Patterico's Pontifications

8/7/2014

Ann Coulter Plays God

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

So I just read a little bit of nastiness from Ann Coulter. She unleashes in a scathing rebuke of Dr. Kent Brantley, the physician who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia as part of the post-residency program of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse. She also points a finger at Americans who choose to leave America to do missionary work in the darkest corners of the world where suffering, despair, hopelessness and death are the daily lot. After all, America has its own needs.

She begins with a direct attack on Brantley and the price paid, literally, as a result of his decision to serve in Liberia:

Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals.

In Coulter’s world, charity is measured in dollars. Any lives Brantley may have physically saved, any comfort he may have given, any love of Christ he may have reflected toward those lost is now irrelevant and pales in comparison to… money spent. Coulter’s “god” is sadly small and limited. It doesn’t occur to her that possibly the $2 million was part of a bigger plan. Possibly it was specifically earmarked by God to be the means to get an infected Brantley back to one of America’s premier hospitals where first-world medical professionals and pioneers would have the opportunity to study and observe the disease firsthand, which in turn could play a major part in finding an effective vaccine. And as it goes, said vaccine or medicine could then circle back to West Africa. All things are indeed possible with God.

Further, would Coulter tell the people whose lives were touched by Brantley, people whose broken bodies were repaired by the doctor and people who may have come to know God as a result of his witness, that in light of the money it cost to bring him home, they weren’t worth it?

She continues with her rant, focusing on serving in America, not in some god-awful backwards hovel:

There’s little danger of an Ebola plague breaking loose from the treatment of these two Americans at the Emory University Hospital. But why do we have to deal with this at all?

Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa? The very first “risk factor” listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola — an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate — is: “Travel to Africa.”

Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?

Of course it doesn’t occur to Coulter that perhaps God Himself directed the path of Dr. Brantley to serve in a land far away. We are told: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Did God share the road map of Brantley’s life with Coulter? Did she know something he *should* have known?

Citing the godlessness inside in America, as well as the crime, murder, moral decline and social dismantling, Coulter points out that there is plenty to do here in our country. Who can disagree? But to justify her rightness in the matter, she makes incredible leaps:

If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.

If he had provided health care for the uninsured editors, writers, videographers and pundits in Gotham and managed to open one set of eyes, he would have done more good than marinating himself in medieval diseases of the Third World.

There is so much wrong with this, but suffice it to say, she doesn’t “know” any of this. She cannot know the Hollywood power-broker would be saved. He could as easily reject Christ as the Liberian. Likewise, she cannot know that the Liberians will not experience a spiritual revival as a result of the ministry of Dr. Brantley and others. And yes, Ebola kills the body, but even the body being killed by Ebola can house a soul that is at peace and in communion with God. Further, Coulter forgets that it is God who opens the eyes of the unbeliever to see their need, not man. Who and where He chooses to deliver the message is His business.

Coulter then explains to us what weak and frightened little creatures Christians are, as evidenced by their decision to do missionary work in “disease-ridden cesspools”:

They’re tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots. So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.

But serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn’t have been “heroic.” We wouldn’t hear all the superlatives about Dr. Brantly’s “unusual drive to help the less fortunate” or his membership in the “Gold Humanism Honor Society.” Leaving his family behind in Texas to help the poor 6,000 miles away — that’s the ticket.

So, choosing to leave the most extraordinary country in the world and all the comforts that come with a first-world existence to go help others in a third-world place which often comes with huge built-in risk and sorrow factors, is because ooh, name calling! For the Christian in America, name calling, mockery and being maligned comes with the territory. For the Christian in other parts of the world, being killed for their faith comes with the territory. And likely they would say the risk posed is a small price to pay to show the love of Christ to those in need.

The Christians I have known who have served in faraway places are a humble lot. They choose to do what they do because they care deeply about those in need. They want to give back for having been given so much and they want to know God more fully through their service. The last thing they would ever want to hear themselves described as is “heroic”.

–Dana

UPDATE: Dr. Brantley released a statement today:

“I am writing this update from my isolation room at Emory University Hospital, where the doctors and nurses are providing the very best care possible. I am growing stronger every day, and I thank God for His mercy as I have wrestled with this terrible disease. I also want to extend my deep and sincere thanks to all of you who have been praying for my recovery as well as for Nancy and for the people of Liberia and West Africa.

“My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.

“One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror first-hand, and I can still remember every face and name.

“When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later. When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding. God was reminding me of what He had taught me years ago, that He will give me everything I need to be faithful to Him.

“Now it is two weeks later, and I am in a totally different setting. My focus, however, remains the same – to follow God. As you continue to pray for Nancy and me, yes, please pray for our recovery. More importantly, pray that we would be faithful to God’s call on our lives in these new circumstances.”

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Kevin Stafford leaves a comment with which I heartily agree:

You can disagree with Coulter if you like; in this case, I certainly do. But her books are terrific–not just a collection of bumper-sticker talking points, as is the case with so many other talking heads. They are meticulously researched, beautifully argued, and highly original arguments for conservative principles. So it’s troubling, on this blog especially, to see the vitriol with which so many of her lessers are trashing her.

Some of the commenters here have taken things far beyond the post’s honest disagreement with Coulter’s position, and have engaged in, as Kevin Stafford says, vitriol that is (in my opinion) uncalled-for. I further agree with daleyrocks’s comment:

Kevin Stafford – As a general rule I find the people most vitriolic about Coulter are those the least familiar with her work or liberals whose sacred cows she has gored.

That is true, not just of Coulter, but many people.

170 Responses to “Ann Coulter Plays God”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  2. Ok, Coulter IS a tad bitchy. That said, she has something of a point. Not, perhaps, a point that should carry the day, but a point. Somebody should take the costs of caring for people like tha good Doctor into account when deciding where missionaries go, and what risks they take. Ideally that person should be the one who is contemplating going, but missionary groups should think about it too.

    And don’t get me going on the subject of “adventure tkourism”. I remember reading a long piece about the “tragedy” of some shmooo who decided to take a gap year rafting down the upper reaches of the Amazon, and who disappeared. I was supposed to get all teary eyed, but all I could think was “You’re rafting down a river filled with the usual hostile wildlife. You’re travelling through an area characterised by (justifiably) grumpy native tribes, borderline outlaw gem hunters, an active drung business, and a smoldering border war between two third world governments that don’t like gringos much. Hope you kissed your family goodbye, ’cause you ain’t coming back.”

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  3. She does had a bit of a tin ear. Albert Schweitzer was a Lutheran minister and the greatest Bach organist in the world yet he chose to go to medical school as an older student and spent the rest of his life in Africa. A classmate of mine spent a summer with him when a student. He said at night Schweitzer would play the organ and it was a magnificent experience to hear Bach organ pieces in the middle of central Africa at night.

    Medical missionaries have a long history in Africa.

    Mike K (b5c01a)

  4. I avoid reading mercenaries like Coulter and Rubin.

    The milk is spilt:

    According to this comment – supposedly written by someone who works in a hospital laboratory. Michael Snyder shares three quotes that we found particularly sobering…

    #1 “Even in the United States, out of all the various hospitals I have worked at, there is no hope of containing anything like this. One of the largest hospitals I worked at only had two reverse flow isolation rooms. TWO, let that sink in for a minute.”

    #2 “Patients only show up to the hospital when they go symptomatic. So by the time they get there, they’ve already infected their entire family, their work group, and anyone they got within a few feet of on the way to the hospital. When they get there the ER nurses would treat it either like Flu, or Sepsis. But the whole time the patient is infecting all of them. And all of them, in turn, begin to infect everyone else in the exact same way. If this is as virulent as the WHO thinks it might be, by the time people realize what is going on, there will be more sick people than there would be beds available at every hospital in the US combined.”

    #3 “So don’t expect miracles from front line hospital staff, we don’t have the tools, and we certainly do not have the manpower. Ask anyone in the medical field how much overtime they could work if they felt like it, don’t even get me started on how thinly stretched people in the industry are. Though I suppose if this does turn into something, that will become apparent very, very fast.”

    There is no way in the world that our medical professionals are going to be able to handle a full-blown Ebola pandemic.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  5. Wow, great post Dana. Thank you!

    SB (8a4846)

  6. I served a decade on the Africa missions committee of a evangelical megachurch. The average missionary is a second generation professional, it’s their career, subject to the same political intrigues of charity careerists in other enterprises.

    Ingenuous altruism is optional.

    First generation missionaries are another matter entirely.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  7. Ann Coulter is an opportunistic skank who makes her living throwing red meat to mouth breathers and not to be taken seriously by anybody who is anybody.

    My daughter’s mother has treated a sultana (that’s a sultan’s wife), at a premier U.S. hospital, as as part of her day to day practice. She used her most recent spring break to travel to Central Africa with six incubators, an electrophoresis machine (that’s used to diagnose sickle cell anemia) and two suitcase full of medicines, and to see tetanus patients at a local hospital (they won’t get vaccinate their kids). Ann Coulter is not worth her spit.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. *they won’t get their kids vaccinated*

    nk (dbc370)

  9. 3. Schweitzer was also a world-class theologian and a Christian in anyone’s estimation.

    Possibly the most accomplished person in history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Schweitzer

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  10. Thank you for this excellent post, Dana. Coulter comes off like Judas when he complained about Mary Magdalene’s “waste” of perfume on Jesus.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  11. First generation missionaries are another matter entirely.
    gary gulrud (46ca75) — 8/7/2014 @ 7:08 am

    Exactly right, Gary.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  12. Coulter has always been too caustic for me, even when she has good points, and I half wonder if she wrote the column about Brantly just to be provocative (I really don’t like following people who are being provocative for provocative’s sake).

    She does have a small point in the reality of how much money was donated to Samaritan’s Purse for various other activities that went to the evacuation of these two folks, but I think that is for the Board and contributors of SP to decide.

    Yes, one can try to play “what if” if a zillion ways, but I think she is following the course of liberal reasoning in her rant, thinking that humans can do some grand plan in control of everything,
    which is why God’s command is to love your neighbor, you who you are do what you can where you are, and not be quick to tell others what they should do.
    It is true that Brantly and others traveled a bit to be neighbors, but who am I to tell them not to?

    And yes, people do all kinds of things for all kinds of mixed motives, including being on a foreign mission field, but that is the human condition, not a reason to scrap the whole idea.

    gary,
    The points you quote are “semi-valid” in my opinion, in that in general the health care sector is stretched thin and not all hospitals have as many isolation rooms as some university hospitals in big cities.
    Which is why I think the idea of handling a smallpox bioterrorist attack with isolation and containment would be quickly overwhelmed, and the de facto plan for handling such an attack is bet on it never happening.
    That said, I still think any Ebola that comes to the US is likely to be contained. It is possible that usual operations could get disrupted with elective surgeries postponed in certain localities, etc.
    At the moment, with Ebola limited to West Africa and people recently there, I think most developed nations can handle any outbreaks that may be occurring from travelers before the higher scrutiny came into play.
    But yes, I think there is the potential for mass chaos in various parts of the world.
    Which reminds us that for as much change as we have seen with technology, the fundamentals of existence on earth are the same, including regional epidemics and world-wide pandemics.
    And then there are solar flares, with some large enough every hundred or hundreds of years or so that could fry our electrical grid, and that will be chaos.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  13. felipe (40f0f0) — 8/7/2014 @ 7:47 am
    Wonderfully succinct and to the point.
    (Something I rarely succeed at.)

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  14. Coulter sometimes makes some good points. This was not one of those times.

    Loren (1e34f2)

  15. Anne’s just been phoning it in since she exposed herself

    as a liberal loving chubby chaser in the 2012 elections.

    jakee308 (e090f6)

  16. Thank you for the kind words, Doc.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  17. Since when do we deliberately introduce a contagious pathogen into the United States?
    If something were to go wrong (Mr. Murphy, call your office), it could be catastrophic.
    And, after the recent revelations of the lack of security and storage awareness at both the FDA and CDC, why should we assume that this will be handled any better.
    Our open Southern Border is not just a crisis, but a scandal, and we fly two people back to the ‘States infected with what is considered to be the World’s most infectious, and/or dangerous disease?
    Tell me how we have ‘progressed’ from Ellis Island.
    Madness!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  18. Coulter is bonkers.

    See essay: “Ann Coulter’s Xenophobic Anti-Gospel of Hate” at http://t.co/aQGhLuWwtD.

    Coulter condemns Christians for practicing their faith just as she has condemned conservatives for being principled. In her Ebola diatribe, Christian missionaries are hypocrites seeking to be seen as heroic but are really cowards for not staying in America to fight the culture wars.

    See The Gospel According to Ann Coulter at http://www.coulterwatch.com/gospel.pdf.

    Peter Castle (fa8006)

  19. The book of Coulter 22:36-40

    Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?

    Coulter replied: Thou shalt not tire of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tire of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots. And the second is like it. Thou shalt not slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.

    She has such a deep understanding of religion.

    Steve57 (ba12a7)

  20. 17. I think the controlled entry to be handled in specialized facilities is fine.

    OTOH, that will not be the end of it.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  21. Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals.

    I would wager her accounting is highly dubious, and that she’s drawing on an urban legend. The lawyer quarantined in 2007 for what was feared to be extreme drug resistant tuberculosis was told by federal public health officials that he would have to cough up a six-figure sum for a special air transport from where he was staying in Europe. (He defied them and took a commercial flight into Canada).

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  22. By the way, their entire medical ministries budget in 2013 was $31,000,000. Does it cost them a million bucks every time they fly people to and from West Africa?

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  23. William F. Buckley once attacked a blind man in his column for sailing from the East Coast of the U.S. to Bermuda making use of an electronic navigation device. The two of them ended up on Nightline debating each other. Buckley was insufferably condescending and managed to look foolish in spite of his verbal agility, because his theses were stupid. Sometimes opinion mongers make obnoxious contrary arguments, presumably just be be cute and garner eyeballs. It’s a performance.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  24. There is no way in the world that our medical professionals are going to be able to handle a full-blown Ebola pandemic.

    You continue to traffic in this rot even after it’s been denied by knowledgeable medical professionals and defies common sense given the dimensions of the problem.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  25. MD

    Coulter was dead ON, and if anything held back that the costs to send some doctors to help are a bit different than the costs such as the Catholic charities are charges. Additionally, how many people would ever donate to an organization that flies people on chartered luxury jets and also are working on world ending diseases that can be brought back and kill millions of Americans.

    Sometimes things get ugly and sometimes things get very dangerous, we have a duty here first. We have billions that we send to these countries annually. So spending 2 million on one doctor who will cost millions to treat at the great risk of killing others????

    It was a grey area, now made black and White by Ann

    EPWJ (775325)

  26. The argument clinic is now open. The first one is “free”, well, not really.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  27. Very good post Dana.

    Coulter’s schtick is to be provocative and she usually turns her sights on liberals, although some thin skinned “True Conservatives” were angered by her columns during the last election cycle. She has been attacking the liberal trinity of Abortion, Atheism and Sodomy and its contribution to the moral decline of America for more than a decade. I see her column as more a continuation of that theme than an attempt on her part to play God. She is not commanding anybody not to do or to do anything in her column. She’s rubbing liberals’ noses in the fact that we have plenty of problems here in America and knowing how much they love religious charities, suggesting people volunteer at home.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. Why is this a surprise?
    Coulter has made it clear that for her “evangelizing” consists of invading, killing off any leaders, and converting any survivors. Anything else is just a wasted effort.
    Never mind that Joshua son of Joseph fellow and all his time with Samaritans and tax collectors and occupying officers and anything.
    Never mind any of the people in his organization wandering around outside of Israel, talking to non-Jews.
    And remember, those Jews, especially the ones in Israel, who send emergency medical help overseas after natural disasters, those people still need to be perfected, which is clearly why they waste time and money just helping others and not even trying to convert anyone at the same time.
    This is like a “progressive” being shocked that a Fauxlestinian spokesman was caught talking about killing all the Jews . . . again.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  29. 24. Even our esteemed MD has not addressed open borders and the fact that only British Airways and the UAE have suspended travel to the outbreak areas. Air France is interviewing prospective travelers.

    All five confirmed cases in Lagos are health care personnel. Your appeals to authority are as defined fallacious.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  30. Why did you say Ann Coulter is playing God? She’s not playing God. She’s playing Satan.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  31. Well, someone has to counteract the god that has ensconced herself in the White House.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  32. “Well, someone has to counteract the god that has ensconced herself in the White House.”

    askeptic – Valerie Jarrett is JUST that smart. See Dana’s newer post.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. Even our esteemed MD has not addressed open borders
    I see no reason to do so at this time. The borders should not be open for a whole list of reasons. Ebola coming from Africa by an airplane has nothing to do with our “non-border” with Mexico.

    and the fact that only British Airways and the UAE have suspended travel to the outbreak areas. Air France is interviewing prospective travelers.

    I have not been following this, but it should be obvious that there needs to be at least significant scrutiny and screening of travel to and from these areas, if allowed at all. Just because I think an outbreak in Berlin can be contained doesn’t mean they should invite it.
    And I’m not sure if London and Paris are more like NY or like Lagos when it comes to tracking down people from foreign nations.

    All five confirmed cases in Lagos are health care personnel. Your appeals to authority are as defined fallacious.
    gary gulrud (46ca75) — 8/7/2014 @ 10:46 am
    The confirmed cases in healthcare personnel are exactly what I have said to expect from the beginning, and is always what happens in every Ebola outbreak that has ever existed and then contained. Initially medical personnel are at great risk before they know what they are dealing with. The fact that Brantley and his assistant became ill is the unusual event, which I am going to assume happened from some break-down in procedure related to their unfamiliarity with the situation. The assistant was not a trained health professional, and the doc would likely have never had to deal with such a situation. He was not there to deal with Ebola, but with the “routine” troubles of Liberia, and decided not to leave when there was a need.

    Hindsight is 20/20. The situation in Lagos is the first time Ebola has jumped in this manner. It hasn’t taken much brains to see this as a potential problem, but what precautions are reasonable to take for a situation that has never occurred is a dilemma. One might have thought that once the Monrovia area was affected then travel from there would have been scrutinized sooner,
    but the Nigerian government has other things to worry about like terrorists and potential civil war, life can be tough.

    No, Coulter was wrong in so many ways, other than succeeding to provoke a reaction, and I think Samaritan’s Purse has a great track record and is very high in the percentage of donations that actually go for caring for people and not overhead. Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, and I am reluctant to second guess* unless I am in the situation myself.
    (*I do reserve the opportunity to second guess specific reasoning).

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  34. I think it is great that Dana authored this post—because she remains the antithesis of the Coulter School of Politics.

    I have long thought that name calling and snark are effective strategies for making people think in simple minded, counterproductive, and reactive ways. Ms. Coulter makes serious cash money doing exactly those things, and has honed her craft over the years. She wants people to call her names, and has long said things to promote that kind of reaction—I cannot believe that it’s not intentional.

    I have no idea what Ms. Coulter genuinely believes, other than that she (i) loves the sound of her own voice, (ii) adores the glamour photography on her book jackets, and (iii) will NOT be ignored (cue the Glenn Close line from “Fatal Attraction”). What did Oscar Wilde write? That he rather be infamous than not famous at all?

    The “name calling school” of politics is not new, but I find it distasteful…especially when good men and women get sucked into the mud slinging. That is what Coulter is all about.

    I think she has become a bumper sticker.

    I have known many people who go to help others in Africa, Asia, and South America. I think they are fine people, and I don’t argue that their time is better spent at home—any more than I would argue that Ann Coulter needs to go back to being a lawyer, and write nonfiction analytical books on the finer points of corporate law.

    She is after money and celebrity. Folks overseas whom she acidly criticized are often quite the converse.

    But that’s just my opinion. I have spent years cringing over statements she has made that get the Left agitated and more involved. Why, it’s almost as if she is vested in the political battle, as opposed to reaching her political goals.

    I’m sure I’m wrong.

    Simon Jester (e23de6)

  35. In general, I agree that Coulter grates, HOWEVER I do get tired of “We shouldn’t be that provocative, we’re supposed to be better than that.”. That is an attitude that has allowed the Liberal axis to run roughshod over the rest of us for decades. They have no limits, they have no shame, and the best thing about Coulter is the shrieks of outrage when she gives them their own back.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  36. 32- I could have been talking about the ball-less one who golfs a lot.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  37. 35- Agree!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  38. I think they cut the wrong thing off of ex-man coulter.

    mr.gop (74587d)

  39. i like Ann Coulter she is a very nice person and very well-spoken

    but i couldn’t get through this column cause of i have no interest in the subject matter

    maybe she will pick more better topics to write about in the future

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  40. its odd that you manage to find things about Coulters “god” that she never states …
    I would point out that the extra 2 million that the charity had to spend could have been spend saving lives … those lost lives have to be counted on the same scale you want to measure the Dr’s contribution by …

    I’m sure the Dr. though God wanted him to go to Africa … I also think that in that case God wanted him to die there as well, of Ebola … maybe we should have allowed the “will of God” to guide us ?

    JeffC (488234)

  41. Hey Coulter – Have a 3 inch Porterhouse with a baked Red River potato, with Land-o-Lakes butter and sour cream.
    And a slice of aunt Mary’s Chocolate cake.
    With a glass or two of whole milk.

    mg (31009b)

  42. oh my goodness

    eating like that makes girls like Ann feel like everything is spiraling out of control Mr. mg

    and then they get bitchy

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  43. She is a spiraling out of control female bow wow.

    mg (31009b)

  44. Part of the deliberate breakdown of non-communist societies by the communist movement comsists of getting the populace to care about not their own friends and neighbors, but about people in faraway lands that they will never meet, and cannot actually bear any responsibility towards. If someone wants to spend their own life helping the overseas hopeless, which is what most of Africa is, let them. That’s part of the freedom we have as Americans. I won’t contribute anything to help them, and somewhat resent the government forcibly taking money from me to do so.

    I contribute time and money to local youth groups, and money to local food banks and local scholarship drives to be given to local kids to further their education. I can see the results of helping make my little corner of the world a better place. If you want to spend your time and treasure making some remote corner of the world a better place, that’s your choice.

    But first ask yourself- why aren’t they helping themselves?

    Do I totally agree with Coulter? No. Do I see her point? Yes.

    gospace (3c33bb)

  45. Every dollar of aid they raise to treat themselves is raised in dollars.

    Curtis (bd5f4e)

  46. I was thinking I don’t think that logic is used anywhere in the Bible
    and then I realized that it was:
    Amos 7, Acts 22:20-22, and I suppose also Mary’s ointment is similar.

    The catch?
    Every single time it’s someone opposing God.

    Ibidem (a598c4)

  47. 29. gary gulrud (46ca75) — 8/7/2014 @ 10:46 am

    All five confirmed cases in Lagos are health care personnel.</i.

    An indication that this is not the Andromeda strain.

    Deuteronomy 2:30

    וְלֹא אָבָה, סִיחֹן מֶלֶךְ חֶשְׁבּוֹן, הַעֲבִרֵנוּ, בּוֹ: כִּי-הִקְשָׁה יְהוָה
    אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-רוּחוֹ, וְאִמֵּץ אֶת-לְבָבוֹ, לְמַעַן תִּתּוֹ בְיָדְךָ, כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה.

    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0502.htm

    But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.

    God told Moses:

    Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of Arnon; behold, I have given into thy hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.

    Moses, nevertheless:

    And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying:

    ‘Let me pass through thy land; I will go along by the highway, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.

    28 Thou shalt sell me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink; only let me pass through on my feet;

    29. as the children of Esau that dwell in Seir, and the Moabites that dwell in Ar, did unto me; until I shall pass over the Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.’

    And then again, God repeated it:

    And the LORD said unto me: ‘Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before thee; begin to possess his land.’

    —————-

    The same kind of hardening of the heart happened with Saddam Hussein in 2003, although there he probably thought he had it all figured out – what with george W. bush beleiving in him havcinbg chemical weapons, that meant he could not styart a war [ast about April 1, and Saddam hussein had the turkish Parlkiament back out at the last minute.

    But W went ahead anyway. It truned out Turkish territory wasn’t really necessary.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. I’ve met people on missions here and there in the third world. Well meaning.
    Often seem out of touch with the society of their homeland.
    I forget where I was in Central America, but someone in missions work talked me into attending a pentacostal mega-church (those folks are kinda loud). It was weird to hear that they were sending missionaries to LA, NYC, Chicago, Houston, Miami to reach out to the hispanics there.
    I was unsure how that visa process looked, and also wondered why the missionaries didn’t just swap.. Americans go back to the states and head into the hispanic neighborhoods and vice versa.
    Dr’s are another thing entirely though and there is a long tradition of American missionaries ( and great secular groups) who have devoted themselves to bringing healthcare to those with none. Without them, there are no trained locals to stem the suffering.
    I think the Dr. just got in over his head and was unable to keep awareness that their health depended upon his health.

    The only criticism that I might have is that the Dr seems to have led more than a few trained helpers to their deathbeds, rather than stepping back, saving assets and doing quarantine… and that would be more of a critique for educational purposes

    steveg (794291)

  49. The structure of her rant with strawmen and denunciation of others’ motives and actions for failing to fulfill her vision reminds me of, er, someone in high office.

    Hal Dall (3ba461)

  50. I don’t think there is likely to be much blame for Dr. Brantley.
    He was the top doc for the effort in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse, after they were given the responsibility for it by the Liberian Government and Doctors Without Borders, who were running the effort but were stretched too thin with the outbreaks in Sierra Leon and Guinea as well. It is the first time I am aware of that anyone other than Doctor’s Without Borders was in charge of an Ebola outbreak. It was not what he trained in residency for, it is not what he went to Liberia for, but in the midst of the crisis the experts with Doctors Without Borders trained them and let them take over.
    To alter a quote, “You fight an outbreak with the medical personnel you have available…”

    For all we know, it could have been something as simple as a less than adequate concentration of Chlorox that they had received in their supplies, that when diluted properly, was not strong enough to work, and not directly their “fault”.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  51. If ann the man coulter was a woman she would be a slut!

    send in the neocons (74587d)

  52. … there is a long tradition of American missionaries ( and great secular groups) who have devoted themselves to bringing healthcare to those with none. Without them, there are no trained locals to stem the suffering.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera#mediaviewer/File:Africa_cholera2008b.jpg

    Instructive to see how the Africans have dealt with Cholera. We are talking an entire continent where the people are not smart enough to refrain from dropping trowser and crapping in the river.

    Were the missionaries just to polite too mention fouling the drinking water is what’s making them sick?

    From what I know, the media will go out of it’s way looking for the next boogie man to promote. Ebola is the next hobgoblin.
    From what I have read the average healthy person would have to go swimming in diarea to catch it.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  53. What has AC ever done but cross her arms and bitch about things?

    WTP (066be7)

  54. I agree, WTP, insofar as I have read her – but, like Don Rickles, “that’s her schtick”.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  55. Coulter is no Rickles
    Rickles is one of the greatest of all time.
    Coulter is a turd in the toilet.

    mg (31009b)

  56. 47. Well, I’m uncertain of the lesson to be drawn, but I neglected in the quote to mention a 6th case, a nurse, had already passed.

    gary gulrud (1e7047)

  57. Samaritan’s Purse:

    According to SIM[sic], West Africa has counted 1,711 diagnoses and 932 deaths, already, which could represent only a small fraction of the actual number. “We believe that these numbers represent just 25-50 percent of what is happening,” said Isaacs.

    In my experience “SIM” stands for ‘Sudan Inland Mission’, but a possible francophone acronym.

    gary gulrud (1e7047)

  58. From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide. –Abraham Lincoln

    gary gulrud (1e7047)

  59. I’m sure there is a simple explanation:

    http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/only-cbs-acknowledges-govt-missing-619-billion-agency-budgets

    Maths is hard.

    gary gulrud (1e7047)

  60. Coulter is happyfeet with periods.

    kosisok (b7b1ae)

  61. this has not been confirmed by any reputable source

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  62. At age 52, Ann Coulter is not likely to have periods anymore.

    nk (dbc370)

  63. Upfront: I didn’t read Ann’ Piece. I have loved her books and “rants.” She takes no prisoners with the Left’s madness.

    My daughter works for a charity filled with well-meaning folks trying to help the world’s poor and most desperate. Besides using donations, they are not above wanting government aid to help with their charity. This is where all groups go wrong in my estimation. For one, they want money conscripted from the not-necessarily-willing (government theft) and then open themselves to government control as part of the strings that go with government money.

    Further, I am a strong believer in keeping charity close to home. For one, if givers feels they are being scammed, the purses can be slammed shut or help discontinued. There are plenty of people who can use a warm shoulder and some physical and monetary help close by if one pays attention. It also means that you have to put up with sometimes stupid or highly-annoying behavior — requiring much Christian forbarance. Those who have tried the close-at-hand work will know exactly what I mean.

    When you are willing to sacrifice oneself for others, whether at home or abroad, there are definite risks. Those risks must be absorbed by the giver, not dumped on others.

    How this applies to the post and comments, I will let readers decide.

    Margaret McCarthy (b5205a)

  64. Two thoughts on both Coulter’s comments and the many repsonse on htis thread.

    I am a former missionary (1st generation). I personaaly feel my effort was wasted, but that is more of a reflection on my own sinfulness, and not the spiritual need of the country.

    One of my formers college professor had spent 15 years in Korea, teh returned to the US and acdcept a pastorate near Philly. In that church were a family of refugees from Sierra Leone. One of the boys (we’ll call him Ishmael, not his real name for his protection)met and fell in love with his daughter while they were attening the same college. His daughter got a degree in education, he got a degree and his LPN. Afew years back, my onld professor having turn 70, retired and planed to sspend his remaing years spoiling his grandchildren and mentoring youger ministers.
    Ishmael had a cousin who had remained in-country and offered him a business proposition. When Ishmael retumred he was so heart-broke for the phyical and spiritual poverty, that he turned down the business, and instead asked his father in law to visit teh country with him. That was 7 years ago, sinc ethen tehy have established an elementary school, a health clinic, a commmunity college and several churches. Their charachter was recognised to the point that the head military chaplain has asked them to hold training seminars each year.

    None of the peolpe I mentioned above were “out of touch” with their own culture, not did they go because the wanted to transplant American culture overseas. They all have a genuine love for God and God’s children. There will always be haters in the world. I for one try to ignore them and move on, but sometimes foolish people need to be answered (Proverbs 26:4-5).

    Bkwa (9f230f)

  65. Ann was dead on. She has the ability to cut to the core. Stupidity and miss-guided works in the name of Christianity are the heart of her story and it is true in every sense.

    You want bitchy, look to your own work. This is a pathetic blog with sick twisted pathetic children playing ‘pile-on’.

    In this economy, with this President, with this Senate and with the Iranians, Russians and North Koreans, if you can’t do better than this story you should quit writing.

    TheHat (58d08b)

  66. #64
    I’ve met missionaries like them who were able to straddle both worlds, but I have also met people who lived with and like an indian tribe (can i say that? racisssssssssst) anyway, the missionary people way up in a far reach of the Orinoco river in Venezuela or the ones way up above Putao in Myanmar have not done real well back in the states after getting bounced from their immersed life. They do better at international schools abroad, or living in rural adjacent areas in Laos or Columbia with refugees from their tribe. Their immersion has drawn out their quirks and they have done so in a way that worked well with their tribe, but to a US person it can seem odd.
    Urban missionaries or those that deal with the teeming masses have different immersion talents that can make them seem odd in the west.
    Anyway I know that some feel drawn overseas “called” as they say, so they get squared away and go… godspeed to them. Even if they are dead wrong about God’s calling they still meant the best, and again may God protect them.

    steveg (794291)

  67. TheHat – Do you have a twisted, pathetic, bitchy newsletter to which I can subscribe?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. TheHat,

    Well, okay then. It is up to Patterico to decide whether I should quit writing for his blog. I will always happily comply with his decisions. In the meantime, do you have a link where you blog about issues that concern you – in spite of possibly being mocked and ridiculed for your observations and views?

    Dana (020a13)

  69. The great thing about Ebola is that it kills so fast that everyone is dead before it spreads.

    Thus, in the olden days of living memory, you would hear about a remote village wiped out, and about 39 deaths – and then the overseas doctors would show up to treat the survivors and make sure it didn’t spread from there.

    The wrongest, stupidest thing you can do in an Ebola epidemic is start moving people around.
    Putting them on planes.
    Taking them to other countries.
    That increases the chance of spreading the disease to new population centers where it will spread like wildfire.

    When Dr. Brantley went to help, he was a hero.
    When he willingly got on a plane to go to another country, knowing he was infected, knowing the disease hadn’t run its course and he was dead or alive yet, that was his critical failure.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  70. if you can’t do better than this story you should quit writing.

    If you don’t agree with me, you don’t deserve to speak. How dare you, you billowing bale of bovine fodder! You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of collaginous junk!

    WTP (8894aa)

  71. Meh, those are the nosepickers Coulter makes her living off of. I doubt they even read her books, they just look at her picture on the cover.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. I’m always amused when someone chooses to criticize a blog for the subject matter the blogger posts. I think the moniker should be TheAssHat instead of TheHat.

    hadoop (f7d5ba)

  73. ebola oh god not ebola

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  74. Sorry, but Coulter has a point. I feel for, and have intense sympathy for the suffering of Africa. I really do. But having been involved in a fair amount of charity work myself, there is a certin…sexiness factor to working in Africa. A self importance, that goes with remote charity work like this. Also a VAST amount of the money gets spent on logistics, transportation, bribes, and security in these situations. Also, in this case, rescuing the person doing the charity work.

    There are villages in Alaska with no running water, and no schools. How about fixing up a few dilapidated homes in Detroit? Plenty of people without health care in the country – set up a free clinic and use the $2 million to buy supplies. There is so much more that could been done without risk, without waste. But they are not in Africa…..We do the charity that makes us feel better, and, unfortunately, helping locally just doesn’t cut it for most people.

    Tennhauser (ee4be9)

  75. It was a grey area, now made black and White by Ann

    EPWJ (775325) — 8/7/2014 @ 9:51 am

    Nice to see EPJW weighing in on the wrong side of an issue for a change. When you rambled through the squatters’ villages in India giving microloans, did you not fear that you’d bring disease back with you?

    Ann Coulter is a tone-deaf idiot, but The sexist insults undermine the point they were trying to make. None of the sexist things would be said if she were a man.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  76. I confess that I am a bit amazed at some of the reactions to this situation and to Coulter’s piece.
    I am going to assume that like many people, Dr. Brantley is a flawed human with mixed motives for even the best of his actions. (But that is no reason to assume the worst, IMO, as some appear to do.)
    I am going to assume he is like many people I have known personally,
    that he found himself with certain aptitudes that made it possible for him to be a doctor,
    that being a Christian, one who believed in Jesus and believed that to believe in Jesus is to follow Him, that he looked for opportunities where his abilities would be a benefit and blessing to others.
    he could have done this anywhere in the US, even in the wealthiest parts of the country, as there is is always a need for a good doctor (assuming he is one).
    I imagine he looked around and saw that while there was need in the US, there were generally a lot of people around to address those needs.
    and he and his family decided to go elsewhere, as in Jesus’ command to “go into all the world”.
    He and his family ended up in Liberia, together; a place with some dangers and inconveniences, just like Detroit had he worked there as mentioned or stayed in the SW and worked near the border, on an Indian Reservation, or inner-city Houston.
    As far as I know, he did not ask for any applause.
    Lo and behold, while there he found himself in the midst of the worst Ebola outbreak the world had ever seen, so bad that the usual people who handle Ebola outbreaks said “we’re overwhelmed, we can’t do it all, somebody else has to help”.

    had he decided that it was too dangerous, people would have said, “So much for trusting in your so-called god and wanting to help people, when they really need it, you run back to your safe spot in the US”;
    and some of those people would be the same ones who are fussing right now that he didn’t do that.

    But he didn’t do that. His family returned to the states for a wedding I’ve read, and he did not go because there was too much work to do. Whether the family planned on returning after the wedding, even in the midst of the outbreak, I have not seen addressed.
    For some reason and somehow a mistake was made and he ended up getting sick, along with a coworker.
    At this time his boss, Franklin Graham, could have done one of a couple different things:
    1) say, “Tough luck bud, you knew the dangers when you went (though not really, as Ebola had never struck W. Africa before), we’re praying for you…”
    2) Think, “This is my employee, my responsibility, what can I do to help him?”

    How many of you think Franklin Graham would have done the correct thing by choosing #1? If so, write a letter to your boss (right now) giving instructions should you ever be in a hostage situation or other crisis.

    If you want to say too much money was spent to bring him back, well hey, too much was spent at Starbucks today too (including by myself). If those people whose money it was want to complain, then let them, who are you to complain about how someone spends the money of another person?

    If you want to argue about the risk to the US public or one hundred other things, then make the argument specific so it can be addressed specifically.

    I doubt he ever asked to be considered a hero, whether he was in Africa with Ebola or in Detroit and shot in a robbery.

    It is a big world with 7 billion people in it. If some want to help those in need around the corner, great, if some want to go farther where the ratio of “helpers” to “needers” is greater, of what concern is that to you?

    Jesus mentioned that some complained about John the Baptist because he came off a little too austere and self-righteous, and people also complained that Jesus was a glutton and hung around with the wrong crowd. Not only can one not please all of the people all of the time, there are some people that one can not please any of the time.

    There is so much more that could been done without risk, without waste.
    Nonsense.
    Nothing is without risk, and nothing can be done that is guaranteed to not cause waste. If I was going to live by those criteria, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning.

    How much energy and resources went into the chocolate and coffee in my frappucino a few hours ago, and couldn’t it have been spent in better ways?
    A lot, and maybe, maybe not. Along the way people who drive trucks, load ships, and cultivate trees earned some money bringing me my luxury. Did I need that luxury (no, that’s why it is called a luxury), did I do something wrong by not drinking water from my tap and giving the money to a local soup kitchen?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  77. Two huge thumbs up, MD. I could not have found those words, but you framed the issue perfectly.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  78. MD in Philly

    I think you have hit the proper prespective. There always some who will never be happy, no matter what you do.

    Bkwa (badb47)

  79. There always some who will never be happy, no matter what you do

    #WarOnWomen

    WTP (24fa3a)

  80. Carlitos,

    This is an easy case of right and wrong, we have a huge worldwide program called USAID, we support many thousands of private initiatives. There is great danger in treating world ending dangerous infections with long incubation times – infections that novelists write novelist b-movie plots on that can become true.

    If he is soo compelled to do real charity work I could have put him in touch with a lifetime – but these were not on chartered luxury jets an such.

    EPWJ (e66119)

  81. MD in Philly, excellent summary.

    Hal Dall (3ba461)

  82. To Bkwa and Margaret McCarthy:

    I do not know if these were your first posts here, But I appreciate your views and civility. I encourage you to continue contributing your thoughts here.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  83. I find Coulter using the same writing techniques as the lefties.
    1)Point to some group ‘A’ as poor, or sick, or ________.
    2)Castigate someone and implicitly(or explicitly) blame them for A’s plight.
    3)Push an unrelated agenda under cover of #1 and #2.

    the poor in a Texan County/the “rich” refuse to help/raise taxes
    the poor in a Texan County/Brantley’s refused to help/Christians must fight Gen.Coulter’s culture war

    Hal Dall (3ba461)

  84. Wow, doc! I was right to start the fan club. Well done.

    “Not only can one not please all of the people all of the time, there are some people that one can not please any of the time”. – MD in philly

    felipe (40f0f0)

  85. One of the things not noticed (almost) here is how there should have been by now, much better treatement of Ebola, but the Food and Drug Adminsitration and the whole general approach to new medical practices, slows down drastically progress in everything it touches, and tthis has gonbe on so long, or there is so much arbitrary power, that people think it is normal, or they are afraid to complain.

    Dr. Brantly got some special treatment that should have been offered also to some people in Africa, especially maybe the doctors.

    There is also enormous stupidity. There is every reason to believe, for instance, that the body fighting back is a factor. I don’t know what works in this case, people who study it should know, and they should have known long ago. Maybe Vitamin A, folic acid, and, yes, antibiotics. (the body is always fighting minor bacterial infections – this reduces the strain.)

    Blood transfusions from people who recovered, which can confer passive immunity. Of course it is good always to test to see if they have some other infections.

    It is unconscionable that the various vaccines and antibodies have bene developed so slowl;y, and that nobody does “wild” experiments. It’s an outrage. A total outrage. And still they won’t say there’s something wrong with the development of treatments for new or dangerous diseases.

    African hospitals also by the way, are of poor quality. Nurses in ierre Leone were promised extra money and then it was not paid.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  86. If he is soo compelled to do real charity work I could have put him in touch with a lifetime – but these were not on chartered luxury jets an such.

    EPWJ (e66119) — 8/8/2014 @ 1:26 pm

    You’re a real asshole.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  87. Dr. Brantly got some special treatment that should have been offered also to some people in Africa, especially maybe the doctors.

    Sammy, this is another you can’t please everybody all of the time, and maybe some people none of the time.

    I do not know in what order to begin.
    First of all, if you want someone to blame for slow drug development, blame lawyers, who love to make complex contracts and look for a windfall profit when they can.

    Another first of all, had the drug first been given to an African, there would have been a huge outcry of experimenting on Africans. Heaven help whoever did it if the patient happened to die.

    First of all for the third time, we do not know if the drug helped or not in the (current) recovery of the two infected. They were in good health prior to the infection, began treatment immediately, and had the best care possible, all things that would increase the likelihood of recovery.
    Second, we do not know yet if there have been or will be any side effects to the drugs.

    Brantley is a well educated person in a critical situation with no other specific treatment available*. He is the classic example of someone who would be a candidate to try an experimental procedure.** Pardon me if there are any professional bioethicists reading this, but contrary to news reports, WHO and other officials don’t need bioethicists to tell them what to do. They need expert opinion on whether there is evidence that the drug did any good and whether it is safe, and then proceed as possible with supplying more drug if appropriate-
    Recognizing that there may be problems with greater use…
    And in the meantime, isolation of cases and contacts needs to proceed, which appears to have nearly fallen apart in Liberia. (I read elsewhere that there were like 40 doctors or so for all of Liberia prior to this. Years of civil war does bad things to countries.)

    *The idea of passive transfer of antibodies via transfusion is something which I guess has been tried before, not enough experience to know how much it helps.
    **Some have argued (don’t get me started) that a person in a critically ill state is de facto unable to give informed consent because of the emotional stress, but others (self included) think that is a nicety that ignores real life. Why would I ever choose to be part of an experiment I don’t need?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  88. Thanks for kind words, but this said it nicely:
    Ibidem (a598c4) — 8/7/2014 @ 4:00 pm

    As said, it was Judas who fussed about the cost of the perfume “wasted” on Jesus.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  89. Carlitos

    Since you are talking about something THAT you know nothing about like micro loans in India – please look into WHAT he was doing verses the risk to all of us – there is a reason WHY deadly infectious diseases with no cure and a super duper high mortality rate – are not to be toyed with – if a wealthy doctor can get it with all his training and resources – then insisting on coming back to risk death upon his homeland, gee – yeah – I’m on the wrong side of this

    But go back to name calling – it gives people comfort in the soundness of their argument.

    EPWJ (0c89e8)

  90. and not to start a panic – but all the people who came into contact with him and made newstories, drove him to the airport picked him up, etc etc – have they been quarantined?

    EPWJ (0c89e8)

  91. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 8/8/2014 @ 3:54 pm

    First of all, if you want someone to blame for slow drug development, blame lawyers, who love to make complex contracts and look for a windfall profit when they can.

    Lawywers (and let’s add lobbyists) are just a part of it.

    Medical progress is not teh way it was before about 1948. You really have to go back to 1948, which is about when they started doing double-blind studies.

    The FDA started to need to approve effectiveness after 1962. More recently we hgave medical devices. The only thing that doesn’t need prior approval is surgery, ad we get the good and the bad with that. Many unnecessary astupid surgeries but also new life-saving surgery.

    We also now have such supervision that old generic drugs become unavailable. This ius also because of price fixing – maximum amounts Medicare will pay.

    The patents situation has gotten worse.

    Nobody even has the sense to suggest that the new patent for hepatitis be bought up by teh federal government. In fact this should happen with several new treatments every year.

    Another first of all, had the drug first been given to an African, there would have been a huge outcry of experimenting on Africans.

    Stupid. You have to resist this. This is n example of where all the do-gooderrism harms people.

    Heaven help whoever did it if the patient happened to die.

    AT most really this would mean it wass ineffective.

    It should have been offered anywhere.

    BTW, George Orwell got an experimental treatment for tuberculosis, but it didn’t work on him, but did cure two other people.

    First of all for the third time, we do not know if the drug helped or not in the (current) recovery of the two infected. They were in good health prior to the infection, began treatment immediately, and had the best care possible, all things that would increase the likelihood of recovery.

    They give a death of rate of between 60% and 90%.

    I suspect there are actually many subclinical infections. Yes, of ebola. If it has a long incubation period, ot stands to reason some people might just beat it back. A good statistical to test this would be to look at the age breakdown of cases.

    Second, we do not know yet if there have been or will be any side effects to the drugs.

    That is of couyrse a problem. Ebola is said to infect every cell in the body. This gives me the idea you could gtet an auto-immune disorder in some people if you vaccinated people.

    But obviously, givinbg antibodies is the way to bet.

    Brantley is a well educated person in a critical situation with no other specific treatment available*. He is the classic example of someone who would be a candidate to try an experimental procedure.** Pardon me if there are any professional bioethicists reading this, but contrary to news reports, WHO and other officials don’t need bioethicists to tell them what to do. They need expert opinion on whether there is evidence that the drug did any good and whether it is safe, and then proceed as possible with supplying more drug if appropriate-
    Recognizing that there may be problems with greater use… </I.

    The biggest problem with a newe treatment is underdosing. (This by the wasy is the same approasch that Obama takes toward military action)

    And in the meantime, isolation of cases and contacts needs to proceed, which appears to have nearly fallen apart in Liberia. (I read elsewhere that there were like 40 doctors or so for all of Liberia prior to this. Years of civil war does bad things to countries.)

    People are avoiding hospitals and hospital containment isn’t good, and many of those who have volunteered have come down with the disease. There is no one to clean up the messes the patienst make.

    *The idea of passive transfer of antibodies via transfusion is something which I guess has been tried before, not enough experience to know how much it helps.

    Oh that thing works very well. Historically, and that also protects newborn children up to six months.

    It’s just not done very much nowadays because there are better treatments for most things where that would apply..

    It’s 2014. By now there should genetic engineeering of bacteria to prodice antibodies – in fact a system whereby in 3 weeks you could manufacture any antibody you neesded

    **Some have argued (don’t get me started) that a person in a critically ill state is de facto unable to give informed consent because of the emotional stress, but others (self included) think that is a nicety that ignores real life. Why would I ever choose to be part of an experiment I don’t need?

    A persdon in such a state may be in a situation where help is an offer he can’t refuse even if there could be a lot of better things.

    And who would voluntarily enroll in a blinded study rather than get the proposed treatment?

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  92. Ann Coulter is a tone-deaf idiot, but The sexist insults undermine the point they were trying to make. None of the sexist things would be said if she were a man.
    carlitos (c24ed5) — 8/8/2014 @ 12:29 pm

    None of the sexist things said about Xaviera Hollander would be said if she were a man, also. What’s your point? Ann Coulter produces nothing; contributes nothing to the health, wealth, and progress of anyone except for herself. She entertains and titillates a fringe audience. She’s basically a parasite passing herself off as inteligentsia. Any stripper selling lap dances gives more value to her customers than Ann Coulter gives to hers.

    nk (dbc370)

  93. “Ann Coulter produces nothing; contributes nothing to the health, wealth, and progress of anyone except for herself.”

    nk – I vigorously disagree. I believe each of her books has spent weeks or months on best seller lists, far outselling dipwad liberal authors. She has educated a generation of conservatives about liberal hypocrisy, ruthlessly exposed liberal myths about the McCarthy era, and told the much needed truth about popular liberal politicians and programs which has earned her the undying enmity of liberals and other people who have never read more than a comn or two of her work.

    That marks a successful career.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  94. column = comn

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  95. I’ve updated the post with a statement released today by Dr. Brantley.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  96. That’s a lovely sentiment from the recovering doctor, and I am glad you added it, Dana.

    And I sit back and ask myself: what have I done to help others today. Whew!

    Dana, I wrote to Patterico about this link. It sounds an awful lot like some things that you try to live by. I know I, like Ace, was surprised and moved.

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/351047.php

    Others will scoff, I’m sure. But it was a hopeful thing to read about our nasty, nasty societal climate these days.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  97. EPWJ: If Ebola infected through the protective gear and by people walking by, all west Africa would be infected by now. Also the few “rich doctor” missionaries (or docs a year out of residency) were rich before.

    Sammy: Although genetic engineering has been done for ebola ab http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2014/08/04/gmo-viruses-bacteria-gmo-tobacco-likely-saved-ebola-patients/ , anti-gmo fanatics will save us from the future you envision.

    Hal Dall (3b642f)

  98. Something that people may not be aware of is that Liberia is becoming home of and ever growing expat oil and logistics community. One of the first things that is done is bringing over doctors, dentists, teachers, establishing expat schools and vice-versa. Many of these doctors are brought over under programs to bolster indigenous hospital staff.

    Same for teachers, as much as some who like Carlitos pointed out my exploits, you can die from illness and its no laughing or joking matter, especially when contracting a virus during the bird flu panics – hospitals and airlines ban you from entering their facilities – you are basically left to die even in countries like the UAE, Saudi or Qatar.

    So still I am amazed that with the strictest of Quarantine protocols someone had to pull some mighty huge strings to get these people back and even bigger strings to be allowed into the country.

    Maybe this is what Ann was addressing as well

    EPWJ (992ed5)

  99. Hal Dall,

    It’s shocking to me to play god with people’s lives – especially from a doctor who is aware of the potential. To go and help people is a noble calling, to then risk the lives of your countrymen millions upon millions, casts a different light on it.

    True isolation protocols is everyone who is in contact with him is sequestered, they do not leave until the threat is over, they are not doing that or its not confirmed that they are.

    EPWJ (992ed5)

  100. Sammy,
    I am sure there are things, perhaps many, that you know more about than me
    medicine is not one of them
    I am not going to spend my time pointing out where you are misinterpreting what you have read, because past experience teaches me little is to be gained
    IF ANYONE has a question about something Sammy raises and wants to ask about it, I will be happy to reply as I can

    EPWJ, please, get a few facts straight before you do your character assassination, OK?
    You call him a “rich doctor”, if he is rich it is for some reason other than being a doctor, as he is just out of residency (pay is very low, you are an indentured servant for 3 or more years) after very likely a lot of college and med school loans.
    Secondly, if you read about Ebola outbreaks, it is not usual for health care workers to get it once they know what it is, so there is much precedent for him to be cared for safely.
    My guess is there was some glitch in their decontamination process, as the person responsible for that is who also became ill.

    Spain also transported home a citizen stricken with Ebola
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/spanish-priest-with-ebola-in-stable-condition-1407415511

    I don’t think it was an issue of “pulling strings” as much as mobilizing resources. Emory and the CDC have a unit designed for this kind of thing that has been used before. I imagine there were some who wanted the opportunity to put it to use. They have this in part to care for anyone at the CDC labs who gets Ebola or Marburg or other nasty things.

    I can only imagine you have not bothered to read much or look at pictures. When he got out of the ambulance at Emory he was essentially in a “space suit” complete with his own self-contained air supply.

    As I said initially, if the people who donate to Samaritan’s Purse and/or the board of SP want to protest how the funds were spent, they are welcome to do that, it’s their penny.

    My goodness, the world is really falling apart in numerous other ways, this is not a big reason to fuss. No, really, it’s not.
    If it was smallpox, that would be a much bigger threat to bring into the country,
    but it’s not.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  101. Simon Jester,

    I had known of AndrewWK through one of my sons. It was a wonderful letter and how right he is. I also enjoyed MKH’s take:

    I loathe the idea of a world where my every relationship and every decision is governed by adherence to my political ideology. I want to be friends with people of all stripes and see whatever movie and eat whatever pasta I feel like without running each of them through a political rubric. Not everything that is not of my political sensibility must deeply offend my sensibilities.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  102. “to then risk the lives of your countrymen millions upon millions, casts a different light on it”.

    I do not see it that way, EPWJ. Dr. Brantley isolated himself when he became sick. Any lives put to risk by his repatriation is the responsibility of the ones who pulled the strings to make his return happen. You might consider a different target.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  103. @ MD,

    I am not going to spend my time pointing out where you are misinterpreting what you have read, because past experience teaches me little is to be gained

    I’m glad you mentioned this. I believe you also said something like this when a commenter last year or two was reciting endless studies on IVF or something similar. It resonates with me because during a year of extremely difficult physical circumstances, I would read endlessly about certain conditions and finally figured out that without the whole picture, these snippets were just isolated facts and figures and presented a very limited knowledge. Knowing and understanding the framework first is essential to understanding the particulars. I hope that makes sense.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  104. I am confidant that there will be very few of us here who will request a clarification of any utterances, medical or otherwise, made by Mr. F. Except those that are necessary to express “WTF”? But it is good the Doc has our back!

    felipe (40f0f0)

  105. I just don’t understand the venom toward someone trying to do good. This wasn’t some Hollywood type on a photo shoot, after all.

    But like the young folks say: H8rs gotta H8. There is probably some other agenda driving it.

    Me, I will pray for the doctor’s recovery, and for the souls of the Ebola victims in Africa.

    This reminds me how little I have done to help the lives of others.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  106. And thank you, Dana. I was shocked and pleased by the letter. But do notice in the comments to the Village Voice article how quickly things degenerate into name calling and superiority. Which is perhaps the textbook definition of “irony.”

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  107. Grammar alert on 104!

    felipe (40f0f0)

  108. You can disagree with Coulter if you like; in this case, I certainly do. But her books are terrific–not just a collection of bumper-sticker talking points, as is the case with so many other talking heads. They are meticulously researched, beautifully argued, and highly original arguments for conservative principles. So it’s troubling, on this blog especially, to see the vitriol with which so many of her lessers are trashing her.

    Kevin Stafford (5a2acb)

  109. felipe,

    its impossible to “isolate yourself because, contamination and fluids are left behind, invisible and deadly.

    This is one of those “ultimate” moments where you have to decide – is it better to die – or risk certain death to others to try to live?

    It’s horrible but if someone cannot get on a flight with a fever during the bird flu how in sam hill did someone get on board with a world ending disease?

    EPWJ (775325)

  110. i agree about the pasta

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  111. “But her books are terrific–not just a collection of bumper-sticker talking points, as is the case with so many other talking heads. They are meticulously researched, beautifully argued, and highly original arguments for conservative principles. So it’s troubling, on this blog especially, to see the vitriol with which so many of her lessers are trashing her.”

    Kevin Stafford – As a general rule I find the people most vitriolic about Coulter are those the least familiar with her work or liberals whose sacred cows she has gored.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  112. “It’s horrible but if someone cannot get on a flight with a fever during the bird flu how in sam hill did someone get on board with a world ending disease?”

    EPWJ – In an isolation chamber. Search out the pictures. Inform yourself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  113. Daley, this is the bit that reveals the source of the oddness:

    “…its impossible to “isolate yourself because, contamination and fluids are left behind, invisible and deadly….”

    Um. I have a feeling that this isn’t about ebola.

    But this isn’t the first, ah, unusual diatribe from that source. Right?

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  114. I am amused by the way EPWJ broadcasts ignorance with almost every comment. I was gonna let that last one slide, Daley.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  115. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Kevin Stafford leaves a comment with which I heartily agree:

    You can disagree with Coulter if you like; in this case, I certainly do. But her books are terrific–not just a collection of bumper-sticker talking points, as is the case with so many other talking heads. They are meticulously researched, beautifully argued, and highly original arguments for conservative principles. So it’s troubling, on this blog especially, to see the vitriol with which so many of her lessers are trashing her.

    Some of the commenters here have taken things far beyond the post’s honest disagreement with Coulter’s position, and have engaged in, as Kevin Stafford says, vitriol that is (in my opinion) uncalled-for. I further agree with daleyrocks’s comment:

    Kevin Stafford – As a general rule I find the people most vitriolic about Coulter are those the least familiar with her work or liberals whose sacred cows she has gored.

    That is true, not just of Coulter, but many people.

    Patterico (e102e4)

  116. I agree, Simon.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  117. daleyrocks

    that was not a critical level isolation chamber and non were wearing the proper gas enclosed physical suits

    He has not been properly isolated – for someone with a world ending disease of which their is no cure.

    Also in this most extreme case – vehicles, planes sometimes are destroyed and everyone in the process that came within 100 feet are locked away for many months

    This isn’t a minor thing – this is more dangerous than the Cuban missle crisis

    EPWJ (775325)

  118. With that, the shark is jumped.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  119. felipe

    If you can answer some of these questions then by all means I am wrong

    1. Was he evaluated before he was shipped
    2. Was the pathogen evaluated for being airborne
    3. where was the atmosphere from his “chamber” vented?
    4. Where are the pilots, the aircrew, the caterers, the maintenance, the avgas personel being evaluated?
    5. Where are the staff who evaluated those in number 4 kept?
    6. The staff who decontaminate the plane, the stretcher, the ambulance, where are they evaluated and where are they kept
    7. What is the plan for the Emory lockdown (its a massive hospital)
    8. Where are the hundreds if not thousands of soldiers needed to contain this if it gets out of control?

    and this list is not complete – he just went on a long 12 hour flight venting atmosphere into a plane breathed into the cushions, the floor, the ceilings, the curtains, the clothing, the napkins, the bathrooms of this plane.

    Yeah I’m stupid, dumb, on the wrong side as usual, and if an experienced doctor can get this disease while taking precautions sure make the decision that millions are safe

    EPWJ (775325)

  120. I think that some people have been watching “The Last Ship” too much.

    Reading what a real epidemiologist and microbiologist has to say can be helpful:

    http://mic.com/articles/95640/everything-you-know-about-ebola-is-wrong

    A lot of Dr. Smith’s blog posts are here, and are helpful, especially given the media response:

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/

    But in the final analysis, this will help (with apologies for language):

    http://boingboing.net/2014/08/02/how-much-should-you-be-worried.html

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  121. Simon,

    No I haven’t seen anything like that stupid ship show but have seen some of the protocol lists and nothing was anything close to what I observed him coming off the plane – also – this is all theory –
    I guess the question is: Is it easier to keep a disease away from America by bringing it here? Or leaving it there?

    Maybe it comes down to that simple statement, remove all the debate back and forth but a plague with no cure was brought into a medical facility that doesn’t treat plague victims and has no cure for it.

    EPWJ (775325)

  122. If he is soo compelled to do real charity work I could have put him in touch with a lifetime – but these were not on chartered luxury jets an such.

    What this statement misses, along with Coulter, is that for the Christian it is God who determines the path the believer walks. It’s an exceedingly different thing than a person simply deciding “this is what I want to do”. For the believer who seeks, God will lead – and that may be to anywhere. It may be to remain in the comforts of home and raise a family in the suburbs, it may be moving one’s family to a faraway place and living with hardship, or it may be a myriad of other possibilities. The point is, Brantley believed, fully and wholly, that God called him to go where he went and do the work he did. His relationship with God was of the utmost importance and subsequently, he was willing to go where he was led.

    Comments like the one above reflect a lack of understanding of just how intimate the relationship between the Christian and God is, as well as the willing surrender and yielding of one’s own will and desire to His.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  123. His = Him

    Dana (4dbf62)

  124. “that was not a critical level isolation chamber and non were wearing the proper gas enclosed physical suits”

    EPWJ – Please inform of us of your medical training, expertise in medical isolation procedures and background in treating world ending diseases.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  125. “Yeah I’m stupid, dumb, on the wrong side as usual, and if an experienced doctor can get this disease while taking precautions sure make the decision that millions are safe”

    EPWJ – Do you believe he could take ideal precautions in a rural setting in Africa or are you just ignorantly spitballing again here?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  126. Sigh. EPWJ, did you even read any of those links from someone who has expertise? Lots and lots of experts are writing about this. Pay particular attention to your “airborne” contention.

    It’s not as exciting as obsessing over contamination of airliner seats, but it will give perspective.

    If history serves, this will devolve into argument. Just read some of the links, please.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  127. “and this list is not complete – he just went on a long 12 hour flight venting atmosphere into a plane breathed into the cushions, the floor, the ceilings, the curtains, the clothing, the napkins, the bathrooms of this plane.”

    EPWJ – If you are asking these questions you could not possibly have made the observation which you did #117. Either you saw the way he was transported or you did not. If you did, you would not ask self-evidently stupid questions.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  128. “If history serves, this will devolve into argument.”

    Simon Jester – Sarah Palin will make an appearance any minute, no doubt.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  129. Daley, I found this in two minutes via Google. We’ll learn more later, I’m sure:

    http://mashable.com/2014/08/05/shadowy-airline-flew-american-ebola-patients-home/

    Sounds like the aircraft is doing the job.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  130. And more:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/08/inside-the-flying-quarantine-used-to-transport-ebola-patients/

    Could mistakes happen? Sure. But there was some thought and preparation in play here.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  131. Daley

    As soon as you require that of all the other commentators on every thread – I will gladly share my experience.

    Dana,

    God, to the best of my knowledge doesn’t whistle up millions in airfare, millions in protocol subversion payments and move so fast, I learned not to question him, but in my observations mainly coming from being in many countries involved in infrastructure decisions in a team environment where you are exposed to many experts actually on the ground with the dirt on their shoes – I’m amazed that first with the plethora of foreign doctors in Africa and especially Liberia (Chinese, Indian, Russian and French doctors are in Liberia in numbers establishing position and favor for the companies and countries they work for and represent) that the portrayal is somewhat different than the reality. Liberia isn’t South Africa but it isn’t the Congo either. It has some ability to handle a disease which is mostly spread by airborne fluid expulsions coughing sneezing like every other pathogen, the myth that its not “airborne” is alarming and relies on razor thin medical and biological definitions – sure it doesn’t linger, but its not that easy to insulate from.

    Sick People are scared, people are writhing in horrific pain – restraining people, giving them medicine giving them health care – it isn’t as easy peasy as people make it out these people who have never handled someone with a shattered leg or a crushed arm or is having a e-seizure, think about any fluid scratch, cough infecting you and killing you.

    Just google Liberia oil industry and look at the number of companies and projects – the projection from those who made the decision to bring him here – that Liberia is a poor unestablished country – you may come to a different conclusion – its still third world but if I had to bet on any African central nation coming out of the 3rd world status within my lifetime – it would be Liberia

    Long and short we brought a plague here and planted it down in a city full of our countrymen.

    Still amazed and shocked

    EPWJ (c12453)

  132. Sigh. Still not reading those pesky links.

    Whatever. Some things do not change.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  133. EPWJ,

    It is clear we are talking about two entirely different matters.

    Nonetheless, I wish you and yours well.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  134. americans poop their stupid pants over carbon dioxide molecules

    a little panic and paranoia over ebola is much more sensible because ebola is a pathogen, and pathogens, what they do is, they spread

    and they do it on purpose

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  135. “As soon as you require that of all the other commentators on every thread – I will gladly share my experience.”

    EPWJ – As soon as you demonstrate you have read something about the issue at hand instead of beclowning yourself, I will stop asking.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  136. Three separate issues:
    1) Coulter’s, “Why go to Africa when you can go to Hollywood?”;
    2) “God told me to”;
    3) “Well, don’t come back if you get sick”.

    #1 deserves only derision. #2 is a deeply personal matter and nobody’s business but the person’s. #3 is a matter of who knows best. I don’t think that’s EPWJ.

    nk (dbc370)

  137. nk, in a nutshell, yes.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  138. EPWJ- You are being irrational. You are not listening to logic, not looking at data, and making comments that show that not only do you not know what you are talking about, but you don’t listen when we inform you.
    One example along with the others previously pointed out about how little you know of the details of his transport to the US:
    if an experienced doctor can get this disease while taking precautions sure make the decision that millions are safe
    1) For the upteenth time, he was “experienced” by about 2 months. He was not trained to handle an Ebola outbreak, it happened around him and he had to respond.
    2) In Africa they do not have the luxury of having lots of disposable items, which means they have to sterilize and reuse things that we would never do in a hospital situation in the US. In fact, the other American infected was a non-medical worker who had taken on the task of being the one to decontaminate people- I guess largely spray them down with a diluted chlorox solution. My guess is that something in their protocol or technique or supplies was substandard.
    3) I don’t care if there is a list of companies set to do 50 trillions of dollars of business, right now Liberia is still a nation struggling to recover from years of civil war, and I’m not sure what your point was anyway, except perhaps to say he wasn’t there so much out of mercy as to make a buck being highly paid.

    You are wrong about so much. You need to ask yourself what is going on in your psyche to make you hysterical over this.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  139. There is a history here, MD. Best not to battle. The links are there, and folks who want to know more will read them and think about them. Thank you for your insights into this.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  140. It is clear that the medical professionals arranging Dr. Brantly’s transport to and treatment in the U.s. do not know as much about their jobs as EPWJ and are just doing it rong. They could have saved a lot of public concern in the U.S. by clearing their procedures with EPWJ with first.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  141. MD

    When was the last time we treated Ebola in a non military hospital in the states?

    EPWJ (db4127)

  142. Daley,

    The CDC just announced its impossible to quarantine against Ebola but the chances of a breakout being WIDE are small.

    EPWJ (9dacda)

  143. “Yeah I’m stupid, dumb, on the wrong side as usual”.

    EPWJ, I most certainly do not think you are stupid or dumb! I have been on the wrong side many times, as many here can tell you – I don’t sweat it. Whenever I am wrong, I just accept it, admit it and learn from it. But that is just me. Let me be sappy.

    “There aint no bad guy, there aint no good guy. There’s only you and me, and we just disagree”.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  144. Sigh. You know, those links are funny things. They have, well, information:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/08/ebola_in_united_states_research_on_deadly_hemorrhagic_fevers_lassa_marburg.html

    But you certainly don’t have to read anything by people with experience in this area.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  145. If anyone is interested in this topic, the author of several of the posts I have cited, Dr. Tara Smith, has written a book on Marburg and Ebola:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ebola-Marburg-Deadly-Diseases-Epidemics/dp/1604132523

    Dr. Smith knows her stuff.

    Simon Jester (0ac1fa)

  146. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/08/house-witnesses-paint-grim-picture-ebola-epidemic

    The committee also heard sobering observations from Frank Glover, MD, a urologist and medical missionary with SIM [Service in Mission, the group the other US citizen, Nancy Writebol is with], who described the weakness of Liberia’s medical system.
    Glover said 95% of expatriate doctors in Liberia have left, leaving only 50 doctors in the country. After the second of two doctors died of the disease, all the government hospitals shut down.
    The country has only two Ebola treatment centers, one in Monrovia and one in Lofa, Glover reported. Many patients are dying of Ebola in community settings because of the lack of treatment facilities.

    I think people should be more concerned about the crisis that is, rather than the false panic here.
    Yes, they are there and we are here, but it is not like we still need months to cross the ocean on a ship under sail.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  147. Is it wrong to jump into this fray without having read the comments? Sorry, going to do it anyway.

    I can see where Coulter is getting at because I’m a Catholic, not a Protestant. Catholicism distinguishes between corporeal acts of mercy (e.g. feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick) and spiritual acts of mercy (e.g. to teach the faith to those who have not heard it, pray for the sick and the dead, admonish sinners). Both are important and neither should be neglected.

    Coulter’s point, as I read it, was that we focus too much on corporeal acts of mercy abroad while not performing spiritual acts of mercy at home. America is fat and happy, but morally decayed, which is a bad situation for us as a country and our immortal souls.

    If you’re remotely familiar with Mark Steyn’s work about America as the last bastion, it makes sense to point out that if/when America falls, the entire world will suffer. Coulter is completely right about that. What she’s saying, I think, is that if we let America fall because we’re too busy fighting the corporeal fight abroad, everyone will be worse off. There won’t be a groundbreaking CDC to make new vaccines if America falls. There won’t be Americans to teach the Bible here or abroad. Corporeally and spiritually, we’re all screwed if America goes.

    I personally do not think it’s illegitimate to say “The last fortress is under siege and about to fall, so please consider whether or not America needs you just as much as Africa does.” What is illegitimate and wrong is using this physician as an example of what is wrong.

    bridget (37b281)

  148. “The CDC just announced its impossible to quarantine against Ebola but the chances of a breakout being WIDE are small.”

    EPWJ – Which means to me all your questions second guessing the precautions taken to fly Dr. Brantly back to the U.S. are completely irrelevant. Congratulations!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  149. a few thoughts in response, bridget

    I see your point about Coulter’s point that if the US continues to crumble from within then the rest of the world will suffer,
    in fact we are already seeing it various parts of the world, especially in the middle east and Ukraine
    as well as the ongoing corruption of our own culture.
    I think the combined budget of mercy ministries (and many are not restricted to mercy, but explicitly include spiritual, like Samaritan’s Purse) overseas is a small fraction of the US wealth tied up in the lives of people in the US that can relate a spiritual message. For every Dr. Brantley, there are dozens of people who stay in the US.

    Coulter puts forth a view of what she think God thinks is most important, and that the main motivation for those like Dr. Brantley is that they are too chicken to stay here and put up with ostracism,
    I think that is assuming a whole lot
    and in that we agree using this as a pretext to go off is inappropriate

    It will be interesting to see if anything happens to the popularity of her next book.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  150. Daley

    Again, the CDC was not consulted – he was allowed out of stasis at several points. Its interesting that the first protocol is containment – not transport.

    Note the CDC dispatched a 50 person military team – to the inflicted area – they did not transport the victims back to the USA – even though they have a much greater chance of survival here – the decision BY THE EXPERTS – is that transportation is DANGEROUS.

    That’s all anyone reasonably needs to know about how dangerous it is – or make reasonable guesses as to how dangerous it is –

    Take it to a survey

    IF someone has a contagious world ending disease – do you:

    A: bring him to a densely populated area for treatment?
    B: treat him in the isolated area where he contracted the disease

    EPWJ (8f5c4e)

  151. Coulter puts forth a view of what she think God thinks is most important,

    If it were just this, so what. However, it’s way more than this: she has decided, in her role *as* god, that what Brantley believed he was compelled by God to do, was wrong. And the price paid was too much.

    Further, this by default belittles her relationship with and worse, belittles God: He is incapable of correctly directing the sheep. The arrogance is astounding.

    Also, to further evidence her stunning arrogance, she accuses Brantley and those like him as chickens, because name calling…Coulter presumes that because she herself stays in the States and writes incendiary pieces about the left and culture and takes a pie in the face every day of her life, that anyone else not choosing the same, is a chicken.

    To a great degree, I found Coulter’s essay a bit of self-aggrandizing claptrap which revealed a lack of love for a fellow man (and generic men) walking quietly and steadily through the world lending a hand, and moreso, an absence of spiritual understanding.

    Limiting God’s work to the U.S.? Clearly, He isn’t aware of this.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  152. Dana and MD in Philly: first, I missed the part where Coulter was claiming to speak for God. Don’t think she said that nor meant it.

    Second, I think that some of this is the circles that people run in. I know people who have sent their kids abroad for the summer to do service work, basically because it makes for better college essay application fodder. If you haven’t seen stuff like that happen, you simply cannot understand what Coulter is talking about.

    Her point about the millions of dollars spent to bring this doctor home is also a very, very tough thing to handle: that’s $2,000,000 that won’t go towards caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, or bringing the Gospel to those who haven’t heard it. People screamed in fury when Australia spent a quarter-million dollars (i.e. 1/8th of that amount) to rescue a girl who tried to sail solo around the world, but apparently, two million from the coffers of a Christian charity is okay?

    Again, my problem with the column is using this particular physician as a whipping post. But Coulter is right about America’s religious decay being a spiritual health issue on bar with the physical health issues faced in Africa, and her detractors don’t want to address that.

    bridget (37b281)

  153. Here, straight from Coulter’s column:

    Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals.

    Is her assessment right or wrong?

    bridget (37b281)

  154. As a member of a local Church (Calvary Chapel) that supports missionary work both overseas and at home and being the grandson of a man who devoted much of his life to missionary work in Honduras. I grappled with this article a bit and my thoughts were of the sort that maybe my grandfather should have done this instead of that and maybe these missions’ trips should be to Hollywood instead of Ireland or Hungary.

    Then it dawned on me, if my concern is missionary work here in the US, perhaps I should do something about that instead of telling others they should.

    MSL (5f601f)


  155. contagious world ending disease

    There’s like 2000 cases of ebola, give or take, in Africa, a place where concentration camps are set up to detain “witches” who are accused of “penis snatching”.

    In fact, in a given year, more Africans are killed, tortured, or exiled, due to being suspected of witchcraft than contract the supposedly world ending contagion.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  156. The one point in Coulter’s piece that struck a chord with me is when she noted that many liberals in America will tolerate, if not gush, over Christians doing do-gooder missionary work in foreign countries — preferably or exclusively if they’re non-Western, non-First-World ones — but will sputter or feel wary if those same people duplicate such efforts right here in the US.

    Mark (1c4a55)

  157. bridget-

    she presumed to know Brantley’s heart and motivations, only God does that
    she presumed to know the “what if’s” of life, only God does that and He doesn’t usually tell (Aslan to Lucy, for example)

    I know you openly stated that you had not read all of the comments, fair enough, as on occasion I do the same thing,
    had you read them, you would have seen several times where I said that the people who donate to Samaritan’s Purse and their board of directors have a legitimate say in how money was spent,
    the rest of us, not so much.

    In the 1950′s 5 missionaries were killed by the Waodani tribe in Equador, leaving behind wives and children, the story was made popular by the books “Through Gates of Splendor” and “Jungle Pilot”.
    When I read “Jungle Pilot”, I cried thinking of little Steve who had lost his dad, and wondered what had happened to him (that was before the internet). Years later I ran across him giving a talk at a conference.
    I am sure it could have been said, “What were those damn fools doing trying to contact a tribe where most of the people died of intra-tribal murder, and to leave families behind!?! Weren’t the hills of Appalachia rural enough?”
    I imagine at times some of the survivors had similar thoughts, but without the colorful language and much more of a heavy heart.
    Steve Saint has lots to say about that in his writings. I cannot begin to relate a meaningful condensed version of his thoughts, look him up and rad his books, watch the movie:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Saint
    It is incredible the ways God touched peoples lives around the world, even in Timbuktu with Steve being the beneficiary.

    Jesus said that the widow, probably on the edge of starvation, gave more than anyone else at the temple one day even though it was a very meager amount. God’s economy and Ann Coulter’s is not the same, and you will go crazy trying to reconcile the two, if you really try.

    I have volunteered overseas, had a career in urban American with the “underserved”, been friends with some who were homeless ex-cons and sat in conference rooms with Ivy league professors, explained things to people who didn’t graduate high school and gave presentations before professors, tried to comfort the dying and argued with doctors and med students why euthanasia is wrong; I have friends who have done likewise, here/there, city/country, poor/influential.
    Can I say where I have done more good? No, and I don’t presume to tell anyone else that, either.

    For all anyone knows, perhaps someone somewhere has been touched and motivated more by Dr. Brantley’s example than by Coulter’s rant, perhaps more money will come in to Samaritan’s Purse for their ministry than was spent. Perhaps Dr. Brantley would have been killed by a drunk driver on the way to the office in Hollywood. Perhaps the experience of the CDC treating Brantley will enable them to make great strides in treating the disease. Perhaps American Christians helping in some village in West Africa will turn a child towards being a Christian instead of a radical Muslim who succeeds in a terrorist plot that kills millions in NYC…
    perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

    The only thing that is firm on the bottom line, according to Jesus and the NT, is whether you do what you do out of love for God and neighbor.
    Ms. Coulter’s comments did not appear to me to be very loving.

    If one wants to discuss the sad spiritual state of the US, one does not need to go out of their way to demean someone who has spent his life elsewhere.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  158. many liberals in America will tolerate, if not gush, over Christians doing do-gooder missionary work in foreign countries — preferably or exclusively if they’re non-Western, non-First-World ones — but will sputter or feel wary if those same people duplicate such efforts right here in the US.
    Mark (1c4a55) — 8/9/2014 @ 12:34 pm

    I understand your point but I think more clearly the issue is the “God-talk” rather than the do-gooder. You can be a liked do-gooder here in America as long as you don’t use the G-word, or especially the J-word,
    and if you do that overseas and they know about it, you’re an imperialist who has no right to inflict your beliefs on others.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  159. Exactly right, MSL. Excuse me while I admonish a fellow Catholic.

    The Lord be with you Bridget!

    “. I know people who have sent their kids abroad for the summer to do service work, basically because it makes for better college essay application fodder. If you haven’t seen stuff like that happen, you simply cannot understand what Coulter is talking about”.

    I, too know people who have done this. None of them did it to pad their college resume’. Are there parents who use the lure/excuse of this padding to cajole their child into this activity? Absolutely! But this is not mathematics, where all you need is the existence of a single negative result in order to destroy a proposition.

    Ann coulter is wrong here! She does not have to say that she is speaking for God, nor say that she is leading us astray – but that is what she is doing in this particular instance.

    Do you realize that you are trying to speak for Dana and MD when you claim that if “this” then “you cannot”? My dear sister in Christ, remove the beam from your own eye, first. You do the same as Coulter after she has set the example. I implore you, use Christ as your example. We already know WWJD in this case:

    Frustrated, Martha scolded Jesus, asking him whether he cared that her sister had left her to fix the meal alone. She told Jesus to order Mary to help her with the preparations.

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV

    Also:

    Mark 14:3-9New International Version (NIV)

    3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

    4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

    6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

    Peace be with you, Bridget.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  160. people should stay away from the ebola

    i don’t care who you are

    you see the ebola and you pull yourself a mark cuban and just saunter your bad self over to the other side of the street

    quick quick quick like a bunny is how you saunter

    this is the best advice i know what to give about the ebola, and i really hope all you guys heed it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  161. I like your use of the word “guys”, Happy, instead of “guys and gals” which I find divisive. I feel the same about “hero” and “heroine”. We just need the former word. Don’t get me started on “aviatrix!

    felipe (40f0f0)

  162. i’m thinking about maybe moving to the midwest so i’m practicing up on the “you guys”

    i might venture a “you guyses” possessive form sometime next week, but only if I’m really feeling it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  163. Pro tip on the use of “guys”.

    In a formal setting it is “you guys”.

    In a casual setting it is “guys”

    It is red wine with possum in the North on account of possum being imported. In the South, white wine is fine.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  164. ooh you remindered me i set a white wine sangria up in the fridge yesterday to mature overnight

    and the weather here btw is best we’ve had in many moons

    very spring-timey and puddlewonderful and all that

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  165. hmmm

    next time i’m a try bringing the white wine to room temp, infusing the cimminims for a day using sticks instead of powder, then straining it, adding the fruit and let it sit overnight

    for this kind i just used apples and seedless black grapes for the fruit btw

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  166. 153.Her point about the millions of dollars spent to bring this doctor home is also a very, very tough thing to handle: that’s $2,000,000 that won’t go towards caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, or bringing the Gospel to those who haven’t heard it. People screamed in fury when Australia spent a quarter-million dollars (i.e. 1/8th of that amount) to rescue a girl who tried to sail solo around the world, but apparently, two million from the coffers of a Christian charity is okay?

    and,

    154.Here, straight from Coulter’s column:

    Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals.

    Is her assessment right or wrong?
    bridget (37b281)

    Well, let’s consider:

    How much is a life worth?
    Or, more focused;
    How much should be spent to save any individual human life?
    And is that per instance or lifetime?
    If per instance, is there also a lifetime cap?

    Further, how much of that can be subsumed or transferred on a per capita basis?
    That is to say, if the doctor and his nurse helped 1,000 people at $50 per person before getting sick, then adding in the $2M spent to bring the two home means $2,046 was spent on average on each of those 1,002 people. Is that an acceptable per capita amount?
    What about the number of people the doctor and nurse could treat if they are saved? Can the value of that labor be balanced against the $2M “splurged” on saving them?

    But really, on this aspect, I must ask again:
    How much is a life worth?

    Then of course we must consider, how much is a soul worth?
    Now granted, coming from a non-evangelizing background, spending on such efforts is really just peculiar to me to begin with.
    Then again, since the premise of being a “light unto the nations” rather incorporates every aspect of life, it could be said that I consider spending everything on evangelizing-by-example to be a minimum, with effort above and beyond merely living a proper and moral life to be above and beyond.
    So that stated, just how much should be spent to “save” any individual soul?
    Is there a point at which the direct money spent becomes too much that you should just give up on someone and move to the next house/town/country?
    Wouldn’t that mean that any evangelizing in a country with any converts is pretty much wasted since clearly people there already had their “chance” and the appropriate amount spent on them?

    And again, how does that get subsumed in the amount spent on keeping the evangelizers alive and well?
    As I recall, not being a Christian of course, there was something about the profit-loss ratio of the entire world measured against a person’s own soul. How would that apply to retaining just $2M versus saving two lives who had, perhaps, previously saved even one soul, and certainly saved even more lives? I definitely recall something about saving a life versus maintaining physical and spiritual purity for the Sabbath, so I’m sure that must apply in some way to contracting a lethal plague while saving lives.

    So I must repeat this as well: how much is a soul worth, with consideration for everything that might have to be spent in support of it?

    Considering those two, whether she is right or wrong is rather obvious.
    So obvious in fact that I would never even bother asking the question.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  167. Sam,

    I think you have written a very worthwhile piece, especially impressive as you say you are doing it from a perspective that is not your own.

    If more people were able to think through things in such a way, we would have many fewer things to fuss about.

    If people want to continue the dialogue and have not read the whole thread (I understand), I would ask you to read my post at #76 to get additional perspective.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  168. Sam @ 167,

    Thank you for commenting.

    As I said in the post, I believe Coulter measures charity by the dollar. To God, because this is ultimately at the heart of the post, the soul is so valuable that it is worth sacrificing His only son on a cross so that all may know Him in fullness.

    And surely there is a distinction between sending a kid across seas to do charitable work to bolster a college app and the Christian who feels called to do the work in service to God.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  169. I just figure that it’s not Coulter’s money or time and therefore none of her business. Anyway, she got what she wanted out of this — people talking about her.

    nk (dbc370)


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