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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get Your Two Week Supply Ready.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Community Planning for Swine Flu
April 28, 2009 6:45 PM ET

Script
Health officials are concerned about a new influenza virus of swine origin that’s spreading from person to person. Officials are acting to combat this threat, but the outbreak might grow. So be prepared.

Store a two-week supply of food and water. Have two weeks of your regular prescription drugs at home. Keep health supplies on hand, including pain relievers and cold medicines.

For more details, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

A message from HHS.

CDC.gov
H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
Swine Flu website last updated April 30, 2009, 10:30 AM ET

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of April 30, 2009, 10:30 AM ET)
Arizona 1
California 14
Indiana 1
Kansas 2
Massachusetts 2
Michigan 1
Nevada 1
New York 50
Ohio 1
South Carolina 10
Texas 26 cases and 1 death

TOTAL COUNTS 109 cases 1 death (someone visiting from Mexico)

...the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 5 on April 29, 2009. A Phase 5 alert 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.”

The United States Government has declared a public health emergency...CDC’s response goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency...

...CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) continues to send antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against this new virus.

"People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people...

In late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses were first reported in Southern California and near Guadalupe County, Texas...

No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe...

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick...

CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms)...

Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods...

...some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces...

...There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu...

...Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between 2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with no deaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious. In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died 8 days later. A swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey occurred in 1976 that caused more than 200 cases with serious illness in several people and one death...

...CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) continues to send antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak..."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Diversionary Tactics? Economy Worse.

Now that you have comparative data (prior post), showing that the true resistant flu is not the Swine Flu (H1N1), but instead H3N2, you may want to see the newest twist.

First, by now you may have already read or heard the we had our first "American" death from the Swine Flu. Well, while I have sympathy for anyone who loses a loved one, the toddler wasn't really "American". It happened on our soil, yes. However, the child was visiting from Mexico.

While any spread of illness is a serious issue (and I am certainly of the opinion that you should be prepared), flu illnesses are not uncommon and that includes new strains.

I still wonder why there is so much attention being paid when a simple warning could be put into place for prevention measures (i.e., washing hands which everyone should do anyway).

When you read the story below (along with the fact that $1.5 billion has been pulled off by Obama as an emergency fund even though we have strategic reserves of antivirals) you may wonder why the economy has not been touted the main story of the day...

Economy shrinks at 6.1 percent pace in 1Q

Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer
WASHINGTON – The economy shrank at a worse-than-expected 6.1 percent pace at the start of this year as sharp cutbacks by businesses and the biggest drop in U.S. exports in 40 years overwhelmed a rebound in consumer spending.

The Commerce Department's report, released Wednesday, dashed hopes that the recession's grip on the country loosened in the first quarter. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 5 percent annualized decline.

Instead, the economy ended up performing nearly as bad as it had in the final three months of last year when it logged the worst slide in a quarter-century, contracting at a 6.3 percent pace. Nervous consumers played a prominent role in that dismal showing as they ratcheted back spending in the face of rising unemployment, falling home values and shrinking nest eggs.

In the January-March quarter consumers came back to life, boosting their spending after two straight quarters of reductions. The 2.2 percent growth rate was the strongest in two years.

Much stronger demand for big-ticket "durable" goods, including cars, furniture and household appliances led the increase. That spending rose at a 9.4 pace, the most in a year. Consumers also boosted spending on clothing, shoes, recreation services, medical care, gasoline and other energy products. But not on food, where spending dipped slightly.

Still, the consumer rebound was swamped by heavy spending cuts in virtually every other area.

Businesses cut spending on home building, commercial construction, equipment and software, and inventories of goods. Sales of U.S. goods to foreign buyers plunged as they retrenched in the face of economic troubles in their own countries. Even the government trimmed spending. It was the first time that happened since the end of 2005.

All told, the economy logged its worst six-month performance since the late 1950s.

The sharp cuts underscore the toll the housing, credit and financial crises — the worst since the 1930s — are having on the country. The recession, which began in December 2007, has taken a big bite out of national economic activity and snatched 5.1 million jobs.

To cushion the impact of the downturn, the Federal Reserve has slashed a key bank lending rate to a record low near zero and rolled out a string of radical programs to spur lending. The Fed at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday is expected to keep its key rate near zero and probably hold it there well into next year.

Wall Street shook off the weak gross domestic product reading as it awaited the Fed's assessment of the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average added more than 155 points in midday trading and broader indices also rose.

President Barack Obama is counting on his $787 billion stimulus of tax cuts and increased government spending on big public works projects to help bolster economic activity later this year. The administration also has put forward programs to rescue banks and curb home foreclosures — big negative forces weighing on the economy.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the first-quarter's showing a "pretty severe contraction," but added that some more up-to-date signals on the economy have been more encouraging. "We continue to get, as the president said, some glimmers of hope," he said.

Even in the face of Wednesday's weaker-than-expected report, some analysts stuck to predictions that the economy would shrink less in the current April-June period — at a pace of 1 to 2.5 percent — as Obama's stimulus begins to take hold. Those analysts also continue to hope the economy would start to grow again in the final quarter of this year.

"The recession was bad in the first quarter but won't be as bad going forward," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia. "I don't think this lessens the expected pattern that the economy will be entering a recovery by the end of this year."

However, the recent outbreak of the swine flu, which started out in Mexico and has spread to the United States and elsewhere, poses a new potential danger. If the flu stifles trade and forces consumers to cut back further, those negative forces would worsen the recession.

Before the flu outbreak, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession could end this year if the government succeeds in stabilizing the shaky financial system and getting banks to lend again.

In recent weeks, Bernanke and his colleagues had cited "tentative signs" of the recession easing in some consumer spending, home building and other reports. Finance officials from the U.S. and other top economic powers meeting here last week also saw some hopeful signs for the global economy.

Fresh glimmers of hope emerged in the U.S. Tuesday. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose far more than expected in April, jumping more than 12 points to 39.2, the highest level since November. And a housing index showed that home prices dropped sharply in February, but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record.

However, in the first quarter there was much weakness in those areas and others.

Spending on home building fell at a 38 percent annualized rate, the most since the second quarter of 1980. Businesses cut spending on equipment and software at a 33.8 percent pace, the most since the first quarter of 1958.

Inventory reductions shaved 2.79 percentage points off overall first-quarter economic activity. But with stockpiles slashed, any pickup in business sales would help increase production and bolster the economy in the current quarter.

Still, U.S. exports plunged at a rate of 30 percent, the biggest drop since the first quarter of 1969, reflecting the crimped appetite of struggling foreign buyers. The government also cut spending 3.9 percent, the most since the end of 1995.

Even if the recession were to end this year, the economy will remain feeble and unemployment will keep climbing, government officials and analysts say.

The Labor Department on Wednesday said that all 372 metropolitan areas tracked saw their jobless rates rise in March from a year earlier. The rate in Indiana's Elkhart-Goshen region soared to 18.8 percent, up 13 percentage points, which was the biggest gain in the country.

The national jobless rate is now at a quarter-century high of 8.5 percent and is expected to hit 10 percent by the end of this year. It will probably rise a bit higher in early 2010 before starting to slowly drift downward. Still, the Fed predicts unemployment will stay elevated into 2011, and economists don't think it will return to normal — around a 5 percent jobless rate — until 2013.

More layoffs were announced this week. Textron Inc. said it will expand layoffs, eliminating 8,300 jobs, or 20 percent, of its global work force as the recession weakens demand for corporate planes. The maker of Cessna planes, Bell helicopters and turf-maintenance equipment earlier this year said it would reduce its work force by 6,200 jobs, or 15 percent, mostly at Wichita, Kansas-based Cessna.

General Motors Corp. laid out a massive restructuring plan that includes cutting 21,000 U.S. factory jobs by next year. Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, said it's cutting 590 jobs in its second round of mass layoffs this year amid pressure from the recession and evaporating advertising budgets. And bearings and specialty steels maker Timken Co. indicated it will cut about 4,000 more jobs by the end of this year after earlier suggesting about 3,000 jobs already had been targeted.

Swine Flu. Comparative Statistical Data. Resistance.



CDC site

Influenza A (H1N1) 0.4% resistant
Influenza A (H3N2) 100% resistant

Swine flu spreads in 10 US states, Europe

WASHINGTON – Virulent swine flu spread to 10 U.S. states from coast to coast Wednesday and swept deeper into Europe, extending its global reach as President Barack Obama mourned the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas. Total American cases surged to nearly 100, and Obama said wider school closings might be necessary.

The World Health Organization said the outbreak is moving closer to becoming a full-scale pandemic.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the organization's top flu expert, told reporters in Geneva that the latest developments are moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission. That's just one step below level 6, a full-fledged pandemic.

In Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was questioned closely by senators about whether the U.S. should close its border with Mexico, where the outbreak apparently began and the casualties have been the greatest. She repeated the administration's position that questioning of people at borders and ports of entry was sufficient for now and said closing borders "has not been merited by the facts."

Dr. Richard Besser, the acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control, said in Atlanta that there are confirmed cases now in ten states, with 51 in New York, 14 in California and 16 in Texas. Two cases have been confirmed in Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan, while a single cases have been reported in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.

In a possible outbreak north of the Mexican border, the commandant of the Marine Corps said a Marine in southern California might have the illness and 39 Marines were being confined on their California base until tests come back.

Marine General James Conway told a Pentagon briefing an initial test indicated the sick Marine — who was not identified — might have swine flu but his illness did not appear life-threatening.

Obama said he wanted to extend "my thoughts and prayers" to the family of a nearly two-year-old Mexican boy who died in Houston, the first confirmed U.S. fatality among more than five dozen infections. Health officials in Texas said the child had traveled with his family from Mexico, to Brownsville on April 4 and was brought to Houston after becoming ill. He died Monday night.

"This is obviously a serious situation," and "we are closely and continuously monitoring" it, Obama said of the spreading illness.

Those sentiments were echoed by the Senate's top Republican. "This is a very worrisome situation and we're all following it very closely," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We stand ready to closely work with the administration to protect the American people as this situation unfolds."

Meanwhile, Egypt's government ordered the slaughter of all pigs in the country as a precaution, though no swine flu cases have been reported there. Egypt's overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork, but farmers raise some 300,000-350,000 pigs for the Christian minority.

The disease is not spread by eating pork, and farmers were to be allowed to sell the meat from the slaughtered animals.

In fact, officials appeared to go out of their way on Wednesday to not call the strain "swine flu." Obama called the bug the "H1N1 virus."

"The disease is not a food-borne illness," Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, CDC's interim science and public health deputy direct, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

She said the strain is particularly worrisome because "it's a virus that hasn't been around before. The general population doesn't have immunity from it."

People have various levels of protection against other more common types of flu because they are exposed to it over time, and that protection accumulates. She suggested that some older people might have more resistance to this particular strain than younger people because its traits might resemble outbreaks of decades ago.

Germany became the latest country to report swine flu infections. It reported four cases on Wednesday.

New Zealand's total rose to 14. Britain had earlier reported five cases, Spain four. There were 13 cases in Canada, two in Israel and one in Austria.

Obama said it is the recommendation of public health officials that authorities at schools with confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu "should strongly consider temporarily closing so that we can be as safe as possible."

He was underscoring advice that the CDC provided earlier to cities and states, and that some schools — most prominently in New York City — already have followed.

"If the situation becomes more serious and we have to take more extensive steps, then parents should also think about contingencies if schools in their areas do temporarily shut down, figuring out and planning what their child care situation would be," Obama advised.

He advised people to take their own precautions — washing hands, staying home if they are sick, and keeping sick kids home.

Obama said the federal government is "prepared to do whatever is necessary to control the impact of this virus." He noted his request for $1.5 billion in emergency funding to ensure adequate supplies of vaccines.

CDC for days has said people with flulike symptoms should stay home — but now also is stressing that other family members should consider staying home or at least limiting how much they go out until they're sure they didn't catch it.

Besser, the acting CDC director, called it "an abundance of caution," but stressed that it's voluntary and that the government hasn't urged actual quarantine, which isn't really effective with flu.

Human Infections with Swine Influenza A Virus:
On April 17, 2009, CDC and the California Department of Public Health determined that two cases of febrile respiratory illness occurring in children who reside in adjacent counties in southern California were caused by infection with a swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. On April 22, CDC confirmed an additional three cases of swine influenza among residents of the two counties, two adults and one adolescent. All case-patients had symptoms of ILI. Additional testing at CDC identified swine influenza A (H1N1). All five had self-limited ILI and have recovered; one required hospitalization. Two additional cases were identified from Texas and confirmed as swine influenza at CDC on April 23.

Of the five case-patients with swine influenza A (H1N1) infection from California, two are a father and daughter and other than the father-daughter, the five case-patients have no known epidemiologic link or contact with pigs. The two new case-patients from Texas are schoolmates and an epidemiologic investigation is currently underway.

The viruses from all seven cases are closely related genetically and contain a unique combination of gene segments that have not been reported in the United States or elsewhere. Viruses from 6 cases are all resistant to amantadine and rimantidine and sensitive to zanamivir and oseltamivir, and sensitivity testing is underway for the remaining virus.

Vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine containing human influenza A (H1N1) would not be expected to provide protection against swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses.

Additional information on swine influenza is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/index.htm

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fear Mongering. New Tactic.

I know that I have been somewhat to blame over the last couple of days for passing on the information about Swine Flu. However, is it interesting in a disturbing sort of way to anyone else that the information about this strain of flu is being blown out of proportion?!

Look at the center of this quote from an article today on Yahoo News
"On Monday morning, a 5.6 earthquake in Mexico added to that country's woes, where the death count from suspected swine flu cases had climbed to 152 and more than 1,600 people across the nation had fallen ill. So far, laboratories have confirmed only 26 of Mexico's cases, including seven deaths, as swine flu. In an effort to stem further spread of the apparently deadly disease"

Did you notice how low the numbers actually are (bold added)? It's kind of like the word "terrorist", or "terrorism" that was used in our face since 2001 to instill fear so that certain programs could happen and be justified. Now, instead of the "terrorism" threat, we have a health scare that is putting people on edge around the globe. What is it that this new fear tactic is covering up? What is actually going on?

Is Swine Flu in Utah?

Questions and answers about swine flu in Utah
The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 04/28/2009 07:44:41 AM MDT

Utah has no confirmed or even suspected cases of swine flu as of Monday evening. But health officials, hospitals and others are preparing for possible cases. Here's what you need to know, from the Utah Department of Health and other responders.

How worried should I be about the swine flu breaking out in Utah?

Utahns should be highly alert for symptoms -- particularly if you have recently traveled to Mexico or had contact with someone who has -- but otherwise carry on with their normal lives. "What people don't acknowledge is we have deaths from seasonal influenza every year," said David Sundwall, executive director of the Utah Department of Health.

Is it inevitable that Utah will have cases?

It's "likely," Sundwall said, adding: "I'll be surprised if it doesn't show up here." In Idaho, four reports of people with flulike illnesses were being investigated Monday, according to the state Department of Health and Welfare. One person is from Fremont County, two are from Madison County, and the fourth is from Ada County.

Are the symptoms of swine flu different than the seasonal flu?

Not really. Symptoms of either flu may include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat or cough; some patients may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has seen more severe diarrhea or vomiting, or both, in some cases of swine flu.

How do I avoid getting the flu?

Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or ill. Wash your hands frequently. If you're not sick, do not seek anti-viral medication from your doctor unless you have symptoms, the Utah Department of Health urges.

Will my seasonal flu shot protect me?

No.

What should I do if I feel ill?

» Stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the infection.

» Cover your cough with your shirt sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

» Seek medical care for severe symptoms; clinicians will collect samples for testing at the Utah Public Health Laboratory.

Do Utah's hog farms make the states' residents more vulnerable to swine flu?

No, because people who have the virus generally have not had contact with pigs, said Tom Hudachko, state health department spokesman.

Leonard Blackham, Utah commissioner of Agriculture and Food, added there is no sign that Utah hogs are infected with the new flu, and a network of state and private veterinarians will continue to monitor the health of farm animals.

Because pigs can catch the flu from humans, he added, producers are being urged to keep ill employees away from animals.

The high rate of international travel to and from Utah may be a more problematic factor, Sundwall said.

Can I catch swine flu from eating pork?

No. Swine flu viruses are not transmitted by food. And cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit kills viruses and foodborne pathogens, Blackham said.

What is Utah doing to prepare for possible cases?

» Acquiring about 60,000 doses of anti-viral medication from the Strategic National Stockpile, bringing Utah's arsenal up to more than 100,000. Tamiflu and Relenza appear to affect the symptoms of the swine flu virus.

» Health and hospital officials are urging prevention and planning care for possible swine flu patients, based on existing detailed pandemic flu plans.

» Infectious disease experts and other clinicians at Intermountain Medical Center, Utah's largest Trauma 1 center, met Monday morning to discuss how to respond to the nation's declaration of a public health emergency and to prepare for potential patients.

» As a precaution, patients coming to any Intermountain Healthcare hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley -- LDS Hospital, Alta View Hospital and The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital -- are being asked to wear a mask if they have respiratory illnesses or symptoms, including coughing. Visitors with such symptoms are being asked to stay away.

» University Hospital alerted staff to be on the look out for symptoms, but had not seen an influx of patients with apparent swine flu symptoms. MountainStar hospitals, including St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, also are preparing to treat possible swine flu patients and are isolating patients with infectious symptoms in the meantime.

Is Salt Lake City International Airport taking precautions?

Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann said a "very small" number of Customs officials and airline agents in the International terminal are voluntarily wearing masks and gloves to protect themselves.

She said as of Sunday, Delta Airlines stopped its last nonstop flight to Mexico City, because of a seasonal lull in travel. The airport still has 14 weekly nonstop flights to San Jose, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, Mexico. That is 1,700 seats each week, Gann said.

"Our exposure to direct Mexico flights is minimal," she said.

Is the outbreak having an affect on Utahns' travel plans?

Not yet. Morris Murdock Travel had only four cancellations Monday out of almost 1,000 people who had booked trips to Mexican resorts. A handful of customers switched destinations from Mexico to Hawaii or the Caribbean, said spokesman Jim Barsch. Mexico is the second largest source of foreign tourists to Utah, so industry officials are watching reports closely, but trying not to create a panic. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has not altered plans for a May 11-14 trade mission to Israel.

Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taking any precautions for missionaries in Mexico? Are all missionaries well?

Missionaries are safe but church authorities have canceled all meetings until further notice. LDS leaders have also advised missionaries and members in Mexico City to follow basic sanitary precautions as a guard against infections. LDS Church records show 1,121,933 members in Mexico and 21 missions with between 75 and 150 missionaries each.

Where can I learn more?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer more information at www.cdc.gov/swineflu. Utah has developed its own site at health.utah.gov/epi/SwineFlu/.

Tribune reporters Julia Lyon, Jason Bergreen, Mike Gorrell and Peggy Fletcher Stack contributed to this report.

Swine Flu Update.


Swine Influenza (Flu)

Swine Flu website last updated April 28, 2009 11:00 AM ET

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
(As of April 28, 2009 11:00 AM ET)

California 10 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 45 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 6 cases
TOTAL COUNT 64 cases

The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients. Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu. In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4. A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.” The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.

CDC has activated its emergency operations center to coordinate the agency’s emergency response. CDC ’s goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this swine influenza virus. Yesterday, CDC issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. CDC continues to issue interim guidance daily on the website and through health alert network notices. CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

WebMD...
What is swine flu?
Like people, pigs can get influenza (flu), but swine flu viruses aren't the same as human flu viruses. Swine flu doesn't often infect people, and the rare human cases that have occurred in the past have mainly affected people who had direct contact with pigs. But the current swine flu outbreak is different. It's caused by a new swine flu virus that has spread from person to person -- and it's happening among people who haven't had any contact with pigs.

What are swine flu symptoms?
Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Those symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions, and that means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, if you've got swine flu. It takes a lab test to tell whether it's swine flu or some other condition.

If I think I have swine flu, what should I do? When should I see my doctor?
If you have flu symptoms, stay home, and when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Afterward, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. That will help prevent your flu from spreading.

If you've got flu symptoms, and you've recently been to a high-risk area like Mexico, CDC officials recommend that you see your doctor. If you have flu symptoms but you haven't been in a high-risk area, you can still see a doctor -- that's your call.

Keep in mind that your doctor will not be able to determine whether you have swine flu, but he or she would take a sample from you and send it to a state health department lab for testing to see if it's swine flu. If your doctor suspects swine flu, he or she would be able to write you a prescription for Tamiflu or Relenza. Those drugs may not be required; U.S. swine flu patients have made a full recovery without it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Death Toll Rises in Mexico

Mexico: suspected swine flu deaths climb to 149
April 27th, 2009 @ 11:02am

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico's government is ordering closed schools nationwide as the suspected death toll from swine flu climbed to 149.

Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova says only 20 of the deaths have been confirmed to be from swine flu and the government was awaiting tests results on the rest.

He says 1,995 people have been hospitalized with serious cases of pneumonia since the first case of swine flu was reported on April 13. The government does not yet know how many were swine flu.

Of those hospitalized, 1,070 have been released.

Cordova says school at all levels nationwide are suspended until May 6. Schools had already been suspended in Mexico City and five of Mexico's 32 states.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexico's government is ordering closed schools nationwide as the suspected death toll from swine flu climbed to 149.

Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova says only 20 of the deaths have been confirmed to be from swine flu and the government was awaiting tests results on the rest.

He says 1,995 people have been hospitalized with serious cases of pneumonia since the first case of swine flu was reported on April 13. The government does not yet know how many were swine flu.

Of those hospitalized, 1,070 have been released.

Cordova says school at all levels nationwide are suspended until May 6. Schools had already been suspended in Mexico City and five of Mexico's 32 states.


(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Understanding Swine Flu

Understanding Swine Flu Outbreak: Questions and Answers

By John Lauerman

April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Swine flu, a virus that normally infects pigs, has been detected in people in Mexico, the U.S., New Zealand, Canada, and the U.K. Health officials around the world are checking to see whether infections have occurred in their countries, and readying measures to prevent its spread.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about swine flu. The information is drawn from the data released by the World Health Organization in Geneva and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Q: What is swine flu? A: Influenza is a virus that infects people, birds, pigs and other animals such as ferrets. Swine flu, or swine influenza, is a form of the virus that normally infects pigs. There are many forms of flu, and the different varieties have the ability to exchange genes with one another. The form of flu that originated in Mexico is a genetic mixture of viruses that have been seen in pigs, birds and people. It’s being called a swine flu because the overall structure of the virus is of the type that affects pigs, said Keiji Fukuda, a WHO official.

Q: How do people catch swine flu? A: Studies are still ongoing on how this particular swine flu is transmitted. Flu is generally transmitted through the respiratory tract. Droplets of infected body fluids can carry flu when people cough or sneeze. Studies indicate that masks called N95 respirators that, when properly used, filter germs from the breath and hamper the spread of flu. Neither contact with pigs nor eating pork has been linked to the spread of the flu, Fukuda said today. Still, health researchers are working to establish that the virus is spreading from person-to-person.

Q: What are the symptoms of swine flu? A: About one to four days usually elapse between the time a person is infected and the onset of symptoms. Influenza normally causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches and body aches, fever, chills, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Swine flu causes the same symptoms, and may be difficult to distinguish from other strains of flu and respiratory illnesses. Severe cases of flu that lead to death are normally seen in very young and very old people whose immune systems are too weak to fight off the virus. Adults with severe illness may also have difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, or severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Q: How can I tell if my child is sick? A: Children who are breathing abnormally fast or slowly may have respiratory illness. Bluish skin indicates a need for quick attention. Children who are abnormally sluggish and sleepy, irritable, or have fever or rash may also need attention.

Q: Have there been outbreaks of swine flu before? A: Yes. Health officials said in 1976 that an outbreak of swine flu in people might lead to a pandemic. Widespread vaccination was carried out in the U.S. before experts determined that the virus was not dangerous enough to cause a pandemic. Swine flu occasionally infects people in the U.S. without causing large outbreaks. From 2005 through January 2009, there were 12 reported swine flu cases in the U.S. None of them caused deaths.

Q: Why are health officials concerned about the outbreak of swine flu? A: When flu viruses mix their genes with one another, they can take on new forms. New flu viruses are harder for the immune system to defend against. With little or no opposition from the immune system, they can grow quickly and invade many tissues and organs. They may also set off a harmful immune overreaction in the body, called a “cytokine storm,” that may be lethal in itself. The swine flu virus from Mexico may have the ability to spread quickly and kill people, possibly causing a worldwide pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are conducting studies right now to determine how easily the virus spreads in people and how dangerous it is.

Q: What’s a flu pandemic? A: Flu pandemics occur when new influenza viruses emerge that spread quickly and few people have immunity to them. While influenza viruses were only discovered about a century ago, researchers believe flu pandemics hit about twice or three times each century. Some pandemics are relatively mild, killing just a few million people globally. The most severe flu pandemic on record was the 1918 Spanish Flu, and researchers estimate it killed about 50 million people around the world.

Q: Are there any similarities between the swine flu and earlier pandemic viruses? A: Flu viruses are classified by two proteins on their surface, called H for hemagglutinin and N for neuraminidase. Both the swine flu found in Mexico and the 1918 Spanish Flu viruses are of the H1N1 subtype. Both viruses appear to have originated in animals; researchers believe the Spanish flu spread to people from birds. The two viruses are not identical, and there are still many genetic differences between them that researchers are studying.

Q: Do all H1N1 viruses cause pandemics? A: Not all H1N1 viruses cause pandemics. H1N1 descendants of the Spanish Flu virus continue to circulate in people and sometimes cause outbreaks of seasonal flu.

Q: Is there a vaccine against the swine flu from Mexico? A: Flu vaccines generally contain a dead or weakened form of a circulating virus. The vaccine prepares the body’s immune system to fend off a true infection. For the vaccine to work, it must match the circulating, “wild-type” virus relatively closely. There is no vaccine currently that exactly matches the swine flu. However, if the virus is sufficiently similar to circulating forms of H1N1 flu that are included in current vaccines, they may offer some limited protection from swine flu. While U.S. health officials are investigating this, the possibilities for this protection are poor, they said yesterday on a telephone call.

In addition, millions of people in the U.S. were vaccinated against swine flu in 1976. While that was not the same strain of flu as the one from Mexico, people who got the 1976 vaccine may get some limited protection from the currently circulating virus. Health officials may do some research on this issue as well.

Vaccine makers have contacted the World Health Organization about obtaining samples of the virus needed to make a vaccine. Making flu vaccine can take three to six months, depending on the type of manufacturing used.

Q: Are there drugs that treat swine flu? A: Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Relenza both have activity against swine flu. The U.S. has released its stockpile of Tamiflu to treat people with swine flu. Flu viruses sometimes develop resistance to antiviral drugs. The human form of H1N1 that’s currently circulating is resistant to Roche’s Tamiflu (not Relenza). If the two viruses were to exchange genes, the swine flu might become resistant, too.

Q: How else can I protect myself from swine flu? A: Personal hygiene measures, such as avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing and frequent hand-washing, may prevent flu infection. Those who aren’t health professionals should avoid contact with sick people, or those who are coughing or sneezing. People who get sick with flu symptoms should stay home. Studies have suggested that closing schools, theaters, and canceling gatherings in the early stages of a pandemic can limit its spread. Such measures would likely take place if health officials determine that the virus is spreading quickly enough and is deadly enough to cause a pandemic.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net; Jason Gale in Singapore at j.gale@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: April 26, 2009 22:29 EDT

Mexico Quake Complicating Swine Quarantine



Mexico quake at 6.0 magnitude near Mexico City. People pan out into the streets to escape the possible danger from the quake. This causing issues with city wide quarantine due to Swine Flu Pandemic.

Utah. Swine Flu

Swine Flu - Utah Public Health Officials Order Supplies From Strategic National Stockpile
Main Category: Swine Flu
Article Date: 27 Apr 2009 - 9:00 PDT

While no cases of swine influenza (H1N1) have been documented in Utah, public health officials are taking a proactive approach in order to be prepared for a possible outbreak. As of this afternoon, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 20 cases of swine flu in five states - California, Texas, Ohio, Kansas and New York. In addition, CDC along with the World Health Organization is assisting the Mexican government in tracking an outbreak caused by the same swine influenza virus.

Earlier today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency as a consequence of the outbreak. The declaration will assist public health officials in responding to the outbreak.

As a precaution, the UDOH has initiated the process of ordering 25 percent of the state's pro-rated share of anti-viral medications and other supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. State and local health officials are coordinating their response with Gov. Jon Huntsman, the Utah Department of Public Safety, as well as other federal government partners.

"Even though we don't have any cases in Utah, this is still a situation where we need to be on high alert, but not to panic," said Utah Department of Health Executive Director Dr. David Sundwall. "The UDOH has increased its disease surveillance efforts and asks that all physicians be on the lookout for patients who may be exhibiting flu-like symptoms and report them to public health officials."

Symptoms may include fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat or cough; some patients may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The UDOH recommends people who have flu symptoms remain home and limit contact with others unless the severity of illness requires medical care. Physicians who see these patients should collect specimens, such as a nasal swab, and submit them for testing at the Utah Public Health Laboratory.

It's also important for individuals to realize the swine flu virus is not transmitted by food and that you cannot get swine flu from eating pork products.

"We recognize that it is difficult to foresee the extent to which Swine Influenza A will affect our local communities," said Lloyd Berentzen, Health Officer for the Bear River Health Department and President of the Utah Local Health Officers Association. "Because of this uncertainty it is important that we ramp up our awareness and preparedness practices. We will do all we can to protect our communities and empower individuals to know what they can do."

Public health officials also stressed the importance of the public's cooperation and participation in preventing an outbreak and offered the following tips:
As is the case with any respiratory illness, people who are sick should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading their infection,

Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or ill,

Cover your cough with your shirt sleeve,

If you are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if possible,

Everyone should wash their hands frequently.
Source
Utah Department of Health

Sit and wait for the spread



Spread of Swine Flu in U.S. Likely to Be Under-reported
Spread of Swine Flu in U.S. Likely to Be Under-reported. EIN News Offers Comprehensive Coverage of the Swine Flu Emergency


WASHINGTON, April 27 - /EIN NEWS/ As the aggressively spreading swine flu makes its way to U.S. soil, states are scrambling to judge the full extent of how susceptible the population is to infection. But some states are having no problem with reporting the impact: That's because they don't have the means to effectively investigate illness complaints.

Because of a lack of resources, the exact extent to which the population is at risk for disease is never really known. Whereas some states, such as Minnesota and Washington, lead the nation in reporting outbreaks and communicating the risks to their residents. Others have no resources, or minimal resources, to do so.

According to the New York Times, "Congress and the Obama administration have said that more inspections and new food production rules are needed to prevent food-related diseases, but far less attention has been paid to fixing the fractured system by which officials detect and stop ongoing outbreaks."

Turn to EIN News for continuing coverage of the swine flu that is spreading across North America and find out the stories that the mainstream media - let alone the states - is not reporting:

-- Latest news from Healthcare Industry Today - http://health.einnews.com
-- Latest swine flu pandemic news - http://health.einnews.com/news/swine-flu-pandemic
-- Latest H1N1 flu virus news - http://health.einnews.com/news/h1n1-flu-virus
-- Latest Mexico flu news - http://health.einnews.com/news/mexico-flu

As reported by Reuters, "The U.S. food supply system has been hit by a series of big food recalls since 2006, leading to vociferous calls by lawmakers, consumer groups and most recently the Obama administration for reform. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to modernize the system." Yet, here the country sits and waits again for enough people to get sick - across the entire nation - before the alarm is sounded.

Are some states doing the job of the FDA while the department rests on its laurels? EIN News keeps you up to date with this story and more, spanning the globe to deliver to you the full story from the world's top news sources.

Used by governments and institutions the world over, EIN News is a worldwide leader in news monitoring, indexing more than 35,000 news sources daily and offering more than 200,000 news feeds on a multitude of topics. Sign up for EIN News's free trial to discover a week's worth of the most important stories that you can have delivered to your inbox, iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile device. In addition to coverage of more than 80 critical industries, the world's top headlines are available 24/7 at http://www.einnews.com .

Pandemic...Swine Flu

Plan in place to deal with swine flu in Utah
April 26th, 2009 @ 9:38pm
By John Hollenhorst
(AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Churches are closed, events have been canceled, and the entire world is on alert as a contagious and possibly deadly disease is spreading throughout the globe.

The swine flu was first detected in Mexico and has since crept into the U.S. and other countries. The unique type of flu has now been diagnosed in five different states. New York has the most confirmed cases with eight, followed closely by California with seven. Kansas and Texas both have two, and Ohio has reported a single case, bringing the total to 20 in America.

While the disease is a growing medical mystery, health officials emphasize all the detected case here are minor. Still, they are taking every precaution to prevent an epidemic.

Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, said, "I wish we could call it a declaration of emergency preparedness, because that's really what it is in this context."

Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, said, "We do think this will continue to spread, but we are taking aggressive actions to minimize the impact on peoples' health."

In the wake of the emergency declaration, Utah's top health officials gathered in a rare Sunday conference. They started fine-tuning an existing plan to keep Utahns safe, just in case the disease makes its way here.

Bear in mind, there are no reported cases in Utah so far, and the cases in other states have been mild. So one important message is: Don't panic if you get a cough or a runny nose!

At University Hospital, the declaration of a national emergency may have changed the atmosphere but not the staffing.

University Hospital spokesman Chris Nelson said, "It makes us a little more vigilant. One of the things I would say is that all hospitals, including University Hospital, have been practicing for this scenario for a long time."

State health officials huddled in telephone conferences with national health experts. They say the basic playbook was adopted two years ago.

Dr. David Sundwall, executive director for the Utah Department of Health, said, "Do we close the schools and when? How do we distribute these anti-viral medications? We're not starting from scratch. I'm really glad that we did that planning."

Some experts say Mexico was late in closing down schools and public events, but it's not even being considered yet in the U.S.

"This is just a menu of things that you'd consider if you start seeing clusters of illness crop up, but we're not anywhere close to that now," Dr. Sundwall said.

Infectious disease experts at the U did retrain emergency room staff over the weekend on handling patients with flu-like symptoms.

"You know, they're put into an isolated room with negative pressure. We don the proper masks and gloves and protocols," Nelson said.

They're asking people with respiratory symptoms to stay at home but to go to a doctor if they have the serious hallmarks of flu -- like a fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, chills, sweats and headaches --not just a cold.

"Well, I think you have to use common sense. You know we're subject to colds, to respiratory illnesses all the time. I think though, if I were running a fever, had muscle aches and felt unusually tired along with a respiratory illness, yeah, I'd go to the doctor," Dr. Sundwall said.

The most basic advice is what you're always advised to do. "Hand washing, hand washing is always key. Whether you go into a hospital, or a daycare or a restaurant," Nelson said.

The state did begin ordering anti-viral medications today. Still, officials emphasize that it's not a time for alarm, just alertness.

One other thing, health officials emphasized today that swine flu is not spread by eating meat, so feel free to eat all the pork you want.

Travel requirements by airline

Because of the outbreak in Mexico, health authorities in that country have started to implement flu prevention measures.

As travelers arrive at various airports in the country, they are handed surgical masks with the hope of containing the disease. Millions of masks have been handed out so far.

For those wanting to change their travel plans to Mexico, many airlines are making it a little easier. American, United, Continental and US Airways are allowing people to change their reservations without penalties; however, they all have different policies.

American Airlines: Waive its usual penalty for changing reservations for anyone traveling to, from or through Mexico from Saturday through May 6. Tickets must be purchased before Saturday.

United Airlines: Passengers who purchased tickets on or before Sunday for travel through April 30 may change their plans without penalty.

Continental Airlines: Offering to waive change fees for passengers traveling to, from or through Mexico City, Puebla and Toluca, Mexico between today and April 28.

US Airways: Waiving the standard change fee, advance reservation and ticketing requirements for customers with Mexico City travel plans through April 30.

Mexicana International: Passengers traveling to Mexico City, or those who are required to catch connecting flights at the Mexico City airport, may reschedule their flights and/or travel dates at no extra charge.

US declares public health emergency for swine flu
April 26th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. declared a public health emergency Sunday to deal with the emerging new swine flu, much like the government does to prepare for approaching hurricanes.

Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. Unlike in Mexico where the same strain appears to be killing dozens of people, cases in the United State have been mild _ and U.S. health authorities can't yet explain why.

"As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," predicted Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."

At a White House news conference, Besser and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to assure Americans that health officials are taking all appropriate steps to minimize the impact of the outbreak.

Top among those is declaring the public health emergency. As part of that, Napolitano said roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu will be moved from a federal stockpile to places where states can quickly get their share if they decide they need it. Priority will be given to the five states with known cases so far: California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas.

Napolitano called the emergency declaration standard operating procedure _ one was declared recently for the inauguration and for flooding. She urged people to think of it as a "declaration of emergency preparedness."

"Really that's what we're doing right now. We're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be."


Swine flu outbreak raises global alert

Posted: April 27, 2009 09:49 AM MDT


Hundreds of cases of a deadly flu outbreak is causing fears of the threat of a pandemic and public panic.

The swine flu virus is suspected in up to 103 deaths in Mexico. Spain has reported its first confirmed case Monday and says another 17 people are suspected of having it. In the United States, about 20 cases have been reported.

Of the confirmed cases of this new swine flu outbreak in United States, the greatest concentration has turned up at a school in New York City. Eight students from Saint Francis Prep in Queens apparently brought back the virus after spending a week in Mexico. School officials closed St. Francis Prep on Monday so a cleaning crew could come in and disinfect the building. There is so far no evidence that the sickness has spread beyond those students.

President Barack Obama told Americans not to panic while he spoke Monday morning at the National Academy of Sciences meeting.

"If there was ever a day that reminded us of our shared stake in science and research, it's today," Obama said, "We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States. This is obviously a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert, but it is not a cause for alarm."

President Obama says the Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency as a precaution.

The swine flu is a virus that primarily infects pigs. People do not normally acquire swine flu, but human infections can occur and sometimes from person to person.

Just like regular influenza, the best way to protect against the swine variation is to cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with sick people.

Swine Flu...CDC and WHO

Swine flu leads to more schools closures
Reported by: WPTV staff
Contributor: Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) -- Concerns about a deadly swine flu have now led to several school closures across the country, including an entire school district in south Texas.

There have been a total of 20 confirmed cases in the U.S.: in New York, California, Kansas, Texas and Ohio. Health officials in Michigan are looking into one suspected case.

All American victims have recovered or are recovering. Still, the U.S. government has declared a public health emergency.

In New York, St. Francis Preparatory is closed for several days after reports of eight confirmed cases among students and possibly more. Testing continues on dozens of other students.

An elementary school in Ohio is closed for the week after a student was found with the virus after a family trip to Mexico. Authorities say he has a mild case and is recovering at home.

A school in South Carolina is also closed, after some students returned from Mexico with flu-like symptoms. There have been no confirmed cases in the state.

The outbreak has some people on edge. The mother of a St. Francis student admits she might be driving her son crazy "taking his temperature in the middle of the night."

From the CDC...

Swine Influenza (Flu)
Swine Flu website last updated Monday, April 27, 2009 10:15 AM ET

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
(As of April 26, 2009 9:00 AM ET)
California 7 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 8 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 2 cases
TOTAL COUNT 20 cases
International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
See: World Health Organization

Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count is provided below.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection and whether additional people have been infected with swine influenza viruses.

CDC is working very closely with officials in states where human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. This includes deploying staff domestically and internationally to provide guidance and technical support. CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate this investigation.

Laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir and has issued interim guidance for the use of these drugs to treat and prevent infection with swine influenza viruses. CDC also has prepared interim guidance on how to care for people who are sick and interim guidance on the use of face masks in a community setting where spread of this swine flu virus has been detected. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide new information as it becomes available.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Vanilla" Change.

I am so glad that Obama plans to make sure that "Every credit card issuer has to issue a plain vanilla easy-to-understand, simplest possible credit card...that the average user can feel comfortable with." After all, the butterscotch crunch version was so hard to understand!

Sure, there needs to be reform. That's okay as long as I can charge whatever I want and have the tax payer pay for it, just like my mortgage (I wish!). I think I may just go out and buy some new furniture today so that I can be sure that everyone else in the country can pay for it.

Do I think that perhaps there may be some issues with loopholes in the credit card company policies within every credit card company in the US? Perhaps. However, have people been taking advantage of the system? Of course they have.

What do you bet that the new legislation will help those who have taken advantage of the system, over spending and then being irresponsible when paying their bills. Let me give it to you in the "vanilla" version. They buy and then don't pay. I know it's hard to understand for us "average" people.

There is an argument that the policies may reduce the amount of credit offered to lower-income individuals. Wouldn't that be just too bad? I mean, everyone should have the same stuff in the same amounts shouldn't they? Differences in the way people live are highly over-rated anyway. People should get paid the same no matter what job they get income from, right? Doctor-Fast Food Grill Cook. It's all the same, right? I hope the legislation comes down that we all have to drive the same battery powered cars, wear the same uniform colors, and that we must bow down to the Obama-God so that we don't have to think for ourselves and therefore don't have any consequences for our actions.

Amen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who Am I?

The following was sent to me by a friend...

"I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another
country. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with
numerous women.

I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me. My
mother died at an early age from cancer.

Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

My birth records were sketchy, and no one was able to produce a legitimate,
reliable birth certificate.

I grew up practicing one faith, but converted to Christianity, as it was
widely accepted in my country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs and
didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult, disguising
myself as someone who really cared about them.

That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life, and I
embarked on a new career.

I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those who
read my memoirs that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned
me as a child.

I became active in local politics in my 30's then with help behind the
scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office
in my 40s. They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone into
anything. That reinforced my conceit.

I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no
experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker
and citizens were drawn to me as though I were a magnet and they were small
roofing tacks.

I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances. This bolstered
my ego.

At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign policy. I
was very critical of my country in the last war and seized every opportunity
to bash my country.

But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the
country's economy. I pretended to have a really good plan on how we could
do better and every poor person would be fed and housed for free.

I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess. It was
the free market, banks and corporations. I decided to start making
citizens hate them and, if they were envious of others who did well, the
plan was clinched tight.

I called mine "A People's Campaign" and that sounded good to all people.

I was the surprise candidate, because I emerged from outside the traditional
path of politics and was able to gain widespread popular support.

I knew that, if I merely offered the people 'hope' , together we could
change our country and the world.

So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of the
downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities" like the
Jews. My true views were not widely known and I needed to keep them
unknown, until after I became my nation's leader.

I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found out
what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and examined
those people I associated with.

I'm glad they didn't. Then I became the most powerful man in the world. And
the world eventually learned the truth.

Who am I?




ADOLF HITLER

WHO WERE YOU THINKING OF?"

"Adolf Hitler was born at the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in Braunau am Inn, Austria–Hungary, on 20 April 1889, the fourth child of six."

His teachers said that he had "no desire to work".

"beatings by his father against him could explain Hitler's deep emotional attachment to his mother while at the same time having deep resentment towards his father."

"Alois (Hitler's father) had numerous affairs in the 1870s, resulting in his sick wife Anna initiating legal action"

"There were rumors that Hitler was one-quarter Jewish and that his grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber, became pregnant while working as a servant in a Jewish household. Although these rumors were never confirmed, for Hitler they were reason enough to conceal his origins."

"Nazi ideology stressed the failure of democracy, failure of laissez-faire capitalism"

"The political turning point for Hitler came when the Great Depression hit Germany in 1930...As the parties loyal to the democratic, parliamentary republic found themselves unable to agree on counter-measures, their Grand Coalition broke up and was replaced by a minority cabinet...Under these circumstances, Hitler appealed to the bulk of German farmers, war veterans and the middle class, who had been hard-hit by both the inflation of the 1920s and the unemployment of the Depression...With this combination of legislative and executive power, Hitler's government further suppressed the remaining political opposition...technically violated both the constitution and the Enabling Act."

Gleichschaltung [ˈglaiçʃaltʊŋ] (help·info), meaning "coordination", "making the same", "bringing into line", is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control over the individual, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce."

"Hitler oversaw one of the greatest expansions of industrial production and civil improvement Germany had ever seen

With as much information as I am finding on the subject of Hitler that corresponds to the life and politics of Obama, I think it more wise that, if you are interested, you should follow the links that I have presented the information through.

Let's be sure that Obama doesn't destroy the Constitution of the United States of America completely! Elections are coming up for representatives. Take charge during those elections so that the right people with the right beliefs are at the helm, even with Obama in office. Let's get our country back on track.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Politically Correct.

What is your definition of marriage? Well, showing more substance than the stereotype, Miss U.S.A. runner-up, Miss California, chose to answer that very question from her core principles instead of a canned "politically correct" answer...or did she.

It seems that the answer that she gave, that "a marriage should be between a man and a woman", is the same answer that was given by Obama during his campaign. When Obama was asked by Reverend Rick Warren about his definition of marriage Obama stated "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

Of course if Obama said it, it must be politically correct, yes? Then again, Obama is a flip-flopping political individual who really doesn't have a straight answer on his own beliefs (it all must get confusing in his tiny little brain). Something that Miss California cannot relate to since she obviously danced with the loss of any future success in the Hollywood arena by stating a direct answer according to her personal belief system. Finally, someone who has been taught to stand for their beliefs actually does it! Don't we wish that there was someone in Washington like that (an for that matter, in any government anywhere)!?!

Note: Don't be surprised if my blog winds up with a bunch of unwanted ads because of the subject matter. I apologize if there are some unfortunate issues there.

Oh, and by-the-way, feel free to go to Perez Hilton's site and give him a piece of your mind the straight way. He is a big joke and I cannot believe that the Miss USA pageant has stooped so low as to use him as a judge. Credible? NO! Ridiculous! I support a ban on all things Miss USA, now that I know the level they support...the lowest scum sucking bottom feeders!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama urges citizens to undertake "national service"

Obama urges citizens to undertake national service

WASHINGTON – Calling on Americans to volunteer, President Barack Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill Tuesday that triples the size of the AmeriCorps service program over the next eight years and expands ways for students to earn money for college. "What this legislation does, then, is to help harness this patriotism and connect deeds to needs," said Obama, a former community organizer in Chicago.

"It creates opportunities to serve for students, seniors and everyone in between," he said. "And it is just the beginning of a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to involve our greatest resource — our citizens — in the work of remaking this nation."

Joining Obama was Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been battling brain cancer. Kennedy championed the legislation with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the bill was named in honor of the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kennedy told the audience that included former President Bill Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former first lady Rosalyn Carter that Obama's efforts echoed those of his late brother, President John F. Kennedy.

"Today, another young president has challenged another generation to give back to their nation," Kennedy said, citing his brother's advocacy for the Peace Corps.

The service law expands ways for students and seniors to earn money for college through their volunteer work. It aims to foster and fulfill people's desire to make a difference, such as by mentoring children, cleaning up parks or buildings and weatherizing homes for the poor.

"I'm asking you to help change history's course, put your shoulder up against the wheel," Obama said. "And if you do, I promise you your life will be richer, our country will be stronger, and someday, years from now, you may remember it as the moment when your own story and the American story converged, when they came together, and we met the challenges of our new century."

Bolstering voluntary public service programs has been a priority of Obama, who credits his work as a community organizer in his early 20s for giving him direction in life. The president cited his work in Chicago as an example of how one person can make a difference.

"All that's required on your part is a willingness to make a difference," Obama said. "And that is, after all, the beauty of service: Anybody can do it."

Obama visited the SEED School of Washington, a public boarding school that serves inner-city students facing problems in both the classroom and at home, for the signing ceremony.

Afterward, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama joined Clinton to plant trees at a national park site along the Anacostia River in northeast Washington. At the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Obama rolled up his sleeves with volunteers from the Student Conservation Association and local public high schools.

"Somebody forgot my boots," Obama joked to the students.

Obama on Tuesday also nominated Nike Inc. vice president Maria Eitel to lead the federal agency that oversees the country's national service programs.

Eitel, who's also president of the Nike Foundation, would have to be confirmed by the Senate to become CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Congress passed the bill last month with largely bipartisan support and Obama is seeking $1.1 billion to fund it next year. Some Republicans complain it is too costly and is an unnecessary intrusion by government into something Americans already do eagerly and in great numbers — helping their neighbors and communities.

The legislation provides for gradually increasing the size of the Clinton-era AmeriCorps to 250,000 enrollees from its current 75,000. It outlines five broad categories where people can direct their service: helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to health care and assisting veterans.

AmeriCorps offers a range of volunteer opportunities including housing construction, youth outreach, disaster response and caring for the elderly. Most receive an annual stipend of slightly less than $12,000 for working 10 months to a year.

AmeriCorps has seen a recent surge in applications, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the program.

In March, the organization received 17,038 online AmeriCorps applications, nearly double those received in the previous month and nearly triple the 6,770 received last March.

Alan Solomont, who chairs AmeriCorps' board, said former President John F. Kennedy's call to service inspired more people to help others than just those who joined the Peace Corps. He said this national service legislation could produce the same effect.

"It is not unlike the moment in 1960 when President Kennedy asked Americans, you know, to serve, but it is certainly going to engage millions more today," Solomont said in a conference call arranged by the White House.

The bill also ties volunteer work to money for college.

People 55 and older could earn $1,000 education awards by getting involved in public service. Those awards can be transferred to a child, grandchild or even someone they mentored.

Students from sixth grade through senior year of high school could earn a $500 education award for helping in their neighborhoods during a new summer program.

Monday, April 20, 2009

U.S. and the former U.S.S.R.

The following is an excerpt from "A Train To Potevka" by Mike Ramsdell. Read it and think about how similar the situations are becoming between the old USSR and the current United States.

"Stirred by the winds of change from Govachev's reforms and seventy years of Communist oppression, the USSR was coming apart at the seams. The government was losing its strangle hold over the people, the economy was in shambles, and food was becoming scarce throughout the country. Out-of-control inflation had mad the Russian ruble worthless. Overnight tens of millions of pensioners had lost their life's savings. ... Driven in recent years by a reawakening of nationalism within the Soviet Republics against the oppressive policies and iron-fisted control of Moscow, the walls of the infamous Iron Curtain were being torn down ... the government's major political factions were positioning themselves one against the other, desperately trying to hang on to their power and authority. ... A once mighty and proud nation, the USSR had sunk into a state of despair, paralyzed by the fear of what the future might bring"

Sure, the United States has not reached the level of the USSR yet. However, at the rate of speed at which our nation's structure is being fractured, it will not take long for us to reach the depths of despair known well by the people of the former Soviet Union.

What are you willing to do to make it so that our great nation doesn't crumble?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sabbath Day. Eternal Perspective.

Don't let the world dictate how you should act, how you should treat others, what you should do. If you allow the world to dictate these things, your core actions and beliefs, you will find that you are actually sacrificing a piece of yourself.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." -- Alma 37:37

If you keep a tight hold on your core beliefs of integrity, honesty, being Christ-like in your interactions with your fellowmen, you will be able to know that you have no regrets, that you have done your best during this one opportunity we have to gain a body and learn on this earth. When you go throughout your day ask yourself if your thoughts and actions are appropriate should your Savior be physically by your side. If the answer is "no", adjust your thoughts and actions so that you'd be comfortable to invite the Savior to be by your side.

I have a testimony that Jesus lives and that he died that I can repent and be with him and with my family again...for eternity. I have a testimony that we have been given the opportunity to live on earth and learn through this human experience. We have the opportunity to make choices and mistakes. Through these mistakes we have a opportunity to learn and make new choices. I know that it is not part of God's plan for us to be miserable. It is part of his plan that we are happy. That again is our own choice. I know that I have a lot to do to be able to live with Him again, but I also know that if I work at it every day that I have the ability to make the correct choices and live with Him again. I want to be with my family for eternity more than I want any rewards on this earth. I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Remember What REALLY Matters.

The following was sent to me by a friend...

A Mayonnaise Jar & Two Pepsi's

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Pepsi's.

A professor stood before his Philosophy 201 class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Pepsi's from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take time to get medical checkups.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Practice "romance" as often as possible.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of "Mama" first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities..

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Pepsi represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Pepsi just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Pepsi's with a friend.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

GM Utilizing Subprime Lending To Increase Sales.

Remember the infestation that has brought the U.S. economy to its knees? Yes, the subprime lending...attempting to entice those to buy who actually cannot afford. Well, GM thinks it can utilize this diseased lending method to increase their car sales. What are they going to do when those who obtain these subprime loans don't pay them...ask for another bailout? Their company's situation seems terminal if they, in fact, utilize this method of enticement.
************************************************************************************
GM: Subprime lending? Great idea!
Posted Apr 08 2009, 12:33 PM by Todd Harrison

While General Motors (GM) surely has a hangover from the credit crisis and faltering economy, it's hoping to cure some of the effects of that hangover with the hair of the dog that bit it.

GM’s finance division, GMAC Financial Services, is cutting financing costs and reviving subprime lending to speed up car sales and entice people back into GM showrooms. Subprime lending is the very thing that helped sink GMAC, and in turn, helped accelerate the parent company’s decline.

General Motors has been given a June 1 deadline to come up with a restructuring plan. Bankruptcy is the alternative. GM has relied on $13.4 billion of U.S. government loans to stay in operation since the start of the year.

Whether it's tequila or subprime loans to shaky borrowers, the hair of the dog rarely turns out well. It’s hard to see how it’ll be different this time for GM.

GMAC, which is owned by GM and private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, announced at the start of April that it would make at least $5 billion available as loans to car buyers over the next 60 days. The end date for the program -- June 1 -- isn’t coincidental: GM must prove to the federal government by that day that it can ultimately survive on its own. GMAC is also providing loans to dealers to help them clear a backlog of unsold cars.

GMAC’s loans will be made available for buyers of both new and used cars. Buyers can have credit scores under 620 -- this crowd being the subprime gang. Just the term strikes fear into the hearts of past and present derivatives traders.

Back in October, GMAC restricted lending to customers with scores over 700. When the government provided GMAC $6 billion in loans, the minimum score was lowered to 620. The cash infusion was meant to allow GMAC to get more consumers the car loans they needed. Now it’s gone back under 620, a return to those halcyon days of lending. GMAC insists that the subprime group would be approved sparingly, but if it wants to show that business is improving, discretion isn’t a good idea.

U.S. auto sales dropped 37% in March, and GM’s sales were down 45%, though slightly better than estimates. This move, as a way to open up credit, smacks of desperation. Obviously, GM believes it must do something to get cars out the door again. But, then again, what does it have to lose?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Window.


“Where ever I am I always find myself looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else.” -- Angelina Jolie

Tax Day Tea Party Protest


Official Tea Party Text Alerts
Text keyword "teaparty" to 69302

Utah
UTAH STATE TAX DAY TEA PARTY COORDINATOR
Susan Southwick
susanksouthwick@gmail.com
**State coordinators serve as liaisons between this national effort and local events and not as the organizer for each individual event. If you want to attend or volunteer for a listed event, contact the event coordinator. If you want to organize a new event, contact the state coordinator AND email teapartyinfo@gmail.com. Thanks!**

The following is a list of CONFIRMED Tea Party Tax Revolts planned within the state of Arizona. Please note that we ONLY list events happening on April 15th.

————-

City: Levin
When: April 15, 7:30 p.m. until….
Where: the Town Hall, Corner of Main and Center Streets
Contact: EMAIL (435)623-1157

————-

City: Logan
When: April 15, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: 241 North Main Street, South of City Hall
Contact: EMAIL
Phone:
Other Info: WEBSITE
Facebook Group: Coming Soon!

————-

City: Provo
When: April 15, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: US Post Office Provo (East Bay), 210 East 900 South CHANGE: Old Utah County Courthouse at the corner of University and Center
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: 801.377.8224 (David)
Other Info:
Facebook Group: Coming Soon!

————-

City: Richfield
When: April 15th, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Where: City Park, 3rd North Main Street
Contact: EMAIL

————-
City: St. George
When: April 15, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Where: Vernon Worthen Park
Contact: EMAIL
Other Info:
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=61463969636#/group.php?gid=61463969636&ref=mf

————-

City: Salt Lake City ~ 1st Event
When: April 15, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Where: Federal Building Plaza, 125 South State Street
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: Phone: 801-814-8963 (Adam)
Other Info:
Facebook Group: CLICK HERE

City: Salt Lake City ~ 2nd Event
When: April 15, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: US Post Office Salt Lake City, 1795 W 2100 S
Contact: EMAIL
Phone: 801.377.8224 (David)
Other Info:
Facebook Group: Coming Soon!


For more information, please look at THIS LINK

Obama aims to get dread out of tax deadline day LINK HERE

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flying.

Funny thoughts on flying...

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Vanishing Doctors

Vanishing Doctors
April 13th, 2009 1:16 pm | by Mike Miller | Published in Big Government, Health Care, Market Regulation, Politics, congress, law

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h

Quote of the Day: “Government cripples you, then hands you a crutch and says, ‘See, if it wasn’t for us, you couldn’t walk.” — Harry Browne (1933-2006), co-founder of Downsize DC

Subject: The not so mysterious case of the vanishing doctors

In case you missed it . . .

A survey by The Physician’s Foundation finds that nearly HALF of primary care doctors plan to reduce or eliminate their practices in the next three years!

The survey also gives the reasons . . .

* Too much non-clinical paperwork
* Difficulty getting reimbursed
* Too much government regulation
* Lack of time (caused by the above problems) to form patient relationships

These problems exist because the government has corrupted the nature of health insurance.

* Insurance is supposed to cover rare but expensive procedures
* But various government policies have made health insurance cover the medical equivalents of oil changes and tire rotations
* This means that most medical care is paid for by the government, or by insurance companies, and not by the people actually seeking the care
* This causes people to over-use medical services, and doctors to order questionable procedures
* That causes both insurance companies and the government to limit their costs by second-guessing every decision your doctor makes
* This burden of regulation leads to piles of non-clinical paperwork and difficulty getting reimbursed

But it gets worse. Health care prices are actually set by the government . . .

* The government funds HALF of all medical care
* This gives the government huge clout as the largest purchaser of health care
* The government uses this clout to limit what it’s willing to pay for every medical procedure
* The insurance companies use these government prices to set their own prices
* If these fixed prices are too low, shortages result, AND DOCTORS VANISH!

But that’s only the beginning . . .

If your health insurance is tied to your employer — if you risk catastrophe because losing your job means losing your health insurance — you can thank the government for that. Federal tax policies created the incentives that caused your health insurance to be tied to your job.

But if you don’t have employer-provided health insurance, and find coverage too expensive to buy on your own, you can thank the government for that too. State and federal laws mandate that insurance policies cover everything under the sun, making it hard to buy affordable major medical coverage.

The politicians could easily fix these problems by . . .

* Providing tax refunds for all health care expenses, including insurance premiums
* Allowing insurance companies to compete with different policies at different prices by ending mandates on what all health insurance must cover
* Funding Health Savings Accounts for Medicare recipients so they’ll have more incentives to be frugal

The solution to our health care problems is less meddling by the politicians, not more. The case of the vanishing doctors isn’t mysterious. The politicians did it, and they want to do more of what caused it!

Send your Congressional employees instructions asking them reduce their meddling in health care. Use your personal comments to mention the arguments in this Dispatch (you could just cut and paste if you want). If you’ve used our Educate the Powerful System before, do the following . . .

SEE MORE AT Liberty Maven

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h
is the official email list of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. & Downsize DC Foundation

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Universal Reaction.

Do you ever wonder why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed? It's a pretty universal reaction to the mascara application process. Although it may be more disturbing with some women than with others, it is a pretty funny thing! The instructions should read...

Open bottle
Open mouth
Move closer to the mirror
Use upward strokes with the enclosed applicator brush
Be sure not to close your mouth prior to completion of application process
Close bottle.
Close mouth.

Note: Take a moment and do a search on Google. Search "mascara application, pictures". Notice that all of the pics of women applying mascara themselves are cut off at the nose...no mouth shown. The only ones with mouths shown are when someone else is applying the mascara.

Hope this makes you smile:)