Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weird Statistics.

This morning I saw the front page of NYT displaying the following: Unemployment down to 10% and only 10,000 additional jobs lost during this past month. I read the headline and exclaimed - what the ....? l thought to myself, how is it possible to decrease the unemployment rate while still decreasing the number of available jobs. Then, I realized that you can achieve this statistical miracle by decreasing the population. The USA must now have fewer employable people today than in October.

As Borat would say: GREAT SUCCESS!

The Obama administration will simply have to keep decreasing the number of Americans faster than they are decreasing the number of available jobs. Right now we have roughly 300 million Americans and about 10% of those wanting to work are unemployed. If we knock off 30 million during the month of December, our unemployment rate will decrease to 9%! It may actually go even lower, because there will be a great demand for undertakers, and funeral homes will be hiring.

This is really a brilliant strategy, but commissar Obama is still a lightweight when it comes to comparing his achievements to other historical figures: 0.2% -Ha! That means a loss of only 600,000 Americans. Uncle Joe Stalin knocked off at least 60 million of his fellow comrades. I guess we shouldn't dismiss Obama's achievements though, because he is only in the 1st year of his 1st term in office. He may make history yet.

On a more serious note, I do know of 2 people who recently committed suicide at a local company, after finding out that they were being laid off. This fact explains the weird statistics being praised in the newspapers, and it also means things are not really getting better. Definitely not for those two individuals and their grieving families.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bruno Imitates Obama.

Here is a picture of Obama walking towards his car. He is clutching a copy of GQ that has a photo of Obama on the cover. Fine, he is really into himself. Not impressed yet? Then, keep reading.



So, I had a day off and saw the movie Bruno. Guess what? Bruno is all about himself too. Furthermore, he is also on the cover of GQ.


You say coincidence. Bruno was also involved in mid-east peace negotiations, he is loved by celebrities, and he is proficient in Austrian.



At the end of the movie, Bruno made his own music video. There is a line in that video that perfectly captures just who he is: "Bruno, he is the white Obama."


Forget the critics, rent this movie and laugh yourself silly.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Department of injustice.

I don't recall hearing a single news item that involves attorney general Holder, where he brought something beneficial to our society. Lets recap: "America is a nation of cowards", prosecution of CIA agents, arranging for war criminals to be prosecuted in civilian courts, granting terrorists from abroad the rights of American citizens, defending ACORN,...

These are only a small sample of acts he has used to smear this country with shit.

There is only one reason that Khalid Sheik Mohammed is being brought to NY for a trial in civilian court. It is to place the Bush administration on trial. It is to wag his finger at Bush, the CIA, the FBI, and say that they did something improper. It doesn't seem to matter to this trash, that terrorists already celebrate this move as a victory. It will not matter to him if Americans are killed because of how he has weakened our defense. American soldiers have been recently murdered on US soil, and he is just getting warmed up.

This afternoon I read at Big Government, that Holder has cleared the way for ACORN to once again receive federal funds. Strange, that a criminal organization has such backing from the federal government. In my mind I scream: This is outrageous. How dare he!

After a moment of rage, I realize that Holder is just a smoke screen. He is nothing but a dog on a leash. The blame must be directed at Obama. I blame him for the murder of 14 Americans at Fort Hood. We must remove this treasonous bastard from office.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NY23

Like many conservative Americans, I was disappointed with the results from Northern NY. The polls predicted a narrow victory by the Conservative party candidate- Doug Hoffman, but this did not happen. Whenever an unexpected outcome emerges, we must reflect on this experience. It is important that we learn from our mistakes. Trust me, many serious people in the Republican party have already learned from this lesson.

Equally important when faced with a surprising result, is that we should also scrutinize the validity of that outcome. Looking at election data from district 23, an obvious irregularity jumps out. This was the lowest voter turnout for that county, in many years. Only 1/2 of the voters were present as compared with most of this decade's other years. The only voter turnout anywhere near the number of this years count, was when they had a single unopposed candidate. Perhaps, this is explained by it being an off year election. However, the fact that this race was so publicized and had a national following seems incongruous with such a low voter turnout. I hate the idea of wasting funds on wild goose chases, but a preliminary small scale examination might be in order.


Is there a silver lining here? I think so. Hoffman exposed a disingenuous politician and saved Conservatives and Republicans from another backstabbing embarrassment such as Olympia Snow. Scozzafava was no moderate Republican; she was a saboteur, a cheat, and a scandal in waiting. If she were elected, the Republican party would be far worse off. I sincerely hope that the Republican leadership learns from this fiasco.

I am also not convinced that the candidate who was elected in NY23 is a lost cause. He is an Air Force captain, a business leader, and appears to be a social conservative. His support of the union card check initiative is clearly misguided. However, just think how many of us were once readers of NYT and believed in socialist fantasies. Fortunately we read, conversed, and learned to think independently. There are many around us who still parrot mindlessly-the talking heads of the MSM and Hollywood celebrities are good examples, but I don't have any reason to think that Bill Owens is such a man. Perhaps we can provide him with literature and good conversation so that he can see through the Democrat (Socialist) party lies. He describes himself as a conservative, let him show it through his voting record. On the other hand, if he proves himself to be another Pelosified drone, he need not bother unpacking when he gets to Washington. He should not count on much help from fellow Democrats since Pelosi believes that her Democratic congressmen are very expendable, and very soon we will witness every rat for himself mentality as her ship sinks.

Politicians, let election 2009 serve as a serious warning to you. The conservative movement is here and it has emerged as a major force in all political parties. You will be closely watched and held accountable for your actions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election day 2009. (Updated once more)

I went and performed my civic duty this morning. My immediate observation was that I recognized the people at the voting station as being from my neighborhood. This was not the case in 2008, when there were so many people who excitedly stood in line and conversed mostly in non-English languages. I guess that this time, ACORN was not as influential in my neighborhood. We shall see what happens in other districts but if this trend continues, I mean that people at the voting booths will actually be those who live in those neighborhoods, I predict a conservative landslide. That is the most common denominator of the American citizenry and that should have been evident during election of 2008. Just imagine what could be accomplished if ACORN and its affiliates are no longer funded by money stolen from American taxpayers.

Update: 8PM Eastern Time Nov 3rd, 2009.

The election results are slowly starting to come in.

According to polls at Real Clear Politics, Virginia had the Republican candidate ahead by 10-15 points. Now Virginia board of elections has just released their unofficial results with the Republican candidate 21 points ahead. Lets see how well my prediction holds.

Update #2.

Within important races in NJ and Virginia conservative candidates did extremely well - better than the polls predicted.

Obviously NY23 was disappointing, but Hoffman should be credited with his tremendous effort to take on corrupt party bosses and disingenuous political candidates. Just by running to oppose Scozzafava, he gained us a victory on many levels:

1. The eventual winner of this race is more conservative than Scozzafava.
2. We have been saved from another disgrace like Snow.
3. The conservative movement has been validated as a formidable power in this country.

I will post more of my thoughts on this race later.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Immortality.

The other day, I came across an incredible performer on YouTube. With all the doom and gloom around us, it is worthwhile to occasionally take a break and experience something remarkably beautiful.




There are several ways that a human being can achieve immortality. One way is through having children. Another way is through creating something beautiful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Depravity in Baltimore.

This morning I learned on Michelle Malkin's site, that the district attorney (DA) of the city of Baltimore is planning to prosecute two reporters who exposed ACORN employees. These employees were caught using tax funds to promote tax fraud and help establish a child prostitution ring within the community. How is that for a government funded community service organization?

During my recent reading about Ted Kennedy, I realized that morals and integrity have very little place in politics, especially among the Democratic party. He tried to make deals with the KGB and compromised American security, simply to hurt Reagan's chances of being elected. He managed to change the state constitution to prevent a Republican governor from being able to appoint a replacement for a senator. On his deathbed, he tried to convince state legislators to once again change the constitution, just so that a Democratic governor could now appoint his replacement. Rules seemed to have little meaning in his world - anything and everything just to get his way. He really personified the pigs from the book Animal Farm - that some were more equal than others. If rules meant nothing, then ideology and personal association meant everything.

If the Baltimore DA decided to prosecute these reporters for wiretap charges and tries exempt them from the protection normally afforded to whistle-blowers, the press, and people who actually do a beneficial public service such as good samaritans, then this DA is in fact defending and promoting government corruption. In this particular case, the DA would also defend child prostitution and the frequently associated human trafficking and slavery. This will not be a defence of laws which apply to all citizens, as no such prosecution was pursued when a bystander taped Rodney King being beaten by the highway police. What defense would a court offer for recording governor Blagovich and his wife, but prosecuting reporters for recording criminal activity at ACORN offices? This would be a clear political assault on all American citizens.

If we have no right to defend our community from such crimes as child prostitution and child slavery, then this government cannot be reasoned with. The main reason that human beings gather into communities is so that we can protect one another. Our main goal in life is to raise our children. Without children, human kind has no future. If the government has become so deranged in their priorities so to deny protection for the children of our community, then only course left shall be a bloody violent revolt. This time in human history may yet become Biblical.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8:48 AM

Seems like yesterday. I was sitting near a window and BOOM. As I looked outside, the sky was littered with papers. On my watch, the time was 8:48 AM. I ran downstairs and saw bewildered and horrified people walking along the streets. Soon, everything was covered in ash. I thought to myself: what is this ash? Now, I know. It was the remains of 3000 murdered and burned Americans. I remember what burned human flesh smells like. One woman stumbling in the middle of the street, was covered in blood. She was hit by the falling debris and survived. Many however, died. Fire Engine 6 lost 4 men; they were good people. We used to greet each other when I passed by the station - a rarity in NYC.

Paul Beyer

Thomas Holohan

William Johnston

Thomas O'Hagan.



"They're all dead." These were the words of an injured firefighter who lay on a stretcher near me. He told me that as the wall fell, all those in front of that wall died. He was the only one left behind alive. It is possible that his name was Bill Green. I hope you are well Bill.





Remember NY

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Soul of Acorn.

Nice to see who this organizer associates with, and the workforce he helped create.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The dishonorable American presidency.

I have been hearing rumblings on the radio that several senators have read Obama's scheduled speech to the schools. These politicians say that it is a speech worthy to be heard and that there is nothing offensive in it. They say it is benign, but I would rather judge for myself.

So let's consider the questions the teachers will direct towards our school children.

Q: Why is it important that we listen to the president?

A: Because all my teachers say it is important and I don't want to be the subject of their anger.

Q: What is the president trying to tell me?

A: The only things that come out of the mouth from that horse, are:

1. It is Bush's fault.
2. The "rich" are bad people. (Some variation on Marxist propaganda about class warfare.)
3. I won and I am the president.


Q: What is the president asking me to do?

A: This president wants to recruit me to join his army and to fight these evil people, be they my parents, friends, or other exploiters of the entitled class.



Students, feel free to use these answers on your quiz.


There is another aspect to this story that reeks. Why does this president wish to give a widely televised speech now? Because his approval rating has dropped and his office or perpetual campaign need to boost those numbers. Recall his visit to Iraq so that he could get his photo op? This is another orchestrated photo op. I am certain that MSM will fawn over his didactic prowess. I am certain that he will be praised from one dumpster to another.
Who else recently used such a photo op to give themselves an aura of legitimacy? Why it was the unelected Iranian - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Recall his address to the students of Columbia University?


Well there you have it folks. Another two-bit dictator wanna be, wishes to impress the people of this world by appearing on camera and lecturing students. Aren't you all glad that your kids will be props in the next Obama infomercial? Won't this make him more credible as a world leader? His dishonor will be forgotten.

If this doesn't work, maybe the UN can declare him a world hero of something or other. Or perhaps he will receive the presidential award for being teacher of the year. That is a common and well rehearsed practice of two-bit dictators. They decorate themselves to obscure their crimes against their countrymen; to hide their dishonor.


Unwarranted Trust.

I realize that we cannot protect our children from crooks, thieves, and other criminals forever. I realize that there are difficult lessons our children will need to learn on their own. However, it would be irresponsible to ask your 5 year old to pay the bills and balance the checkbook. When they have grown up, they will do such tasks and most likely do them well. But first they need to grow up. Forcing young immature kids, to listen to a "pure political animal" is not appropriate. Having them prepare essays on why his speech is so important, is not appropriate. It doesn't matter if his words are innocuous, insidious, or hateful. This should not be forced upon us. Why should he be trusted anyway? What does his record show us? It has been a sustained history of crooked deals, lies, and schemes to rob us. No thank you. Go and lecture your own kids, and stay away from mine.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A welcome to the class of 2009.

I recall the tale of another community organizer who first took care of the rats, and later wanted to converse with the town's children.




The Democrats are drowning, as the policies of Obama's administration become better known and the backgrounds of his associates are exposed.




Why so serious?









Saturday, August 29, 2009

Treasonous Bastard!

Here is an article describing Ted Kennedy's attempts to conspire with Soviet KGB, in order to obtain political advantage against Reagan in 1984. His involvement in the murder of Mary Jo Kopechne should have guaranteed his incarceration, but he weaseled his way out. Afterwards, the scumbag made jokes about this affair. Because the MSM yawns at such news, this treasonous behavior has become commonplace throughout Washington. Recall Kerry's frequent trips to Gaza so that he "would not meet with Hamas"? How about the trip to Cuba by our black caucus members? Anyone recall Pelosi's adventures throughout the middle east, and what of the computer records seized from the terrorists hiding in Columbia? I respect the decision that some of my fellow bloggers took to not dirty themselves when talking about a dead man. They are good people and their actions underscore their good nature and civility. But in all honesty, "good riddance" is not adequate when describing Ted Kennedy's death. He should have been tossed out on the street for the crows to feast on. Some things are not excusable, even in death. When I remember him, the words that come to mind are: liar, coward, murderer, traitor.

Arlington should not be sullied with the corpse of this traitor.

Rot in Hell.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dead Kennedy.

I cannot bring myself to write "rest in peace", in a sentence that includes this dead senator's name. He was a murderer and a coward. His recent contribution to the Massachusetts state law was a 160 day waiting period to replace a senator. This was enacted when he feared that John Kerry would win the presidency and the Republican governor Mitt Romney, would be able to appoint a senator to take Kerry's place. How ironic that on his deathbed, Ted Kennedy pleaded to repeal that provision in the state constitution that he himself pushed into law. I guess that gives us one less Democrat in the US Senate for half a year, and it is the only good deed I could attribute to this man. August 26th is the Mary Jo Kopechne memorial day. May her family experience a moment of peace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some old fashioned medicine.

The news these days not only inflates your blood pressure, it is maddening. Here is a pleasant diversion that is sure to soothe your heart and soul:





Amazing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Obamanism of the day, and the perils ahead.

" As the president, I take full responsibility because I am the president, even though I never created this mess. I just don't want those who created the mess to do any talking."-BHO

In the same sentence he blames others for our economic mess and claims that he takes a responsible stance. The last bit really bothers me, because this man is using the power of the executive branch of our government to order the silencing of his political opposition. This is something one would expect to see in a despotic regime like that of Chavez or North Korea, but not in the United States. Is this not illegal? Is this not a betrayal of our most basic rights, such as the freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly? The White House has now established an agency whose sole reason for existence is to turn Americans into political informants. Are these not grounds for impeachment?

If only there still existed a system of checks and balances within the American government. If only enough elected officials still possessed a back bone. Oh well, their days are numbered anyway, considering all the unelected czars now being appointed to oversee every aspect of our life. Their spinelessness has led to their irrelevance.

The road ahead will be treacherous. Some of your embittered coworkers, who feel that their mediocre accomplishments in life are the fault of someone else, will seek to move up through the denouncement of those around them. Everyone who has a job that they like, who has children, who goes to school, or has a sick relative, has something to lose when this fight turns dirty. While I am inspired by the people I have met during TEA rallies and my fellow bloggers, I must remember that this is a very dangerous time.

Interestingly the vocalized fears of the radical left offer a realistic road to our national recovery. Pelosi claims that the protesters at Town Hall meetings and at TEA rallies are organized and funded by the industry. Everyone who ever attended such meetings realize how ridiculous these claims are. Pictures posted over the internet demonstrate that these are ordinary folks using their own precious time to voice their concerns. Their signs are not printed in bulk, unlike those hoisted by the left infiltrators and paid democrat political operatives. However, this is what they fear- imagine what we might accomplish if we do become an organized group. A national leader is desperately needed. Maybe it will be Palin, or maybe it will be someone else. Once this leader steps forward and the American citizens will rally together, these statists are finished.

Hurdles to overcome:
1. State run media disseminating lies.
2. Corrupt government officials using thugs to bully businessmen.
3. Criminal gangs trying to prevent citizens from voting, and trying to stuff ballot boxes with fake entries.

Solutions:
1. Internet blogs, free talk radio, TEA rallies.
2. Expose the criminal politicians and watch them run away from public life.
3. Voter verification, prosecute Acorn and other gangters, exercise state rights.

We have a long road to 2010. If the above doesn't bring about a peaceful resolution, then it is my fear that more violent solutions will come into play.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Go Sarah!

Is that hope on the horizon? We desperately need representation in our government.

Kiwi sense.

Macdoc has diagnosed the problem. If only there was a prescription for this illness.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Several of my favorite blogers decided to mark this day by posting the Declaration of Independence. Please read this document whose words remain as poignant and necessary today, as they were 233 years ago. Van, over at blogodidact resurrects Coolidge's inspiring speech of 1926.

Most importantly, enjoy today. As declared in that sacred document, signed on July 4th by the Continental Congress of 1776, mark this day through the pursuit of happiness. Burn some coal, produce CO2, eat and drink to your hear's content, and send a glorious salute into the night sky - that is the place from where our brave forefathers watch over us.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Road Warrior!

This weekend I am travelling and will attempt some writing while on the road. Today, I witnessed the gathering of a very strange subculture. They call themselves "Furries" and essentially try to attract attention by wearing a furry tail and whiskers. It is sort of like Halloween except they are all dressed in the same outfit. I believe that the same mindset that once led people to mimic the Goth look, now drives these horny teenagers to pretend that they are furry animals; cats and dogs appear to be their favorites. Their goal is the same as the goal of every other teenager - to relieve their sexual frustration.

I do feel sad for the male "Furries" since from what I've seen: among the packs roaming through Pittsburgh, the males outnumber the females 10:1. No matter how frustrated they were earlier, walking around with a cat's tail will not help them get laid with these odds. If they really want to score, they could take the more realistic approach of wearing nice clothes, keeping proper hygiene, and going to the gym. It may involve more work than attaching a furry tail to one's ass, but at least it has a realistic chance of being successful. That's always the difference between reality and delusion: reality requires some work but yields results, while delusions seem easier but in the end you can only pretend to be a success.

Well, teenagers are known for their temporary insanity. Much more troubling are countless adults in our country who also waste their time playing delusional pretend games. Just look at the bills passing though our Congress and Senate. When listening to our pretender-in-chief, consider the disastrous consequences that his insanity will have on our economy, national security, and your health care.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Who's take on various rights and societal norms.

"A person's a person, no matter how small." -Dr. Seuss

...Timeless.

PS,

Horton is a Republican.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A few words about the dead.

During this past week, we have heard a great deal written about 4 dead people. They were Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and a non-celebrity by the name of Neda Soltan. Death came to McMahon at age 86 and likely in the form of an old friend bringing comfort and rest. Fawcett fell victim to cancer, and Jackson's death will remain in tortured dispute just as his life. Of these 4, one death was a true tragedy. That was the death of an Iranian woman protesting a vicious tyrant and marching in support of true human rights. If you happen to see a candle lit in her memory, think of what this flame stands for: a courageous voice declaring its freedom from oppression. Whatever your feelings towards these celebrities, you should recognize what holds the greatest importance for you, your parents, your children, and focus.

Dinosaur media demonsrate their small-minded nature.

Several fish-wraps now report there were 500,000 cases of the Swine Flu in NYC, during May. Two months ago, I wrote that the number of affected people have been grossly under-reported. So, on the one hand it is pleasant to see my claims repeated in a wide variety of major newspapers. On the other hand, I can't stand the poor reasoning skills employed to generate these reports. If you actually bother reading the article in NYT, you will notice that their methods for confirming such claims are badly flawed. They site some survey in which New Yorkers were called and 7% reported having flu like symptoms during May. From this 7%, they arrive at 500,000 people. Seasonal allergies were also prevalent during May and these cause congestion, runny nose, and a cough. Does that sound like the flu? Colds and other seasonal flues were also present among New Yorkers. Unless one believes that their phone screeners were as good as doctors evaluating a patient in the office, the numbers NYT quotes are misleading.

Overall, I doubt that there were 500,000 h1n1 cases in the city during the early portion of this outbreak-that is in May. Such percent of the population is typically affected during the entire course of a flu outbreak and not during the initial several weeks.

There are now 32 reported deaths from this flu in NYC and the mortality rate seems to be close to other seasonal flues (0.1%) - that might mean roughly 32,000 New Yorkers affected so far. If you consider that not every dead New Yorker will be checked for the Swine Flu, the real number may be significantly higher, but these are late June statistics. The May claims seem exaggerated.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Swine flu update: focus on screening and mortality

By now, I have had some direct experience working with patients that were afflicted with the swine flu and who required hospitalization. Early on, NYC doctors heard that most of the people who test positive for influenza A are actually infected with the swine flu. Therefore we employed a rapid flu screen since it detects both influenza A and B. Surprisingly, this rapid flu test in its capacity to screen for the swine flu turned out to be a dud; with this particular virus it is only 19% sensitive. PCR will detect the H1N1 flu virions more reliably and this test appears sensitive, but it takes days to receive the result. Thus, the problem with PCR is that if you want to decide on using anti-virals within the time frame that these drugs will be effective, you cannot wait for this more sensitive and specific test. Therefore, in choosing whom to prescribe Tamilfu to, you must use your clinical skills. There is no reliable rapid laboratory analysis that will answer this question for you. The PCR test is useful for statistical analysis and in some cases post-mortem, but it is useless in the clinic.

That brings up the next topic I want to address. I know of a patient who died from this virus and his pre-existing medical conditions were relatively unremarkable. After admission to hospital with URI symptoms, he became progressively more hypoxic. Chest CT showed diffuse infiltrates. He received Tamiflu, steroids, and antibiotics, but he still required a lot of supplemental oxygen. Without the non-rebreather mask his oxygen saturation was in the 80's, but on supplemental oxygen it improved to mid-90's. Tamiflu did not save him, even though he was on it for a whole week and it was started shortly after he developed symptoms -within 48 hours to be precise. PCR eventually confirmed the H1N1 infection. It may be that while Tamiflu will help with typical flu symptoms and shorten the course of the illness, it may not help those who develop life threatening viral pneumonia. If you have the genetic composition to react in this way to this virus and develop diffuse pulmonary infiltrates, don't place a whole lot of hope on Tamiflu. For this particular patient, there may also have been an inflammatory reaction around the myocardium, since he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. The hypoxia was under control. He didn't have any significant pre-existing cardiac disease. Cardiac arrhythmia seems to be the most plausible explanation here, and it is known to arise when the myocardium is inflamed.

Such severe reaction to this virus appears rare since we are not seeing widespread admissions to the ICU, while most people with this virus recover and go home within just a few days. However, there are some who develop life threatening complications and the H1N1 deaths seem to occur among the young and middle aged individuals. Whenever their pre-existing medical conditions are mentioned, these afflictions sound relatively minor. The fatal mechanism might involve precisely this form of severe viral-inspired pulmonary inflammation. Considering the above patient's course, I am not sure that Tamiflu is going to be all that important in reducing swine flu associated mortality.

The NYC government website lists 32 deaths thus far and provides some superficial information about New Yorkers who were hospitalized, as well as those who died from this virus. What's missing is an in depth evaluation of how these folks died. Until that information is analyzed and released, you are left only with my conjectures.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Update

Since I wrote the post on flu pathophysiology, there have been several developments in the 2009 swine flu story.  First of all, it is still likely that no one who caught this virus within the United States, has died.  The report about the 23 month old toddler concerns a young boy who came to a border town of Brownsville, Texas from Mexico City.  Several news stories describe him arriving on April 4th with health problems.  His symptoms became typical of flu by April 8th, and after being very ill for several weeks, he developed bacterial pneumonia.  In a very sad turn of events, he eventually died.  

The reason why I make a big deal about where this boy was exposed to this flu virus, is because it would be inaccurate to claim that this boy is representative of the people now being diagnosed with the swine flu virus within the United States.  There was recently a large number of children in Queens, NY who have also been diagnosed with this flu virus strain.  This occurred at a very large private school, which is attended by 2700 students.  Approximately 140 children became ill, but they have all experienced only mild symptoms. Some of these children were contacted, and viral cultures could be obtained from their nasal secretions.  Of those tested, nearly all turned out to be positive for the unusual swine flu strain - the same one that was earlier reported in Mexico.  If the other children were reachable and consequently testable, the number of confirmed cases in NYC would have been much larger.  One very important aspect of this outbreak that is worth restating, is that all these NYC children had only mild symptoms.   In Mexico, some people are claiming that this infection carries a 7% risk of being lethal, while among the American population thus far, the mortality is 0%.

As we are trying to obtain an accurate number of Americans who contracted this flu virus, there are strange guidelines now being advocated for testing patients.  These guidelines specify that only those who have severe respiratory symptoms or a very high fever, should undergo the collection of samples to be tested for viral typing.  What is so strange about such instructions, is that from the newspaper descriptions of the NYC swine flu sufferers,  none of the recently confirmed cases would have been approved for viral testing.  In other words, if these guidelines were followed, then there would likely be no confirmed cases in NYC.  There are several bogus reasons being given for instituting such policy, including the idea that the CDC office might get overwhelmed with samples.  It may actually be that there is some dumb bureaucrat trying to conserve the "valuable" supply of nasal swabs.  I find it very hard to believe that everyone associated with drafting policy is that lightheaded, so some must have other reasons.  Despite thoughtlessness, the only reason to promote such nonsense, while knowing it would miss most of the people coming down with this illness, is to pretend that this problem has not really affected New York City.  Why?  Because a large outbreak would cut down on travel and the flow of tourist money. This really reminds me of a scene from the movie Jaws.   Could a similar policy have affected the Mexican reporting of this outbreak?

Returning to Mexico, it would seem highly probable that the number of people sick with this flu has been grossly under-reported.  If the parents of the boy described above, fled to the US on April 4th, there must have been a significant outbreak there prior to that date.  I would guess that people have been becoming ill with this particular virus for at least several months. Considering the number of sick tourists returning from Mexico, I would also have to conclude that a significant portion of the Mexican population has been exposed to this flu strain.  Not just some 2000 people reported in newspapers, but likely hundreds of thousands, or more.  If that is the case, it would make a lot of sense to not bring your family to Mexico on vacation at this time.

Furthermore, If I am correct about a widespread epidemic with this flu virus occurring in Mexico, the relatively low number of deaths reported would correlate with the American experience.  Within the United States, the yearly flu affects approximately 10% of the population which translates to roughly 30 million sick Americans each year.  If 36,000 die of flu related causes each year in this country, it would suggest a mortality of 0.1%.  We shall soon see if this particular strain is any more deadly.  

Another explanation for the reported number of people affected by the swine flu and the strangely large number of corresponding deaths in Mexico, is that the virus affecting people in Mexico City may have been more lethal than the virus that was spread to tourists returning from Mexico.  The usual swine flu virus affects a small number of people in the US each year, and it is not easy for a human to become infected with it. Typically it only occurs in situations where someone has a significant exposure to swine, like working at a pig farm.   Those people who develop an infection, can have severe symptoms.  It is possible that this flu strain has affected a large number of swine in Mexico, and consequently spread to a limited number of people in that area.  Within the human host, the virus might have mutated and became more easily transmitted among humans.  This may have led to a slightly different virus that was transmitted to a student from the NYC school and then spread among others at that school.  This scenario could also account for the very different reported experience among Mexicans and Americans, who came down with the swine flu.  It should also be reassuring that if you developed flu symoptoms and have not recently travelled to Mexico or spent much time among pigs, you shouldn't expect more of a problem than you would get from any other flu.

At this time, all of the predictions for the impact of this swine flu outbreak are suspect, because we simply don't have an accurate assessment of the situation in Mexico.   They have not tested a a large enough sample of the population, for the presence of this virus.  I believe that political and economic considerations have skewed the data, and we simply don't know how many are sick and how many deaths are related to this swine flu strain.  Of those reported deaths, we don't really know what they died from.

In summary, there is still no real indication that this swine flu virus is any worse than the other flu virii we have encountered recently.  If you develop symptoms, you should drink plenty of fluids and rest.  Your co-workers would greatly appreciate not being coughed on, and you may not even need to present a doctor's note these days.  If you are very young, very old, or have significant other health issues, you should see your doctor and be evaluated for treatment with the available antiviral therapy.   If your symptoms improve and then suddenly worsen, you should definitely seek a doctor as you may need antibiotics.

61


Happy Independence Day, Israel!



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some recent experience with government health insurance.

Although, I doubt that the recent swine flu fears will amount to much of anything, I have been asked to write prescriptions for Tamiflu by many people in the last several days. Despite our conversation about how this flu only produced mild symptoms, some people remained very worried and would only feel satisfied if I wrote them a prescription. Those who had private insurance found pharmacies that had this drug in stock, and obtained it. Those who had government insurance required a doctor's authorization prior to approving the coverage of this drug. People could chose to pay full price and still obtain the drug, but few would ever do this. In practical terms, this meant that when someone couldn't get a commonly used anti-viral, I would have to call the insurance agency to argue the necessity of this prescription. By the time I was alerted of this problem, nearly all the pharmacies in NYC ran out of Tamiflu. I was told that even with authorization, the patient would simply not be able to obtain this drug. How is that for an effective government health policy? Welcome to rationing.

I also want to add that these prescriptions were for those individuals who were worried about being recently exposed to the flu and they were for preventive purposes. I have not yet seen widespread flu symptoms in the NYC area.

Again, I would still like to comfort those panicking that the swine flu in US has produced only mild symptoms and there is no need at this time to be any more concerned about this flu than you were about the flu last year. However, I also think that those on Medicaid and Medicare got a really crummy deal in NYC this week. For a detailed description of flu symptoms and pathophysiology, see my post below. Consider this story if you have high expectations regarding government assistance and government management in any field. Whether that field is medicine, banking, automotive, education, or housing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Of Swine, Birds, and Humans.

During the past two days, I have read many confused statements regarding the recent swine flu outbreak, and decided to write an educational post rather than my typical emotional rant. In this post, I will attempt to shed some clarity on the subject of influenza, from the perspective of a physician.

The swine flu is a respiratory infection in swine which can occasionally infect humans. Similarly, the bird flu is a respiratory infection commonly seen in birds, which can also occasionally infect other animals, including humans.

How can one catch the flu?

The flu is caused by a number of genetically related viruses, and they gain access to our bodies through special cells located in the back of the nose. These viruses have specific proteins on their surface that allow them to attach to these cells and once inside, they take over the cellular machinery to manufacture many more viruses. These proteins need to be specific enough to be able to attach to these cells, otherwise the attachment is not strong enough to allow entry, and consequently no infection can occur. You can think of these viral surface proteins as keys and these nasal cells have doorlocks that these keys can fit. This specificity explains why we are not susceptible to most viruses that infect other species. To reiterate, the only entrance for these flu viruses is through the cells located in the back of the nose. That means you can only catch the flu if someone coughs on you or if you touch a contaminated object, like a door knob or a hand, and then rub your nose. You cannot get swine flu from eating pork.

Flu symptoms.

Once your body's cells are infected, they start producing these offensive foreigners and spreading them throughout the rest of your body. These troublemaking cells will eventually become recognized by your immune system, and consequently destroyed by your own white blood cells. As this battle within your body rages, you develop inflammation at the affected site, and accumulate lots of fluid there. For this reason, the most common symptoms of the flu are a stuffy nose and a mucus discharge from the nose. The best place for this mucus to go, is to be expelled outside of your body. Otherwise, it can cause a lot more trouble as it reaches other body organs and systems.

Headache results from stuffed sinuses, but it can also be due to other effects of the flu virus on the body. Whenever there is significant inflammation or activation of the immune machinery, fever may occur and some develop a headache directly due to this fever. Rarely, influenza inspired immune response may result in inflammation of the brain meninges. These are covering tissues of our brain which lie near blood vessels and sensory nerves. Inflammation of these specific structures is known to cause severe headaches, and is given the diagnosis of meningitis.

Other common symptoms of the flu include cough, which usually results from this inflammatory mucus draining down the back of your throat. The contents of this mucus include viruses, inflammatory cells, and dead respiratory cell debris. This fluid irritates any tissue it comes in contact with, and consequently we cough and our throat feels sore. There are specialized cells in our respiratory passages that sweep such junk upwards and prevent all this nasty fluid from reaching our lungs. Cough aids this cleaning process and it is a normal mechanism of keeping our lungs free of unwanted fluid. The lungs are technically air passages that branch into smaller and smaller tubes, which eventually lead to small sacks where we exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. It is very difficult to accomplish this task of gas exchange, in lungs filled with fluid. If this fluid is accumulating in your lungs, you might feel shortness of breath. People who have damaged lungs from many years of smoking, have a very difficult time with this aspect of flu and they may need to be hospitalized.

Our mouth and nasal passages meet posteriorly in the same cavity, in the back of our throat, called the pharynx. From there, two different pathways arise. One leads further into the respiratory system and the lungs. The other, leads into our digestive tract. As this inflammatory exudate, from infected nasal cells, enters our stomach and intestines, symptoms such as nausea, abdominal discomfort, and even diarrhea arise. Inability to keep your food and fluid down, causes dehydration and this is the most common reason for needing to be hospitalized.

As your body is battling the flu virus, you will often feel tired, and many people develop joint aches. The reason for joint aches has to do with your immunity system activity, but to explain that adequately would require a very long discussion.

This above scheme is somewhat simplified as these viruses can also infect cells in many other parts of the body, once they establish the beach-head in your nose. Respiratory cells may become infected, and some people even develop a viral pneumonia. Intestinal cells are also susceptible to penetration by these virii, which may explain why some have primarily gastrointestinal symptoms. Rarely the liver can become infected causing symptoms of hepatitis. However, for a general understanding of how the flu virus causes its damage and gives rise to common flu symptoms, the above system is very useful.

Swine flu outbreak.

Now back to the current swine flu outbreak. This virus does seem to have the ability to infect humans but it also seems to be better at infecting swine. That is likely because its attachment surface proteins are better fitted for swine nasal cells, than for human ones. Also, it may not be produced in large enough numbers within a human host, to successfully infect other humans. There will be rare exceptions as everyone has slightly different susceptibilities to these foreign invaders, and that may account for the few documented human infections. To appreciate this comparison, you need to contrast the 20 US documented cases of this swine flu, with a number that accounts for 5-15% of the US population. That is how many Americans become infected with a different, more human prone, flu virus each year. These other outbreaks infect millions, cause an estimated 200,000 hospitalizations, and 40,000 deaths each year within the US. That said, there is a very real fear that this swine flu virus may mutate its proteins enough to gain the ability of direct human-human transmission, and then we will see widespread human infection. So far the CDC has not indicated that this is actually taking place.

Is this swine flu more deadly that other seasonal flu viruses? Too little is known about this outbreak at this time, to make such an assessment. The archaeologist who was in contact with visiting Obama, is reported of dying from pneumonia complications. Although, it is not clear what exactly caused the recently reported deaths in Mexico, if they were flu-related, I suspect that a secondary bacterial pneumonia infection was the real culprit in most cases.

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic.

Speaking of pneumonia, I want to reflect on the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. This virus was also a swine flu type virus, and it led to widespread human-human transmission. It is estimated to have killed 20-100 million world-wide and 500-675 thousand in the US. It typically killed about 5% of those infected, while this current outbreak in Mexico may have a kill rate of 2.5%. Yearly flu epidemics in America might lead to death 0.1% of the time. So far, this flu outbreak within the US, has a kill rate of 0%.

Why was the Spanish flu of 1918 so deadly? One should consider that the world had just emerged from a world war, many were starving and in poor health even prior to contracting the flu. When pathologists examined lung samples of those 1918 flu victims, most deaths were attributed to secondary bacterial pneumonia. That particular flu strain might have been very effective at destroying the respiratory epithelium, and interfering with the self cleaning function of our airways I described above. This way, the flu victims became very susceptible to bacterial infections. Although such pneumonia is now easily treated with antibiotics, these drugs were not available at that time. Penicillin was only discovered in 1928.

Why is it so much milder in the US than in Mexico?

First of all, no one really knows what the Mexicans in news reports actually died from. There is a great deal of confusion regarding this data. If you assume that in Mexico people actually died from this swine flu, while in the US swine flu patients seem to have very mild symptoms, you should consider the difference in the standard of living and the medical care between these two countries. Yearly flu vaccines in the US, may be playing a role here. There are contradicting reports about whether this year's flu vaccinations offer any protection for this particular strain of swine flu, but these vaccinations may be partly responsible for this difference in symptom severity. Furthermore, experts report that even when you don't obtain a diligent yearly flu shot, you may still have some protection from the prior year's vaccination. Another possible explanation is that this flu virus may have developed an improved ability to cause human-human transmission. However, it had to mutate its genetic code to accomplish this transformation. Often when this change happens, the viral ability to cause severe symptoms diminishes. It is sort of like giving up strength in one area, to become stronger in another.

Treatment.

For those who are feeling tired, have a stuffed nose, headache, fever, and an upset stomach, there is still some comforting news. If you really believe that you contracted the dreaded swine flu, you can take an effective medicine. Tamiflu and Relenza should decrease the severity and duration of your symptoms, and the treatment course is only 5 days. If you live with someone who has a flu and you want to minimize your chances of catching it, these medications are also effective at prevention. Aside from taking drugs, you should also get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids. Obviously if you are having trouble keeping down liquid or feel short of breath, see a doctor. Nevertheless, you have an excellent chance of recovery regardless of taking or not taking any drugs.

Concluding comments.

In summary, even if this flu does become an epidemic in this country, there is little indication that it will be any worse than the other flues that we have suffered this year. Don't despair, and don't forget to get your flu shot next year.

UPDATE (4/29/2009)
I initially miscalculated the mortality rate for the yearly flu, and have since corrected my numbers.  The method I used at arriving at the earlier erroneous numbers was by dividing the number of flu related deaths by the estimated number of people who developed flu symptoms.  I should have then multiplied that number by 100 to obtain the percent mortality. Sorry for the confusion.  Regarding the mortality of this swine flu among the people in Mexico, there is simply no way to accurately assess the situation.   Nevertheless, my earlier statement that there is no indication that this flu will be any worse than other recent flues remains true.  Please see my latest post for details.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enough Time Wasted

My political growth and developing the ability to critically analyse news reports, I would largely credit to the LGF community. However, for months there have been nothing but dumb attacks on conservative writers, often resorting to childish name-calling. I have not read an intellectually stimulating, or even interesting post at LGF for a very long time. The latest waste of time, was a commercial for Amazon, masquerading as a post? I excused the prior ads for Apple products, because there were other important posts on his site. Now I've had enough. Good luck and goodbye.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Interesting reports from over there, across the pond.



As posted on Gates of Vienna, there was a recent "illegal" demonstration in Luton. This appears to have taken place on April 13th; that is two days prior to the TEA demonstrations over here. Over there, violence erupted while over here things remained peaceful. The question in my mind is - why?

Were there major differences among the demonstrating crowds? From the watching the video, I would say no. Those people over there, have very similar concerns to their counterparts here. They worry about a government that does not protect its constituents. They are upset over an attempt to deny a people its cultural identity. And, they were demonstrating over their rights as citizens. From my perspective, the major difference accounting for the violence was the refusal of the city government to allow these people to assemble.

What would happen...what will happen here when the right to assemble is denied to us? What will happen when our our verbal protest is no longer an option? I say, we are just one short step from a violent protest in this country.

Do I want this? Absolutely not. Violent protests will turn this great nation into another 3rd world spectacle. Our economy will collapse, and the nasty pack of jackals that surround us will move in.

These are the same bunch that Obama has been paying homage to on his recent trips: Saudis, Iranians, North Koreans, Castro, and Chavez. Opposite to these outside hyenas, we have our own crazies: the neo-nazis, black supremacists, and eco-terrorists. Lets us also not forget that both the British and the Americans need to contend with Muslim fascists trying to incite violence among us.

As I posted in comments on other sites, we need some sane leadership both in our government and in the TEA movement. We need it immediately.

The MSM attempt to delegitimize these rallies will only add fuel. I am afraid that might be the desired result for some of these "reporters". Other talking heads on the network channels are just plain stupid.

In the next weeks and months, we need to take some clear headed steps in the right direction. We need to become organized, and we need to obtain some real results from our government. Some evidence demonstrating that our voice has not been uttered in vain. We need a policy that makes sense and that stabilizes our economy. We need to believe that our children's future is safe.

If our political class really believes that these rallies are anything less than a chance being given to our legislators, they might be in for one hell of a surprise. That is because the people across the pond, just like the people over here see their government as working for them, rather than presiding over them. And we are very close to firing the whole sorry lot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It ain't over!



















I saw this new shirt design over at Simon Jester's outfit, and I think it captures the mood of the city well. I am certain that they won't mind the free advertising, and it is a site well worth visiting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Passage of Time

Time passes, and what was once only a painful reminder of loss, now hints at an opportunity. A chance to remind the world of what the Sons of Liberty showed an oppressive regime, all those years ago. Freedom is is not something that can be denied to those who seek it. No propaganda from a government controlled media can extinguish this flame. The MSM may vilify us, try to deny our significance, and even our existence. They may slander us as extremists, but I say we are passionate. They may label us - a crazy fringe group, but I say we are determined. They claim that we are few, but there are millions of us and our ranks grow every minute. For the sake of our children, we are devoted to preserve what is the foundation of America: the freedom to speak our mind, the freedom to defend ourselves, and the freedom to chose our destiny. We will win, because their control over us is an illusion. It is a fragile glass house, built on lies. Ours is built on self-evident truth, and our rights are endowed to us by our creator.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reporter attacks a father and his infant.


The face of a government controlled media outlet. Reporter? More accurately a propagandist. Please see the video at the coffee shop. Also see Michelle Malkin's site for more detailed analysis. Disgusting.

Tea Party NYC

I arrived early and looked around for familiar faces. I saw several members of the Brooklyn Republicans passing out pamphlets. I took one, but felt that their activity was intrusive as this was not a Republican event. There were many excellent posters and flags, including the Gadsdens. I saw working people who appeared as if they had just came out of the office, teenagers, older Americans, and there were families with small children. People were polite to one another, and at the same time fired-up. I was hoping to meet some fellow bloggers, but the crowd was so huge that it would likely have been impossible to spot a familiar face. I tried to do a rough estimate and I am certain that there were over 5k people there; it was likely around 10k. Shortly after 7PM, the speakers introduced themselves to the crowd and the roar from around City Hall park became deafening. With one voice we shouted "We are America", "U.S.A.", and we were heard! I don't care if the MSM reports this event or not, we were heard! There is just no way to suppress this kind a gathering. Chuck Schumer, deservedly, received several chants such as "Schumer Must Go" and "Chuck is a Schmuck!"

One attendee that I wish to describe in detail was a kind faced woman who was probably somebody's grandmother standing next to me. I asked her if she did any writing, hoping to hear that she also writes a blog, but she said no. She does read from such sources and we briefly spoke of Charles Johnson's turncoat behaviour. She stood there holding up her sign until her strength faded and she asked people to allow her to sit down. After a brief rest, she again stood up and held up her sign, and this pattern repeated throughout the evening. On her sign she addressed her disgust at the DHS attempt to criminalize those of us who honor our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Shame on you Napolitano, if this is who you consider a threat to the United States of America. A kind grandmother, who has difficulty walking and yet she forced herself to attend a rally to defend the Constitution and the rule of law in this land is a domestic terrorist suspect? A right wing extremist?

There were more than 700 such rallies April 15th, drawing a crowd likely totalling more than a million of concerned American citizens. As I looked around at the people present, I couldn't help but notice the similarities to another such crowd I encountered at this same location. On September 14-16th, 2001 I worked at a triage centre located near the pile of what was once the World Trade Centre. Good people came together to sift through this pile of rubble with the hope of finding survivors. Those patriotic Americans who couldn't get into the area also tried to help in any way they could. They lined up at blood banks, donated food and clothing, prepared meals and freely gave them to the volunteers walking towards the pile. Inside, there were fire-fighters, policemen and policewomen, doctors, nurses, and contractors all working together. All working to help their country at its hour of need. This crowd were no different. They came together to help their country. No babbling, infanticide promoting, imposter who bows down to foreign kings will change the spirit of these heroic citizens. No phoney news agencies will keep our voices from being heard. We will rescue our country and secure this nation for our children.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Return of Fascism.

In my last post, I pointed out certain similarities between Putin and Obama; specifically in how they exerted their control over private businesses. I used to think of Putin as a thief, because he used the power of the government to steal other's companies and consequently became Europe's richest man. I also see many of our congressmen and senators as thieves, because they use public office to line their pockets with our tax money. They award contracts to friends and they buy votes with taxpayers' money. Michelle Malkin astutely refers to the multi-staged bailout, as the generational theft act. Our government is stealing our children's future by leaving them responsible to pay off this wild spending spree.

Obama's prior behaviour with the Annenberg foundation where millions were funnelled God knows where, while Obama became richer, led me to believe that he is just another thief. That view was again confirmed when his multiple tax hikes were unveiled. At each new revelation, I thought that he simply wants to steal everything in my pocket. However, when he appropriated for himself the power to fire the CEO of General Motors, and appointed himself the de facto ruler of any corporation that partook in the bailout feeding frenzy, a very different line was crossed. That move left many speechless and wondering about what has happened to our country.

It was enlightening to read a quote attributed to Benito Mussolini, regarding the nature of fascism.

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Mussolini's diary.

From Wikipedia we get more illuminating quotations:
"The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State. (p. 41)."
—Benito Mussolini, 1935, "The Doctrine of Fascism", Firenze: Vallecchi Editore.

Do you see what is happening in our classrooms? Do you recall Michelle Obama stating that her husband will save America's soul?

"State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management." (pp. 135-136)
—Benito Mussolini, 1935, "Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions", Rome: 'Ardita' Publishers.
Look around people. On March 29, 2009 the new fascist state has come into being on the North American continent. Who better to understand and to clearly characterize fascism than Il Duce himself? Welcome to our bewildering Brave New World, or if you like - welcome back to Europe, circa 1935. With the latest resurgence of anti-Semitism, we should see Kristrallnacht and other ugly faces of fascism soon enough.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Leaders and followers.

There has been a lot of talk about Obama's firing of GM's CEO. Here is a reminder of recent Russian history.


"MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday strongly defended the takeover by state oil firm Rosneft of stricken oil major YUKOS' key production unit." December 23, 2004.


Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested and jailed when Putin decided to steal his company. He placed friends in charge of its operation, and today Putin is the richest man in Europe. How exactly were Obama's actions different? How will the new GM's CEO be selected and who will he swear an oath of loyalty to? How will other executives, whose companies borrowed from Obama, fare and who do they now fear the most?

This money that Obama used to buy himself chief execute power over all these businesses...he uses it as if it is already his.

My other thought about Putin and those who follow his footsteps - there was a time when Mussolini was the head honcho, and then he became someone's lapdog.

A very brief message to the G2O crowd.

"If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." -Will Rogers.


HT-howlsatmoon