City of Joyful Dread

I caught a fever, a holy fire

Month: October, 2014

Ebola panic before Ebola panic was cool


With sincere regret, I must report that Navarro College is not able to offer you acceptance for the Spring 2015 term. Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.
–October 2 rejection letter from Navarro College in Corsicana, TX to two students from Nigeria (declared Ebola-free on October 20)

[R]eports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis are particularly concerning. Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles. This makes those Americans that are not vaccinated–and especially young children and the elderly–particularly susceptible.
–July 7 letter from Texas Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. arguing that the CDC “take immediate action to assess the public risk posed by the influx of unaccompanied children and their subsequent transfer to differnt parts of the country”

The evidence is not completely in as to the communicability of the disease. But while much has been said that is reassuring, the moment has not yet come when men and women of science are unanimously agreed that AIDS cannot be casually communicated. Let us be patient on that score, pending any tilt in the evidence: If the news is progressively reassuring, public identification would not be necessary. If it turns in the other direction and AIDS develops among, say, children who have merely roughhoused with other children who suffer from AIDS, then more drastic segregation measures would be called for.
But if the time has not come, and may never come, for public identification, what then of private identification?
Everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.
You have got to be kidding! That’s exactly what we suspected all along! You are calling for the return of the Scarlet Letter, but only for homosexuals!
Answer: The Scarlet Letter was designed to stimulate public obloquy. The AIDS tattoo is designed for private protection. And the whole point of this is that we are not talking about a kidding matter. Our society is generally threatened, and in order to fight AIDS, we need the civil equivalent of universal military training.

William F. Buckley, “Crucial Steps in Combating the Aids Epidemic: Identify All the Carriers,” New York Times March 18, 1986 op-ed

If it sounds familiar, it probably is. Which doesn’t help if you’re Nigerian.


William Rehnquist’s favorite Dollar Store

Wall of Shame 001

The right of a man to the protection of his own reputation from unjustified invasion and wrongful hurt reflects no more than our basic concept of the essential dignity and worth of every human being — a concept at the root of any decent system of ordered liberty. The protection of private personality, like the protection of life itself, is left primarily to the individual States under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. But this does not mean that the right is entitled to any less recognition by this Court as a basic of our constitutional system.
–Justice Stewart, concurring opinion, Rosenblatt v. Baer, 1966

Wall of Shame 002

The only issue present here is whether the label or characterization given a person by “posting,” though a mark of serious illness to some, is to others such a stigma or badge of disgrace that procedural due process requires notice and an opportunity to be heard. We agree with the District Court that the private interest is such that those requirements of procedural due process must be met.
— Justice Douglas, majority opinion, Wisconsin v. Constantineou, 1971

Wall of Shame 003

There can be little doubt that a person’s standing and associations in the community have been damaged seriously when law enforcement officials brand him an active shoplifter, accuse him of a continuing course of criminal conduct, group him with criminals, and distribute his name and photograph to the merchants and businessmen of the community. Such acts are a direct and devastating attack on the good name, reputation, honor and integrity of the person involved. The fact of an arrest, without more, may impair or cloud a person’s reputation.
–Judge Phillips (6th Circuit), majority opinion, Davis v. Paul, 1974

Wall of Shame 004

The public branding of an individual implicates interests cognizable as either “liberty” or “property” and…such public condemnation cannot be accomplished without procedural safeguards designed to eliminate arbitrary or capricious executive action.
–Justice Brennan, dissenting opinion, Paul v. Davis, 1976

Wall of Shame 005

The words “liberty” and “property,” as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, do not, in terms, single out reputation as a candidate for special protection over and above other interests that may be protected by state law. While we have in a number of our prior cases pointed out the frequently drastic effect of the “stigma” which may result from defamation…in a variety of contexts, this line of cases does not establish the proposition that reputation alone, apart from some more tangible interests such as employment, is either “liberty” or “property” by itself sufficient to invoke the procedural protection of the Due Process Clause.
–Justice Rehnquist, majority opinion, Paul v. Davis, 1976

William Rehnquist would have loved Dollar Discount Variety at 1211 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

What goes around, comes around

The greater the intelligence of the individual Jew, the better will he succeed in deceiving others. His success in this line may even go so far that the people who grant him hospitality may be led to believe that the Jew among them is a genuine Frenchman, for instance, or Englishman or German or Italian, who just happens to belong to a religious denomination which is different from that prevailing in these countries…[T]he Jews have known better than any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited. Is not their very existence founded on one great lie, namely, that they are a religious community, whereas in reality they are a race?
–Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Throughout Western Europe, Muslim immigrants show little inclination to acquire the secular and civil values of their host countries, and yet exploit these values to the utmost—demanding tolerance for their backwardness, their misogyny, their anti-Semitism, and the genocidal hatred that is regularly preached in their mosques. Political correctness and fears of racism have rendered many secular Europeans incapable of opposing the terrifying religious commitments of the extremists in their midst…All civilized nations must unite in condemnation of a theology that now threatens to destabilize much of the Earth. Muslim moderates, wherever they are, must be given every tool necessary to win a war of ideas with their coreligionists. Otherwise, we will have to win some very terrible wars in the future. It is time we realized that the endgame for civilization is not political correctness. It is not respect for the abject religious certainties of the mob. It is reason.
Sam Harris, “The Reality of Islam”

To summarize:
1939: Politically correct tolerance of religious differences masks the inherent destructiveness of racial differences, where all are not created equal.
2014: Politically correct tolerance of cultural and racial differences masks the inherent destructiveness of religious differences, where all are not created equal.

Thank G-d for progress.

The best Vietnamese menu ever, updated

Phu Khang IIPhu Khang III

Courtesy of Phu Khang, Saigon Plaza, Pennsauken, NJ.