No, Random Mt. Juliet TN Woman, You Do Not Have Ebola

[UPDATE AD NAUSEUM]:

Let the games begin:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An American Airlines flight from Dallas was quarantined in Nashville after medical scare. Health officials said there was no risk for Ebola.

[...]

The Metro Public Health Department said the passenger with the medical issue had no history of contact with anyone with Ebola in Dallas and had no travel history to Africa. Officials added there was no concern the passenger had Ebola and there was no risk to other passengers on the plane.

This was the second Ebola scare in the mid-state in the last 48 hours. First responders in Hazmat suits quarantined a Mt. Juliet gas station late Saturday night.

————————————-

Oh fer crissakes. With the arrival of cold and flu season, expect to see more stories like this one:

MT. JULIET, Tenn. – A Mt. Juliet gas station was closed for several hours after a woman called emergency dispatchers with what they described as Ebola-like symptoms.

Wilson County officials said the woman was complaining of chest pains just after midnight Sunday. After dispatchers began questioning the woman for additional information, they determined she could have symptoms of the Ebola virus.

EMTs responded to the Mapco gas station at the intersection of Lebanon Road and Mt. Juliet Road wearing full protective gear. The gas station was closed while crews worked.

The woman was transported to TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, were medical crews had already been alerted to the possible Ebloa threat. Nurses met the patient at the front door wearing masks, gloves and protective masks.

After evaluating the woman, the situation was “cleared,” according to officials. No Ebloa protocol was activated.

A spokesperson for Summit Medical Center said doctors have cleared the woman, and she does not have the Ebola virus. No threat remained at the hospital.

Here’s a quick meme to determine if you might have ebola:

ebola-quiz-you-dont-have-ebola

There is a rampant, overriding, highly politicized culture of fear in America. It’s been with us for about the past 30 years, maybe more. It used to thrive on the fringes of American society, where people afraid of the coming zombie apocalypse would stockpile their canned goods, guns and ammo. Hell, I remember in the mid-70s my mom kept a stash of canned food and 50-gallon bottles of water in our garage “for the revolution,” and we were not a nutso survivalist family.

But since 9/11 this culture of fear has been mainstreamed. It’s been aided and abetted by talk radio — mostly right-wing radio, but I’ve heard my share of fear porn on left-wing radio, too. The news media has fear as its default position (Missing white women! Shark attacks! Immigrants! Terrorism!) and political entities exploit it for profit.

I have this theory that fear sells so easily here because we are such a prosperous country. People who have a lot, have a lot to lose, and thus tend to be more fearful. Fear is an easy sell, but it’s also incredibly damaging. It’s turning America into a ridiculous parody of modern civilization.

When I read stuff about random people thinking they have Ebola all I can do is laugh at them.

[UPDATE]: And another one, in Birmingham, Alabama. This one was at an airport so the “abundance of caution” makes slightly more sense.

[UPDATE] 2:

The only thing more depressing than this story are the search engine terms WordPress tells me has brought folks here today: “ebola scare in mt. juliet, tennessee,: “mt juliet ebola,” and this one: “is it true that a woman has ebola in mt juilet.” Seems like the full-court fear has begun.

I am slightly encouraged by “george zimmerman is an asshole,” however.

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Filed under fear, media, Tennessee

Good News Friday

Here’s a smattering of good news for you … Enjoy!

• All universities in Germany are now free of charge.

• SCOTUS ROUND-UP: The court rejected an appeal on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for same-sex marriage in Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. SCOTUS also blocked Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. And the court rejected an appeal by an Ohio public school teacher who was fired for insubordination after teaching creationism in the science classroom and refusing to remove religious materials.

• This would be a shocker if it’s actually true: “Obama Might Unilaterally Close Guantanamo.”

• My old stomping grounds have been declared a National Monument: 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains, including Mt. Baldy and Wrightwood, are included in the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

• An intellectually disabled, functionally illiterate death row inmate in Texas was released from prison after evidence of his innocence was found. His original team of “attorneys” failed to uncover evidence that Manuel Velez was 1,000 miles away in Tennessee at the time of the crime. The ACLU represented Velez. And no, this is not proof that “the system works”:

Velez’s initial court-appointed attorneys failed to discover that evidence, and “after his conviction, Manuel received the death penalty, largely because a state prison expert presented false testimony to persuade the jury that Manuel would pose a danger to society if given life without parole instead,” the ACLU said.

Anyone who thinks America’s death penalty system is anything but unjust needs to have their head examined.

• U.S. cars and trucks are more fuel efficient than ever before.

• Could you pass this 8th grade exam from 1912? I aced the English, geography and history portions. I completely failed math. No surprise there.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s historic Studio A was saved from the wrecking ball.

• A hiker found an entire abandoned town in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

• End of an era: Oak Ridge’s K-31, a Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant, has been demolished.

This week’s cool video: from the aforementioned abandoned town in the Smokies, I bring you Tennessee Wonderland:

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Congratulations, William Coleman III! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Open carry enthusiast practicing open carry has gun stolen at gun point:

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A man practicing his open carry right was robbed of the gun he was openly carrying.

William Coleman III was robbed of his Walter- brand P22 just after 2:00 a.m. October 4 in Gresham by a young man who asked him for it — and flashed his own weapon as persuasion.

Coleman, 21, was talking to his cousin in the 17200 block of NE Glisan St., after purchasing the handgun earlier that day, when a young man asked him for a cigarette, police said.

The man then asked about the gun, pulled a gun from his own waistband and said “”I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman handed over the gun and the man fled on foot.

Dumbass.

Remind me again about how guns are a deterrent to crime, you morons. I’m all ears.

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Worst Person In The World

Dinesh D’Souza, law-breaker, says the most important thing is he wasn’t silenced, because of pearls such as this:

OBOLA

Hmmm…..

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Filed under conservative authors, conservatives

The Craziest Story Out Of Tennessee You Will Read All Year

I poke fun at Williamson County a lot over here, and with good reason. On the plus side it has a lovely landscape of rolling hills and historic Antebellum farms. On the downside, it’s the center of hypocritical, uptight, phony Christian, “free market fairies will save us all” political wingnuttery. There’s a reason Victoria Jackson, anti-Muslim extremist Laurie Cardoza Moore, and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips all call Williamson County home.

Also, the people down there can’t drive for shit. If you’re stuck behind a ginormous SUV creeping along at 20 miles under the speed limit or doing something stupid like trying to turn left out of the right-hand lane, there’s a 90% chance that it has Williamson County plates. Usually it’s driven by a soccer mom texting while driving, let me add.

So let me just say, I am finding it absolutely hilarious that the brand-new chair of the Williamson County School Board — the same school board recently in the news for a textbook flap ginned up by anti-Muslim groups — has been forced to resign over a novelty product.

In particular, this novelty product:

buttleopener-800x430

Apparently the “Buttle Opener” was invented by Mark Gregory’s brother. Gregory helped get it on the market. The product had already caused the school board’s vice chairman to resign. And now Gregory has resigned as chairman (he says he will stay on the school board, however).

Just hilarious.

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Good News Friday

** tap tap tap ** This thing on?

Oh, hello, dear readers. Bet you thought I’d forgotten about you! Well, no. First, an explanation: my workload literally doubled as of September 14. This was completely self-inflicted: they said, “do you wanna?” and I said, “yeah, sure! Sounds fun!” And it is fun and challenging and everything else, except it has left very little time for me to blog, for which I apologize. I’ve even thought about putting the blog on hiatus again.

This week was especially bad for me and I was basically a giant stress ball. I still managed to compile some good news but until I get a better handle on things I’m afraid blogging is going to be erratic. Totes sorrz, guyz.

Without further ado, your Good Friday roundup:

• Here’s a welcome headline:

joblesss

• Germany hits a new renewable energy milestone, getting 27.7% of its electricity from renewable sources so far this year. That’s a 3% increase over last year.

• Not so much good news as No Shit, Sherlock news but, it appears access to birth control prevents pregnancy and abortion in high-risk teens.

• The U.S. will pay $554 million to the Navajo Nation to settle claims about mismanagement of reservation funds and resources. It’s the largest-ever settlement between the U.S. and a single Native American tribe.

• This is intriguing: an insect-based livestock feed that could save us all.

• Democrats finally find their spine on culture war issues.

• A federal appeals court has struck down two of North Carolina’s most horrendous voting restrictions.

• California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that allows family members to ask a judge to remove guns from a relative believed to be a risk to themselves or others.

• Related: California becomes the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags. Over 100 cities in the state have already enacted bans. This is such great news I can’t even tell you. What this means for litter and wildlife is tremendous.

• Old news by now but congrats to Bill & Hill and Chelsea and Marc on the birth of a future president!

• The Montana teacher who was given just 30 days for raping a 14-year-old student has been re-sentenced for 10 years. This is a horrendous story. The victim, who has since committed suicide, was blamed by the original judge.

• Florida actually convicted a white man of killing a black kid for the first time in, like, ever.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Brown’s Grocery & Hardware, an old-time country store in Carter County, has installed solar panels on its roof that will generate 44 kilowatts of electricity.

This week’s cool video: If you missed John Oliver’s truly excellent expose on the bullshit known as the Miss America “scholarship” program, do yourself a favor and watch it here. It’s the best 15 minute investment you’ll have made in quite a while.

I’ve always thought a “scholarship” that requires you to parade around in a bikini is not one that’s interested in scholarly pursuits.

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Clinton Derangement Syndrome

It just never stops:

ByoaQNTIcAIWbS9.png-large

Eagerly await the next round of hand-wringing from other NewsCorp outlets about the lack of civility in today’s discourse.

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Filed under Media, NewsCorp