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Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Wolf plans to sign an executive order to prohibit gifts even though state law allows officials to accept gifts worth up to $250 without reporting them, or gifts worth more than that amount if disclosed. The law sets a $650 threshold for travel, hospitality and lodging.
Critics during Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's campaign pointed to his acceptance of legally allowed gifts, totaling more than $28,000 during his tenure, from tickets to sporting events and Broadway shows to a free yacht vacation.
In his Campaign for a Fresh Start, Pennsylvania governor-elect, Democrat Tom Wolf spelled out his rule on gifts — for himself, his Governor's Office staff, and his appointees to state agencies and boards: “The rule will be easy to apply and easy to report — no free lunches, no free tickets to ball games, and no free trips to conferences or vacation resorts. If you come and work for Tom Wolf in Harrisburg, there will be no ‘gifts' as part of your job.”
Barry Kauffman, lobbyist for Common Cause of Pennsylvania, said the rule is “strong incentive to do the right thing. It means you'll be beholden to no one.”
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7133693-74/wolf-gifts-rule#ixzz3IoA2UhcA
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Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7133693-74/wolf-gifts-executive#axzz3IkgdSNWT
Good for Governor-elect Wolf - off to a fine start. Sadly, it will be a cold day in hell before the state legislators of either party agree to apply such a rule to themselves. I worked for the Democratic Caucus of the PA House for 10 years. On session days, legislators from both parties routinely attended hot breakfast buffets in the Capitol rotunda, sponsored by lobbyists/special interest groups. They were also taken out to restaurants by lobbyists most evenings they were in the state capitol. And OH! all the college/professional sports outings where they were wined and dined in private, luxury boxes. Then there were the golf outings. Most outrageously, the overwhelming majority of these state legislators collected their undocumented per diems for food, even though they rarely paid for even a can of soda.
Posted by Divernan | Tue Nov 11, 2014, 07:14 PM (6 replies)
Because Obama would roll right over on that one and immediately agree to the youngest, most conservative, white, male nominee Mitch could come up with. All those harping at Ginsburg to retire during Obama's last 2 years? That is definitely off the table. Stay healthy, Justice Ginsberg!
There are currently 64 vacancies in the Federal judiciary, with 32 Obama nominees hanging in limbo. Mitch can hold up those 32 nominees and pressure Obama to fill the other 32 slots with little Scalias, Thomases, etc. Probably set up a 10 to 1 ratio, i.e., Obama gets one of his appointees for every 10 of Mitch's he supports.
Sadly Obama couldn't negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag.
So here's the deal. When the next Senate session opens, Obama puts four issues on the table for what he laughingly calls "negotiations."
1. Trade deals
3. Chained CPI
4. Rebuilding infrastructure.
The GOP snaps up the first three. Obama claims victory - hey! he got 3 out of 4!
Posted by Divernan | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 07:47 PM (0 replies)
Here's a link to last August's Courier-Journal report on McConnell's comments at a Koch Brother fianced soiree. As per yesterday's results, the majority of voting Kentuckians never need unemployment benefits, never struggle working for a minimum wage, and have no interest in refinancing student loan debt. What a bubble they live in!
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a conference of rich, politically active conservatives in June that he wouldn't allow votes on the minimum wage and extending unemployment if he becomes majority leader, according to a leaked audio recording.
Posted by Divernan | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 04:47 AM (7 replies)
What's not to love!?!? (sarcasm). Fooled her (HRC) once, shame on him; fooled her over and over and over again for decades? Shame on her! I fully empathize with giving someone a second chance - but not 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. I can even understand and empathize with wives who stay with a serial adulterer because they lack the self-confidence, education, resources, and or ability to support themselves post divorce, or whose children would face a significant reduction in quality of life if adulterous daddy is kicked out. That was not the case with HRC. With a law degree from Yale? Gimme a break! When Bill was Governor of Arkansas and she was with a prestigious law firm, Bill joked that she was supporting the family.
No wife has ever been so publicly, brutally and internationally humiliated by a husband's philandering. Where is her self-respect? What has tolerating such humiliation done to her psychology? I think it explains her aggression. She's displaced what she'd like to do to her husband to being a war-monger, and documenting political enemies as targets for her eventual revenge.
An unguarded look into the Clintons
Blair's documents give an unguarded look into the lives of Hillary and Bill Clinton, from Bill Clinton's days as Arkansas governor and rising Democratic star to the couple's time in the White House, warts and all.
Blair wrote in her diary that Hillary Clinton called Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who nearly brought down her husband's presidency, a "narcissistic loony toon." Hillary Clinton defended her husband's adultery by saying it was caused, partly, because "the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them."
Diary: Hillary kept records for 'revenge'
Blair also noted a 1994 conversation in which the first lady asked her for advice on "how best to preserve her general memories of the administration and of health care in particular." When asked why she wanted to keep the documents, Clinton replied, "Revenge."
Confidante's diary: Hillary wanted to preserve records for 'revenge'
Posted by Divernan | Thu Oct 23, 2014, 08:13 AM (2 replies)
Due to its relatively small population, Alaska has only 1 representative in Congress. Since 1973, that has been the increasingly irascible Don Young, who is now 81 years old. It's fair to say we're talking about dementia here. Think of Young as Ronald Reagan with a nasty, vicious personality. Young was listed as the third-worst congressman by the popular magazine Rolling Stone, and dubbed "Mr. Pork" due to his involvement in the Gravina Island "Bridge to Nowhere" incident. In the article, Young is quoted as saying that "Environmentalists are a self-centered bunch of waffle-stomping, Harvard-graduating, intellectual idiots" who "are not Americans, never have been Americans, never will be Americans." Dickinson, Tim (2006-10-17). "The 10 Worst Congressmen". Rolling Stone.
In the past week, while addressing first the students at Wasilla High School, and later residents at a senior citizen center, Young has been more unapologetically outrageous and insensitive than ever. At Wasilla HS, students are in counseling for the recent suicide of a classmate. There was a similar suicide of a Wasilla HS student the year before. Here's how Young's appearance played out:
Alaska’s lone congressman, Don Young, spoke to a group of students at Wasilla High School Tuesday. Earlier this month, Young barked at his Democratic opponent after a touch on the arm, “Don’t ever touch me! The last guy who touched me wound up on the ground, dead!” This time it’s insensitive remarks about suicide, berating friends of the victim, and comparing Alaska’s newly legal same-sex marriage to bull fornication. And getting drunk in Paris.
At one point Young asked the students what they thought the hardest part about being a congressman was. And no, it wasn’t learning how to sustain a stratospheric level of idiocy over a span of decades. According to Young, it’s the travel.
According to Swick, Young then said, “’I can travel to Paris, get drunk, and come back in the time it takes me to get to DC.’ He was trying to make a point, but why did he have to put ‘get drunk’ in there? It was just inappropriate. And he also said Hell several times. Witnesses also say that Young referred to a student as a smartass, or an asshole. Shock tends to fuzz out the memory. http://www.themudflats.net/archives/44801
There's lots more at the above Mudflats link re Young's views on gay marriage, marijuana.
Fast forward a couple of days and Young is addressing senior citizens when one of them dares to ask about his comments on suicide. http://www.themudflats.net/archives/44816
A press release sent out Wednesday evening from the campaign of Young’s opponent, Forrest Dunbar, details the continued gaffing of the most senior member of the United States House of Representatives. Now he’s talking nonsense to senior citizens instead of high school kids.
Today at the Mat-Su Senior Center Don Young remained unapologetic when asked about the ignorant comments he made to Wasilla students yesterday, claiming that suicide is a result of a lack of support from friends and family. He defended his comments and did not offer an apology or rescind any of his remarks. He did, however, add that the federal government is to blame for suicide.
Young’s comments continue to astound his opponent. “This has gone past the point of bizarre. In the last two days I have gone from shocked, to saddened, to angered. If Don Young honestly believes that the suicide crisis in Alaska is because of public assistance programs, and he also believes that Wasilla High administrators were ‘coddling’ students dealing with the death of a classmate, then he is completely out of touch,” stated Dunbar, Young’s opponent for U.S. Congress. “Yesterday I said I hoped Don regretted his statements to WHS, and would learn from them. After his remarks today it is clear Don Young will not change. The Don Young that lashed out at those students, and who is so painfully ignorant on the issue of suicide, is the Don Young we have representing us in Congress. Unless Alaskans make a change.”
Posted by Divernan | Thu Oct 23, 2014, 07:46 AM (2 replies)
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune Review
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday suspended Justice Seamus McCaffery with pay for sending and receiving 234 emails containing pornographic photographs or videos.
After apologizing last week for a “lapse in judgment,” McCaffery, 64, blamed Chief Justice Ronald Castille for the disclosure of emails from 2008 and 2009, saying it was “a vindictive pattern of attacks.” Castille, 70, had demanded the emails from the attorney general's office after the attorney general this month released sexually explicit emails circulated among former prosecutors.
Neither McCaffery nor Castille could be reached. The justices have had a long running feud. Castille, the former Philadelphia District Attorney and a Republican, faces mandatory retirement by Dec. 31.
McCaffery is “hereby relieved (of duty) on an interim” basis, the court's order said. The matter is under investigation by the Judicial Conduct Board, Chief Counsel Robert Graci told citizen activist Gene Stilp, who filed a complaint.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6999531-74/mccaffery-emails-castille#ixzz3Gk0DzuJx
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Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6999531-74/mccaffery-emails-castille
This Justice has already admitted to sending/receiving, on a state computer, during his work day, over 200 emails & videos, described by the court as "extremely disturbing". I disagree with Justice Todd's statement that suspension with full pay violates due process. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." As long as McCaffery is not imprisoned and gets his salary & employment benefits, no due process question arises. In Mathews v. Eldridge, the U.S. Supreme Court said three factors had to be analyzed:
"First, the private interest that will be affected by the official action; second, the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, and the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and finally, the Government's interest, including the function involved and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirement would entail."
As to the 3rd factor, the function involved, we're looking at a governmental interest in the court's ability to dispense full and fair justice, free of prejudices. McCaffery's self-admitted penchant for hard core porn, which demeans and degrades women, can be strongly argued to consciously or subconsciously affect his interpretation of the facts of a case, and his evaluation of parties, witnesses & testimony in a case. His sharing said porn, repeatedly, including in ex parte communications with attorneys who come before the state supreme court, casts an ugly shadow over the court's proceedings and provides grounds for appeal therefrom.
Hard core porn is to women as racism is to blacks. If the Justice had sent and received hundreds of racist emails and videos, that would provide grounds for appeal to any black parties who had come into his court. Employers have a legal right to suspend an employee pending investigation, and this is often seen in the field of law enforcement, i.e., suspension on full pay can be used when an employee needs to be removed from the workplace to avoid prejudicing an investigation This is used not as a punishment, but in the employer's best interest. For example, a police officer who shoots a person while on duty will be given a suspension with pay during the investigation, not to punish, but to enable the department to carry out its investigation, as well as to avoid inflaming the public if said officer is allowed to continue working in a community.
234 actions over a 2 year period? A review by the attorney general's office found McCaffery's emails contained more than 700 unique sexually explicit images and 60 unique video files, according to a statement last week by Castille.
Hardly a "lapse in judgement" as McCaffery weakly claims.
Posted by Divernan | Mon Oct 20, 2014, 10:14 PM (4 replies)
Here's the "better background" you requested.
How are infectious diseases transmitted via aerosols?
Medical and infection control professionals have relied for years on a paradigm for aerosol transmission of infectious diseases based on very outmoded research and an overly simplistic interpretation of the data. In the 1940s and 50s, William F. Wells and other "aerobiologists" employed now significantly out-of-date sampling methods (eg, settling plates) and very blunt analytic approaches (eg, cell culturing) to understand the movement of bacterial aerosols in healthcare and other settings. Their work, though groundbreaking at the time, provides a very incomplete picture.
Early aerobiologists were not able to measure small particles near an infectious person and thus assumed such particles existed only far from the source. They concluded that organisms capable of aerosol transmission (termed "airborne") can only do so at around 3 feet or more from the source. Because they thought that only larger particles would be present near the source, they believed people would be exposed only via large "droplets" on their face, eyes, or nose.
Modern research, using more sensitive instruments and analytic methods, has shown that aerosols emitted from the respiratory tract contain a wide distribution of particle sizes—including many that are small enough to be inhaled.5,6 Thus, both small and large particles will be present near an infectious person.
The chance of large droplets reaching the facial mucous membranes is quite small, as the nasal openings are small and shielded by their external and internal structure. Although close contact may permit large-droplet exposure, it also maximizes the possibility of aerosol inhalation.
As noted by early aerobiologists, liquid in a spray aerosol, such as that generated during coughing or sneezing, will quickly evaporate, which increases the concentration of small particles in the aerosol. Because evaporation occurs in milliseconds, many of these particles are likely to be found near the infectious person.
The current paradigm also assumes that only "small" particles (less than 5 micrometers ) can be inhaled and deposited in the respiratory tract. This is not true. Particles as large as 100 mcm (and perhaps even larger) can be inhaled into the mouth and nose. Larger particles are deposited in the nasal passages, pharynx, and upper regions of the lungs, while smaller particles are more likely to deposit in the lower, alveolar regions. And for many pathogens, infection is possible regardless of the particle size or deposition site.
It's time to abandon the old paradigm of three mutually exclusive transmission routes for a new one that considers the full range of particle sizes both near and far from a source. In addition, we need to factor in other important features of infectivity, such as the ability of a pathogen to remain viable in air at room temperature and humidity and the likelihood that systemic disease can result from deposition of infectious particles in the respiratory system or their transfer to the gastrointestinal tract.
]We recommend using "aerosol transmissible" rather than the outmoded terms "droplet" or "airborne" to describe pathogens that can transmit disease via infectious particles suspended in air.
Altogether, these epidemiologic and experimental data offer enough evidence to suggest that Ebola and other filoviruses may be opportunistic with respect to aerosol transmission.28 That is, other routes of entry may be more important and probable, but, given the right conditions, it is possible that transmission could also occur via aerosols.
Guidance from the CDC and WHO recommends the use of facemasks for healthcare workers providing routine care to patients with Ebola virus disease and respirators when aerosol-generating procedures are performed. (Interestingly, the 1998 WHO and CDC infection-control guidance for viral hemorrhagic fevers in Africa, still available on the CDC Web site, recommends the use of respirators.)
Facemasks, however, do not offer protection against inhalation of small infectious aerosols, because they lack adequate filters and do not fit tightly against the face.1 Therefore, a higher level of protection is necessary.
To summarize, for the following reasons we believe that Ebola could be an opportunistic aerosol-transmissible disease requiring adequate respiratory protection:
Patients and procedures generate aerosols, and Ebola virus remains viable in aerosols for up to 90 minutes.
All sizes of aerosol particles are easily inhaled both near to and far from the patient.
Crowding, limited air exchange, and close interactions with patients all contribute to the probability that healthcare workers will be exposed to high concentrations of very toxic infectious aerosols.
Ebola targets immune response cells found in all epithelial tissues, including in the respiratory and gastrointestinal system.
Experimental data support aerosols as a mode of disease transmission in non-human primates.
Risk level and working conditions suggest that a PAPR will be more protective, cost-effective, and comfortable than an N95 filtering facepiece respirator.
We thank Kathleen Harriman, PhD, MPH, RN, Chief, Vaccine Preventable Diseases Epidemiology Section, Immunization Branch, California Department of Public Health, and Nicole Vars McCullough, PhD, CIH, Manager, Global Technical Services, Personal Safety Division, 3M Company, for their input and review.
Oberg L, Brosseau LM. Surgical mask filter and fit performance. Am J Infect Control 2008 May;36(4):276-82
CDC. Ebola hemorrhagic fever: transmission. 2014 Aug 13
ECDC. Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa: third update, 1 August 2014. Stockholm: ECDC 2014 Aug 1
Martin-Moreno JM, Llinas G, Hernandez JM. Is respiratory protection appropriate in the Ebola response? Lancet 2014 Sep 6;384(9946):856
Papineni RS, Rosenthal FS. The size distribution of droplets in the exhaled breath of healthy human subjects. J Aerosol Med 1997;10(2):105-16
Chao CYH, Wan MP, Morawska L, et al. Characterization of expiration air jets and droplet size distributions immediately at the mouth opening. J Aerosol Sci 2009 Feb;40(2):122-33
Nicas M, Nazaroff WW, Hubbard A. Toward understanding the risk of secondary airborne infection: emission of respirable pathogens. J Occup Environ Hyg 2005 Mar;2(3):143-54
Bauchsch DG, Towner JS, Dowell SF, et al. Assessment of the risk of Ebola virus transmission from bodily fluids and fomites. J Infect Dis 2007;196:S142-7
Formenty P, Leroy EM, Epelboin A, et al. Detection of Ebola virus in oral fluid specimens during outbreaks of Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever in the Republic of Congo. Clin Infect Dis 2006 Jun;42(11):1521-6
Francesconi P, Yoti Z, Declich S, et al. Ebola hemorrhagic fever transmission and risk factors of contacts, Uganda. Emerg Infect Dis 2003 Nov;9(11):1430-7
Dowell SF, Mukunu R, Ksiazek TG, et al. Transmission of Ebola hemorrhagic fever: a study of risk factors in family members, Kikwit, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1995. J Infect Dis 1999 Feb;179:S87-91
Roels TH, Bloom AS, Buffington J, et al. Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1995: risk factors for patients without a reported exposure. J Infect Dis 1999 Feb;179:S92-7
Kuhl A, Hoffmann M, Muller MA, et al. Comparative analysis of Ebola virus glycoprotein interactions with human and bat cells. J Infect Dis 2011 Nov;204:S840-9
Hunt CL, Lennemann NJ, Maury W. Filovirus entry: a novelty in the viral fusion world. Viruses 2012 Feb;4(2):258-75
Bray M, Geisbert TW. Ebola virus: the role of macrophages and dendritic cells in the pathogenesis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2005 Aug;37(8):1560-6
Mohamadzadeh M, Chen L, Schmaljohn AL. How Ebola and Marburg viruses battle the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol 2007 Jul;7(7):556-67
Lindsley WG, Blachere FM, Thewlis RE, et al. Measurements of airborne influenza virus in aerosol particles from human coughs. PLoS One 2010 Nov 30;5(11):e15100
Caul EO. Small round structured viruses: airborne transmission and hospital control. Lancet 1994 May 21;343(8908):1240-2
Chadwick PR, Walker M, Rees AE. Airborne transmission of a small round structured virus. Lancet 1994 Jan 15;343(8890):171
Best EL, Snadoe JA, Wilcox MH. Potential for aerosolization of Clostridium difficile after flushing toilets: the role of toilet lids in reducing environmental contamination. J Hosp Infect 2012 Jan;80(1):1-5
Gerba CP, Wallis C, Melnick JL. Microbiological hazards of household toilets: droplet production and the fate of residual organisms. Appl Microbiol 1975 Aug;30(2):229-37
Barker J, Jones MV. The potential spread of infection caused by aerosol contamination of surfaces after flushing a domestic toilet. J Appl Microbiol 2005;99(2):339-47
Piercy TJ, Smither SJ, Steward JA, et al. The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol. J Appl Microbiol 2010 Nov;109(5):1531-9
Jaax N, Jahrling P, Geisbert T, et al. Transmission of Ebola virus (Zaire strain) to uninfected control monkeys in a biocontainment laboratory. Lancet 1995 Dec 23-30;346(8991-2):1669-71
Kobinger GP, Leung A, Neufeld J, et al. Replication, pathogenicity, shedding and transmission of Zaire ebolavirus in pigs. J Infect Dis 2011 Jul 15;204(2):200-8
Weingartl HM, Embury-Hyatt C, Nfon C, et al. Transmission of Ebola virus from pigs to non-human primates. Sci Rep 2012;2:811
Reed DS, Lackemeyer MG, Garza NL, et al. Aerosol exposure to Zaire Ebolavirus in three nonhuman primate species: differences in disease course and clinical pathology. Microb Infect 2011 Oct;13(11)30-6
Roy CJ, Milton DK. Airborne transmission of communicable infection—the elusive pathway. N Engl J Med 2004 Apr;350(17):1710-2
Canadian Standards Association. Selection, use and care of respirators. CAN/CSA Z94.4-11
Wolz A. Face to face with Ebola—an emergency care center in Sierra Leone. (Perspective) N Engl J Med 2014 Aug 27
Posted by Divernan | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 06:57 PM (0 replies)
Source: ABC Channel 7 Denver
DENVER - A Dallas nurse who has Ebola may have had symptoms while on a public flight from Cleveland to Dallas.
That startling development was announced Wednesday night from Frontier Airlines CEO Dave Siegel who sent the following message to airline employees: "At 1:55 p.m. MDT (Wednesday) Frontier was notified by the CDC that the passenger may have been symptomatic earlier than initially suspected; including the possibility of possessing symptoms while onboard the flight.
"In light of the new information, Frontier determines that the aircraft will remain out of service and ferries it back to Denver from Cleveland without customers. The flight departs at 6:20 p.m. EDT and arrives in Denver at 7:20 p.m. MDT. In an abundance of caution, it is determined that the aircraft will receive a fourth cleaning since the infected customer was onboard. Though not required, this cleaning will consist of the removal of seat covers and carpets in the immediate vicinity of the passenger seat. The airline will also change the environmental filters onboard.
"NOTE: These extraordinary actions went beyond CDC recommendations. These steps were taken out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees. Steps such as removing the aircraft from service, removing aircraft seat covers and carpet and replacing environmental filters as well as placing the crew on paid leave were not requested nor mandated by the CDC. Frontier expects that the aircraft will return to service in a few days."
The plane, which had been grounded in Cleveland, flew empty to Denver International Airport to undergo the additional These steps were taken out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees. Steps such as removing the aircraft from service, removing aircraft seat covers and carpet and replacing environmental filters as well as placing the crew on paid leave were not requested nor mandated by the CDC. Frontier expects that the aircraft will return to service in a few days."
Read more: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/health/ebola/frontier-plane-that-carried-ebola-patient-made-5-additional-trips10152014
It is quite significant that the airline felt compelled to "go beyond CDC recommendations". Someone at that airline is smart enough to realize that the CDC is flying blind when it comes to whether the Ebola virus has mutated such that it is more contagious than thought in the past. The farther this virus spreads, and the more people it infects, the greater the opportunity the virus has to mutate as to (1) whether a victim is infectious BEFORE they are symptomatic; and (2) whether the disease becomes airborne.
According to Flight Aware, after Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas, the same Frontier Airlines plane made five additional trips:
Frontier Flight 2042 departed to Dallas on Oct. 14 at 8:11 a.m. CDT and arrived in Cleveland at 11:14 a.m. EDT
Frontier Flight 1104 departed Cleveland on Oct. 14 at 12:24 p.m. EDT and arrived in Fort Lauderdale at 3 p.m. EDT
Frontier Flight 1105 departed Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 14 at 4:02 p.m. EDT and arrived in Cleveland at 6:16 p.m. EDT
Frontier Flight 1101 departed Cleveland on Oct. 14 7:24 p.m. EDT and arrived in Atlanta at 9:03 p.m. EDT
Frontier Flight 1100 departed Atlanta o An Oct. 14 at 10:12 p.m. EDT and arrived in Cleveland at 11:19 p.m. EDT
Frontier jet lands in Denver Wednesday afternoon and is taken to a Frontier maintenance hanger for further decontamination cleanup procedures.
Siegel ended his letter to Frontier employees by saying, "We take today’s events seriously as your safety and that of our customers is always at the forefront of everything we do. Since we were notified by the CDC, we’ve proactively placed six crew members (two pilots; four flight attendants) on paid leave for 21 days out of an abundance of caution as the safety and security of our employees is our number one priority. This was over and above CDC guidance that stated that our flight crews were safe to fly."
Customers who may have traveled on the Frontier flights the nurse was on should contact CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO.
FlightAware shows the plane was scheduled for flights Thursday from Atlanta to Washington Dulles and then on to Chicago.
Posted by Divernan | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 04:57 AM (74 replies)
“Asia Prime" Party at Duke University
“We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You and Yo friends over for some Sake. Chank you.” So read Kappa Sigma’s invitation to its “Asia Prime” party, which took place at Duke University on Feb. 1, 2013. According to rumors of that “epic night” and photographic evidence posted to students’ social media accounts, guests dressed up in silk robes, fake sumo wrestler paunch, chopstick hair accessories, and parroted stereotypical Asian accents. The New York Daily News reported that by the time the party actually took place it had been renamed “International Relations.” Students immediately began referring to it as the “racist rager.”
“Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos” at California Polytechnic State University
How can you be anti-woman, insult Native Americans, and signal your approval of genocide all in the same rager? Just do what Cal Poly did and throw a Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos party. Better yet, throw it on Thanksgiving. The party, which was thrown by three fraternities, was later denounced by the university president and a forum was conducted where students could air their grievances. One faculty member identified Phi Sigma Kappa as one of three Greek organizations that hosted the party,
Cal Poly is by no means the first to inflict this lame idea on the rest of the student body. Many other fraternities have tried to ride the same gravy train to party town only to be brutally rebuffed by their unchill peers. Harvard bros also threw a “Conquista-bros and Nava-hos” party back in 2010 in honor of Columbus Day (when brother Chris found America and cracked open a 40). Backlash eventually forced an apology from Sigma Chi, the fraternity that threw the bash.
The University of Chicago’s Alpha Delta Phi chapter also tried to throw such a party in May 2012, wooing guests via Facebook invite with a call to “conquer, spread disease, and enslave natives.” The name of the party was facetiously changed to “Hats” before it was canceled.
“Beer Olympics” Party at Columbia University
Sometimes you don’t have to look behind you for a history lesson; instead, look to your side. The Winter Olympics have closed, but the saga of sorority Kappa Alpha Theta’s “Beer Olympics” party, held just last weekend at Columbia, is still unfolding. If this particular story has one silver lining it’s that there's no lack of loyal opposition to what went down, since the party managed to be offensive to about half a dozen racial and ethnic groups.
For starters, women representing team Mexico donned all the unimaginative cultural cues: mustache, sombrero, maracas. Columbia’s Chicano Caucus criticized Kappa Alpha Theta’s choice of dress in a statement to the student paper the Spectator, which read in part, “The attire trivialized an entire nation’s history, its peoples, and its cultures. ... The term ‘cultural appropriation’ is not one that is discussed often at Columbia, and it is not one that is easy to define.”
Sisters on team Ireland brandished a sign that read “Kiss me, I’m a famished potato” (because nothing gets you in the mood like mass starvation), while those portraying Japan wore schoolgirl outfits and hachimaki.
The Columbia Panhellenic Association released a statement admonishing the sorority, “We are taking this matter very seriously and are working directly with members of the organization. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/columbia-sorority-party-offensive-olympics_n_4847827.html
Posted by Divernan | Sun Oct 12, 2014, 04:37 AM (0 replies)
If greeks are not elitist snobs, give me one good reason why they so carefully screen out potential members, with multiple levels of rushing?
I've been a staff member (assistant dean of students) at a private university and a faculty member at a public university. I observed many problems with unhealthy competitiveness between houses for rankings, with plagiarizing term papers, with drunken behavior and brawling, hazing and with sexual exploitation and abuse by fraternity members of female "guests" at their weekend orgies. As to sports teams and marching bands - I came across no problems with hazing or drunken behavior with students in those organizations - but with the fraternities, it was nearly every weekend. The worst was when neighboring houses would get in public drunken brawls. It's fair to say I've had plenty of experience and opportunity to observe the greek system on multiple campuses.
But hey, don't take my word for it. Here's what peer reviewed research has proven!
Sorority girls are more likely to have body image issues and dysfunctional eating behaviors than their peers. Women in sororities are more likely to have body image issues and judge themselves on physical appearances than those who did not join a sorority. According to a study in the journal Sex Roles, research showed that first-year students who went through rush had greater signs of dysfunctional eating behavior than those who did not rush, and the body image issues continued for many new members. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302112012.htm
The fraternity or sorority house is the largest on-campus venue for drinking. More students engaged in drinking at fraternity and sorority houses than any other on-campus venue or residence hall. According to the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study, 75% of students living in fraternity and sorority houses were heavy drinkers, compared to 45% of students who lived in non-Greek housing and 35% of the overall student population. Students living off campus away from their parents and students living in fraternity or sorority houses had the highest rates of binge drinking. The amount of alcohol consumed per occasion appears to vary by setting (Harford et al., 2002b). Fraternity/sorority parties, off-campus bars, and off-campus parties were the sites of heaviest drinking. Although off-campus parties and bars were most heavily attended, a higher percentage of drinkers engaged in heavy drinking at fraternity/sorority parties
Greek members abuse prescription stimulants more than their peers. Fraternity and sorority members are more likely to abuse prescription stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin or Dexedrine than the rest of the student population. According to a 2004 article published in the journal Addiction, white fraternity members and sorority members had the highest rate of abusing non-medical prescription stimulants. Results: The findings revealed that fraternity and sorority members reported a higher rate of nonmedical stimulant use than nonmembers. In addition, regression analyses revealed that higher ratings of anxiety, stress, internal impulsivity, and internal restlessness significantly predicted nonmedical stimulant use.http://jad.sagepub.com/content/17/2/87.abstract
Sorority members are more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Sorority members have a greater risk of being sexually assaulted in college than non-members. According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly a quarter of sexual assault victims are sorority members, whereas only 14 percent of nonvictims were sorority members. These women also face a higher risk for violence in dating relationships than other female students. http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/campus/Pages/increased-risk.aspx
Fraternity and sorority members suffer more alcohol-related consequences than their peers. According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, fraternities and sororities are more likely to suffer alcohol-related consequences than non-Greek students because they drink more. These consequences range from poor test performance, alcohol-related injuries, arguments, assault, property damage and sexual assault. In fact, Greek leaders and those living in a sorority or fraternity house experience the most negative consequences because of their own drinking habits and those of other students.This document discusses alcohol and other drug use by college fraternity and sorority members.
Abstract: The consequences of drinking on campus each year are 1,400 deaths from alcohol-related causes; 500,000 unintentional injuries; 600,000 assaults; and 70,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape. Fraternities and sororities are among the key groups that foster this culture of drinking on campus. Their members drink far greater amounts of alcohol, and do so more frequently than other members, setting a norm for heavy drinking. A national study on college drinking found that fraternity members were much more likely to engage in heavy drinking than their non-fraternity peers. Among women, 62.4 percent of sorority members engaged in heavy drinking, compared with 40.9 percent of other female students. Residency in a fraternity or sorority house was associated with even higher rates of heavy drinking. Fraternity and sorority-affiliated athletes are especially heavy drinkers. The largest on-campus venue for drinking is the fraternity or sorority house. Approximately 50 percent of students living in a fraternity or sorority house performed poorly on a test or project, versus about 25 percent of all students. The leaders of fraternities and sororities suffer even greater consequences than other members. One study found that 26.9 percent of fraternity leaders and 18.6 percent of sorority leaders had suffered an alcohol-related injury. Eighty-three percent of residents in a fraternity or sorority house experienced negative consequences due to other students’ drinking, such as a serious argument, assault, property damage, having to take care of a drunken student, interrupted sleep or study, an unwanted sexual advance, or sexual assault or acquaintance rape. Twenty to 25 percent of college women are victims of an attempted or completed rape during their college careers. Both the social environment of fraternities and sororities and the fact that new students that are already heavy drinkers are more likely to want to join these societies contribute to high rates of alcohol consumption. College and university prevention efforts should target these social societies by promoting alcohol- and drug-free social options; creating an environment that promotes healthy social norms; and limiting alcohol availability and access. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=203748
The environment in fraternity houses contributes to rape culture. Research suggests that fraternity house environments contribute to the problem of rape. Fraternities' group norms and attitudes toward women and sex have led to this rape culture environment. According to research from the journal Sex Roles, individual fraternity men are more likely to display objectifying images of women in their rooms, have supportive attitudes about rape and believe women want to engage in rough sexual acts even if they act disinterested.
"Our examination of men's social fraternities on college and university campuses as groups and organizations led us to conclude that fraternities are a physical and sociocultural context that encourages the sexual coercion of women. Rape is especially probable in fraternities because of the kinds of organizations they are, the kinds of members they have, the practices their members engage in, and a virtual absence of university or community oversight. Fraternities create a sociocultural context in which the use of coercion in sexual relations with women is normative and in which the mechanisms to keep this pattern of behavior in check are minimal at best and absent at worst.
Posted by Divernan | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 06:04 PM (2 replies)