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    Aasil Ahmad
    Political Meter
    Do you think the United States has a de facto Jim Crow system given the high level of incarceration of minorities and the consequences of being convicted of a felony offense as far as voting rights, property rights, and jury rights?
  • Ebola should be a concern for everyone, and not because Ebola represents a direct threat to Americans' health; it doesn't. The world is a small place when you consider jet air travel, and an epidemic in 3 countries in Africa can expand and become worse. Ebola will kill far more people than ISIS if we do not help end this epidemic. Talk about a problem that involves the concept that, "we've got to fight it there so we don't have to fight it here." But this involves Africans and doesn't involve oil, and since half of you are Republicans let me cut to the nitty gritty, and explain why you should care about someone other than yourself, and that means I need to explain how it will affect you personally, and the tiny few you really care about. This little mini-scare brings to light the absolutely dismal level of crisis medical care in America and the complete absence of a public health and disease control system in the US - you know, the kind of system that stopped smallpox, polio and other diseases which really are highly contagious and also maim and/or kill. Ebola isn't a highly contagious disease. In Africa, one case gets two more. That's in stark contrast to a disease like Smallpox where one case can get dozens more. Honestly there are no modern figures on the subject because smallpox was effectively eradicated before people hopped on jets at whim. If a person got on a plane from say, England, with fever from Smallpox EVERYONE on the plane would get it! New diseases pop up all the time, and its only a matter of time until this hapens. There was a world before HIV, and before Ebola, and there will be something new again. When that something new spreads by airborne droplets and is as deadly as Ebola, we, in the US, will lose millions, if not tens to hundreds of millions, if we do not return our public health system to what is was before Republican had their way. (We also have a severe health care delivery system problem, which needs to be fixed, too, but that's for another day.) I watched our Congressmen on CSPAN, the ones who remind us, when asked about Global Warming, that they are not scientists, and so offer no opinion, pontificating and excoriating the people from the CDC, suddenly having become scientific experts - wow! Unfortunately they have the power to hold people who speak Truth to them, in Contempt of Congress, yet contempt is all that Congress deserves from anyone with a scientific education. Our Congress is filled with truly scientifically illiterate people, who are only there to fill their pockets. They will say anything to get elected, which to appeal to those on the right is "cut, cut, cut," but when something doesn't go right, suddenly it's everyone else's fault, except the only people who could really have made sure that we are prepared. Whether it's cutting diplomatic security, or public health services, or food inspection, they are the first to scream "Benghazi" or go into a tirade over an epidemic which they have decimated the ability to respond. Please try to understand that safety mechanisms, like say a seatbelt, are a complete waste of money the thousands of times you're forced to pay for and use them, until that one time when it isn't. We must have a robust, protective CDC, which stands for Center for Disease Control, in times when there is no disease which needs controlling. Congress should be ashamed for not working with Obama to make sure that all government jobs are filled, including the Surgeon General, whose job it is to supervise issues like this, and not try to do the stupid thing and name an Ebola Czar. Even in an era of austerity, Congress just can't help itself. They are compelled to add complexity as window dressing, just like they did after 9/11 when they took the Central Intelligence Agency, which was created to centralize and streamline our intelligence gathering, and then added another huge government bureaucracy, complete with tons of paper pushers and a new high paying cabinet position, so that now there's just another layer before anything ever gets to the President. Most adults try to teach their children that actions have consequences; too bad that no one has ever taught that to Congress.
  • All rooms rented, whether from AirBNB or a hotel chain are "private property." We don't have government ownership of hotels. AirBNB shouldn't be used as a way to avoid fair and proper health and safety regulations for public lodgings, and hotel taxes. Most of the business done on these websites is done by large commercial entities just trying to avoid regulation and taxes. Especially now, when we're all aware of public health hazards due to the Ebola scare, we should remember that hotel regulation is done for our health and safety. Forget that and you might learn about bedbugs and the diseases they can spread. If you knew that the place you were renting on the cheap didn't meet the fire code would you still try to save a few bucks? What about roaches, etc. I could go on, but I think that most of you get the idea.