Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, November 5, 2009 10:09 pm

Tell Goldman Sachs to take a f***ing number

Honestly. Not even a real vampire squid would steal flu vaccine from kids.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 10:58 pm

Life Joe Wilson’s stupid and contagious …

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 10:58 pm
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… and I’d like to think this will entertain us, but if you’re like me, you’re probably just really annoyed:

The notorious presidential heckler, [Congressman]Joe “You lie” Wilson (R-SC), is blaming the manufacturing delay in producing adequate amounts of swine flu vaccine on President Obama. But in June, Wilson didn’t think preparation for the pending swine flu epidemic was important to Americans when he voted no on a special funding bill to combat the H1N1 virus.

At least swine flu is generally curable. Trying to cure Teh Stoopid, on the other hand, is like trying to cure clouds.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:49 pm

That’ll learn ’em

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:49 pm
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A bunch of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students apparently passed swine flu to one another while playing beer pong over the weekend.

Monday, August 10, 2009 8:23 pm

Get your swine-flu vaccine early …

… although it might already be too late, revere says, adding that swine flu

… started late in the flu season. We’re not sure when, exactly, but probably in March sometime. Because there was no natural immunity in the population and in other respects the virus transmitted with the facility of seasonal flu, it could spread pretty fast and widely before whatever factors involved in flu’s seasonal forcing lowered transmission to the point it started to subside. It’s true it is not subsiding everywhere but it is subsiding in many places in the north. However it is not the fact it is subsiding but the reasons why it is subsiding that are important. If it is starting to wane because it had burned itself out by using up the [people who are susceptible to the disease], that would suggest next year wouldn’t be so bad. But in fact, while there was a lot of flu around, most people didn’t get it. If it is subsiding it is probably because whatever is involved in the seasonal forcing of flu (and we don’t really know what that is) has started to cut it short before the “tinder” of susceptibles was used up. Everyone expected this to happen when the summer came and the fact it didn’t happen right away was a surprise. It suggests this virus is quite transmissible and combined with the lack of immunity could overcome the extra push to transmissibility the seasonal forcing gives it. But it looks to be subsiding now. When the forcing starts again in the fall all the makings will be there for an early and big flu season if the threshold for it is exceeded. I feel pretty confident there are plenty of susceptibles around for the virus. …

I would dearly like to be wrong about this and making any prediction about flu is undoubtedly stupid. Doing so on the basis of a mathematical model may be even more foolhardy. But sometimes you just go on scientific hunches, and my hunch is that Stone et al. [link added from elsewhere in this piece — Lex] have this pegged right, even if they didn’t intend it for this flu. We’ll just have to see. But meanwhile, I’d keep your seat belts fastened because I see evidence of turbulence ahead.

Just remember, even regular flu can be a big problem: Seasonal flu kills roughly 35,000 Americans every year and hospitalizes another 200,000. If you can get a flu shot, get it and get it early. Swine flu likely will be a different vaccine from this year’s seasonal flu (and, I think I read somewhere, might require two injections a couple of weeks apart), but you need to get that as well if you can. Not only will you be keeping yourself healthy, you’ll be helping to prevent the spread of flu.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 8:23 pm


Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 8:23 pm

Afghanistan’s only known pig has been quarantined because of fears that it could transmit swine flu to people.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 8:26 am


Filed under: Ew. — Lex @ 8:26 am
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You may recall that recently there was a lot of complaining about pork in a national spending bill, including money for studying how to deal with the problem of hog-manure odor. If you don’t live in Iowa or here in North Carolina, which is pretty much Hog Central these days, you might figure the complainers had a point.

You might also want to read this.

Monday, April 27, 2009 8:52 pm

An epidemic … of idiocy

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 8:52 pm
Tags: ,

Looks like that swine-flu outbreak that has spread from Mexico to some parts of the U.S. could be a real problem. It also looks like some people who should have known better have left us more vulnerable to it than we needed to be:

When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse — with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans — led by Maine Senator Susan Collins — aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.

Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey’s attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient. …

But can a flu pandemic really have economic consequences?

Uh, duh:

On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that a national “public health emergency” had been declared. Notably, the second question at the White House press conference on the emergency had to do with the potential impact on the economic recovery.

On Monday, the question began to be answered, as Associated Press reported — under the headline: “World Markets Struck By Swine Flu Fears” — that: “World stock markets fell Monday as investors worried that a deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico could go global and derail any global economic recovery.”

Before U.S. markets opened, the Wall Street Journal reported: “U.S. stock futures fell sharply Monday as the outbreak of deadly swine flu stoked fears that a possible recovery in the global economy could be derailed.”

And whom do we have to thank for this happy state of affairs? Primarily, Karl Rove and Maine Senator Susan Collins, a “moderate” Republican. More broadly, every Republican senator and representative who jumped on this part of the stimulus package as being somehow unrelated to economic recovery. Collins even brags about her role on her Senate Web site. And Senate Democrats tolerated this behavior, even knowing that the need was real, instead of acting like grownups and doing the hard work of protecting the country.

There’s a pattern here. Remember Bobby Jindal’s ridiculing the need for federal money for volcano monitoring? How’s that workin’ out for ya, Bobby?

UPDATE: Shorter Michael Steele: I don’t understand what “preparedness” means.

Pandemics in the Web 2.0 age

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:01 pm
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Swine flu on Twitter.

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