PRESS**WATCH: Swine flu quarantines?
Right after today's show was broadcast, I found an article that says there was a sudden-cyanosis type death from H1n1 in Malaysia:
I think you'll have to copy-and-paste that link. Or maybe it worked. In any case, this is significant because, as you'll see from my swine flu story below, the big worry (and one that the CDC evidently shares) is that H1N1 (which is actually the Spanish Flu returned) may well do its Jekyll and Hyde transformation as in 1918. One important aspect of that transformation (possibly caused by "passaging," look it up) was that the lungs were attacked so rapidly that persons afflicted could not draw oxygen, and died turning dark blue, often within hours of symptoms appearing. This was a terrifying situation, as you can imagine, and at first the Spanish Flu was thought to be the Black Death.
Do visit theresaspresswatch.blogspot.com and leave your comments.
And now, here's the rest of today's script:
Sometimes the surprise in the news is the absence of the expected. There have been no hurricanes and no substantial tropical storms in the Atlantic so far this year. What's up with that?
ZACH HOFFMAN writes in Disaster News Network:
So far the 2009 hurricane season has been slow to start but forecasters warn that we’re not in the clear just yet.
On Tuesday, for the second time this year, Phil Klotzbach and William Gray, of Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project, trimmed their predictions – but just by one tropical storm and one hurricane. They expect 10 tropical storms and predict at least four will become hurricanes.
“Over the last few years a slow season is not very typical; however, in the long-term, the idea of not having a storm show up until August is not unusual,” said Letro.
He recalled the hurricane events in 1983, “There were only four named storms the whole year, and the first storm didn’t show up until August 15.”
“You would assume that was a real quiet year, but you wouldn’t want to tell that to the people in Galveston and Houston, Texas.”
The first storm to appear that year was hurricane Alicia; it drifted slowly over the western end of Galveston Island spawning 23 reported tornadoes and causing tremendous damage to the Gulf Coast.
For 2009, the Weather Research Center (WRC) in Houston forecasts at least seven named storms in the Atlantic Basin with four of these tropical storms intensifying into hurricanes.
“WRC’s Hurricane Orbital Cyclone Strike Index gives the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama the highest chance of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane this summer,” according to forecasters.
"Louisiana is no stranger to hurricane activity; in 2008, hurricane Gustav made landfall over Louisiana causing over $20 million in damages, then just a short time later Ike re-flooded the areas beginning the recovery process from Gustav.
"Faith-based organizations like Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) are still looking for volunteers to aid in long-term rebuilding efforts for last year’s hurricanes in Louisiana and Mississippi, and even from Katrina in 2005.
“We are using this time to make preparations for what we are being told is going to be a fairly normal hurricane season once it gets here,” said John Robinson of PDA. “What we have seen previously is that late hurricanes catch people off guard.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, currently on his “Louisisana Working Tour” to promote economic development and job creation in the state, has been awarding grants to individual parishes that will go towards hurricane recovery efforts, hazard mitigation and infrastructure improvements.
“After Gustav and Ike struck, we rejected the idea of creating yet another process filled with bureaucracy to distribute hurricane recovery funds. We’re helping to expedite the rebuilding process by distributing funds to parishes so that officials on the ground can make their own decisions about how best to rebuild and prepare for future storms,” Jindal said.
"Chief Long-Range and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi of the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center holds a different forecast for this season. "Anywhere along the United States coast is susceptible to an impact, but the Texas coast early in the season and East Coast from Carolinas northward during the heart of the season are areas that have us worried," he said.
"Bastardi points to several factors lowering the overall number of storms; a developing El Niño in the Pacific ocean could have a suppressing effect on the Atlantic activity, strong easterly trade winds across northern Africa will introduce dry air into the Atlantic inhibiting hurricane formation, and cooler water temperatures in the tropics tends to reduce hurricane activity and intensity.
“Tropical storms by nature are creatures of heat,” ....[snip]
Meanwhile solar energy hasn't been up to snuff, either. Scientists who study the sun expected more sunspots by now, but they aren't forthcoming as of the last 24 days or so. As a matter of fact, as of the last information I have, there are no sunspots at all right now. This is surely good news for anyone who hoped for more time to deal with human-induced global warming, but there's no guarantee it will continue. Would a goodly round of sunspots whip up some hurricanes, or is the heating period longer than that for such events? I don't know, but I have noted some very high water temperatures along the US Gulf Coast, so any storm that brews there long enough will surely pack a punch.
John Bolton fulminates for war in the Wall Street Journal.
--Yes, this is THE John Bolton who used to shoot his mouth off so badly that he repeatedly embarrassed even the Bush Junior Administration, and had to be forced from his comfy leather chair at the UN. He wrote:
"The public outcome of Mr. Gates's visit appeared polite but inconclusive. Yet Iran's progress with nuclear weapons and air defenses means Israel's military option is declining over time. It will have to make a decision soon, and it will be no surprise if Israel strikes by year's end.
Israel's choice could determine whether Iran obtains nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future."
Note that Bolton can breezily insert the phrase "military option" as if the world or the UN charter legitimized wars of aggression. And make no mistake that he is talking about a war of aggression, instigated by Israel and funded and logistically backed up by the United States. The "pre-emptive war" excuse is what got us into Baghdad, and for that matter it got Germany into Poland. It was never acceptable to rational people. But I would not accuse John Bolton of being a rational person. Bolton knows his war propaganda, though, so he tags on the long-discredited ruse that Iran's nuclear program is for war. We're supposed to forget the the IAEA has found no evidence of bomb-making.
Bolton seems worried that Israel might feel hampered in its desire for war. He also writes:
"Beyond that, Mr. Obama's [Iran] negotiation strategy faces insuperable time pressure. French President Nicolas Sarkozy proclaimed that Iran must re-start negotiations with the West by September's G-20 summit. But this means little when, with each passing day, Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile laboratories, production facilities and military bases are all churning. Israel is focused on these facts, not the illusion of "tough" diplomacy."
Terrifying, isn't it? Never mind that Israel's war machine has been churning indeed, stockpiling bunker-buster weapons and even practicing air maneuvers over the Nevada desert. Never mind that the nuclear reactor at Dimona has produced hundreds of deliverable nuclear weapons, now mounted on Israeli missiles, F-16s, Dolphin submarines, and who knows where else.
There's something more here that never gets mentioned. The imperial powers never shared oil refinery technology with Iran, because like all post-colonial economies, it was expected to produce raw product at or below cost, so that Western corporations could profit by adding value to the product. It's the same deal from Albania to Zanzibar. Iran has made terrific strides in technology lately, for example launching their first satellites into orbit. It's only a matter of time before they start refining their own oil, and then where will the multinational corporate profits come from? What would keep them from competing eventually with a wide range of Israeli and US products, including war weaponry? That's the real issue here. Iran could not hope to threaten Israel with nuclear destruction, because the game is already set, and they pray to god every day that no nuclear weapon goes off in the US or Israel, because they know they would then suffer complete destruction.
Bolton asks in the WSJ article "...how will Iran be tamed?" Bolton is the kind of jerk that is comfortable speaking of whole nations of people as if they were animals. One tames animals, not people, of course. He ends the article:
"Striking Iran's nuclear program will not be precipitous or poorly thought out. Israel's attack, if it happens, will have followed enormously difficult deliberation over terrible imponderables, and years of patiently waiting on innumerable failed diplomatic efforts. Absent Israeli action, prepare for a nuclear Iran."
So you see, the poor things have been forced into war! Forced, I tell you!
The monster has spoken: war is acceptable and probable. Sit back and watch it on the news. And don't you dare protest, unless you want a file with the US military:
By Amy Goodman (also reported yesterday on Democracy Now)
link to www.truthdig.com
"Anti-war activists in Olympia, Wash., have exposed Army spying and infiltration of their groups, as well as intelligence gathering by the Air Force, the federal Capitol Police and the Coast Guard.
"The infiltration appears to be in direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act preventing U.S. military deployment for domestic law enforcement and may strengthen congressional demands for a full-scale investigation of U.S. intelligence activities, like the Church Committee hearings of the 1970s.
" Brendan Maslauskas Dunn asked the city of Olympia for documents or e-mails about communications between the Olympia police and the military relating to anarchists, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) or the Industrial Workers of the World (Dunn's union). Dunn received hundreds of documents. One e-mail contained reference to a "John J. Towery II," who activists discovered was the same person as their fellow activist "John Jacob." [snip]
[Note: Jenka Soderberg of KBOO Evening News first broke this story worldwide. Go Jenka!]
I was just kidding about not protesting, by the way. The whole idea of this sort of infiltration is to undermine dissent by injecting fear into the activist community. There are far too many of us to effectively track, so feel free and easy joining or creating a protest group. Few things are more fun, and of course it's healthy and might eventually contribute to an outbreak of freedom, equality, liberty and democracy. That would be nice to see. Then when you travel, you can honestly point out that you've been trying to stop US imperial war policies.
Debka, the warmongering militarist Israeli site, had the following to say about the US envoys' trip to Israel last week:
.... secretary of state Hillary Clinton broadcast to Tehran Sunday, July 28, over NBC: "... if you're pursuing nuclear weapons for the purpose of intimidating, or projecting your power, we are not going to let that happen," she said. "Your pursuit is futile. We believe as a matter of policy it is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons." [end]
This is the Clinton who campaigned for President saying that she would nuke Iran if need be. So the meaning of "unacceptable" has already been made clear to the Persians. Meanwhile she has nothing to say about Israel's rogue stash of nuclear weapons, created without IAEA oversight by diverting fuel from the Dimona reactor complex, and poised to destroy the region.
The following is an excerpt of a CDC news release:
CDC Advisors Make Recommendations for Use of Vaccine Against Novel H1N1
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met [...last week] to make recommendations for use of vaccine against novel influenza A (H1N1).
The committee met to develop recommendations on who should receive vaccine against novel influenza A (H1N1) when it becomes available, and to determine which groups of the population should be prioritized if the vaccine is initially available in extremely limited quantities.
The committee recommended the vaccination efforts focus on five key populations. Vaccination efforts are designed to help reduce the impact and spread of novel H1N1. The key populations include those who are at higher risk of disease or complications, those who are likely to come in contact with novel H1N1, and those who could infect young infants. When vaccine is first available, the committee recommended that programs and providers try to vaccinate:
* pregnant women,
* people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
* health care and emergency services personnel,
* persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and
* people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
The groups listed above total approximately 159 million people in the United States.
The committee does not expect that there will be a shortage of novel H1N1 vaccine, but availability and demand can be unpredictable. There is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities. In this setting, the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others:
* pregnant women,
* people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
* health care and emergency services personnel with direct patient contact,
* children 6 months through 4 years of age, and
* children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.
The committee recognized the need to assess supply and demand issues at the local level. The committee further recommended that once the demand for vaccine for these prioritized groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate the risk for infection among persons age 65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups. Therefore, as vaccine supply and demand for vaccine among younger age groups is being met, programs and providers should offer vaccination to people over the age of 65.
The committee also stressed that people over the age of 65 receive the seasonal vaccine as soon as it is available. Even if novel H1N1 vaccine is initially only available in limited quantities, supply and availability will continue, so the committee stressed that programs and providers continue to vaccinate unimmunized patients and not keep vaccine in reserve for later administration of the second dose.
The novel H1N1 vaccine is not intended to replace the seasonal flu vaccine. It is intended to be used alongside seasonal flu vaccine to protect people. Seasonal flu and novel H1N1 vaccines may be administered on the same day.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Notice that the CDC post begins by saying that it does not anticipate a shortage of vaccine--and then states "there is some possibility that initially the vaccine will be available in limited quantities." Or in other words, there might be a shortage. And then it turns out that this shortage is evidently anticipated to be severe enough that they are issuing triage guidelines before the stuff is even available.
But wait, who cares, right? If H1N1 is milder than seasonal flu, as we've all been hearing, why worry so much? Why issue guidelines, as I just read--and incredibly, I might add--that everyone is to be vaccinated? We don't currently try to vaccinate everyone against seasonal flu. On the contrary, it's quite the casual thing, recommended for the aged or infirm, available if you want it and never mind if you don't, even if it does kill thirty thousand people per year.
There is in fact something else going on here: The swine flu is, in fact, pretty much the 1918 Spanish Influenza.
We know this because persons who survived the 1918 flu have antibodies to it and are immune. Yoshihiro Kawaok discovered this fact at the University of Wisconsin.
The influenza pathogen, in its various forms, has been referred to as a "mutant swarm" because one of its chief characteristic is its constant ability to mutate and change, to avoid immune system response. So it is highly unlikely that the current virus is anything but the Spanish Flu. The CDC knows this, and also knows that the Spanish Flu was present in the US in the summer preceding its disastrous Fall 1918 outbreak. They know that there is every possibility that a super-deadly outbreak may occur as soon as this Winter, killing millions. Remember that the 1918 Spanish Flu sometimes killed within 24 hours of first symptoms, destroying intestinal linings, ravaging the lungs so badly that secondary infection set in within one day. Twenty million died worldwide, and that was when the world population was much smaller. And this flu is already mutating so that Tamiflu does not affect it.
We no longer have, in the United States, sufficient hospital beds nor respirators to deal with a severe influenza outbreak. This is because excess capacity beds were long ago stripped away to reduce staffing and overhead costs, so that higher salaries and/or profits could be paid to the very rich.
And what effect does that have?
No bed for swine flu man on life support
Natasha Bita | August 04, 2009
Article from: The Australian
A SWINE flu patient on life support was flown 700km between four Queensland hospitals in search of a bed, forcing Queensland Health to apologise to the man's family yesterday for the medical milk run.
The 48-year-old man, attached to a ventilator to help him breathe, was flown from hospital in the north Queensland town of Atherton to Cairns hospital, but the intensive care unit was full.
The chopper then refuelled and flew the man south to Townsville, which was also full.
He was then transferred to a second helicopter so the first one could return to base. After four hours, the desperately ill man arrived at the Mackay hospital, where he remains in a stable yet critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Patients dangerously ill with swine flu are taking up one in five intensive care beds in Queensland, which has started cancelling elective surgery to cope with a peak in infections expected at the end of this month.
The nation's chief health officers will meet in Melbourne on Friday to decide who will get priority for immunisation once a vaccine becomes available in October. Swine flu has killed 67 Australians and landed 105 in intensive care.
I have written Congress about this and I urge you to do the same. Corporate health denial must die now, right now, and respirators, beds, and personnel must be brought into availability. If they are not needed for the swine flu, they will be needed for earthquake, bird flu, or some other calamity, and as we are not immune to history, we no longer can afford to act irrationally purely to benefit the owning class. Who has a greater right to live, a health denial corporation's profits, or you and your loved ones?
Ironically, a severe crisis would force the government to deal with health issues directly. Are you willing to die or go to a quarantine camp, to bring about socialized medicine in the US? Of course, that would be "socialized" as in militarized:
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, August 4, 2009
According to CNN, the Pentagon is "to establish regional teams of military personnel to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials."
"The proposal is awaiting final approval from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The officials would not be identified because the proposal from U.S. Northern Command's Gen. Victor Renuart has not been approved by the secretary.
The plan calls for military task forces to work in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There is no final decision on how the military effort would be manned, but one source said it would likely include personnel from all branches of the military.
It has yet to be determined how many troops would be needed and whether they would come from the active duty or the National Guard and Reserve forces.
Civilian authorities would lead any relief efforts in the event of a major outbreak, the official said. The military, as they would for a natural disaster or other significant emergency situation, could provide support and fulfill any tasks that civilian authorities could not, such as air transport or testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients.
As a first step, Gates is being asked to sign a so-called "execution order" that would authorize the military to begin to conduct the detailed planning to execute the proposed plan.
Orders to deploy actual forces would be reviewed later, depending on how much of a health threat the flu poses this fall, the officials said." (CNN, Military planning for possible H1N1 outbreak, July 2009, emphasis added)
The implications are far-reaching.
The decision points towards the militarization of civilian institutions, including law enforcement and public health.
A nationwide vaccination program is already planned for the Fall.
The pharmaceutical industry is slated to deliver 160 million vaccine doses by the Fall, enough doses to vaccinate more than half of America's population.
The Pentagon is already planning on the number of troops to be deployed,. with a view to supporting a mass vaccination program.
It is worth noting that this involvement of the military is not being decided by the President, but by the Secretary of Defense, which suggests that the Pentagon is, in a key issue of of national interest, overriding the President and Commander in Chief. The US Congress has not been consulted on the issue.
This decision to mobilise the Armed Forces in the vaccination campaign is taken in anticipation of a national emergency. Although no national emergency has been called, the presumption is that a national public health emergency will occur, using the WHO Level 6 Pandemic as a pretext and a justification.
Other countries, including Canada, the UK and France may follow suit, calling upon their Armed Forces to play a role in support of the H1N1 vaccination program.
Chussodovsky, however, is skeptical of the danger of swine flu and points out that it will be very profitable for pharmaceutical corporations:
"The Pandemic serves the interests of Big Pharma. The WHO is planning for the production of 4.9 billion dose, enough to inoculate a large share of the World's population. Big Pharma including Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca have signed procurement contracts with some 50 governments. (Reuters, July 16, 2009). For these companies, compulsory vaccination is a highly lucrative undertaking...."
For myself, whereas I consider it possible, given the proclivities of our secret police societies as revealed by the Anthrax non-investigation, and by earlier publications such as the Search for The
Manchurian Candidate by John D. Marks, that swine flu was resurrected and released in order to bring about wild profits under a fascist military crackdown, I also think that preparations need to be underway. This pandemic still retains the capacity to be a monster. It has another monster waiting to help it along: our capitalist health-denial system.