounding rain and tornado watches didn’t deter hundreds of protesters Monday outside Ferguson police headquarters, where they stayed for almost four hours to mark how long 18-year-old Michael Brown’s body was left in a street after he was fatally shot by police.
Organizers of the four-day Ferguson October protests dubbed the day “Moral Monday” and committed acts of civil disobedience across the St. Louis region. In addition to the initial march on Ferguson police headquarters, protesters blocked the entrance to a major employer, held a loud rally inside St. Louis City Hall, disrupted business at a Ferguson shopping center and three Wal-Mart stores and tried to crash a private fundraiser for a St. Louis County executive candidate where U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill was scheduled to appear.
At the Edward Jones Dome Monday night, protesters briefly draped a banner over a Jumbotron video board that read “Rams fans know on and off the field black lives matter.”
More than 50 people were arrested, including scholar and civil rights activist Cornel West.
West was among 42 arrested for peace disturbance at the Ferguson police station. Some protesters used a bullhorn to read the names of people killed by police nationwide. Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy members — some of whom were among the first arrested — led a prayer service before marching to the station two blocks away.
I’m very glad that the protests are continuing. I’m afraid Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is going to get away with killing Michael Brown, so I think it’s important to keep the story in the nation’s consciousness.
So . . . what stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and enjoy your Tuesday!
Remember the “grapefruit diet?” A new study shows that something in grapefruit juice actually may affect some metabolic factor that leads to weight loss.
My mother went on the grapefruit diet when it first came out and continued to eat grapefruit thereafter. She was always on diets.
I happen to love grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
She used to put sugar on it. She would only eat the pink ones too.
Unfortunately, the WaPo still believes Mitt Romney could run again in 2016.
OTOH, we’d have the satisfaction of watching him lose a 3rd time.
“we’d have the satisfaction of watching him lose a 3rd time”
Not to mention all of the laughs he gives us with remarks about how Michigan trees are just the “right height” and learning to like “grits” and trying to say “Y’all”. And who can forget the “binders full of women”? I personally can’t wait to see the GOP field of presidential candidates, or as they’re better known, the Clown Car.
I just don’t want to go through it again. But I’ve had to put up with him longer than you guys.
I’d rather not have to listen to anything he has to say again. That would be torture.
The Republican party could do a lot worse. And it probably will.
Speaking of Texas and tort “reform,”
Wendy Davis Pollster: Controversial Wheelchair Ad Working
Considering Abbott’s ads I don’t consider Davis to be at all out of line. At least her ad is the truth, But Reps and “squishy” progressives don’t like an image of a wheelchair? Fuck ’em. At least the ad is being seen and the publicity has multiplied it incredibly. If people are not hot house flowers, it could work pretty well.
Abbott is currently running an ad all over the state accusing Wendy of being investigated by the FBI. The ad is a flat out lie but no one cares about that. There is an FBI investigation of a board in DFW where Wendy, and a boatload of other lawyers, has represented clients.
You would think the press would care about the truth, but they don’t. Assholes!
I agree. Her ad was highly relevant, since Abbot profited from a lawsuit and is now campaigning for tort “reform” and against accommodations for disabled people. I hope and pray she wins!
It’s the longest of long shots, but I am keeping hope alive until November.
Here’s a story from a guy who has personal experience with “tort reform” in Texas. Ad seems like “Justice” to his family.
Texas Monthly: Does Wendy Davis’s “Justice” Ad Cross the Line in Mentioning the Accident that Put Greg Abbott in a Wheelchair?
That’s a very powerful article.
Apparently the field of ophthalmology has not caught up with the rest of medical fields. My husband had cataract surgery about eight years ago, a day or so later he suffered a detached retina. The first doc sent him to head of retinology at a well thought of hospital for a surgical re attachment. A month or so later it red etched. Today he is classified as clinically blind in that eye. He did speak with other doctors and we went to Philidelphia’s famed eye hospital.
I think the worst ad I’ve seen is the Patrick ad. Man that dude is one toxic SOB. He is throwing out some of the worst scare tactics ever. That man must hate people with brown skin.
Luckily I haven’t seen any Patrick ads. Hope that doesn’t change. He’s a real nutcase.
Check out this gorgeous layer lapse video of Boston.
Wow, what a lovely city. Luv it BB.
The person responsible for ordering Duncan’s discharge would have been his attending ER physician, whom the hospital has not identified.
That is going to be extremely hard to prove, but it’s likely since I think most for-profit hospitals have an implicit policy to discourage admission of uninsured patients.
Apparently in TX, it’s all moot, since it’s just about impossible to sue for damages.
Is there any evidence Ebola can be transmitted from humans to dogs?
I just heard that they don’t really know yet, thus the quarantine.
Vox has a post on #gamergate and Brianna Wu, who lives in my town.
Angry misogyny is now the primary face of #GamerGate
That’s a gorgeous fall photo BB. Our falls in the south, unless you’re in the mountains or hills, aren’t nearly that splendid.
If you can follow Greg Abbott’s bouncing ball argument, you’re doing better than me. It’s pretty funny in a sick way.
Burnt Orange Report: It’s Not Bigotry, It’s Biology! Just Ask Greg Abbott
OMG, Abbott is way more crazy than I ever imagined!
Here’s the verbatim argument that he’s making: “By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage. Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society. Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy.”
Is that in the bible somewhere? That argument all boils down to “if TEH Gay can’t have the baby, as a couple, then we (State of TX) don’t have to worry about out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the costs that those births impose on Society, then there’s no reason for them to marry. Ok I get it!!! It’s the same old TEH Lesbian and Gay can’t procreate with each other so how dare they ask for equality in the application of the contract of civil marriage. We’ve seen that argument a thousand times so it’s a been there done that it’s always been shot down. And he’s likely to become the Governor? What a doofus!!!! I pity you folks in Texas Ralph.
Not all heterosex results in pregnancy either. Should they make marriage illegal then for people who can’t have children? The sterile? Maybe they should just put a big red S on them for god’s cursed sterile people. And, I won’t even go into the idea that there are breeders that don’t want to breed. What would Abbott suggest with them? Or, breeders that don’t want to be the Duggars and use family planning? That argument just goes absurd in a NY minute.
Exactly…That’s why Abbott won’t win with that argument. That dog hasn’t hunted an any court challenge to gay marriage and it won’t hunt for Abbott. What really gripes me about this entire “sanctity of marriage” “marriage is for procreation” “marriage is about 1 man/ 1 woman/ 1 family” argument is the hypocrisy of it. When a murderer on death row can marry a pen pal fan girl ( and TX has one of those), when a convicted child abuser/molester can marry and have children, when a heterosexual can marry as many times as they can tolerate and have children by as many mates as physically possible, when a heterosexual person can marry a perfect stranger whom they’ve never met and I can’t marry my partner of 30 years something is really screwed up and rotten. Marriage is a civil contract and as a citizen I’m entitled to enter that contract with whom ever I choose.
I can’t believe after fighting this battle for nearly 50 years I can still get angry over this issue, but I can. I guess that’s a good thing.
My question to Abbott and all of those who fight against gay marriage is….Why can’t you just tell the truth of why you object to gay marriage? Quit blaming it on your religion. You only use religious belief and family values as an argument against same sex marriage when it supports your phobias and prejudices. Obviously you’ve never used it to protect women and children from abusive and neglectful fathers. Where’s the support of low income working families, poor women with children who need help with daycare, food and healthcare. Oh, that’s right, that’s not the “Governments” business, but deciding which citizen is and isn’t entitled to the civil contract of marriage is the governments business.
Folks who wage war against L/G marriage need to admit it!!! they’re against gay marriage because it makes them have to deal with their own inner, unspoken, unacknowledged spiritual, emotional and sometimes sexual struggles. It offends their delicate sense of superiority, it shakes the very foundation of their sexual and moral equilibrium. No matter what they were taught and no matter who taught it to them someday, soon, they will have to admit that we are not inferior, sick or disordered Nothing is more difficult to abandon than a well groomed, well nurtured, well fortified prejudice, especially those rooted in religion. But that day’s coming baby cause you can’t stop the inevitable!!! Step aside. 🙂
Exactly. It’s a civil contract. If you think it has any religious overtones, than go to a church that will indulge that but it’s been a civil contract for ever. It’s a transfer of property rights.
I am not voting for that turnip. Can’t imagine any rational person voting for him. Then again, I don’t know many rational, sane people here.
I’m sure there are plenty of sane, rational people in Texas. It hasn’t been that long since it was a Democratic state. It’s just that the crazy wingnuts are drowning their voices out at the moment.
I don’t know. I just had 3 people that are either real friends or family share an Abbott ad on facebook. My former neighbor used to tell me how much he hated and I mean pure hatred for Perry but admitted that he voted for the man every damned time. My former friend and hair stylist is over the top Republican yet does drugs, is highly promiscuous, is against public education, etc. and despite her actions she hates democrats because they are immoral and godless.
No sense of self awareness at all and typical.
Have you seen this yet? 8 year old boy inspired by the final scene in ‘Dirty Dancing’. His mother posted the video to Facebook last week and it’s going on 10 million views. Highly recommended, if you need a lift. At. 2:06 OMG 🙂
That’s really cute.
Another nugget from Abbott’s gay marriage brief…
tpm: Texas AG Says ‘It Does Not Matter’ If Gay Marriage Benefits Children
Bigoted douchecanoe opens his mouth again, bullshit spews forth.
Raw Story: Sam Harris doesn’t know anything about feminism, decides to set feminist priorities anyway
I really can’t stand that guy.
GOP Official Asks Military Why They Haven’t Launched Coup Against ‘Domestic Enemy’ Obama
Which constitution is that, Debbie?
I am beginning to think that everybody in Missouri is an over the top racist and to think I grew up just south of Springfield, Mo. I am soooo glad I don’t think like those folks. I would have missed out on the friendship of many good friends and the love of some very good women. Just perplexing that some people don’t understand that the color of one’s skin is completely irrelevant.
Every now and again, with increasing frequency, one of these racist yahoos pops up and says what a whole lot of them really think. Looks like the Republican party is not only insane now but may be largely treasonous.
It was a 6-3 vote!
Dallas Morning News: Supreme Court blocks Texas from enforcing law that would close most abortion facilities
That’s terrific news
Cause for celebration!
Nurses at Texas hospital: ‘There were no protocols’ about Ebola
I can believe this.
Damn. This is bad, but at least the CDC is admitting their culpability — unlike the Texas hospital.
New McConnell Ad Features Chuck Todd Saying Grimes ‘Disqualified Herself’
Just watched the debate with Raul Labrador (R) and Shirley Ringo (D)………….my opinion is that he truly is a prick. He said Romney should have been president. I really don’t know how in the fuck he got into office.
All right! Woman posts photo of man who grabbed her. Unfortunately police weren’t interested until she publicized that police didn’t care.
Wow. Very cool.
There’s a Wed. post up now.