An extra passenger, mid-flight

I don’t know how you can be this pregnant and think a 19-hour flight from Taiwan to Los Angeles is a good idea.

The focus of the story, though is about the doctor:

A Los Angeles doctor on an overseas flight was coming home from her honeymoon when she delivered a baby on the plane.

While 30,000 feet in the air, the mother went into labor six hours into a China Air flight from Taiwan to Los Angeles.

Flight attendants asked if there was a doctor on board when UCLA resident physician Dr. Angelica Zen and her husband were on their way back from their honeymoon in Bali.

“My training is in internal medicine pediatrics so we do adults and kids but really no pregnant woman at all, so since my training we haven’t done much OBGYN,” said Zen. “I was a little bit nervous.”

Zen had never delivered a baby by herself, but she didn’t hesitate to help.

Good thing the doctor was on board, but again, how do you decide to fly 19 hours when you’re that pregnant.

The story says the flight diverted to Alaska and hints that the baby would be an American citizen (the parents are Chinese) since the plane was in U.S. airspace. Are Donald Trump and Jeb Bush watching. Sounds like one of their anchor baby scenarios?

But I saw an episode of “Bones” (the TV series about the hot forensic pathologist with a personality disorder) that involved an oven murder on a U.S. carrier’s flight to China. The resolution was that since the plane was American territory, Booth, an FBI agent, could arrest the murderer and take him back to the U.S. instead of handing the guy over to Chinese authorities.

So by “Bones” logic, the baby is Chinese since the plane is Chinese territory.

I mean, TV crime shows wouldn’t lie to me about jurisdictions, would they?

Remember the freakout over China holding U.S. debt?

Turns out it was another scam by the GOP to blast Obama (from Paul Krugman):

Many prominent politicians made warnings about the dangers posed by U.S. debt, especially debt owned by China, a central part of their political image. Paul Ryan, when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee, portrayed himself as a heroic crusader against deficits. Mitt Romney made denunciations of borrowing from China a centerpiece of his campaign for president. And by and large, commentators treated this posturing as if it were serious. But it wasn’t.

I don’t mean that it was bad economics, although it was. Remember all the dire warnings about what would happen if China stopped buying our debt, or worse yet, started selling it? Remember how interest rates would soar and America would find itself in crisis?

Well, don’t tell anyone, but the much feared event has happened: China is no longer buying our debt, and is in fact selling tens of billions of dollars in U.S. debt every month as it tries to support its troubled currency. And what has happened is what serious economic analysis always told us would happen: nothing. It was always a false alarm.

Beyond that, however, it was a fake alarm. …

Debt, it seems, only matters when there’s a Democrat in the White House. Or more accurately, all the talk about debt wasn’t about fiscal prudence; it was about trying to inflict political damage on President Obama, and it stopped when the tactic lost effectiveness.

More on the China explosion

The death toll is at 100 in Tianjin. For some reason, someone decided to store hazardous chemicals near a populated area. Sodium cyanide, calcium carbide, volatile organic compounds and compressed natural gas, among other things, according to CNN.

Things are so bad that firefighters still can’t use water to fight the blazes because when water touches the chemicals, it causes an explosion. So they’re dumping foam and sand on the rubble.

Here’s a aerial view of the site:


I can’t imagine driving on this highway when all hell broke loose. The English speakers swearing in the video above, in context, really understate how horrible this was.

Read more:
Something really bad happened in China today

Something really bad happened in China today

Videos and photos being shared on social media appear to show a dramatic explosion in Tianjin, a city in northern China with a population of over 15 million people.

The images, which are emerging on Chinese Web sites like Sina Weibo, have not been independently confirmed by The Washington Post. However, Chinese state news agency Xinhua tweeted messages saying that there had been a “massive explosion” in the city, without providing more details.

This will be a developing story for the next few days.

The new symbol of protests

Pro-Democracy advocates in Hong Kong are protesting China’s rule that says any candidate for office in the city has to be approved by Beijing.

(Your eyes glaze over)

OK, it probably doesn’t mean much to you because if you have the average American sense of geography, China is “out there” somewhere around Africa or Brazil, for all you know. I won’t try to bore you with why that matters.

But authorities are teargassing the protesters. And all the protesters are doing is this:

HONGKONG-CHINA-POLITICS-DEMOCRACYDoes that remind you of anything?

handsYes, these are the people of Ferguson, Missouri, protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a cop. And in response, they were teargassed by the authorities. So authoritarian oppression is being met with the same response in different cultures on opposite sides of the globe, right down to the masks on the faces.

And now that I have your attention, here’s why the protests in Hong Kong matter: