What I learned from the Right Wing News Today


Here are the top “News” stories published by WND today* . (*I started this last night- the stories remained the same as of early this morning west coast time).

1) ALARMS SOUND OVER ‘IMMINENT’ ATTACKS ON U.S.
Report: Feds, law enforcement scrambling to stop ISIS carnage on border

Yep. Stoking fear. And killing to birds with one stone tying in southern border issues. With just a few minutes of research it;s clear this is based on some facebook and twitter posts from people who “may” have some involvement ISIS, and who have mentioned the issues on the southern border. Backed up by repeating claims of various right wing nut politicians and figures who have made claims that ISIS plans to attack the US and/or cross the “porous” sw border.

Nothing credible here at all…just lots of hot air.

2) MIDEAST EXPERT: OBAMA SWITCHED SIDES IN WAR ON TERROR
‘America has moved toward its Muslim enemies’

Yep, good old Claire Lopez again. Supposedly a CIA officer at one point in time. Most recently a prominent member of numerous far right wing groups on everything from Benghazzi to “islamic issues”. Spouting off again that the Obama administration has been heavily infilitrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Obama himself is intent on destroying secular middle east governments so radical Islamists can take over. Because, well…you know….

3) HAMAS: WE’RE ALREADY DIGGING NEW TERROR TUNNELS
Islamic jihadists boast of burrowing activities 4 days into truce

Ah yes- from resident WND Islam basher Aaron Klein. Who in the couple years I’ve been following him seems to simply make up stories. Can’t think of a single time his stories have proven true. And of course the irony of the whole story- it is supposedly based on Hamas sources leaking the info directly to WND. Yep, a Muslim group is leaking info to one of the most anti-muslim “news” sources in the world. makes perfect sense to me.

4) JIMMY CARTER REFUSES TO CANCEL SPEECH FOR HAMAS FRONT
Terror-tied group featuring former president at fundraiser

Ah yes. Carter speaking at the gathering for the Islamic Society of North America. In Detroit. They insist that INSA must be a front for Hamas, because, well, they were named (along with nearly every other muslim group in the US) as “unindicted coconspirators) in the trials of The Holy Land Foundation. In case you don’t remember, the holyland foundation was named a terrorist organization by Bush via executive order after 9/11- with the government seizing their money. The better part of a decade, and TWO trials later they were found guilty of supporting Hamas. Because, well, they gave money to charities and schools in the occupied territories. And since Hamas was in control them, by making the peoples lives better it made Hamas look better. A sad and sordid chapter of anti muslim American history under the Bush years.
And never mind that ISNA was never charged with ANY wrongdoing. Nor was there any evidence of such presented. They were just caught up in the governments anti-muslim furor after 9/11.

5) JOURNALISTS STRATEGIZE TO REPORT ON BEING ‘GAY’
Fox, CNN, Knight, ESPN bring out checkbooks to pay for events

Ah yes. The evil annual conference of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association. Essentially complaining they did not have any speakers there to represent the “traditional view” (hmmm, no one there to tell them they’re subhuman and going to hell?).

6)CONSENTING TO SEX COULD REQUIRE A TEXT
California bill redefines rape on college campuses

Yep, California legislators have passed a bill that would essentially flip the age old “no means no” to”yes means yes”. In other words, an intimate partner MUST give consent to intimate activities. And must be able to give consent (ie: not wasted drunk. Not drugged. Not passed out). But ah yes, this is all part of that evil “war on men” we see happening everywhere…

7) PARENTS: WATCH FOR THESE RED FLAGS AT SCHOOL
Exclusive: Linda Harvey outlines warning signs of creeping ‘pink propaganda’

yes, one of their favorite subjects- the massive “Gay Agenda”. Warning parents to watch out for things like evil gay teachers who might not assume your children are straight. And may talk to them in gender neutral phrases, like, talking to them abut dating and not specifying girlfriend or boyfriend.
And watch out for them reading literature! And remember- the evil far left National Library Association will be having “Banned Books Week” right when school starts.
8)SAVAGE: FEDS ARMING FOR ‘WAR ON WHITE PEOPLE’
Exclusive: Kathy Shaidle covers most explosive conversations on air
Ah yes- good old Michael Savage. Pointing out out the the Department of Homeland Security didn’t deploy forces to Ferguson because it was a “black issue”. And that the DHS is designed for a war on white people. And of course, promoting his new book on the coming civil war- which apparently will be blacks (may hispanics? Gays? …well “them” at any rate attacking the white race.
9) OBAMA TURNS ‘PREPPER,’ WARNS OF COMING ‘CRISIS’
‘Families should assemble a disaster supplies kit’

Making it all sound sinister while promoting their online store. And of course, Obama was promoting National Preparedness Month. The common sense idea that households should be prepared with a few days of basic supplies to cover events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters. Not quite the same as WND’s constant articles on stockpiling guns, ammo, food and other supplies for the coming apocalypse.

10)FORT HOOD SHOOTER PLEADS TO JOIN ISIS
‘It would be an honor to be an obedient citizen soldier’

Well, they get one story right I suppose. But they use most of the article to moan about the costs of actually putting him on trial and use one incident (where he asked for a clock so he could roll his paralyzed lower body over every few hours to prevent bed sores, and where he complained about the temperature being to cold and asked to see an Iman) as evidence he has “filled his jailors’ lives with nearly incessant grief.”

11)OBAMA NAMED IN RICO LAWSUIT
Accused of laundering funds to terrorist organization Hamas

Ah yes, good old Larry Klayman. A WND contributor. The man who has spent the last few decades suing every “liberal” he can find. The founder of the right wing Judicial Watch, where he spent years suing the Clintons and their administration for anything and everything. And now frontman for Freedom Watch.
Yawn. So he’s filed yet another frivilous lawsuit. As he claims:“The nation and the world have increasingly come to see that Obama views himself primarily as a Muslim and acts accordingly in favoring Islamic interests over Judeo-Christian ones, and the complaint lays out Obama’s history in documented detail”

One can only wonder how many millions of taxpayer dollars he has wasted with his pointless lawsuits over the years.

.

Comment:

if you pay attention to the right wing news for a while you will notice that very, very little of it is actually news. Some of it is outright fabrications. Most contains a tidbit of news or actual events that is then spun to fit the right wing narrative. Often in blatant denial of other relevant facts.

But more disturbing- is how these stories come about. We have people like James Hoft who runs Gateway Pundit. (just google: “The dumbest man on the internet. or if you’re lazy, LMGTFY: http://bit.ly/1CdM4Fz  ). The Washington Times (yes, the paper started by “The Moonies” that allows people to post, well, whatever- with no fact checking. No credentials or history of honesty or journalistic skills required). Sites like WND who has quite a number of “journalists” with a long history of posting stories based on “high ranking sources” that end up being completely false. (in any real journalistic setting, claiming you have “sources”, much less not confirming the info with multiple sources, ends your career).

But time and time, and time again we see these far right wing sources, with a long history of being wrong, publish these stories. Where oftentimes they get picked up and run by the more “credible” and “respected” “news sites” that are only, ahem, right leaning. Or “Fair and balanced”.

And so, we end up with millions of americans being presented with, and believing, lies. Lies that do irreparable harm to our society. To our country. And yet, these people have the audacity to consider themselves patriots, true americans, those keeping to the ideals of our founding fathers.

 

Posted in social, politics, obama, religion, gay marriage, gay rights, climate change, global warming, ron paul, tea party, gun rights, christian values, israel, socialism, science | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

If Not D.A.R.E., Then What?


A truly great article on the ideals of “Drug Education” over at The Atlantic. (I highly recommend reading the original at The Atlantic via the link above- the story is heavily populated with links that are themselves worth checking out).

If Not D.A.R.E., Then What?
Moving away from “Just Say No” and towards a more nuanced understanding of drug education
STEPHIE GROB PLANTE  AUG 28 2014,

I grew up in the 1990s, the era of mandatory D.A.R.E. and Just Say No. Local law enforcement stepped inside the classroom to instruct us kids, their message clear: “All drugs are bad.”

My dad, Dr. Charles Grob, one of the country’s leading clinical researchers studying the potential benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy, didn’t agree. As the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, he’s led several investigative studies of drugs branded by D.A.R.E. in my youth as “bad,” including MDMA (“Ecstasy” or “Molly”), psilocybin (“shrooms”), and ayahuasca.

His colleagues—many of whom I’ve known since I was very young—have added marijuana, ketamine, ibogaine, and even LSD to their impressive roster of studies as well. Investigation of these substances had previously been shuttered, thanks in large part to Timothy Leary’s Pied Piperism during the 1960s, but the 90s initiated a renaissance of government-sanctioned psychedelic research that continues to this day.

The results of recent studies have been positive. Take psilocybin, for instance. In studies positing that psilocybin can reduce anxiety for end-stage cancer patients, ease the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and treat alcohol abuse, the data is encouraging. Psilocybin, if used appropriately, could be a viable medicine. Or, consider MDMA. Dr. Michael Mithoefer’s study using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat individuals suffering from PTSD found reduced symptoms in 83 percent of subjects in the active treatment group, versus 25 percent of subjects in the control group. The pilot study’s success has led to approvals for a new follow-up study treating military veterans suffering from PTSD.

There are a variety of takeaways from these studies, but one is clear and consistent: Many of those “bad” drugs aren’t always bad.

I grew up on the fringes of psychedelia. My dad and I never drove a Winnebago to Burning Man (though we were invited to do so). And he’s not a hippie. He wears a tie, not tie-dye, to work, and is impressively risk-averse, advocating safety and harm reduction above all. But despite his conservatism and determination to disprove the cultural stereotype that “drug research” must be shorthand for personal recreational use, it’s only recently that his work, though completely legal, has been met with interest rather than skepticism by the mainstream. As a child I watched him flourish in a community of his peers, but worried what other kids in my school—and my D.A.R.E. officer—might think if they learned what my father did for a living.

I had my own supplemental drug education experience, my other D.A.R.E.

My family made the regular pilgrimage to a bohemian oasis called Asilomar for the Association for Transpersonal Psychology’s annual conference. There, adults watched slideshow presentations that explored the inner dimensions of the human brain while us kids explored nature—hiking, stargazing, and building stone dams in a nearby creek. As a teenager, I accompanied my dad to book signings, conventions organized by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and The Psychedelic Salon, a Friday night speaker series in a homey Venice Beach bungalow, where people promoted a more expansive conversation around drugs. Everyone everywhere told me that my dad was “so cool.”

I agreed with them. My dad was cool because he respected me. He and my mom started talking to me about drugs when I was very young, and supplied me with all the facts they knew.

I memorized the chemical name for MDMA at age eight—3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine—and I’ll never forget it. I knew about the problem of rampant drug substitution, and that kids who thought they were buying one thing could very well end up with something else. I understood that when my dad and other researchers emphasized the value of “set and setting,” what they were really saying was “doing drugs at a party, with other drug novices, where risk of dangerous drug combinations is high, is pretty damn stupid.” No scare tactics were needed; the plain facts my dad gave me scared me enough.

My parents taught me that certain otherwise illicit substances had value as medicines in beta-testing, and I decided for myself that recreational use could damage the long-term goals of the therapy-assisted movement. I trusted that my parents told me the truth, and in turn, my parents trusted me to make smart decisions.

Yes, I was a kid with zero medical background. And yes, I was repeating back what my parents preached. But this was the school of thought they raised me on, just as my classmates learned lessons from their parents. We were just taught to believe different things.

The open dialogue at home clashed considerably with D.A.R.E.’s straight and narrow instruction at school. My dad, along with fellow parents who worked in his field, eschewed “Just Say No” for a comparatively holistic motto: “Just Say Know.” For them, the drug question requires a more nuanced answer than the word “no” can allow. To be sure, the slogan’s blanket villainization of drugs undermined their lifelong work, but its fear-driven simplicity also caused problems for the kids it meant to guide.

“The messaging since 1983 has been fairly consistent,” says Dr. Marsha Rosenbaum, director emerita of the DPA’s San Francisco office. “‘Drugs are bad and use equals abuse.’” The problem, she says, is that this model contains “no harm reduction component. There’s no ‘if you choose to do this, not that you should, but if you do, here’s what you should know.’ There’s no Plan B. There’s no fallback strategy.” Rosenbaum penned an educational booklet geared towards parents called Safety First that offers a “reality-based approach” to drug education. A new edition is due out in September. “We’ve got to tell the truth,” Rosenbaum writes. “Because if we don’t, teenagers will not consider us credible sources of information.”

It’s hard to recall exactly what we learned in D.A.R.E. I remember that my class’s police officer wore shorts as part of his uniform everyday, taught us that marijuana causes holes in the brain, and one day restrained a kid named Tommy, who jokingly lunged for his gun holster. Nothing invokes fear of the law like an armed police officer handcuffing your sixth-grade classmate. Otherwise, my drug education experience was utterly forgettable.

In 2001, the United States Surgeon General issued a statement on D.A.R.E. declaring that, “children who participate are as likely to use drugs as those who do not participate,” and categorized what was once the mainstay of federally funded drug education as an “ineffective primary prevention program.” Funding, however, remained in effect throughout the 2000s, with President Bush promoting the position of “Drug Czar” to Cabinet-level status. President Obama demoted the position to non-Cabinet level status in 2009, a move that both reflected the changing landscape of public opinion on drug policy, and coincided with substantial cuts to D.A.R.E.’s federal budget.

“D.A.R.E. [currently] receives zero federal funding,” says Ron Brogan, northeast representative for D.A.R.E. America. “The past five years we lost all federal funding, as funds for prevention have been cut across the board.”

In 2012, D.A.R.E. replaced its “Just Say No” slogan with “Keepin’ It REAL.” “REAL” is an acronym for “Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave.” The new program’s efficacy is currently under internal evaluation, with its elementary school program midway through a five-year longitudinal study, and a high school program in development. The curriculum now, Brogan says, is “more about making good decisions than [discussing] specific drugs.”

Brogan maintains that the recent shift was not a response to the Surgeon General’s 2001 report: “We tend not to respond directly to critics, but rather keep up with the current science involved.” When researchers Dr. Richard Clayton and Dr. Christopher Ringwalt published studies in the 1990s that “came out in the press as very negative criticism of D.A.R.E.,” says Brogan, D.A.R.E. listened, and ultimately invited both scientists onto D.A.R.E.’s advisory board. “Prevention evolves over time, and D.A.R.E. tries to keep up with current trends and recommendations.”

The current trend toward marijuana legalization, however, is somewhat of a complicated issue for D.A.R.E. “We are unalterably opposed,” says Brogan of the recent law passages in Washington and Colorado. “Suffice it to say, we are an abstinence program.” In response to the question of whether D.A.R.E. adheres to its original messaging that all drug use is drug abuse, Brogan offered no comment.

D.A.R.E.’s website reflects some of the ambivalence of an organization at a crossroads, caught between a broad-based mission statement (“Teaching students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives”), changing times, and conflicting viewpoints. It features an article both recognizing medical marijuana’s legitimacy and voicing concern that “despite the known benefits of marijuana in easing patient pain—and the potential revenue that sales could generate for hospitals … hospitals run the risk of violating federal law.” But there’s also a piece by the CEO of the National Association for Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) on the site that stands decidedly against medical marijuana, using quotation marks around the words “safe” and “medicinal.”

In effect, D.A.R.E. no longer seems to offer a unified voice or philosophy, and the site serves more as a forum for instructors than a source of guided curriculum.

“Because it’s expensive and hasn’t proved effective, a lot of communities are backing away from D.A.R.E.,” says Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). “Still, D.A.R.E. is constantly changing [its] model and saying, ‘Now it works.’ Are they trying to learn? Or are they trying to immunize themselves to criticism?”

Despite D.A.R.E.’s waning relevancy, no salient drug educational program has emerged on a national scale to fill the hole left by its downsizing. This is troubling to scientists who both disagree with D.A.R.E.’s abstinence-only messaging, and advocate prevention education. “To me, it’s a public health issue,” says Dr. Julie Holland, editor of The Pot Book and Ecstasy: A Complete Guide. “People do risky things and we need to teach them how not to do them.”

According to Dr. Stephen Ross, director of addiction psychiatry at New York University, much of the problem remains in the misallocation of federal funds. “Seventy percent of federal funding continues to go to enforcement,” says Ross. “Only 20 percent [goes] to treatment and 10 percent to prevention. … Why not 60 percent to prevention and 40 percent to treatment?”

One prevention approach currently finding traction in psychotherapy is motivational interviewing (MI), “a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication with particular attention to the language of change.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has supported studies investigating MI’s efficacy in substance abuse prevention, and has circulated literature to clinical supervisors and therapists. But the technique has yet to make a strong foothold in the public school system. A recent one-year follow-up study “failed to demonstrate that an adequately implemented MI booster was of incremental value.”

In the absence of widespread, effective, federally-funded drug education, the onus has fallen largely on parents to spearhead drug education reform, says Doblin. “The parent movement of the 1980s led to Nancy Reagan, and Just Say No, and D.A.R.E., and D.A.R.E. led to misinformation. What we don’t really have yet is a new parent movement.”

There may not be an imminent large-scale movement as Doblin prescribes, but there is a small one, one that foregoes the zero tolerance model—bolstered by D.A.R.E.’s police officer instructor base—that focuses on enforcement and discipline, and remains prevalent in mainstream secondary school policy.

This school-based program rejecting the “first-strike-you’re-out” rhetoric is UpFront, which works with at-risk kids in California.

“These kids all know the truth, so why lie?” says Chuck Ries, founder of UpFront, a student assistance program. First established at Oakland High School in 1997, UpFront advocates candid conversations—talking about harm reduction in a safe environment. “Once [the students] realized we were legit, not cops, the kids who were normally marginalized suddenly became the experts in the room. They got to share hard fought knowledge in a way that was accepted by the group.” Many of those same experts went on to become paid instructors in UpFront themselves, alongside licensed therapists hired by Ries.

But the stock market crash of 2008 and the building of a new local health clinic that required the resources normally allocated to UpFront ultimately moved the program out of Oakland High School and into a consulting firm operating on a contractual basis.

“If money were available it’d be easy to find schools willing to participate,” Ries says. “The schools want these programs. The students want these programs. But it’s a different story when the schools are responsible for funding the programs themselves.”

Rosenbaum and the DPA agree. “Student assistance programs like Chuck’s are an invaluable resource. If you could have that in every school, we’d be taken care of.”

The common thread among effective programs, it seems, is honesty.

“Isn’t it interesting,” says my dad, a.k.a. Dr. Grob, “how all these kids of my colleagues—leading figures in the research wing of the drug culture movement—how these kids are completely straight? That none of you guys are into drugs? That says something.”

Past modes of drug education have opted to emphasize the risk and minimize the possibility of medicinal benefits. But saying “this is what we know” is not an invitation for recklessness—it establishes trust and communication.

Drugs were never objects of titillation for me. They were never branded as taboo, so I never sought out that forbidden fruit. Still, I grew up in the real world. I faced many hard choices head-on. But because my dad provided me with accurate information, and framed that information in a medical context, I learned the boundaries without needing to personally test them. And although I am what my dad and his colleagues refer to as “drug naïve,” I felt equipped with the right tools to both counsel friends recovering from bad trips, and offer advice to friends who, in my mind, were planning risky experimentation. My dad recently reminded me of an episode in high school where I successfully dissuaded a friend from picking some desert-growing jimson weed, boiling it as a tea, and drinking it. I warned him that the likelihood of disorientation and hypertension were high, and that he could seriously injure himself or others as a result. And he listened to me.

 

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Fear of a Black Victim


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From political cartoonist Matt Bors

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Truthy


So if you haven’t heard of it yet, Truthy is a project being run out of Indiana State University, with help from a $1 million grand from the National Science Foundation.

It is an attempt to map and help understand the dissemination of information, and disinformation on Twitter. It is currently focused on politics, news, and social movements. And part of the project appears to be to try and understand how misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech spread. Whether “organically” or via organized intent.

And so, if you google Truthy, and especially if you choose news results- you will see the right- and especially the far right- up in arms about this (and yes, Godwin’s Law has already struck- with lots of foaming at the mouth comparing this to Nazi Germany).

And I guess, in an odd way- I understand their outrage. A tool then can track and explain the dissemination of lies. Of hate speech. Of disinformation campaigns…should be truly worrying to those that predominantly rely on such things for their existence. Oh the irony!

I, for one, will be watching this project evolve (and, being a non-twitterer (non-tweeter?) will be trying to understand it a little better.

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“Restorative Justice” – a “Must Read” article in the LA Times


The LA Times has an article I highly recomend everone read. Then ponder for awhile. Then re-read. Then…

Essentially, an article on a program happening in some prisons in California (and elsewhere) working with prisoners to redesign all aspects of the justice system- from courts to prisons, to mae the criminal justice system work. To provide healing and growth- for victims and perpetrators.

Well, best if you read it yourself. And form your own thoughts. So here it is: GREAT READ: WHAT KIND OF PRISON MIGHT THE INMATES DESIGN?

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R.I.P. Robin Williams


Comedian and actor Robim Williams was found dead today of an apparent suicide at his home in Marin county California. I understand he struggled for years with alcoholism and cocaine issues. And apparently had finiancial issues in recent years. But he touched the lives of millions with his wit, comedy, and unique way of seeing the world.

One of my favorite memories of him was at the memorial in Golden Gate Park in the early 90’s for legendary promoter Bill Graham. It was right after Mount Pinnatubo in the Phillipines had erupted, and playing on the reality of this Williams made some jokes about knowing Bill was up in Heaven directing “god” on the sunsets…(to paraphrase) “a little more fuschia over here, a little more orange here” …. “you know we are going to have spectacular sunsets for the next good while”.

Initial article at the SF paper here

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Great piece at WaPo from Emory’s head nurse re: treating the Ebola victims


I’m sure we are all familiar with the ignorance and fear mongering (the two go hand in hand) from everyone on the far right from Donald Trump to Ann Coulter to Fox “News”. The dear, ignorance, and hate coming from those that self describe as christians and patriots is, shall we say, disgusting.

Well today the Washington Post ran a short piece from the head nurse at Emory University where the two american christian aid workers infected with Ebola are being treated. I have no idea if this woman would self identify as either a christian or a patriot- but surely is far more of both then the  majority of what I have seen coming from the far right.

Original story is here (includes photos and video).

 

I’m the head nurse at Emory. This is why we wanted to bring the Ebola patients to the U.S.
These patients will benefit — not threaten — the country.

By Susan M. Grant August 6
Susan Mitchell Grant, RN, is chief nurse for Emory Healthcare.

 

A second American infected with the potentially deadly Ebola virus arrived at Emory University Hospital on Tuesday from Africa, following the first patient last weekend. Both were greeted by a team of highly trained physicians and nurses, a specialized isolation unit, extensive media coverage, and a storm of public reaction. People responded viscerally on social media, fearing that we risked spreading Ebola to the United States.

Those fears are unfounded and reflect a lack of knowledge about Ebola and our ability to safely manage and contain it. Emory University Hospital has a unit created specifically for these types of highly infectious patients, and our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols. But beyond that, the public alarm overlooks the foundational mission of the U.S. medical system. The purpose of any hospital is to care for the ill and advance knowledge about human health. At Emory, our education, research, dedication and focus on quality — essentially everything we do — is in preparation to handle these types of cases.

Further, Americans stand to benefit from what we learn by treating these patients. (Bound by federal law, Emory cannot name the patients. The HIPAA Privacy Rule forbids health-care institutions from releasing identifiable health information.) Ebola won’t become a threat to the general public from their presence in our facility, but the insight we gain by caring for them will prepare us to better treat emergent diseases that may confront the United States in the future. We also can export our new knowledge to treat Ebola globally. This pathogen is part of our world, and if we want eradicate these types of potentially fatal diseases before they reach our shores uncontrolled, we have to contribute to the global research effort. Today, diseases do not stay contained to one city, country or even continent.

Most importantly, we are caring for these patients because it is the right thing to do. These Americans generously went to Africa on a humanitarian mission to help eradicate a disease that is especially deadly in countries without our health-care infrastructure. They deserve the same selflessness from us. To refuse to care for these professionals would raise enormous questions about the ethical foundation of our profession. They have a right to come home for their care when it can be done effectively and safely.

As health-care professionals, this is what we have trained for. People often ask why we would choose to care for such high-risk patients. For many of us, that is why we chose this occupation — to care for people in need. Every person involved in the treatment of these two patients volunteered for the assignment. At least two nurses canceled vacations to be a part of this team. They derive satisfaction from knowing that, after years of preparing for this type of case, they are able to help, to comfort and to do it safely. The gratitude they receive from the patients’ families drives their efforts.

As human beings, we all hope that if we were in need of superior health care, our country and its top doctors would help us get better. We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion. We can fear, or we can care.

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