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2009 May 01 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Feeling Better

The CBC’s latest story on the Influenza A H1N1 [OK, swine flu] outbreak, Scientists starting to believe swine flu outbreak won’t be so bad, is in line with what I’ve been thinking, but I really want some hard numbers on transmission and mortality rates, before I dismiss any possibility.

What got to me was the end of the article:

Work also continues on developing a vaccine.

Once that happens, likely in late fall or early winter, Canada will be in better shape than many other countries since there is a vaccine manufacturing facility in Quebec and a deal with its owner, GlaxoSmithKline, that guarantees supply for Canadians.

The US gets the marketing department, and the supposedly “free market”, which runs out of vaccine frequently, even though we pay more than anyone else.  The “terrible” Canadian system, not only pays a lot less, they have guaranteed supplies.

May 1, 2009   7 Comments

Too Bad [Sarcasm, OK?]

Things are tough all over, even in Russia, with the drop in the price of oil.

The BBC reports: Russian army scraps new uniforms

A plan to replace Soviet-era Russian military uniforms with ones by a leading fashion designer has been abandoned because of a lack of money.

The plan to bring in the new uniforms, designed by Valentin Yudashkin, was supported by Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

There is now only enough money to pay for uniforms for soldiers taking part in the forthcoming Victory Day parade.

And that isn’t all they are cutting.

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May 1, 2009   8 Comments

Just Being A Jerk

McClatchy writes that Louisiana senator blocks nominee to lead FEMA

WASHINGTON — A Louisiana senator is stalling Florida emergency management director Craig Fugate’s nomination as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fugate had sailed through his nomination hearing and Monday cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Republican Sen. David Vitter said, however, that he’d blocked Fugate because of concerns he has with FEMA.

This is totally bogus. Craig Fugate is an experienced professional who has been through some of the worst hurricane seasons Florida has ever seen, and done a good job, both before and after storms. He oversaw a smooth running system, that was able to respond quickly and effectively to threats.

Vitter wouldn’t sponsor or vote for attempts to improve the recovery situation in Louisiana, and now he has concerns about decisions that FEMA has made?! Those decisions were made under the Bush Administration, and Fugate can’t explain them, because they didn’t make any sense to him. FEMA is definitely going to be different, but expecting a nominee to respond to every hypothetical a Senator can imagine, before he has access to the records, is just stupid. [Please note that Fugate served in Republican administrations, the only kind Florida has had this century.]

Vitter’s only purpose is to be annoying and stall an Obama appointment. The hurricane season starts in a month, and it would be nice if someone was at the head of FEMA. The Republicans already look like jerks for stalling the appointment of the Secretary of Health and Human Services who went through with a two-thirds vote when it was finally taken, and now this.

It is past time to make them filibuster.

May 1, 2009   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Mighty Hunters

Friday Cat Blogging

Now? Not yet.

[Editor: Half of the “Pump House gang” {they were raised in the shed for the irrigation pump} hiding in the palmettos to jump on the food I’m distributing. They are still small enough that the others will let them eat first. The stupid flash went off and the autofocus grabbed the leaves, but you work with what you have.]

Friday Ark

May 1, 2009   7 Comments

May Day

The May Day association with labor is all American, and just as controversial as everything of any consequence in history. The day is tied to a strike for the eight-hour day and the so-called “Haymarket Riot” of 1886. When it comes to “riots” and the Chicago police are involved, you are not going to find a single truth.

As May 1st falls at the mid point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice it marks the beginning of summer for many people and is celebrated by Teutonic cultures [on the eve] as Walpurgisnacht [in German], and among the Gaelic peoples as Beltane.

The dynamic duo that mucked up the Pledge of Allegiance, Dwight Eisenhower and his Republican Congress, made May 1st both Law Day and Loyalty Day so those Commie working people wouldn’t get any ideas about having rights.

The real significance was that it is unlikely there was going to be another freeze and it is probably safe to start planting crops, so a fertility festival is in order. This is to ensure a good crop, not to get together and have a good time before getting to the backbreaking work of farming, really.

This is the anniversary of Mission Accomplished, the Shrubbery’s prance across the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, one of the most expensive photo ops in American political history

May 1, 2009   4 Comments