Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dick

Andrew Speaker, the man with tuberculosis who was jetting around Europe last week, consented to an interview with Newsweek. The New York Times also has some good background. I have a few thoughts.
  • Mr. Speaker is truly an an abhorrent person. After being diagnosed with a deadly, disease-resistant strain of TB, he elected to fly to Greece for his ostentatious wedding. His fit of narcissism put a great deal of people at risk. In his interview, Mr. Speaker reveals the worst of his reckless self-justifications with repugnant language twisting like "They said I was no more contagious at that point than I had been before" and "No one ever mentioned the words 'quarantine' or 'isolation.'" Truly awful.

    To make things worse, this slug of a man then appears on Good Morning America wearing a surgical mask. Did he wear a mask on the seven flights he took between the U.S. and Europe? Dick.

    He should be in jail. At the risk of reinforcing a stereotype, I'm not at all surprised that he is a personal injury lawyer.
  • I'm really not sure what to make of his father-in-law. Should he still be collecting a salary paid by citizens' tax dollars after exhibiting such bad judgement?
  • The largest and, alas, least surprising failure is that of the Department of Homeland Security. Here we have a guy infected with a deadly communicable disease, who not only left the country, but was allowed back in, even after his situation was made public. Wasn't this one of the vectors that the cowardly fear-mongerers in the Bush administration discussed again and again after the anthrax attacks in 2001 (side note: how is that anthrax investigation going): crazed terrorists infected with smallpox entering the country and infecting everyone they can? The government knew about Mr. Speaker and he sailed back into the U.S. with no problems.

    Two clear and complete failures of the government to protect the country from known threats (the hurricane Katrina mess and now the traveling TB guy) make it absolutely clear that the DHS is a vastly expensive farce, led by incompetents. If the government can't motivate itself to protect us against threats we all know are heading our way, they certainly aren't capable of protecting us against another set of determined terrorists. What, exactly, does it take to rouse Americans to rise against this administration?

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