Online Opinion Outpost: Oct. 14, 2014

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The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Ebola screenings
The New York Times

Travelers entering the United States who have been in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, the center of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, will be subjected to temperature checks and questioning when they reach five American airports under new procedures announced on Wednesday by top government officials. The screening will add another layer of security to backstop the screenings already being conducted before passengers are allowed to board planes leaving their home countries.
Although some experts doubt the new screenings will be worth the effort, they might ease public anxieties about keeping the virus out of this country. Thus far, only one traveler with an Ebola infection has entered the United States. He apparently had no symptoms on arrival and traveled to Dallas, where he became ill and died in a hospital on Wednesday. It is unclear whether the new screening measures would have identified him as an Ebola carrier.

 

Kerry’s criticism
John Kerry,The Washington Post

The United States has intensified every aspect of our engagement, and that includes providing Ebola treatment units, recruiting first responders, and supplying a critical set of medical equipment.
But I want to expand that effort with an urgent plea to countries around the world to step up even further.
We need Ebola treatment units. We need health-care workers. We need medevac capacity. We need mobile laboratories and staff.
We also need nonmedical support: telecommunications, generators, incinerators, public communications capacity, training, construction. There is a desperate requirement for major assistance to strengthen health systems of stricken countries, for cash to support them in this critical time and for transportation to get equipment to the right people and places.

 

SCOTUS’ decision
Tony Mauro, USA Today

When the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday decided not to take up several petitions dealing with one of the landmark issues of our time — same-sex marriage — no explanation was given. It never is, and the justices appear to like it that way.
Instead, the public was left to speculate on the reasons for this non-action action, which allowed lower court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage to take effect in 11 more states — a major development that should not be the result of a stealth-like process.

 

 

Maher and Muslims
Dean Obeidallah, CNN

Bill Maher, the man famous for hating religion, is now becoming infamous for hating one religion in particular: Islam.
On last week’s episode of his HBO show, “Real Time,” Maher got into a heated exchange with Ben Affleck over Maher’s use of sweeping generalizations to define Islam. In fact, Affleck went as far as to dub Maher’s views of Muslims as “gross” and “racist.” (Maher had no Muslims on the panel in discussing Islam – but that is typical for his show.)
Maher kept on advancing stereotypes about an entire people based on little evidence.
In recent weeks on his show, Maher gave us a long rant rallying liberals to stand up to Islam.
Maher continued his personal jihad by claiming that Islam is like the Mafia, in that you will be killed if you attempt to leave the faith.
So who truly defines Islam? To Maher, clearly it’s the worst of our faith.

 

Protest’s successes
The Wall Street Journal

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong may no longer be in the headlines, but neither are they over. Though the number of students occupying the Admiralty and Mongkok districts has dwindled with the approach of formal talks with the government, the protests could easily resume if talks fail.
The massive turnout, often in the hundreds of thousands, demonstrates that the people of Hong Kong want democracy—and will make personal sacrifices to get it. Meanwhile an ultimatum to clear the streets by Monday morning expired without consequences. China’s efforts to use fear to elicit compliance have failed.
Public opinion swung decisively behind the students after police fired tear gas at a mostly peaceful crowd on Sept. 28. Mr. Leung deployed riot police to clear protesters from an area designed for public gatherings.

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