Archive for April, 2009

So Swine Flu…Yawn

Posted in Politics, Society on April 29th, 2009

H1N1 Influenza Virus Every year in America approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized for influenza (flu). Of those, 36,000 people die from the virus, which is an 18% mortality rate. Worldwide, the annual influenza epidemics cause between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths.

Each and every year these statistics pass quietly by without media attention or induced mass panic. It’s just not considered newsworthy.

Of course this is not the case with the current rash of Swine Flu (H1N1) cases occurring right now. The media and the US government are making absolutely sure that this is a newsworthy issue. Public concern bordering on panic has been the result of this media apocalyptic extravaganza.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of As of April 29, 2009, 11:00 AM EST there have been 91 confirmed cases of this form of Swine Flu in the United States with 1 fatality. Worldwide, as of 2:15 EST, 28 April 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting that seven countries: America, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Spain, have officially reported cases of swine influenza for a total of 132 case with 8 deaths (Mexico: 7, US: 1).

So…91 cases of Swine Flu with 8 deaths over the course of 5 days is cause for panic? Based on the figures from NIAID, during that same 5 days 2740 Americans were hospitalized for various forms of influenza and 493 of them died from it – but that wasn’t news! Nor were the 2700 – 6850 influenza caused deaths worldwide during the same 5 days.

Ask yourself who benefits from this sort of fear-mongering, then ask yourself how they benefit from it. Finally…ask yourself which is the real disease, the influenza virus or the people using it for their own purposes.

Related Reading:
Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media
The Language of Medicine
And Then There Was Swine Flu: The Diary of an Nhs Manager
Influenza: A Century of Science and Public Health Response
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 19/E (Vol.1 & Vol.2)

Specter Turns Coat

Posted in Politics on April 28th, 2009

arlen-specterThere’s a lot of hoopla being raised over the fact that Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has said that he will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and will run for reelection as a Democrat in the 2010 Senate election. Republicans are angered over Specter’s perceived betrayal and Democrats are crowing over it.

Both of these groups are focused on the fact that Specter’s turning coat could, if and when Al Franken is ever seated, give the Democrats the 60 votes they need to break any Republican filibuster.

Obviously the Democrats are crowing and braying over this. They’re eager to have total and unrestricted – they think – control over the Senate. Equally obviously the Republicans are moaning and gnashing their teeth over the thought of being effectively stripped of much of their voice. Both Parties and their supporters are acting like idiots!

Sen. Specter is not ideologically not aligned on many core issues with the Liberals who have taken control of the Democratic Party. There is no proof, nor even enough evidence to support their hope, that he would add his vote to the 60 needed to break a filibuster on those issues irrespective of his new Party affiliation.

My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

— Sen. Arlen Specter
Market Watch – April 28, 2009

By the same token Sen. Specter is, and has been for some time, a RINO. There is no proof, nor even enough evidence to support their hope, that he would not add his vote to the 60 needed to break a filibuster on those issues irrespective of his current and soon to be ex- Party affiliation.

Finally, this whole thing is based on the idea that Arlen Specter can and will win the 2010 election and continue to be Senator Specter and therefor of some interest. This is hardly assured by any measure.

Once again there’s a lot of emotion and excitement over what amounts to very little…

Related Reading:
Battle for the Big Sky: Representation and the Politics of Place in the Race for the US Senate
Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care (Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health)
Democrat Coloring Book: Adult Color Therapy Book Featuring Political, Pro Democrat and Anti Republican Imagery (Don’t Stress Just Color! Colorful ... Anxiety Promoting Adult Color Therapy Books)
Moon Pennsylvania (Travel Guide)
Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate (FOCUS ON AMERICAN HISTORY SERIES)

Faith Fighter

Posted in Religion, Society on April 28th, 2009

Somewhat more than a year ago An Italian company that makes Internet-based games, Molleindustria, release a web-based flash game named Faith Fighter. Of the course of time the game, which depicts religious figures and deities fighting each other, was played by millions of players on the Internet.

As could be fully expected, any game that portrayed God, Jesus, Buddha, Ganesha, Budai, and Muhammad beating the holy crap out of each other generated a certain amount of ire and complaint among the various religious communities. This was no surprise to Molleindustria or anyone who had played the game. It was also of little concern to Molleindustria or anyone who had played the game since freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed in the Civilized World.

Then the Islamists of the Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC) got wind of Faith Fighter. Very quickly they issued strong complaints and demanded that the Internet service providers who are hosting the game to take immediate action by withdrawing it from the web. Molleindustria was essentially forced, under threat of loosing their hosting at the very least, to remove Faith Fighter from their site.

Fortunately for all people, despite the efforts of the OIC to end freedom through their white-collar jihad, there are many copies of the game still available. I have one of them here for your enjoyment:

Faith Fighter

As I’ve posted before, I will fight the Islamists’ white collar jihad with my voice, my vote, and – if needs be and the Devil will out – my attorneys. If they want to take it beyond that, I have developed a fondness in recent times for the M24A3 chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum – much more punch than my old .300 Win Mag and lighter and very much more accurate than my old, but still loved to this day, M82A1 – which should solve for most “problems” within 1200m or so.

Related Reading:
12 Major World Religions: The Beliefs, Rituals, and Traditions of Humanity's Most Influential Faiths
Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know, Revised and Expanded Edition
The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement - Updated Edition
Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History (Fifth Edition)  (Vol. 2)
Buddhism: Beginner’s Guide to Understanding & Practicing Buddhism to Become Stress and Anxiety Free (Buddhism, Mindfulness, Meditation, Buddhism For Beginners)