Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Scary and Stupid Stuff - A Couple Things

This from the Associated Press and reprinted in this morning's Rocky Mountain News, provides that Dubya is proposing that the armed forces be used to "quarantine" folks where the bird flu may appear. The article reads, in part:

Citing concern that state and local authorities might be unable to contain and deal with such an outbreak, Bush asked Congress to give him the authority to call in the military.

The president has already indicated he wants to give the armed forces the lead responsibility for conducting search-and-rescue operations and sending in supplies after massive natural disasters and terrorist attacks - a notion that could require a change in law and that even some in the Pentagon have reacted to skeptically. The idea raised the startling-to-some image of soldiers cordoning off communities hit by disease.

Um... Haven't I seen pretty scary movies about the military moving in on communities where disease or aliens or whatever happen to land/infest?

Please note the following: Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the president's suggestion an "extraordinarily draconian measure" that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu, and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

"The translation of this is martial law in the United States," Redlener said.

Scary stuff, ya'll. Sounds kind of like John Ashcroft still has the President's ear.

This fro Stephen Pizzo (News for Real) via AlterNet, provides that we are in for one hell of a recession. Pizzo writes:

Recessions begin when consumers suddenly discover they can no longer keep pace with their bills. And this one has already begun.

Of course George W. Bush will blame it all on the war and two hurricanes. In fact, it's a direct result of his own flawed economic policies and the "borrow and spend" lifestyle he sparked, not only within government, but consumers as well.

I am referring to the looming recession. It's going to be a doozie. And it has begun, as it always does, when consumers suddenly discover they can no longer keep pace with their bills.

This is a particularly bad time for consumers to be tapped out. It comes at the beginning of the holiday spending season which can account for nearly half of many retailers income for the year. It comes just as gasoline prices reach European levels, hitting low-wage workers hardest, especially if they have to commute to work. It comes just as the first chills of winter begin spreading south from Canada and as heating oil and natural gas prices spiral to unheard-of highs.


Finally, although 99.9% of the time I disagree with Denver Post editorialist, Al Knight, his thoughts on Denver's Mayor John Hickenlooper's can't we all just get along bullshit with regard to the Columbus Day Parade is right on. Please read if you have the time.

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