PigDookey… The Swine Flu “Crisis”

who-logoCan I use that word Esom? It is a derivative of yours. I have had just about all that I can take of the media coverage of the imminent pandemic of the swine flu. I have not seen this much of an overblown threat to mankind since… the economic crisis. The media ran the economy story daily with screaming headlines and eventually, in my opinion, CAUSED Americans to stop spending money, sending the economy into a tailspin. Thanks dumbass media. And now the media is going to help us all to feel massively threatened by an outbreak of the swine flu. This new deadly virus makes Ebola and Hunta look like the sniffles. Soon we will be in a “I Am Legend” world where the few immune are left to try to survive while the infected run rampant attempting to convert everyone they can. I am already pre-ordering my “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide”. What, what’s that you say? It’s just a flu? Really?

The World Health Organization has raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan made the decision Wednesday to raise the alert level from phase 4 (signifying transmission in only one country) to phase 5 after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on the outbreak. Since the WHO is throwing words like “pandemic” around in an attempt to scare the shit out of everyone, let’s talk about this so we can see the realities that we face.

pigs-unite-form-diseaseSo what is it that you think of when you hear the word pandemic? I asked a bunch of people that question today. The overwhelming response was that pandemic was akin to the plague. A sweeping disease that causes massive death and threatens entire populations. Unfortunately, that is what people think. And the media is playing on that by using the word over and over while never defining it. So let’s start with that. A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that spreads through populations across a large region; for instances a continent, or even worldwide. Since they threw that word in there, let’s define epidemic: An epidemic occurs when new cases of a certain disease occur in a given human population, during a given period, substantially exceed what is “expected,” based on recent experience (the number of new cases in the population during a specified period of time is called the “incidence rate”).

So does this qualify? Hard for me to say because, to be truthful, I am not a doctor. However I think there are a few numbers that should be thrown around before people start getting up in arms as the world devolves into chaos. Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General ad. Interim for Health Security and Environment, said,“The illness is consistent with seasonal influenza and has generally the same symptoms of seasonal influenza. Our information to date shows that the infection can range from very mild, requiring no hospitalization and recovering after a few days, to fatal, which is also in keeping with seasonal influenza.”

swine-flu-mapSo according to the WHO doctor, Swine Flu acts like any other flu. Flu deaths are common around the world. In the U.S. alone, the CDC says about 36,000 people a year die of flu-related causes. Let’s compare this to the Swine Flu “crisis”, shall we? Deaths in the United States so far: 1. Total infected in the US so far: 100. Deaths worldwide so far: 160. Total infections so far Worldwide: 2,600. I know I am not a doctor and I may just be messed up in my math, but these numbers don’t seem to even come close to the number of deaths from the flu every year in the United States. I just cannot understand why this is being called a crisis. Why is everyone panicking? What is going on here?

And what is up with these “threat levels” being issued by the CDC. When people hear threat level 5 with 6 being the max, they are thinking we are at plague levels. Holy shit, we are all going to die. In reality the threat levels have nothing to do with the severity of disease or the number of people infected. What the threat levels describe is nothing more than the way that the disease is passed (human to human is phase 3) and the spread of the disease (not the number of cases widespread, but instead the distance widespread). From the World Health Organization website, the definitions of the phases:

 

In nature, influenza viruses circulate continuously among animals, especially birds. Even though such viruses might theoretically develop into pandemic viruses, in Phase 1 no viruses circulating among animals have been reported to cause infections in humans.

In Phase 2 an animal influenza virus circulating among domesticated or wild animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.

In Phase 3, an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, but has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to sustain community-level outbreaks. Limited human-to-human transmission may occur under some circumstances, for example, when there is close contact between an infected person and an unprotected caregiver. However, limited transmission under such restricted circumstances does not indicate that the virus has gained the level of transmissibility among humans necessary to cause a pandemic.

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

 

So while a threat level of 5 may seem like the world is crashing down around us, it has nothing to do with that. So it is interesting that the MSM is not taking the time to explain the threat levels and keep people calm. And that is the biggest part of my bitch right now. It seems as though, in direct conflict with their claims, the MSM, WHO, and American government are doing everything that they can to incite a panic in the American public. We have the President coming out and telling schools they may want to consider shutting down (The President was quoted by the San Francisco Examiner as saying that schools “should strongly consider temporarily closing so that we can be as safe as possible,”). Three different Congressional Panels have called for “emergency meetings” tomorrow to deal with the “crisis”. Texas officials are postponing all public high school athletic and academic competitions until May 11. Obama asked Congress for $1.5 billion in emergency funds.

swine-flu-hoodsThe CDC calls the new strain a combination of pig, bird and human viruses for which people may have limited natural immunity. Hence the need for a vaccine. Using samples of the flu taken from people who fell ill in Mexico and the U.S., scientists are engineering a strain that could trigger the immune system without causing illness. The first doses of a swine-flu vaccine could be available about 15 weeks after the World Health Organization decides what kind of vaccine it wants companies to produce.

So what gives here? It seems as though there is a crisis being “built” with this particular virus. And anytime I see what appears to me to be a manufactured crisis I start to get leery. What exactly is this “pandemic” a distraction or a setup for? After all we have a crisis being created where it doesn’t seem to fit. And we already know that this particular administration lives on the mantra “never let a crisis go to waste”. 

And just because I like the idea of throwing a little bit of mud in the eye of arrogant democrats who these days blame everything on “the previous administration”, I have to add this: Previous U.S. President George W. Bush wanted to fund a massive $7.1 billion flu crisis-reaction program, but the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress eliminated the start-up funding of $870 million for it in both the fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009 budgets. There was no funding for the program in the giant $787 billion emergency economic stimulus package that the new 111th Congress passed in February. Imagine that, Bush would have had us prepared for this “crisis” had the Democrats in Congress not shut it down. LOLOLOLOLOL

 

Coming Tomorrow: The Conclusion of the March Towards Socialism Series

Advertisements

Comments

  1. This is the saddest pandemic panic I can remember. Anyone care to wager more people were killed in this time period by accidents involving Kenworth trucks? We could likely even refine that with the trucks being the color red. In this day and age of rapid global travel something real like the Spanish flu would have taken millions already.

    Should we get a REAL pandemic look for it to evolve in a seriously over crowded city with poor sanitation. My guess would be the slums of Mumbai.

  2. Truthseeker says:

    Never waste a good “Crisis”!

    This was a ninja move to get another 1.5billion from the taxpayer. So lets assume the bill passes and Obama now has 1.5 billion. Once he knows for sure that this is all really blown out of proportion, who do you think will get that money?

  3. Since I have been deathly allergic to any form of influenza vaccine, I have never had a flu shot since I left `Nam back in 67. I also have never had the flu since then either.

    For those who remember that little all expenses paid trip through southeast Asia, our wonderful government had invented this little pink pill that we took once a week to prevent all but maybe 10% of us from getting Malaria – Guess who is a ten-percenter!

    Well . . . I still haven’t got the flu 🙂

    Oh, BTW – Did anyone see who got confirmed in a big rush today as the secretary of HHS?

    Soylent Green, anyone?

    • esomhillgazette says:

      “Soylent Green” Sebilius? :-O

    • I mentioned this in a prior post when the Swine Flu discussion came up. I told you all that it was a distraction to get Sebillius in…

      This is just like AIDS…a manufactured disease, it is in the testing stage now and that is why there are all the outbreaks around the world. A pig, bird, and human flu gene all mixed?! This doesn’t fool me one bit. Again, PREPARE…because life as we know it will soon come to an end. Let the truth be told…

    • I called this before it even happened, look at the date and time. I pulled this from the dicussion of March to Socialism 5:April 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      It’s serious but another distraction can we say Kathleen Sebelius confirmed as Sec. of Health and Human Services. They are talking about pushing a vaccine like they did back in the 1900’s that all citizens will have to take. Learn your history or you are doomed to repeat it. http://www.haverford.edu/biology/edwards/disease/viral_essays/warnervirus.htm I don’t know about you all but I want volunteer to take it just like I don’t get vaccinated for H3N1 the regular flu virus. It’s a bigger agenda people…a huge underlined agenda. Remember Obama and his cabinet all have quoted “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste…Why? What are we wasting? It’s serious in the field!

      Reply

    • Black Flag says:

      Say no to flu shots.

      Strong evidence indicates that they are the #1 way to retransmit the disease.

      Flu shots are given to people who do not yet have the disease (they are pointless once you have the flu).

      They are given to people who usually are not in an area of infection.

      They have a percentage change of actually causing the flu you do NOT want.

      The flu starts up in an area that was, up to that point, flu-free.

      …..

      Vit. C and Vit. D has been shown to be powerful anti-flu compounds. 2,000 UI of C and 8,000 UI of D will keep you healthy (less D is needed if you are in a strong sun climate).

      • Black Flag says:

        And wash your hands often. As well, another point of entry to your body is your eyes – wash hands first before touching nose and eyes.

  4. To be fair, it was not the Democrats who failed to include flu spending in the stimulus bill. Actually it was Republican Senator Susan Collins from Maine who, in effort to scale down the outrageous stimulus package, argued that the $870 million should be cut from the bill. Democrats have wasted little time in pointing out how heartless the Republicans are for allowing such a cut (forgetting that it was our former Republican president who found it to be so important). Collins has stated that she stands by her decision. While she has always supported flu research, she believes that flu preparation spending had no place in the stimulus bill. And I have to agree with her. The purpose of the stimulus packge was to jump start the economy, and much like expanded food stamps and preschool programs, such spending does not seem to work in achieving this goal.

    And, I admit I find it ironic that her efforts at cutting “pork” resulted in the pandemic known as the “swine” flu!

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Ddk…

      That really is ironic! Thanks for the smile!

      Regards,
      RS

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I also noticed that the Democrats were quicker than a striking Rattlesnake to point her (Collins) out. The Democrats sure do seem to be on the ball these days to so quickly point out a Republican who saved taxpayer money when a convenient “crisis” comes up. She cuts $870 Million out of the Spendulous Bill, and then gets her throat cuts when the actual crisis (did I say Crisis?

      Funny how these crises keep popping up ain’t it? Even Obama himself mentioned that last night.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Sorry. wrong button. and then gets her throuat cut when an actual crisis (did I say crisis? WHAT CRISIS?) occurs. Oh Yeah, and they NEGLECT to tell us that Pres. Bush started this Flu Pandemic Preparation. After all, we can’t give him credit for doing anything right, can we? Only thing is, if he was still President, there wouldn’t BE a pandemic crisis, and he would just look like a money blowing peckerhead!

        Funny how these crises keep popping up ain’t it? Even Obama himself mentioned that last night. I kid you not, I am starting to sound like a full blown member of the Conspiracy Theorist’s of America! LOL 😉

        • Now you have Joe “The Imbecile” Biden yapping away about not getting on a plane for any reason. Quick someone tell him about the West Nile numbers, the fatalities and even more so those with permanent organ damage from it. He’ll never again see the light of day.

        • Conspiracy theories, what is that…the truth?!

          • Sorry hit the wrong button. Conspiracy theories, what is that…the truth?! Maybe we shouldn’t dismiss or discredit them after all. BF…what you thinking? They are beginning to open there eyes and seeing things for what they really are!

          • Sorry hit the wrong button. Conspiracy theories, what is that…the truth?! Maybe we shouldn’t dismiss or discredit them after all. BF…what you are thinking? They are beginning to open there eyes and seeing things for what they really are!

          • Black Flag says:

            Qui Bono – what is the benefit of forcing people to

            – cancel travel
            – stay home
            – demand government help
            – become fearful and suspicious of their neighbors

            We are entering the beginning of the ‘travel’ season for Americans – and ‘pop’ a crisis that is compelling Americans to cancel – wholesale – any travel anywhere.

            Further, the CDC has the power to contain and quarantine entire regions of nations – enforced by military arms.

            I do not know what plan in at play – but there is a plan is in play, and it is not at all what it seems.

    • Ah, but we have our very own Chucky Schumer of NY on tape also clling for the deletion of stimulus funds for flu research. But, except for maybe NY has anyone else heard this?

    • How ironic that two months ago she was hailed as a savior by the Democrats because she voted in fovor of the stimulus. And a mere 6 days later they were VERY quick to throw her under the bus. Typical Washington games.

  5. Oh, and why settle for $870 million when you can just as easily and only a few short weeks later obtain $1.5 billion with overwhelming support. Very clever indeed.

  6. TexasChem says:

    Well call me paranoid or a nutcase I don’t care.I will absolutely not take any vacine or supercure during the current administration.Conspiracy theorist whatever I simply do not trust what comes from this government.

    • I am pretty sure you would change your mind when your lying in a hospital bed and your lungs are starting to fill with fluid.

    • I also mentioned this in a previous discussion. They are planting this “pandemic” on us and then will try to put ever American with the deadly manufactured virus. A lot more people will die from the vaccine then the actually virus itself…wake up! Stop trusting those that you feel have your best interest at heart…non of the policitians, not REP or DEM are for you so stop supporting them. Americans needs to take matters into our own hands, no one can help us but us.

      • I went back and pulled my post from Socialism 5 dicussion…April 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

        It’s serious but another distraction can we say Kathleen Sebelius confirmed as Sec. of Health and Human Services. They are talking about pushing a vaccine like they did back in the 1900’s that all citizens will have to take. Learn your history or you are doomed to repeat it. http://www.haverford.edu/biology/edwards/disease/viral_essays/warnervirus.htm
        I don’t know about you all but I want volunteer to take it just like I don’t get vaccinated for H3N1 the regular flu virus. It’s a bigger agenda people…a huge underlined agenda. Remember Obama and his cabinet all have quoted “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste…Why? What are we wasting besides money?

  7. I think the original urgency and caution was warranted, until they found out exactly what they were dealing with.

    “The H5N1 avian influenza virus that is showing up in the news is decimating bird populations, but it is not currently a danger to us since it doesn’t have the right hemagglutinin to attack human cells (the N1 designation refers to the subtype of a second virus protein: neuraminidase). However, there is the possibility that it could acquire a human-specific hemagglutinin, and then it could cause real problems. One way for this to happen involves pigs. Pigs are susceptible to viruses of several subtypes, both the types that attack birds and the types that attack us. If a single pig gets infected with two different viruses at the same time, the viruses can shuffle and trade genes during the infection. This could potentially be a way to construct a virus with the virulence of the bird virus, combined with the ability to attack human cells.”

    http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/static.do?p=education_discussion/molecule_of_the_month/pdb76_1.html

    Now, that explains the swine > avian > human construct that was originally claimed. Haven’t heard much about the avian component though.

    OK….initial caution was justified, now it’s time to calm down and back off. If you look at the Flu Watch map during any given flu season, it is always somewhat worrisome.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Dee, Fox News explained that very thing last night. Just the way you just did.

      They were probably the only one, but I don’t know for sure. I just figure the other MSM were too busy fawning over Obama and his first 100 days.

    • There are a number of flu’s jumping about at all times. We here had a strain from South Africa come back with our doctors who were visiting parents at Christmas. It flattened the majority of children for a period of weeks and was the likely instigating factor for a number of deaths, from the eventual pneumonia, in our senior population.

      Those deaths are never attributed to “the flu” and in fact carry the tag “pneumonia” on the file. As it happens here, I’d wager it happens elsewhere and the numbers without a doubt dwarf those of this current strain.

      • I agree 100%. I understand the concern in the beginning, but now that we know what we are dealing with, the government is looking rather foolish. Even Fox News today is harping on it, sheeesh, give it a rest.

  8. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi All,

    Pandemic or not; high fatality rate or not…As with ANY flu epidemic, I hope that you don’t catch it; but if you do, get to the doctor to get the anti-virals right away to help LESSEN the miserable symptoms associated with “any” flu virus.

    Also, IF your area starts showing cases, please do check in on your elderly neighbors because they don’t always have someone to look after them and may need your assistance.

    My father is getting on in years and is on some serious immune-suppressing drugs due to Arthritis and I really do worry about him and may tend to get a bit more “scared” than other folks because of this!

    US Weapon…I love the new word “Pigdookey”…What a clever play on the Esom “Original”. I’m sure he won’t mind!!!!!!

    Kind Regards to all,
    RS

  9. Good Morning to all!! I have some good insight on this do to my employment in healthcare that should ease many worries. Like USW said, it’s just the flu, nothing more, nothing less. Nobody really knows much about the important issues, like how fast it can spread, actual gestation period, and how many will actually get it.

    Like G.A.Rowe, I have not had a flu shot in so long, i can’t remember the last time, and I have not had the flu, or the common cold since early childhood. I’m doing nothing different in life that I wouldn’t normally do. The MSM and O’JERK are just fear mongering. They should both be ashamed!

    If the flu starts spreading in your area, the only thing you can do is wash your hands often, and thats it. Nothing else will help in anyway. Wearing a mask is STUPID, unless you have the flu and don’t won’t to spread it.

    The main issue with a real pandemic, is hwo many are effected at the same time. If say 30% of the local population are sick, that would have a negative effect on the workforce and the economy. Hospitals will be overwhelmed and understaffed (most are understaffed now, but it would just be worse). Our hospital plan, in a worse case scenario, employees would be screened when coming to work (in the only entrance open). If one has two of the many symptoms, it’s a ten day vacation, no exceptions. That should help to understand how the health industry would be effected in the worse case. I get updates each day from the CDC, and if it looks like it’s going to hell in a handbasket, I will post updates here. If nothing is really happening, I’ll sneak in a statement when discussing another subject.

    I will say that the subject, as being reported is gross overplay, and when nothing happens, the MSM and our pathetic govt will be trusted even less. And thats likely where this will all go.

    PEACE

    G!

    • I'm learning! says:

      G-man

      Thanks for keeping us posted from your information. I have to ask, since you work in health care, why don’t you get flu shots? My employer offers them for free every year. I took them the first couple of times then had a long discussion one day with my chiropractor (who I check with on everything before checking with a medical dr. because he normally has a very simple way to fix the problem and it don’t cost much at all). We talked about excess in antibiotics, and the over use (big cash maker for companies) of immunizations, and since then, I opted to not take the shot the past 9 or 10 years. My husband has never taken the shot and neither of us have ever had influenza. Our teenager got it once about 5 years ago, and we took precautions when caring for him and never caught it from him either. I realize there are probably high risk people that should get it, but wonder why most normal healthy people really need it. I don’t know if I will regret this decision in the long run, but I still don’t feel a need to take the shot every year – especially since it is just a guess on the stain, and I know many people that got the shot and still came down with influenza! So why are you avoiding the shot?

      • Bee in my Bonnet says:

        I’m in health care as well and I won’t take the flu shot. It is offered to us every year. This is the reason why. There are thousands of influenzae strains every year. The flu shot protects us against 3. Since Asia tends to be a year ahead of us when it comes to flu, the flu shot in North America is composed of the Asian strain, the most prevalent strain from last year and then they just pick one randomly, in the hopes that they choose the right one.

        The one year that they were able to bully me into taking it, I got the flu (I’m not blaming it on the flu shot, just that it failed to protect me.) so bad that I was literally sick in bed for a week. That was 10 years ago. I haven’t had the flu shot since and I haven’t had the flu since.

        The best way to reduce the risk of acquiring it is to get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise.

      • I.L., You realy answered the question already. The natural human immune system can reject any virus on it’s own. I also don’t take antibiotics, and deal with any infections (from cuts and such) with natural methods (clean and cover). I will say this as well, I believe that a strong mental mindset against getting ill serves me well. Hope that helps!

        G!

        • I'm learning! says:

          It helps – Maybe I was just looking for a little re-affirmation of what I already know. It’s easy to just take it when it is free. Every year, I wonder if I should, but I just don’t feel it is necessary.

          I grew up on a farm – livestock and crops as well as fruits and veges. Farm work sometimes overrode housework. I didn’t live in a sterile – antibacterial setting. I didn’t live in the county landfill either. But we had to dispose of the occasional dead animal, or get rid of rotting veges or fruits. I am rarely sick believe that I may have just developed a natural immunity to things. People that are obsessive with being sterile often are much sicker than people I know that are not.

  10. Mother in Law says:

    Thanks for the information G. I will keep watching for your updates.

  11. esomhillgazette says:

    OK! Off topic momentarily. I got my check yesterday. There are no fed. taxes being taken out of my check! I ask. Am told “that is your present from Obama.” When I ask further, am told I will have to fix it so that taxes are still taken out so it will now bite me in the ass at the end of the year.

    Now let me get this straight. Obama fu… uh, messes up my withholding, and I GET TO GO AND FIX IT? I didn’t screw it up to begin with. Yet my employer not only won’t fix it and say there’s nothing THEY can do, they won’t even tell me HOW to fix it.

    All I can do, according to these idiots, is fill out another tax form telling them to take extra money out of my check OTHER than taxes, so I don’t get scorched by our lovely IRS at the EOY.

    Really? So I make LESS money now? WOW Obama!!!! That’s some kinda tax f.. uh, mess up! You DUMBASS!!!

    • Kristian says:

      Esom,

      The same thing happened to me but I was told how to fix it. Lower the number of exemptions on your W2. At a guess you have too many. I only had 3 and that made it to where they took nothing. So I filled out another W2 and reduced the number of exemptions so that they are now taking out the same amount they were before Obama’s “gift”.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Sorry K. I have 0 exemptions and so does my wife. We file 3 at the EOY. She’s not having Federal taken out of hers either. We don’t make a heck of a lot of money. About 38 to 40k combined per year.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      As a side note. I DID NOT WANT OBAMA’S “GIFT” TO BEGIN WITH. So why is it that I’M now having to fix it?

    • Open up a money market account at your local community bank (not Wells, US, Citi, Chase, or B of A). Take that monthly withholding out of your check yourself and stick it in this account each month. Don’t touch it. Earn 1-3% on your money for 12 months, and then use it at the end of the year to pay any taxes.

      Why let the government earn interest on your withholding? Why not earn the interest yourself?

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I am checking with my tax dude about this now. What pisses me off is that now I will have to take money from my check every month just to make sure the IRS doesn’t torch my ass at the end of the year. That is NOT a tax cut! That is screwing the taxpayers!!

      • ING has a GREAT interest rate! Open up an Orange Savings account – its all done online and it is FDIC backed. In less than one year an initial investment – yes, investment – of about $100.00 will net you almost $50.00. That beats the .5 to .75 & interest rates of large banks. And ING DID NOT receive any of bummers bailout $$$$$$. Works for me!

        • wtf? something with your math is wrong there. The interest rate on that account is 1.5%, meaning that putting in $100 would get you about $1.50 after a year. Putting in $100 and getting another $50 after just a year would be a 50% APR which is insane.

          I have a Capital One Online Savings Account myself, it’s at about 2% right now I think. But in general your point is valid, online savings accounts get much better rates than in-branch ones, and usually beat most CDs as well.

    • Just like the “Making Work Pay” credit. This extra $6-$13 we get in our paycheck will screw our taxes up for next year. Imagine that?! I tried to claim less allowances so that more FED tax would come out and guess what…year to date, I have only paid $43.39 in taxes.

      • Left this out…
        YTD taxes on the following
        FEDS $43.39
        OASDI $608.05
        Medicar $143.20
        State $383.32

        I am only 27 and I have been working since I was 14 1/2 years of age…shouldn’t I be entitled to Medicar and SSI when I get of age?! Let me tell it, give me my money and let me choose what I want to pay into. Sure could use that $1,177.96 that have accumlated from my pay within the last 4 months.

  12. The WHO has decreased the number of actual worldwide deaths attributed to the swine flu from 160 to 7. There may be more, but those are the confirmed cases.

    Another point; if you get the flu and it is mild, as in most cases, don’t run to the doctor or hospital. All you will do is infect other people and tie up the already short staffed medical system (just wait for universal healthcare; we’ll see the medical version of Russian bread lines). If symptoms begin to get more serious, then head to the doctor asap.

  13. Ray Hawkins says:

    I work for a company of close to 125,000 people (all U.S. based) – internal communications have sought to de-mystify the wild and sometimes conflicting claims being put forth in the media.

    As to the Bush bill – I’d only question if there were other items attached to the bill which resulted in it being shot down – that is the game politicians play – attach riders and other inits to a seemingly fool-proof bill because later we can say “well, the Dems/Repubs voted it down because they don’t support flu research”.

    Thanks,
    Ray

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I’d have to agree completely with your analysis there!

      And how are you on this fine morning Ray?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks Esom – I am doing well and loving life. Kinda of surprised at myself that even I didn’t watch the Obama news conference last night. Not sure what that means. As for this swine flu – the group I work is part of our corporate risk management group – while we deal primarily in data & information security, business continuity sits under our umbrella as well. Part of business continuity is to work with other groups on things like pandemics and other larger scale safety concerns. Issues like swine are aggravating because they are really non-issues that have been blown up to fill the news cycle and diverting our attention from other more pressing matters.

        And so – how art thou?

        • esomhillgazette says:

          Oh, except for the fact that my taxes are now screwed up I’m just Dandy!! And life goes on anyhow.

          This “pandemic scare” only has me worried as to the fact of what else is happening while our attention is centered elsewhere?

    • Bush wanted to start a “Flu” program to prepare us and it was pulled…did he know something we didn’t know? Why the preparation if there was no such virus? Think about it people…

      • Nubian,

        I think you might be going off the deep end a bit here in terms of conspiracy theories. There have been major flu outbreaks about every ten years or so forever. It is what happens and he was attempting to prepare for the next one. That isn’t a conspiracy, just smart preparation.

        • USW:
          I could be going off the far end but I am here to tell you the government controls us by fear. A bird, pig, and human flu gene just so happen got mixed together and now you have H1M1 or Swine Flu or Mexican Flu…whatever you want to call it. They have stock piles of Tamiflu…lets take a break for a little history.

          In October 2005, the Pentagon ordered vaccination of all US military personnel worldwide against what it called Avian Flu, H5N1. Scare stories filled world media. Then, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced he had budgeted more than $1 billion to stockpile the vaccine, oseltamivir sold under the name Tamiflu. President Bush called on Congress to appropriate another $2 billion for Tamiflu stocks. What Rumsfeld neglected to report at the time was a colossal conflict of interest. Prior to coming to Washington in January 2001, Rumsfeld had been chairman of a California pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences. Gilead Sciences held exclusive world patent rights to Tamiflu, a drug it had developed and whose world marketing rights were sold to the Swiss pharma giant, Roche. Rumsfeld was reportedly the largest stock holder in Gilead which got 10 percent of every Tamiflu dose Roche sold. When it leaked out, the Pentagon issued a curt statement to the effect that Secretary Rumsfeld had decided not to sell but to retain his stock in Gilead, claiming that to sell would have indicated something to hide. That agonizing decision won him reported added millions as the Gilead share price soared more than 700 percent in weeks. Tamiflu is no mild candy to be taken lightly. It has heavy side effects. It contains matter that could have potentially deadly consequences for a person’s breathing and often reportedly leads to nausea, dizziness and other flu-like symptoms. Since the outbreak of Swine Flu Panic (not Swine Flu but Swine Flu Panic), sales of Tamiflu as well as any and every possible drug marketed as flu-related have exploded. Wall Street firms have rushed to issue ‘buy’ recommendations for the company. ‘Gimme me a shot Doc, I don’t care what it is . . . I don’ wanna die . . . ’
          Panic and fear of death was used by the Bush administration skilfully to promote the Avian Flu fraud. With ominous echoes of the current Swine Flu scare, Avian Flu was traced back to huge chicken factory farms in Thailand and other parts of Asia whose products were shipped across the world. Instead of a serious investigation into the sanitary conditions of those chicken factory farms, the Bush administration and WHO blamed ‘free-roaming chickens’ on small family farms, a move that had devastating economic consequences to the farmers whose chickens were being raised in the most sanitary natural conditions. Tyson Foods of Arkansas and CG Group of Thailand reportedly smiled all the way to the bank.

          Again, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. If I wrong, then I am wrong, call me a right-wing extremist or terrorist and shot me, but my God my good friend, there is relevance to what I am talking about.

  14. Gee, your comments sound like the political situation we find ourselves in.

  15. Bama dad says:

    Hi all.
    Everyone is correct when they say the media is really over blowing this into something it is not. Hey it’s the flu, happens every year, and right now we are on the downside of the season. Tuesday night the wife was all in a panic from listening to the gloom and doom on the news about this, we talked about it and I thought I had her calmed down and reassured that it wasn’t as bad as they said. Well last night I get in from work and we are eating supper (that’s dinner for all you northern folks) and she says “I spent $600 today”. As we always discuss major purchases before hand I was a little taken back and wanted to know on what “additional supplies for when we are all quarantined”. Now mind you we are already really prepared for emergencies and could sustain ourselves for along time. But they were really going at it on the news she was listening to yesterday talking about closing borders and quarantining areas of the world. Needless to say we had another discussion about this whole thing. I guess I can look on the bright side, we spent money and according to the government that is how to get out of a recession, spend money on things you don’t necessarily need.

  16. I’m just glad everyone is in a better disposition today. I was alittle miffed yesterday as well, but feel much better today. Hope supper was good Bama!!

    G!

    • Bama dad says:

      Nah-leftovers.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Well I had Chicken n Dumplins with Biscuits!! Um Um Good! Make yore tongue slap yore brains out! 😀

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Howdy Esom…

          Even to picky lil me, that sounds wonderful! I’m going to have to come down to Esom Hill and join your family for some of that! Yummy! 😉 If you have a recipe, email it to me.

          Regards,
          RS

          • esomhillgazette says:

            RS, if you can boil a chicken and make biscuits, then you too can make good Chicken and Dumplings!

            The secret is the biscuit dough.

            Further details later. 🙂

  17. This epidemic is pathetic its just as bad as the SARS incident and Anthrax when every pakage that had any wite powder was suspect. After the Swine Flu 1st broke out TSA/DHS screened all passangers comming in from CanCun and there was not 1 passanger who was sick. The TSA peronnel used gloves and antibacterial lotion as its defense while the arlines were comical with rubber kitchen gloves as I would like to calll them, masks, lysol spray, and dozens of other so called safe guards. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. =)

  18. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi all…

    This posting is off-subject from Flu Outbreak and any associated “Opportunities” that Gov’t can use. So ignore this if not interested.

    This posting is related to the purchasing of Gold and “funding” of my “Run” or “Catastrophe” Plan.

    Is buying gold jewelry (piece by piece) such as a bracelet or a necklace a wise way of “funding” my planning? If so, should I stick with a certain K vs. another?

    The reason I ask is that I’m living on a budget that is getting tighter and tighter. I am ill-educated on how I would go about obtaining a viable stockpile.

    Any guidance anyone can give here is greatly appreciated. We do have some silver coins in my mother’s collection, but nothing gold other than a few pieces of jewelry here and there; some of the jewelry does contain diamonds and other gemstones. Would diamonds and other gemstones be viable as “funding”?

    Oh, another question…I do have some jewelry in a Safety Deposit Box at the bank, along with important papers…Does anyone recommend that I remove this from the Bank and put into a fireproof safe here at home (for purposes of a quick departure if it becomes necessary to run).

    Thanks,
    RS

    • RS – I have similiar questions and was wondering if BF could give us a little lesson? Another post perhaps?

    • Good Morning RS

      This is also for Kathy

      Remember, you are first preparing for hyper inflation. Jewelry isn’t going to help. You could collect or purchase silver coins instead of gold. The premium is not as large but they should at least hold value. If you have a small budget you are better off purchasing those goods you know you will need at todays lower costs instead of tomorrows inflated costs. This is the same as investing in commodoties, such as gold.

      The next thing you are preparing for is total collapse. That is more remote, not impossible, just more remote. Jewelry won’t help here either. You need something that either has an accepted money value, ie gold and silver coins, or accepted utility, ie certain commodities others will need and can be used for barter.

      Remember, anthing other than coins or commodities you need must go to a third party for conversion into money when you need it. What do you think the value of your jewelry will be at the Hock Shop if we are in meltdown? The premiums (profit margins for the middle man) will go through the roof. I personnaly think it is to high for gold coins right now. In short, I am not going to buy gold coins with a 20 to 30% premium right now. I am looking at buying a new pickup and camper instead, on credit with no interest. I will pay it off with inflated money. Same for real estate. Refinance at lowere interest rates now and pay off with inflated dollars later.

      I happen to think we are getting sucked into the buy gold craze. Just like happened in the 70’s. The price runs up and the big boys sell. Then buying slows then it really slows and the price comes tumbling down, and the big boys buy it back. They win, you lose.

      BF can jump in on this but I think that is the real risk at the moment. Especially for folks who do not have a lot of disposable income. Of course if collapse happens then who really knows what a single $20 gold coin would buy. Maybe nothing, maybe your life.

      I hope this helps calm the waters a bit.
      JAC

      • Thank you JAC. Your comments are inline to what I was thinking is the better course, just trying to be prepared.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Thank you JAC…that was extremely helpful…looking forward to any additional guidance from others out there. I totally agree with you on the essentials (trying to stockpile where I can there).

        Now, my next question…

        Do you recommend buying Silver Coins from On-line outlets or from “local” storefronts? I do buy things online, but when it comes to buying “money”, I don’t have a same level of trust as I would say for buying a DVD or Christmas Gift.

        Thanks,
        RS

        • RS

          Go online and check out prices then go local and check theirs. If cheaper buy local.

          Don’t get sucked into paying a high premium for some rare coin. It is the gold or silver content you want.

          Local dealers are usually selling “collectibles”. Look for the cheapest, least rare, ones they have and compare to general online prices.

          If you are like most folks, go through those jars of coins stashed all around the house and sort out the silver coins. Look for quarters with no copper edge. Dimes before early 60’s also.

          I forgot about your safe question. If I had a truly fire proof safe, heavy enough that a burgler couldn’t carry it off, I would keep my valuables there. On the other hand I might keep in bank for now, if FDIC or the bank has safe deposit box contents insured. Then move home as things start to go downhill.

          Just remember a safe that can be carried by 2-4 big dudes is not a safe. It is a heavy box that can go out your door with everything in it.

          JAC

  19. Two public schools closed in Milwaukee today as one confirmed case and one suspected case of this flu.

    Talked to a woman the other day that works for the company that makes Tamiflu and she said it’s been nuts – hospitals and clinics all “calling in their allotments”. Not quite sure how that system works, but the company, the manufacturers of one of the products that can help, was actually trying to calm these people down. Their concern is that this drug will be given out when not needed and resistance will be built up.

  20. Bee in my Bonnet says:

    This is the most pathetic pandemic I’ve ever heard of! My daughter is home sick today (fever, sore throat, headache) and she asked if she had the Swine flu. My goodness, she’s only 13 and she’s worried she is going to die! I gave her juice, popped in a DVD and told her she’ll be fine.

    On a bit of a side note, did you hear that the DHS won’t allow the border guards to wear masks on the Mexican border? There goes individual liberty. I may think this ‘pandemic’ is pigdookey but if they are worried, the guards should have the option of wearing the masks.

    • It might appear offensive and we certainly don’t want to offend anyone!

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Yeah. And the Mexicans who may have won’t be required to go through any screening either because that might be “profiling” or discrimination. that PC crap is going to bite us in the fanny if there ever is a Pandemic.

        The Border Guards should give DHS the finger and wear them anyway.

  21. The entire Fort Worth school district shut down today. 144 campuses due to two confirmed cases of swine flu. The media reported it late last night. Several parents showed up this morning trying to drop their kids off and couldn’t. What are these parents supposed to do now? Take sick days at work and stay home with their kids?

    We have two young boys (5 and 3) in daycare now just outside of Fort Worth. We are sending them to North Dakota to stay with Grandma and Grandpa just to be safe. They needed to go see the Grandparents for awhile anyway so it worked out. We are not panicking or anything.

    I just can’t believe they shut down an entire metropolitan school system.

  22. Government agencies mobilizing to prepare for potential sudden increase in flu cases = Good Thing

    Political Appointees holding constant press conferences to show “we are on top of this” = Bad Thing

    Let the Pro’s do their work.

  23. Off subject but I couldn’t resist – go Montana!!!! See link below.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=47369

    • esomhillgazette says:

      WOW! GO MONTANA!!! I wish Georgia and other States would take such measures. If enough States would do so, the Feds would have no choice but to back off.

  24. Continuation of yesterdays post on the Agency and Dept under gag order. Also related to my post at 22 above.

    POINT ONE: The agency in question, and all other agencies within the same Dept, must have “ALL” press releases cleared by the Dept itself.

    Recent press releases regarding status of projects and other accomplishments have been revised by the Dept and returned to the Agencies. They now link the work or status to Mr. Obama’s first hundred days in office. All of them, regardless of how long these projects have been in existence or if they have anything to do with stimulus.

    POINT TWO: Word has leaked regarding why projects were stopped from being released to public. White house is asking for the evaluation process to be revised. It seems the govt employees used such things as counties, states and regions to summarize data on population, unemployment and potential benefits of projects that would create jobs. The White House wants “Congressional Districts” used to summmarize and evaluate data.

    So you see I was wrong yesterday. Winners and losers won’t be by blue or red county, it will be Blue Congressional Districts win, Red Congressional Districts lose.

    When this started agency staff were told this was all about creating alot of jobs and doing it quickly. Apparently that is really not the primary concern of our administration. Go Figure!!!!!

    Hope everyone is doing well this morning
    JAC

  25. Well apparently this thing is going around pretty fast…last night before I went to bed there were no cases in GA, not supposedly a 30ish woman just came back from Cancun with the symptoms and it has been cofirmed that it is the swine flu…LaGrange, GA a very small country town about an hour away from ATL, GA. Panic…State of Emergencies…next MARITAL LAW coming soon to towns near you.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Nubian, As many illegal aliens as we have in Georgia, I’m just suprised we weren’t the FIRST State to have a case of it.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I live about 2 and a half hours north of LaGrange in Polk County. There are a buttload of Illegals up here. Are there many in LaGrange or do you know? That will be the reason the flu goes nuts here. The illegal aliens bringing it up here.

        • Yeap…a lot of them in LaGrange too but let’s not be to quick to label people. Remember there are 11-20 million of Hispanics here already so we can’t label those that have already been here….

          • esomhillgazette says:

            Not meaning to label. But this IS coming from Mexico. And they’re going to be running scared to get away from this. Where do you think they’re going to run, South?

            We in America have the best medical care in the world. They’re going to run here.(the US)

            • At least that is what they tell us just like AIDS, let’s see, first it came from homosexuals, then a man eating green monkey in Africa, then from hunters being exposed to infected chimpanzes blood, and on and on and on, excuse after excuse…they will tell us anything to cover there asses! It could have come from Mexico but I just don’t believe a virus that is a mix of bird, pig, and human flu genes came from a 4 year old boy in Mexico.

              • USWeapon says:

                So the question you have to ask yourself Nubian is not whether the story of the green monkey or whatever is believable, but instead whether you have even once ounce of proof that is believable to back up whatever your theory is about AIDS. It is the one thing I don’t like about conspiracy theories. They seek to disprove 10% of the given evidence, yet offer no proof whatsoever to back up their alternative “theory”. I have heard all kinds of conspiracy theories about AIDS being developed by the government and all kinds of other things. What I have not found in 10 years of looking, is a single shred of CREDIBLE evidence to support any of those claims. And that is not from someone with a closed mind. I am willing to believe, but you have to have some evidence, and that evidence has to be credible, not hearsay….

              • I understand what you are saying but the whole point is the government throw out all types of reasons AIDS came about but to this date, they have nothing on record that states where this disease came from and to this date, they don;t have a cure for it. I don’t have a “conspiracy theory” on AIDS. I just believe it is a man-made manufactured diease…by who; I never once said by who. This is a conversation that I won’t get into. The point of me even mentioning AIDS was that it is a disease in which they tell us several origins it come from…I was just making a point by using an example. Am not spreadingany kind of hear say USW…I am sure if you asked the question to the people hear where AIDS came from everyone would more than likely give various answers…we all learn somethingdifferent when it comes to the history of this disease which was my point…Swine Flu coming from Mexico from a 4 year old boy that lives near a hog farm is “just what they tell us” but they don’t have evidence that this is really where it originated from just like AIDS.

              • Actually Nubi it would be much more plausible than figuring out where Aids started. The time for the symptoms of the disease to appear are much less than with aids. By the time Aids was understood it had already spread for years. At least that is what I found. Perhaps some of our medical friends could chip in on this one.

                I and many others on this site have worked for the govt. Believe me there can be many reasons they have their stories all screwed up. They CYA all the time, thats what they do to save their careers. The collateral damage of CYA is a simple understandable explanation. That does not make a conspiracy.

                You say you believe Aids is man-made. What evidence did you have that led to that conclusion? Or was it simply your distrust of everything govt that can’t be explained?

                As with USW, I am not saying these things are not true. I am saying you make accusations based on assumptions and inuendo. If they are true we will never get anyone to believe it with that type of argument.

                JAC

    • lol I know that’s a typo but damn I hope that “marital” law doesn’t happen here!

    • Nubian,

      All flu spreads fast, every year. Just pull up the Flu Watch map online around October-November.

      With our transportation system, millions are traveling daily, any communicable disease will spread fast. Nothing unusual here.

  26. We interrupt the regularly scheduled program…You all know the HR 1388 was passed yesterday as well Sebillus being sworned in. All these damn distractions while they just pass and put shit in place under our noses…Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

  27. So Nubian:

    If MARTIAL LAW is not impossed are you prepared to declare you were wrong? Or do you just keep going and claim it again and again until it finally happens or you die of old age.

    Those who desire credibility must admit when they are wrong. Otherwise you are no better than the boy crying wolf.

    I ask this in all seriousness. An acquaintance claimed Bush would declare marshall law last fall and the election would never happen. He believes 9/11 was an inside job and the Bildeburgs are controlling everything. When Bush left office, peacefully, he simply ignored it and started some other conspiracy to explain it. Now what did that do to his credibility on the other two issues?

    Be reasoned and don’t overstate your case. Otherwise you may be right and be alone.

    JAC

    • I will go ahead and tell you I am wrong now…because this might not be the icing on the cake to enforce it my purpose of mentioning it is to make you aware of it. I plant seeds I don’t impose my thoughts or ideas on anyone. You believe what you want just as I but being a part of this forum I feel that I am entitled to my opinions just as you are. If I am wrong, I am wrong. I don’t need a bandwagon full of people to reaasure me that my thoughts and opinions are correct or are wrong. I believe what I believe whether you or anyone else believe them or not is up to you. Being alone…I don’t worry about having a crowd of people around me because I have God. Respectfully, I hope that answers your question.

      • Black Flag says:

        Mark Twain said:

        “History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes”.

        I love history because it does indicate the future – with future-sight, one can prepare – at least a little bit.

        It’s like in poker with a draw hand – I like to feed the pot a bit to build it up so if I do hit my hand, I can win big – but if I miss, I haven’t invested my whole stack. …. . and sometimes the other guy folds anyway.

      • USWeapon says:

        As a part of this forum, you are absolutely entitled to your thoughts and beliefs. I would no more want to censor you than I would Ray or BF or anyone else here. All ideas are welcome and I am willing to discuss anything that people want to discuss in the world of politics and government. I appreciate your honesty with what you believe. I don’t have to agree in order to do that.

    • BTW…State of Emergency is just a nice name much like “man-caused disasters” instead of using “war on terrorism”. State of Emergency is Martial Law it is just a sweeter tone. Martial law is the system of rules that takes effect when the military takes control of the normal administration of justice.

      Martial law is sometimes imposed during wars or occupations in the absence of any other civil government. Examples of this form of military rule include Germany and Japan after World War II or the American South during the early stages of Reconstruction. In addition, it is used by governments to enforce their rule; for example, after a coup d’état (Thailand 2006), when threatened by popular protests (Tiananmen Square protests of 1989), or to crack down on the opposition (Poland 1981). Martial law can also be declared in cases of major natural disasters; however most countries use a different legal construct, such as a “state of emergency”. In many countries martial law imposes particular rules, one of which is curfew. Often, under this system, the administration of justice is left to a military tribunal, called a court-martial. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is likely to occur.The martial law concept in the U.S. is closely tied with the right of habeas corpus, which is in essence the right to a hearing on lawful imprisonment, or more broadly, the supervision of law enforcement by the judiciary. The ability to suspend habeas corpus is often equated with martial law. Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion, the public Safety may require it.”

      In United States law, martial law is limited by several court decisions that were handed down between the American Civil War and World War II. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in domestic law enforcement without congressional approval. Since that time, however, USNORTHCOM has increased its direct involvement with civilian administration.

      Hurricane Katrina
      Contrary to many media reports at the time, martial law was not declared in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, because no such term exists in Louisiana state law. However, a State of Emergency was declared, which does give unique powers to the state government similar to those of martial law. On the evening of August 31, 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin nominally declared “martial law” and said that officers didn’t have to observe civil rights and Miranda rights in stopping the looters. Federal troops were a common sight in New Orleans after Katrina. At one point, as many as 15,000 federal troops and National Guardsmen patrolled the city. Additionally it has been reported that armed contractors from Blackwater USA assisted in policing the city.

      Schenectady, New York
      The city of Schenectady, New York is, as of March 23, 2009, considering disbanding its police force and declaring martial law until they can form a new police force. Mayor Brian Stratton is considering this move because the city’s police department has been filled with corruption and slammed with allegations about its officers, ranging from drunk driving to battery. The mayor himself does not, however, have the power to declare martial law; this can only be done by Governor David Paterson. “It’s a contrived scenario, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities,” the mayor said.

      Mexico
      On 3/9/09 the President of Mexico declared martial law on his people.

      Don’t be so sure of yourself that it can’t and want happen here. Why do you think Obama is trying to get the SEFTA pass…which will reduce the 2nd amendment right? Why would you want to disarm your people, decrease funds and aid of the military when you have these threats all over the world? Set-up, nah… It’s not about agreeing with me, it is about expanding your mind and really thinking outside of the box because that is how we are trained…with the good ol’TV box!

  28. Just a note about this flu thing. Most companies do not have plans on dealing with these things. If your company must shut down (and I don’t mean because they want to) what is their plan? How will the employees deal with the economic loss? Can you work from home? (This is one thing I could do) Can you take off to attend to children who’s schools have closed? I’m not saying to panic, but it never hurts to ask some of these questions. Just some food for thought.

    G!

  29. Black Flag says:

    RS and Kathy

    Gold coins questions and response

    I will contradict my friend, JAC, a bit.

    When planning for a “Bug Out” Strategy, you must look at your own capabilities (physical and financial) and make choices that support YOU and where you are in your environment. There is no one plan fits all.

    However, some general thoughts with my reasons – and you can agree or disagree.

    1) Buying jewelery is a good idea – if we lose currency, people will only trade their things for other things they know.

    Less than 1% of Americans even know what a gold coin looks like, and fewer have any idea on how to tell the difference between a fake gold coin and a real gold coin. Most Americans have had some experience with jewelery. The other issue is how do you evaluate how much a gold coin will buy? Remember there is no currency there for a reference – today, we reference gold vs a dollar. Now try that reference – minus using a dollar. How many shoes does a 1.oz Maple Leaf buy? How many bags of groceries?

    What will happen is you’ll go to the store, buy your stuff and they’ll take your the whole coin – did you pay too much or too little? (shrug). Using jewelery will allow a more granular barter – two rings and bracelet type a thing.

    Quality always counts (more karats), but maintaining a good variation is not a bad idea either.

    2) Gold coins are very very good for paying of debt. As we move to hyperinflation, your debt becomes less a burden – as long as it is not ‘floated’ by the interest rate. So things like long term mortgages are perfect for gold coins. The mortagage interest is fixed, the payment is fixed, but the price of gold goes through the roof. If you have a $60,000 mortgage and gold moves from $1,000 to $10,000 – your six gold coins just bought back your house from the bank.

    3) Gold coins are very very good for starting over in a new economy. Some sort of new currency will replace the old currency – no prophecy here. It will reference, somehow, pricing of commodities and goods – including gold. You can exchange your gold for the currency at probably a far better rate then the exchange rate of the defunct currency.

    4) Gold coins are very very good for someone needing to escape. If you are trapped behind enemy lines, gold is an excellent currency to buy your freedom via bribes – whether the enemy is foreign or domestic.

    5) Silver is good for small purchases – but you need 100x more silver than gold for the same value, so it’s a lot harder to deal with if mobility is important.

    6) Most Importantly, ensure your 3/6 month survival. Food and supplies is more important in the initial stages of massive uncertainty. Supply chains will stop – there is only about 3 days worth of goods in the supply chain and if something stops it – 3 days later – the shelves will be empty. It could be months before the wheels start turning again. You still need to eat and survive – and you can’t eat gold. It these early days, no body will trade anything for anything.

    Invest here first if personal finances are such that it is “either this but not that” status.

    7) Many say they’d move from where they are to somewhere more safe “when it happens”. This is probably not possible for 99% of the people. By the time most figure out its time to run, the roads will be blocked by the National Guard or the Police and you will be turned back – with the high probability that everything you had with you will be seized. Plan to hold the fort where you are.

    I happen to think we are getting sucked into the buy gold craze. Just like happened in the 70’s. The price runs up and the big boys sell. Then buying slows then it really slows and the price comes tumbling down, and the big boys buy it back. They win, you lose.

    I don’t agree with this, but you have to understand what gold really means.

    If we do remember what happened in the 70’s – gold went from $32/oz to $800/oz in less then six months, and then stabilized at around $200-$500 for the next few decades. It is now around $1,000 higher than the peak in the 70’s.

    So this does tell you something about gold – it is a hedge against government

    Buying Gold means you no longer trust your government. If you trust your government, do not buy gold.

    Gold is a hedge against government financial mismanagement – Buying Gold will not make you rich. It will help protect some of the capital (savings) you have.

    I personally believe with complete certainty that government will mismanagement the economy. The extent of which is most of the debate.

    There are huge differences you need to consider between 1970 and today.

    Nixon closed the gold windows at the FED. Europe no longer believed the USA could pay for the Vietnam War without inflating the US$ – so they began demanding exchange of Dollars for Gold. At $32/oz., there was a lot of US dollars being redeemed. The straw-camel-back was France. France announced it, too, would follow UK and Germany, and Nixon said “ENOUGH!” – all the gold in the United States would have been gone. Without the ability to directly redeem the US promises – people dumped the US$ and ran to security – gold. US inflation exploded. Since Oil was priced in $US, oil producing nations suddenly saw their product being sold at huge discounts to other commodities – so they seized control of their oil (born: OPEC) and BOOM! Oil prices exploded – so we had an economic crisis plus oil crisis plus (Oh boy) another Middle East war (Yom Kippur)

    All of this was known as a ‘bad thing’.

    But it was a bad thing to the USA.

    The result of that was the USA used its hegemony and forced the rest of the world to abandon gold and base their currency on the US$ – called ‘float their currency’ – before 1970, there was fixed rates of exchange between currency – today, we get daily (hourly, if not by the minute) fluctuations of everyone’s currency relative to everyone else. Do not misunderstand this consequence. With the massive uncertainty of currency exchange today has added 15% to 30% to everything you buy.

    Since 1980 or so, every major currency has been based on the US$ or the PetroDollar (number of barrels of oil their currency unit could buy – oil replaced gold as the ‘reserve’ currency) and ‘floated’ – born: currency futures.

    Today, the failure of the US$ has global significance – there is no flight to safety as there was in 1970 to another currency, like the UK pound or French/Swiss Franc, etc. Today the flight to safety is a flight to the US$ – if the US$ has problems = World currency problems, really, really big problems.

    Now, understanding that – and that PetroDollars are also a reserve currency – do you now see why oil went through the roof. It was the same effect as Gold in 1970. Do NOT muddle the oil = commodity and oil = currency. We have centuries worth of supply of oil – so it was the currency component that caused the surge (and will do so again in the future). The uncertainty of the Middle East and the ability of the US to pay for its wars and its banks combined to cause the oil price surge (then and in the future).

    The flight to gold will happen overnight. Today it will be, say, $1,000 and tomorrow it will open at $5,000…. that fast. If will be too late for normal humans to buy it after that.

    As far as purchasing coins – buy from reputable dealers and shop around – right now, it is very supply based and some dealers have more quantity (ie: cheaper) than others.

    • Once again, a well written bit of history. Thanks for my daily history lesson (LOL), I always enjoy it. I’m also investing in lead (I think you can understand why).

      PEACE

      G!

    • Black Flag says:

      Don’t get sucked into paying a high premium for some rare coin. It is the gold or silver content you want.

      Correct! You’re not a collector – you’re investing.

      I forgot about your safe question. If I had a truly fire proof safe, heavy enough that a burgler couldn’t carry it off, I would keep my valuables there. On the other hand I might keep in bank for now, if FDIC or the bank has safe deposit box contents insured. Then move home as things start to go downhill.

      Security of possession is very important – so don’t be telling people what you are doing. Remember this 100 people around you have no idea why you are doing what you are doing but when it happens – they will know what you did! 🙂

      Hush!

      I do not trust banks. In every emergency, they close their doors – and behind their doors is your security..>!!! Ouch.

      I’d rather guard my safe then try to beg a bank.

      • BF
        Is junk silver….old coins…better than 99.9 silver for what we are using it for? Junk silver can still be bought at face value…..99.9 goes at market. I am seriously considering junk in case I have to spend it sometime…..but I know it’s value will not increase except for melt.

    • Black Flag says:

      Thanks G-Man!

      RS,

      Some other thoughts.

      As you can see, on some details JAC and I disagree – and this is important.

      There is no one answer for anyone

      Though I offered some direct suggestions, I think it is far more important to listen to what JAC and I had as our reasons for those suggestions.

      You are a smart, reasoning human being who is intimately aware of your situation, needs, and wants. What works for me probably won’t for you.

      If I can offer why I do what I do, perhaps you can see the same why, and adjust your strategy to deal with it – which may be very different from mine.

      The key is to start asking questions of “What if?” – start with what you think is the likely, then move to the probable, them move to the possible – don’t bother with the unlikely or bizarre (unless your rich).

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        BF,

        Thank you…I’m listening to both you and JAC (and G-Man — I’m investing there too)! I’m happy to see any other POVs that others may wish to provide!

        You are so correct that I have to do what is right for my family and me! It does really help to get suggestions though and I really appreciate your offering up your POV… I have to start somewhere and what better place than to come than here to ask questions of people that I trust — my online friends and family! TY TY TY

        You guys are really the best! As Esom would say, U sur r sum good ole aigs (eggs)!

        Another question…What about Silver Plated items (as Mom would say, “The Good Silver, Richmond Spitfire”)…do you think they would trade well…?

        Plus, neither you nor JAC touched on the Gemstone/Diamond question that I had…Would gemstones/diamonds be considered a good thing to trade “large/high-priced” items with?

        Many thanks and yours truly,
        RS

        • Black Flag says:

          Gems are market-manipulated especially diamonds – I stay away from them for investment purposes because I have zero skill in knowing what a ‘good’ gem looks like vs. a piece of glass. (Yes, there are many things I am clueless about – just ask my wife 😉 )

          • Black Flag says:

            As far as non-investment, yes, I’ve bought jewelery.

            I designed my wife’s rings – she took one in to be cleaned and the jeweler was insistent in learning who built and designed it – he thought it was magnificent!

            She was beaming to explain that I had designed all her rings (but not built – I can’t do that either).

            He appraised it at over 3 times the initial purchase – that was a surprise too!

          • Black Flag says:

            Silver plate – yes, but only for the silver.

            As JAC explained, there is usually a collector-cost overhead and it is very unlikely you will be able to recoup that during difficult times.

            When reviewing your assets, judge their value as if you had died and your estate was being auctioned off at the highest bidder. What would you pay for it under those conditions? Then, adjust DOWNWARD by 30%.

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            I wasn’t planning in investing so much in as the potential for using what I already have…Diamonds in the Safety Deposit Box from (gasp!) two previous spouses…Saving them for the kids when older, but if necessary, will use them to support my family in time of need.

            • Black Flag says:

              Get them appraised and then divide by three.

              Those I would keep at the bank – there is no way in an emergency that these would trade anywhere near value.

              They would be valuable when things settle and you need to kick-start your own economic self.

      • OK, so this may sound dumb but do you invest in gold to replace current investments or do you invest in gold to actually use to buy and barter?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Not dumb at all Kathy…I was thinking purely as buy and barter should all hell break loose and I have to head to the mountains! I’m really finding all of this to be very helpful! How about you?

          Regards,
          RS

        • Black Flag says:

          I’m extreme (no!?! Really!?!) so I turned 60% of my cash reserves into gold.

          Others say 10% is enough.

          I converted 30% of my cash reserves into food and supplies (see 100 things Disappear for ideas). Others measure their supplies by time capacity, that is, they stock 3 months supply, for example – which is valid.

          I measured mine by cash capability. It allowed me to ramp up faster and pick up great discounts that were happening for large quantity purchases.

          I keep 10% of my cash reserves, in – cash! in my hand – not in the bank. I have a deep distrust of banks.

          It needs understanding of your relationship with a bank – many do not realize what this relationship you have with your bank regarding your money.

          When you deposit money in any manner with a bank, they are not trustees of your money – they are owners of your money.

          If I give my cash to JAC in trusteeship, he must keep my funds separate from his personal operating cash – because my money is not his money.

          A bank does not do this. When you deposit money in a bank, you are selling your money to them and they make payments to you.

          They add “your” money into their operating money and use it as if it was the same – because it is!

          Again, you have sold your money to them.

          Just like if you buy a car on credit. If you chose not to pay for it – it is still your car! You can drive it, crash it, etc. – and your creditor cannot stop you (without resorting to long, complex legal actions to force you to pay. Remember, that is what they are doing – forcing you to pay – not to get the car back though that is the LAST option they have – you not paying your loan is NOT THEFT – it is failing your contractual obligation.)

          In trusteeship, it is always your money and if the trustee uses it, it is called theft – like lending a car to a friend – he can’t crash or use it in a manner you didn’t authorize, and if he did not return your car – that would be theft.

          The bank owns your money on deposit – remember that. Then consider what powers you have to try to get back something that someone else owns.

          I keep in the bank just enough cash to pay my monthly draws and bills.

          I rarely use credit cards nor debit cards. I use cash money to buy most things.

          I withdrew my investments years ago. I am a renter. I saw the stock market was fueled by fiat and would horribly crash and the real estate market fueled by fiat and would horribly crash. I avoided both like the plague. For years, I looked like a fool.

          In my personal situation, I have a large current capacity to earn more than enough income to deal with my short term needs and wants directly from those earnings, plus enough to continue to fund the above cash reserves.

          I am looking for a very good deal in real estate – not the super-good deal (no one, but the lucky, ever get those – and as I play poker, I don’t believe in luck). When it comes along, I’ll sell some gold and pay the 20% or 30% down and get a 25 year mortgage @ 5% or so – locked in. The bank will make me rich.

          • Flag, Other than a mortgage, I have no business at all with banks. Pay all bills in cash locally, no credit cards, no loans, paid cash for my truck, and best of all, I’m damn happy about it! Now I’m investing in survival stuff for my “safe place” in the hills, thats also paid for. My first 1/4 of a cow will in the freezer (in the hills) Saturday, and will be spending the weekend preparing our large garden for planting. The plans are taking shape!

            G!

          • Black Flag says:

            Now that’s a plan!

          • Just land? House and land? way out? or close enough you can walk to get what ya need?

            • House and land! Don’t have to leave the porch to get meat!

              • Amazed1 says:

                LOL…..how much land? There are a few places around here…but getting few and far between….if ya want to move to Arkansas I will keep my eyes peeled. Hunting, fishing?

    • I like your #1 – buying jewelry! At least one can look good while the country is collapsing around you………

  30. esomhillgazette says:

    Yea!!!! I just had my first Liberal Drive-By on my site!!! I’m so PROUD!!! 😀

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Wow Esom…

      I just checked it out! I am so proud for you! You handled it well!

      Regards,
      RS

      • esomhillgazette says:

        It was easy to handle RS, since he just got me to laughing instead of mad!

        Also I backtracked him and Drive-by’ed him back! Boy, that was fun! 😀

    • I checked in as well. I offered him some kind advice. LOL

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Good deal G-Man…I also offered him some guidance…We’ve got your back Esom!!!!!

    • I checked it out also; seems this same person also popped onto USW’s Republican Party post and offered some intelligence.

      • I don’t recall USW’s RP post, but have seen this person on Fox Forum, and him/her/it offering intelligence is a huge stretch. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

        G!

        • Yeah, I should have put the “” around intelligence. Also the Repub Party post is a new one from today.

  31. To all:
    I just want to let you all know that although I put so called “conspiracy theories” within my dicussions, I am by no means trying to coercive anyone thoughts or opinions. I am just putting things out how I see them. I apologize if anyone take my comments offensive that is not my intention. Like I informed JAC, I plant seeds and try to expand your mind a little further then what we are thinking. I don’t want anyone to be surprised when it happens but want you all to be prepared. Like BF stated in his analogy, if I prepare and it doesn’t happen, ok, but if it does happen…you are ahead of the game. I was a very optimistic person for the longest, but now I have to stop thinking everything will work itself out and stop trusting the words of the politicians and look out for myself, my family, and people dear to me like those that are reading this forum. I feel this is an extended family and just want everyone to be prepared.

    Now with that said, I think people need to also look beyond gold and silver to invest in…the Barter system will be the part of the survival of the fittest in our near future. Bartering is a medium in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services, without the use of money. Necessasites will begin to disappear so having these products will be essential in the near future. Can I purchase a roll of toilet paper for a bar of your soap or can I have 3 can goods for a pack of feminine hygiene products? Farfetched…

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Nubian, like you my Optimism for the Country is starting to be hit hard, what little there is of it left. And besides, you could be right….

  32. Ok…so what is the deal of not allowing concern workers at the border not to wear mask and gloves to be cautious? Janet Nap…oh, how I love her! (being sarcastic) stated and I quote, “we will rely on science to determine whether mask can be worn. Let’s not panic, just provide good advice” yet Dr. Besser (CDC) states and I quote, “more people will be affected and I believe there will be many more deaths to come”…”It’s no point of shutting down the borders, the virus is already here” is what they echo in the Obama adminstration. Mexico have already claim Martial law; sorry, let me be politically correct State of Emergency and Mexico is pretty much shut down…Excuse, something smells fishy so serious, what the hell is really going on? Someone please warp me back to the reality I use to know…LOL!

    • Well…

      What I’ve been thinking is IF there is an hidden agenda, it may have to do with NAIS (National Animal Identification System). This has been in the works for about 10 years, but there is LOTS of opposition to it. I won’t get into details, but basically think of Big Brother type of tracking of every single livestock animal in the country. Think of every single rural resident having to register their premises and tag (RFID) all their animals through the USDA.

      People opposed to such a system have always said there will be scare tactics involved in finally getting it implemented. Think Mad Cow Disease, Bird Flu, SWINE FLU.

      Like many other things since Obama took over, it appears to be on the fast track now. Walter that runs the site below, was at a round table meeting with Tom Vilsack (New Secretary of Agriculture) recently, then this swine flu things pops up and gets blown all out of proportion. Vilsack gets on TV and assures everyone PORK is OK to eat….it is hurting the export market for swine.

      Well when you look at the bigger picture, maybe that is what we are missing as to the over reaction by the government and potential agenda. Click below, Walter was interviewed about the swine flu by his local FOX station.

      Even if you are not into raising / owning rural critters, this NAIS will still affect you, and the price you pay for meat.

      http://nonais.org/2009/04/30/swine-flu/

  33. Black Flag says:

    JAC,

    AIDS

    Boy, this is as bad as 9/11!

    Let me offer this…

    The disease was “discovered” by a sudden surge of and then defined with the appearance of Kaposi’s sarcoma.

    Today, Kaposi’s sarcoma IS NOT a disease of AIDS…..

    When the definition of a ‘disease’ changes with time, you know there is ‘something seriously wrong’ with the whole thing.

    • BF:
      There is so much around AIDS that I didn’t want to go into that coversation because I know my views and my research of AIDS will cause…well lets say a lot of disagreements and that “conspiracy theory” word will be throwed around just as it was when I used it in an example (as it was only used as an example to what I was explaining to ESOM about the government telling us the truth when it comes to the origin of catastropic diseases like they claim this will be) previously. Thank you for adding your knowledge.

      And what is this thing that if its a different view beyond what most people that are awake believe its a “conspiracy theory”? You know I was just thinking could any so called “conspiracy theory” be proven if all of the facts and people that come to these conclusions have been discredited? Seriously, the government wants us to remain blind and only know a third of the truth and knowing that much is too much. They are always 2 steps ahead of us….Am not anti-government I am anti-evil, corrupt, and self-interest government which we have on both sides of the table!

  34. Might be of interest to some of you http://survivemartiallaw.com/update_03_09_09.html

  35. Nubian,

    Just wanted to put in my two cents on conspiracy theories. I used to be a big fan. Two things changed my mind.

    The first was my visit, after forty years of talking about it, to Dallas and the school book depository. Standing in that window, looking down on the street where an X had been painted to denote the position of Kennedy’s limo, I, as a rifleman, knew it was an easy shot. Had I been a stone cold killer as I think Oswald was, I could have pulled it off and probably not missed with shot #2. Same with the “Grassy Knoll”, when you are actually there, it is one whole lot closer than it appears on the TV. Maybe if you were disguised as a tree or bush you could hide there but I doubt you could do it any other way.,

    Second was my gradual realization that a conspiracy, like a secret cannot be kept when more than two people know about it. While this is not a scientific fact, if you think back to “secrets” you have tried to keep, you will see what I mean. Look at Nixon and Watergate or Reagan and the contras. these were all real conspiracies that fell apart when everybody started running for cover.

    I don’t completely doubt that they exist but to pull them off you need incredible, literally throw yourself on the grenade loyalty of participants. Teddy K. at Chappaquiddick or the possible dispatch of Marilyn Monroe by the Kennedy’s come to mind. I grew up post WW 2 not knowing about FDR’s wheelchair and neither did my parents.

  36. TexasChem says:

    Speaking of conspiracy theories…was General patton murdered or did he really die in a car accident? 🙂

    • Interesting question, The logistics of an assassination would have required a large number of conspirators. The easier way would have been a “heart attack”. Patton did not die in the crash but lived for ten days with a broken neck. He was conscious and could speak. Family members visited him. Had there been this very ornate conspiracy I presume there would have been “medics” pre-positioned to conveniently respond and insure the General was dead at the scene.

      I used to love Jim Bishop’s “The Day Lincoln was Shot” That book pointed the finger at Stanton. Research since the 1950’s indicates that again it was probably a bunch of “little men” who wanted to be big men. that’s the way I feel about Oswald, Ruby and Sirhan. Oswald in particular. Replay the questions reporters threw at him as he was being transferred,watch his eyes and mannerisms. That was one serious psychopath.

      The only assassination that still really troubles me is Dr. King. maybe I missed something, but there are a lot of unanswered questions in my book about how James Earl Ray got the money to pull it off. I seem to remember him as a low-life ex-con. So, we have a lot of travel, an expensive rifle and good intel. Not saying he didn’t do it but was he hired? If he was though, again, falling back on my can’t keep a secret stuff I would assume it was no more than one or two people who hired him and, what did they hold over his head to prevent him from talking?

      Despite Spike Lee’s excellent movie on Malcolm X, trying to bring in the FBI as co-conspirators with The Nation of Islam and the honorable? Elijah Mohammad is just plain dumb. That was a conspiracy that was more like a mafia hit. The man was a huge threat to the Nation of Islam.

  37. WHO takes a page from a Michael Crichton Novel
    Text size
    F. William Engdahl
    Global Research
    May 4, 20099
    Flying Pigs and the WHO: Flying Pigs, Tamiflu and Factory Farms Part II

    As the late great American poet Yogi Berra might have put it, ‘this just gets absurder and absurder.’ The international agencies supposedly responsible for monitoring worldwide dangers of new pandemic threats, the WHO and CDC are acting like the directors of a Hollywood ‘B’ grade sci-fi movie or the author of a copycat version of Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain novel. The global panic over outbreak of a new human-to-human Swine Flu pandemic is increasingly revealed as a likely operation in mass psychological terror whose only beneficiaries are the few global pharmaceutical giants that are in the business of peddling so-called ‘antiviral’ drugs—Roche, SmithKlineGlaxo and Novavax most prominently. The losers are the rest of us normal folks.

    World Health Organization China’s Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, 2nd right, during a visit of the WHO Strategic Health Operations Center (SHOC) at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, May 3, 2009.

    The own releases of the WHO in Geneva and the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the central coordinating agencies in this production, are worth careful study. On April 30 the CDC issued a detailed report with the alarming title, Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infections in a School — New York City. The report described in detail a school in New York City where, ‘As of April 28, approximately half (45) of all U.S. cases of S-OIV infection had been confirmed among students and staff members.’ The CDC called these cases all ‘genetically similar to viruses subsequently isolated from patients in Mexico.’1 We are not told in scientific terms what ‘genetically similar to’ means, but it sure sounds ominous.

    At that point, the CDC claimed 109 victims of confirmed Swine Flu in the United States. Forty five of the 109 came from this New York School. The TV news channels were flooded with panic messages of the uncontrolled spread of Swine Flu.

    On April 29, the next day, the WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, upgraded their Swine Flu Pandemic alert status from a Phase 4 event to Phase 5, a step below full global Pandemic Alert.

    According to WHO, Phase 5 indicates that there is evidence of the virus being spread from human-to-human in at least two countries in one WHO region. Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterised by increased and sustained transmission in the general population. In her announcement of the upgrade, Dr Chan made an unfortunate panic-making added comment that was predictably grabbed onto by CNN and the world media: ‘After all it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.’2 Note the WHO Director-General had not declared a Pandemic Phase 6 alert, but in a speech in Geneva in an apparent side comment, merely made the self-evident observation that ‘during a pandemic’ all humanity is under threat.’

    A press release by the Atlanta-based CDC stated, ‘On May 3, CDC is scheduled to complete deployment of 25 percent of the supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to all states in the continental United States. These supplies and medicines will help states and US territories respond to the outbreak. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against the novel H1N1 flu virus.’3 The pandemic response apparatus was going into high gear.

    The 45 New York City school children the CDC solemnly reported were ‘confirmed cases of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) infection,’ ninety-five percent of whom reported to the health authorities symptoms that included ‘fever plus cough and/or sore throat, meeting the CDC definition for influenza-like illness (ILI).’

    OK. Better to be cautious when dealing with a new form of Andromeda Strain. But cough? Sore throat? Fever? Aren’t these pretty vague ordinary symptoms? Not for CDC apparently. The 45 kids were immediately added to the growing ‘confirmed cases’ statistics, fuelling emergency responses, statements by the President of the United States, economic catastrophe to the fragile Mexican economy as tourism dried up overnight, and worldwide fears of a new Black Death or at least a new version of the 1918 Spanish Flu plague.

    The CDC hastened to add the note, ‘symptoms in these patients appear to be similar to those of seasonal influenza.’ For those bothering to read through three detailed pages of the CDC New York report, they found near the end that, ‘on April 27, 37 patients (84%) reported that their symptoms were stable or improving, three (7%) reported worsening symptoms (two of whom later reported improvement), and four (9%) reported complete resolution of symptoms. Only one reported having been hospitalized for syncope and released after overnight observation.’ The CDC adds, ‘To date, this school-based outbreak is the largest cluster of S-OIV cases reported in the United States.’ 4

    In addition to the 109 ‘confirmed cases’ reported in the United States, including one death of a Mexican boy in Texas, the CDC reported as of April 29, ‘a total of 57 confirmed cases had been reported, including seven deaths (in Mexico). By country, the following numbers of cases had been reported: Mexico (26); Canada (13); United Kingdom (five); Spain (four); Germany and New Zealand (three each); Israel (two); and Austria (one).’5 Is this another case of ‘Chicken Little’ crying the sky is falling?

    A revealing name change

    Now, not only are the alleged victims in New York of the worst plague since the Black Death showing signs of remarkable recovery after only days, but the WHO also announces a name change in the middle of the worldwide events. By May 1 the WHO, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health in Maryland all announced the name Swine Flu was no longer appropriate, that, despite the fact that according to Dr. Raul Rabadan, a professor of computational biology at Columbia University, six of the eight genetic segments are purely swine flu and the other two segments are bird and human, but have lived in swine for the past decade.6

    We instead are told to call it Influenza A (H1N1). That’s a catchy name.

    The name change came following a heavy lobbying campaign by the US pig industry to drop the Swine Flu label as it was apparently cutting into pork sales. The largest US and world pig producer, Smithfield Foods of Virginia, was most certainly among those lobbying CDC and the WHO for the name change. They won their wish. But name change or not, the swine production process of Smithfield Foods and other industrialized Factory Farms or as they are technically known, CAFOs—Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation—bears closer scrutiny.

    As I detailed in Part I, the Mexican Swine Flu deaths and illness first were recorded in La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico, where local residents had for weeks prior to the official announcement been protesting the dangers of the huge Smithfield Foods pig CAFO in the village. Children and adults alike were reported having a rash of symptoms in the vicinity of the vast pig waste linked to the site. Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest industrialized pig meat producer. It also has one of the most egregious health and safety records.

    Pig feces and other niceties

    Feces is the Latin term for what most of the world terms shit, the waste product of human or animal digestion. Pigs are world champion waste producers. An average pig produces some three times in weight the amount of fecal matter that an adult person does. As GRAIN, an agricultural organization reports, ‘the rise of large-scale factory farms in North America has created the perfect breeding grounds for the emergence and spread of new highly-virulent strains of influenza.’7 The pig fecal waste product is at the center of the problem, something the CDC name change conveniently tends to obscure.

    As the GRAIN study notes, because concentrated animal feeding operations tend to concentrate large numbers of animals close together, they are ideal breeding grounds for toxins and virulent pathogens. In 2003 Science magazine warned that swine flu was ‘on a new evolutionary ‘fast track’ due to the increasing size of factory farms and the widespread use of vaccines in these operations.’8 It’s the same story with bird flu, where huge industrial CAFO Factory Farms with tens of thousands of chickens breed toxic waste galore.

    Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest hog butcher and CAFO owner has an impressive track record of violations of health and safety including water safety laws. In the USA, the world’s largest pig CAFO is in Tar Heel, North Carolina. According to local reports the town could easily be renamed Pig Waste, N.C. given the scale of fecal waste and combined matter Smithfield Foods’ Tar Heel CAFO emits locally.

    As Jeff Tietz, in an analysis of the pig waste problem calculated, ‘the best estimates put Smithfield’s total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year. That would fill four Yankee Stadiums. Even when divided among the many small pig production units that surround the company’s slaughterhouses, that is not a containable amount.’9

    Tietz adds, ‘So prodigious is its fecal waste, however, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do — even if it came marginally close to that standard — it would lose money. So many of its contractors allow great volumes of waste to run out of their slope-floored barns and sit blithely in the open, untreated, where the elements break it down and gravity pulls it into groundwater and river systems. Although the company proclaims a culture of environmental responsibility, ostentatious pollution is a linchpin of Smithfield’s business model.’10

    The problem, he and other critics of CAFO pollutants stress, is not just normal pig waste, but waste combined with staggering volumes of antibiotics and toxic chemicals used by Smithfield Foods and similar industrial CAFO operations to maximize ‘efficiency.’

    Tietz notes, ‘A lot of pig shit is one thing; a lot of highly toxic pig shit is another. The excrement of Smithfield hogs is hardly even pig shit: On a continuum of pollutants, it is probably closer to radioactive waste than to organic manure. The reason it is so toxic is Smithfield’s efficiency. The company produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. That’s a remarkable achievement, a prolificacy unimagined only two decades ago, and the only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations.’11

    The degrees of concentration in the Smithfield Foods vertically integrated pig meat concentrations have little to do with traditional hog farming. In facilities now spread around the world, Smithfield’s pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around.

    As Tietz notes, ‘Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.’12

    A d v e r t i s e m e n t

    He continues on the toxic CAFO conditions: ‘They become susceptible to infection, and in such dense quarters microbes or parasites or fungi, once established in one pig, will rush sprite-like through the whole population. Accordingly, factory pigs are infused with a huge range of antibiotics and vaccines, and are doused with insecticides. Without these compounds — oxytetracycline, draxxin, ceftiofur, tiamulin — diseases would likely kill them. Thus factory-farm pigs remain in a state of dying until they’re slaughtered. When a pig nearly ready to be slaughtered grows ill, workers sometimes shoot it up with as many drugs as necessary to get it to the slaughterhouse under its own power. As long as the pig remains ambulatory, it can be legally killed and sold as meat.’ 13

    Jeff Tietz is not the only one who has noticed the gargantuan scale of the Smithfield Foods CAFO pig waste problem. The United States Government Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has repeatedly fined Smithfield Foods for damage to local water supply with discharge of its pig waste from its CAFOs at Tar Heel and elsewhere across the USA. In Virginia, its home state, Smithfield was fined $12.6 million in 1997 for 6,900 violations of the Clean Water Act — the third-largest civil penalty ever levied under the act by the EPA, for waste generated during the hog-slaughtering and meat processing operations.14 There was little convincing evidence the fines changed their practice of waste disposal in any significant way.

    Smithfield Foods has spread its hog CAFOs to other countries where environmental regulations are presumably less strict, including Romania, Poland, and of course, rural Mexico. Several years ago the Smithfield pig CAFO in Romania was focus of major accusations by local and Government health officials. Smithfield refused to let local authorities enter its pig farms after residents complained of the stench coming from hundreds of dead corpses of pigs left rotting for days at the farms. ‘Our doctors have not had access to the American [company’s] farms to effect routine inspections,’ stated Csaba Daroczi, assistant director at the Timisoara Hygiene and Veterinary Authority in Romania. ‘Every time they tried, they were pushed away by the guards. Smithfield proposed that we sign an agreement that would oblige us to warn them three days before each inspection.’ It later emerged that Smithfield had been covering up a major outbreak of classical swine fever on its Romanian CAFO farms.15

    The Drug Cartel comes in

    Rather than order a full-scale independent investigation into the pathogen-generation in the toxic waste of Smithfield Foods’ Veracruz CAFO pig operations or other similar pig CAFOs around the world for production of deadly toxics and various possible pathogens, the CDC and increasingly the WHO seem to be more concerned with creating a climate for mass distribution of what have been documented to be dangerous, and in some cases deadly, influenza drugs such as Tamiflu.

    On April 14, almost two weeks before the panic over Mexico’s cases of Swine Flu or as CDC now prefers, Influenza A H1N1, the US pharmaceutical company, Novavax announced a pre-clinical study allegedly showing, ‘an investigational H1N1 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine based on the 1918 Spanish influenza strain protected against both the Spanish flu and a highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza strain.’ The genetically-manipulated vaccine of Novavax, the company claimed, ‘protected Mice and Ferrets Against the Spanish Flu and Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Bird Flu,’ and also conveniently ‘provided protection against highly pathogenic H1N1 and H5N1 Influenza strains.’16

    On April 24, the WHO issued a press release stating that ‘The Swine Influenza A/H1N1 viruses characterized in this outbreak have not been previously detected in pigs or humans. The viruses so far characterized have been sensitive to oseltamivir…’ Osteltamivir is the technical name for Tamiflu, the drug invented by Donald Rumsfeld’s Gilead Sciences and licensed to Roche Inc. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a convenient Emergency Authorization on April 27 that allows US health officials and others to administer Tamiflu even to infants under one year of age. The FDA statement added it had decided, ‘to authorize the use of unapproved or uncleared medical products or unapproved or uncleared uses of approved or cleared medical products following a determination and declaration of emergency.’17

    That suggests that the US Government has or is about to release experimental drugs on a panicked population such as the VLP-based Influenza vaccine of Novavax, as well as the vast stockpiles of Tamiflu and influenza drugs sold by giants like GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza (zanamivir).

    With the evidence to date of the scale of the ‘confirmed’ cases of Swine Flu H1N1 variety worldwide, 985 cases of influenza A (H1N1) or Swine Flu infection, there is hardly grounds to subject the human population to drugs whose side effects have included death or severe complications and typically flu-like symptoms and, as in the case of Tamiflu, never even claim to ‘prevent or cure’ the influenza. The entire drama of the past weeks is reading more and more like a bad remake of Crichton’s Andromeda Strain.

    Adding a note of the bizarre to the entire drama, in November 2004, amid the early days of the then-world panic over alleged Avian Flu, when Tamiflu was first promoted as a wonder drug by Donald Rumsfeld and others, the WHO published an extraordinary fantasy scenario. In a UN agency normally given to issuing dull scientific notices to world health professionals, the 2004 report was extraordinarily ‘prescient’ of the current scenario with Swine Flu panic. In a fantasy section titled ‘Sometime in the future…’ the WHO wrote four years ago,

    Rumours of an outbreak of unusually severe respiratory illness in two villages in a remote province reach the ministry of health in one of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Member States. A team is dispatched to the province and learns that the outbreak started about a month earlier. The team is able to identify at least 50 cases over the previous month. All age groups have been affected. Twenty patients are currently in the provincial hospital. Five people have already died of pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. Surveillance in surrounding areas is increased, and new cases are identified throughout the province. Respiratory specimens collected from several patients are tested at the national laboratory and are found to be positive for type A influenza virus, but they cannot be further subtyped. The isolates are sent to the WHO Reference Centre for Influenza for further characterization, where they are characterized as influenza A(H6N1), a subtype never isolated from humans before. Gene sequencing studies further indicate that most of the viral genes are from a bird influenza virus, with the remaining genes derived from a human strain.18

    That 2004 WHO fictional scenario reads as if it were the handbook for what has unfolded since late April in the US Mexico and beyond. It leads to serious question whether the world is being submitted to a giant psychological warfare game aimed at inducing them to take massive doses of dangerous drugs to counter a danger that does not actually exist as claimed.

    With the reported cases in Mexico clearly dropping off at present and little sign of the feared repeat of the 1918 Spanish Flu or worse as officials were warning only days earlier, it is well beyond time to launch a full-scale worldwide health inquiry into the toxic conditions of CAFO pig and other animal Factory Farm concentrations, and to end the official coverup of what has become a colossal health danger.

    Notes:

    1 Centers for Disease Control, Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infections in a School — New York City, April 2009, April 30, 2009. Accessed in
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm58d0430a1.htm.

    2 Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, quoted in Murray Wardrop, Swine flu All of humanity under threat WHO warns, Daily Telegraph, London, April 30, 2009.

    3 CDC, H1N1 (Swine Flu), accessed in http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.

    4Centers for Disease Control, Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infections in a School — New York City… Op. Cit.

    5 Ibid.

    6 Seth Borenstein, Swine flu name change? Flu genes spell pig, AP, May 1, 2009, accessed in
    http://www.physorg.com/news160371024.html.

    7 GRAIN, A food system that kills: Swine flu is meat industry’s latest plague, April 2009, accessed in
    http://www.grain.org/articles/?id=48.

    8 Bernice Wuethrich, Chasing the Fickle Swine Flu, Science, Vol. 299, 2003.

    9 Jeff Tietz, Pork’s Dirty Secret: America’s Top Hog Producer is also one of America’s Worst Polluters, Rolling Stone, December 14, 2006.

    10 Ibid.

    11 Ibid.

    12 Ibid.

    13 Ibid.

    14 EPA, UNITED STATES SUES SMITHFIELD FOODS FOR POLLUTING VIRGINIA WATERWAYS, Press Release, December 16, 1996.

    15 Mirel Bran, Swine Plague: Romania Criticizes American Group’s Attitude, Le Monde, 15 August
    2007, translated by Leslie Thatcher, cited in GRAIN Op Cit..

    16 Tricia J. Richardson, NOVAVAX Announces Publication of a Preclinical Study Demonstrating that a Virus-like Particle Vaccine Provided Protection Against Highly Pathogenic H1N1 and H5N1 Influenza Strains, April 14, 2009, Rockville, Md. Press Release.

    17 FDA News, FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Influenza Medicines, Diagnostic Test in Response to Swine Flu Outbreak in Humans, April 27, 2009.

    18 WHO, WHO checklist for influenza pandemic preparedness planning, November 2004, accessed in
    http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:XuupgF1uNAIJ:www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/influenza/FluCheck6web.pdf+who+influenza+pandemic+preparedness+checklist&cd=1&hl=de&ct=clnk&gl=de&client=firefox-a.

  38. Great blogpost, I favorited your site so I can visit again in the future, Cheers

Trackbacks

  1. […] PigDookey… The Swine Flu “Crisis” « Stand Up For America […]

%d bloggers like this: