Archive for April, 2009
While it is very unlikely you’ll die from Swine, aka H1N1, Flu, it is very likely that you’ll die. [History lesson here.]
The odds are clearly stacked against all humans. None yet has escaped death. Most of us, though, when pressed, would like to live as long as possible. Even many who think that life is too difficult and escaping seems like a reasonable option, don’t really want to die. They just don’t want to live like they’re living.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, mud slides, tsunamis, earthquakes and things like pandemics go to the core of what it means to be human: the instinct to survive. And when a person is threatened, primal reactions stir that even rational people cannot fight, and probably shouldn’t.
I’m reminded of the leadership at Canter-Fitzgerald [CORRECTION: Canter-Fitzgerald was in the first tower above the crash where they could not be saved. The decision to go back to work occurred in the second tower, resulting in death.] faced with the terrifying reality that a plane tore through the building next door. The primal impulse at that point would be to run and to escape. It isn’t rational. It isn’t logical. But sometimes fleeing does ensure survival. Instead of being guided by their reptilian brain, these people stayed. Some submitted to friends or authorities against their better judgment. Some were too afraid to face their own terror and so ignored it. They intellectualized the situation. They died.
So, for all the glorification of the frontal lobe and human reasoning, humans survive today because their ancestors didn’t ignore their primal instincts to fight or flee a threat. Swine Flu is a threat. How serious a threat is Swine Flu? No one knows. How can they? This flu strain is new and it’s novelty, itself is terrifying. Could be a slate clearing pandemic like in the 1300s that was dismissed and then, six months later, killed half the world’s population?
Fact: Swine flu is spreading around the globe. It has now been found in every part of the United States. There are cases throughout Europe, South America, North America, Australia, and now, New Zealand.
Fact: This flu will not be contained. No one is willing to cut off commerce during these economical times. And even if it was, it takes only one person to spread it.
Fact: People are stupid. Even people who should know better, will act irrationally. People who are overcome with fear will spread that fear with words and actions. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are filled with information…and misinformation.
Fact: You can help yourself. A person can do things for himself and his family to avoid the threats from disease. Wash hands. Get sleep. Eliminate sugars. Eat healthy. Exercise moderately.
Stay happy. Fear should be a short-lived emotion that saves a life. Chronic fear is both unhelpful and actually harmful to the immune system.
Also, as a practical matter, every family should have enough food to make it through a couple weeks. Anyone in Texas who has endured hurricanes knows it’s just good sense to keep extra food on hand. We are all too accustomed to having access to whatever we need whenever we need it. That’s a false comfort. When people freak out, or if a pandemic were to actually spread, guess what? Target workers aren’t going to be motivated to come to work in the service of the greater good. Plus, no one is going to want to go into public.
So, is the Swine Flu scare-worthy? My gut says no, no more than any other flu. But what do I know? Nothing more than anyone else spouting opinions. The fact is, no one knows yet, how this flu will manifest.
In absence of solid knowledge, we must follow our instinct for survival guided by our rational self-interest. We’re all going to die. Most likely, we will not from Swine Flu.
Since death and taxes are assured, I’d suggest that you prepare as best as you can for Swine Flu and focus the rest of your energy fighting taxes. There’s no doubt you’re going to die. And that you’ll be taxed to pay for this government expansion is beyond dispute. Make a difference where you can. Action will help mitigate the sense of helplessness when facing the unknown.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews
How fat is too fat? Don’t worry, the government will soon have an answer to that question and your health care will be determined by that answer. From TheHill:
Health reform radicals howl when it’s pointed out that the board’s true mission is to determine which treatments are “cost-effective,” claiming that language in the law prohibits them from making specific recommendations based on cost. But that’s just smoke and mirrors designed to distract Americans from the truth: the board controls a $1.1 billion budget and will recommend how to direct future research dollars. Clearly, cost-effectiveness is the primary metric the board will measure.
The legal language creating this ominous national board was buried in the stimulus package details that — we now know — nobody read. Four hundred million dollars went to the Department of Health and Human Services, another $400 million to the National Institutes of Health, and finally $300 million more to yet another nest of bureaucrats you’ve never heard of called the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. In all, $1.1 billion has been budgeted for “comparative effectiveness research.”
An interesting stand-off will be forced should government-run health care be pushed through by the ever stronger Democrat party: People schooled in “anything goes” and defined by civil rights, will be in the position of having to submit to the government telling them what they can do regarding their most personal habits. Already, these folks are angry. Already, people don’t want this. A new civil rights group decries discrimination and have already suffered at the hands of doctors:
There are no U.S. laws prohibiting weight discrimination, and only one state, Michigan, has an anti-weight bias law. Legislatures in Massachusetts and Nevada have taken up size-bias bills, but similar efforts have failed in recent years.
Weight discrimination is pervasive, said Rebecca Puhl, director of research at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
An “obesity wage penalty” — larger employees getting paid less regardless of job performance — is widespread, and research shows overweight people are less likely to land a job or be promoted than a non-obese worker, she said.
“We do need to fight obesity, but not obese people,” said Puhl. “Individuals … who are discriminated against because of their weight are more likely to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors and avoidance of physical activity.”
Anecdotal evidence also suggests overweight people avoid trips to the doctor out of fear of being mocked.
According to NAAFA, about 70 percent of overweight and obese women have experienced bias from doctors. Others complain of being turned down by health-insurance companies.
Doctors are frustrated by patients complaining of wholly preventable health problems. Patients feel embarrassed and judged by their doctors so don’t get the health care they need.
Government run health care will increase the tension in the doctor-patient relationship–when the patient ever gets to see the doctor.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews
President Barack Obama is the college football star who has been told he’s the second coming since he was five years old. It doesn’t help that the Press refuses to do its job and ask a serious question.
Conversely, he seems to have a hoarding mentality demonstrated by his lack of generosity. The insulting gifts to foreign leaders, and now, the stinginess with his kid’s school:
“There were expectations that they might donate something more personal, like the Clintons did,” said another source who knew about the auction. “Lots of people were disappointed.”
The President is the product of the self-esteem movement. Senator Harry Reid relates this story:
Reid, D-Nev., writes: “‘That speech was phenomenal, Barack,’ I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.'”
And so, it’s on this backdrop that President Obama or someone representing him can fly one of his jets at low altitude with a fighter jet escort and not consider how New York City, aka Ground Zero, might be terrorized by jets roaring near buildings and the Statue of Liberty.
Not only was President Obama’s action selfish, it was thoughtless and mean. And in the self-esteem movement, it’s not his responsibility how other people might feel. It’s their own fault if they’re upset. If the residents bring “fear energy” to that experience, that’s their choice, just like it’s his choice to fly “his” plane where he likes.
And don’t even bring up the hypocrisy of burning a carbon footprint big enough to keep a small country going for a month. And don’t even think about the tax dollars wasted during an economic depression. And don’t even remember the promises to cut spending.
President Obama doesn’t have to answer those questions because he is President Barack Obama. That is enough. He is the culmination of self esteem run amok. Every decision is pulled through the filter of “what is good for me”? Every mistake (or 100s of them) is a “learning experience” that must be glossed over and left behind. No point in dwelling in the past–even if the past was five minutes ago.
And without the natural feedback loop from advisers and the press, President Obama will never be dissuaded from his unconditional positive self-regard.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews
Will Arlen Specter be as big a thorn in the Democratic flesh as he’s been for Republicans? Doubt it. His ideological home has been the left for as long as I’ve paid attention to him. I’m still irritated as hell that President Bush threw his weight behind Specter who gave him nothing but fits about judicial nominees. And I knew, even though Arlen Specter acted contrite and promised to be a good little Republican that Specter would nurse his humiliation and exact his revenge.
Peggy Noonan, Specter apologist, want to change your cluckish wisdom, saying that Specter is a good man who deserves to have a Republican home? Will you be of the John McCain and Olympia Snowe fonts of superior reasoning clinging to the notion that conservatives (you know the 60% of Americans who self-identify as conservative, that minority of people) are killing the Republican party? Probably. Here’s what Snowe says:
Snowe criticized party leadership for failing to change its tone after Republicans lost six Senate seats in the 2006 election.
“I happened to win with 74 percent of the vote in a blue-collar state, but no one asked me, ‘How did you do it?’” she said. “Seems to me that would have been the first question that would have come from the Republican Party to find out so we could avoid further losses.”
“Ultimately, we’re heading to having the smallest political tent in history, the way things are unfolding,” Snowe said.
Let’s just address this, shall we?
First, if moderation was a winning strategy nationally, we would have a President McCain. Second, define Republican. Third, define Moderate.
It’s impossible to define the last two and that’s what conservatives find maddening. If you are not fiscally responsible and for lower taxes, less government intrusion and less spending, why are you a Republican? What are you, if you’re not that? If the Republicans in the House and Senate would ONLY commit to fiscal responsibility, Republicans would be winning instead of losing. But, no. Republicans addicted to pork and spending and pet projects and big government feel “attacked”. Well, hell. Start acting, at least in one small way, like a Republican. These are the kinds of “mean” words that hurt Lindsay Graham’s feelings, from Club for Growth:
Upon learning that Arlen Specter has switched political parties, now joining the Democrats in a filibuster-proof U.S. Senate, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola issued this statement:
“Senator Specter has confirmed what we already knew – he’s a liberal devoted to more spending, more bailouts, and less economic freedom. Thanks to him, Democrats will now be able to steamroll their big government agenda through the Senate.
“This also shows how unprincipled he is. Just a few weeks ago, he stated quite clearly that he was remaining a Republican because he thought he had ‘a more important role to play there.’ And he said ‘the United States very desperately needs a two-party system.’
So what do Republicans stand for? Is there a pro-life Democrat? Is there a small government Democrat? No. Democrats believe that k
more taxes help fund more government programs which “help” (read enslave) more people which makes more Democratic voters. They are pro-union. They are pro-picky laws that frustrate an individual’s ability to self-govern. They are for silencing opposition. They are for coercion–because they believe they know what’s best for people.
You know the problem with what I just wrote? Too many Republicans fit that exact mold. John McCain hung himself on his own stupid campaign legislation and still hasn’t learned. He’s an electoral genius, alright and faces his own primary challenger. While some like Jim DeMint want party purity, I’d just like the party to stand for at least one thing and money is something most people can agree on. Americans have to be fiscally responsible or pay the consequences. Why not D.C.?
Moreover, this is not the first time he has warned that the GOP is “too conservative.” In 1996, Arlen Specter ran for President and spent the entirety of his short campaign lecturing the GOP about how they were out of touch with the average American. … Keep in mind, this was just two years after we dramatically stormed to power in Congress under Newt Gingrich, and four years before we took the White House under George W. Bush.
Practically speaking, however, Specter’s move could have real consequences. In the short term, if Al Franken is, in fact, seated, Arlen Specter would give the Democrats the elusive and important 60th vote. Moreover, while Pat Toomey was the odds-on favorite to defeat Specter in a GOP primary, Specter would appear to have the advantage in a general election. As one pro-Specter friend emailed me, “Arguably, this is the most significant achievement of Obama’s first hundred days.”
Ironically, though, Specter may be giving the GOP a gift. Every GOP candidate running for office in 2010 can now argue that their seat is vital to prevent a filibuster-proof majority, which would allow the Democrats to jam through their radical liberal agenda.
In a final point of irony, I would note that Mr. Specter has been a Democrat before. In fact, he only switched his affiliation to Republican in order to win office. In 1965, at age 35, Specter lost a Democratic primary for District Attorney in Philadelphia — so he switched to the GOP ticket to win in the general election. So, it appears that Sen. Specter is finally going home after 44 long years in the wilderness — and ending his political career exactly as he began it.
So, Arlen Specter goes home and the Republicans get the opportunity to define, after too long flirting with being Democrats, just nicer, what it means to be a Republican.
Howard Kurtz detail more media bias and the insider access afforded the elite few. And those few love President Obama, especially the New York Times:
The networks have given President Obama more coverage than George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined in their first months — and more positive assessments to boot.
In a study to be released today, the Center for Media and Public Affairs and Chapman University found the nightly newscasts devoting nearly 28 hours to Obama’s presidency in the first 50 days. (Bush, by contrast, got nearly eight hours.) Fifty-eight percent of the evaluations of Obama were positive on the ABC, CBS and NBC broadcasts, compared with 33 percent positive in the comparable period of Bush’s tenure and 44 percent positive for Clinton. (Evaluations by officials from the administration or either political party were not counted.)
On Fox News, by contrast, only 13 percent of the assessments of Obama were positive on the first half of Bret Baier’s “Special Report,” which most resembles a newscast. The president got far better treatment in the New York Times, where 73 percent of the assessments in front-page pieces were positive.
It’s good to be the king. And the press isn’t even owned by the state.
Rachel Alexander Reports From The Latest Right Wing Conspiracy Gathering
(I was there, too. Horrors!)
Save The Redneck
They’re a persecuted lot and deserve respect.
You know that impossible task, border control, is so incredibly daunting and shameful and racist and discriminatory and all…, but if America is swept with Swine Flu and thousands die, will our politically correct porous border still be morally defensible? From a “First, Do No Harm” perspective America’s current border policy seems, well, harmful.
This weekend, I read the coverage of Swine Flu. So far we have conspiracy theories, an unprepared government, weird press coverage, social psychology lessons, and we’re being educated on epidemiology and etiology.
I don’t think this outbreak will be the apocalyptic madness that some gleefully fear. Here’s what I wrote when everyone was apoplectic about Avian Flu in 2006 (more links at the link):
During the Swine Flu outbreak that DIDN’T happen, more people were damaged by the vaccine. Around eight people died in the US from the Swine Flu. Even that number is suspect.
How to prepare for the Bird Flu:
1. Don’t go to China or any other country with a Bird Flu outbreak and work on a chicken farm.
2. Should it come to America: don’t work on a chicken farm.
3. Should it be transferred among people: Use quarantine methods–don’t take Nyquil and stupidly think that you’re not contagious.
4. Use common hygiene. Wash your hands (50% of you don’t after you pee, at least 30% don’t after going poop–what are you, some kind of sicko?). Stay away from public places.
At the grocery store one day, this moronic mother had her child slumped in the front of the grocery cart who had ACTIVE, as in red spots all over his body, Chicken Pox. This is highly contagious. What was she thinking?
The problem that will occur if a Pandemic hits, will be that people have zero common sense. Used to drugs that suppress symptoms (but the virus and bacteria are still active) they wrongly think that they are ok because they are on their feet. They’re not.
I bellyache about this at church all the time. People come in looking like the Bride of Frankenstein, all spaced-out and glassy-eyed. Church is a public place. School is a public place. Work is a public place. Spare everyone and STAY HOME! My one friend recently said, “I was glassy eyed because I was on this really good drug. It really helped.”
“But you were STILL SICK!” I protested.
“Naw,” he said in his “aw shucks” tough cowboy way, “I was fahn (fine)”.
Here are the CDC recommendations. Still, the best treatment for any communicable disease is quarantine and the U.S. government won’t recommend that for Mexico. They’ll screen at the border (since no one comes into the country any other way).
Back in the day, trade routes were the way disease spread geographically. This is still the case. Political correctness could kill us should a true pandemic ever erupt. And, I worry that the pandemic won’t be acknowledged until it’s too late.
UPDATE: Marathon Pundit asks,”Can Obama stop politicking for one minute?” Uh, no.
And the Twitterverse goes swine viral. [Funny]
Michelle Malkin talks about the Blame Bush mantra, blame Republicans and Chuckie Schumer….what, you didn’t think that Swine Flu would be Bush’s fault? Surely, you don’t pay attention.