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October 02, 2005

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I actually have not been following news about the potential avian flu health crises. Can you recommend a good article or post I can read to get a primer on what exactly is going on with this?

Great. Because we fear smallpox, we interfere with the science needed to combat pandemic flu. And this is a good idea because why?
Actually, it's because we fear bioterrorism, that we're clamping down on information needed to stop a flu pandemic. Feel better? :)

On a related note, two weeks agoSlate (linked from DefenseTech) reported on a company named SCL that specializes in government propaganda and disinformation. One of their scenarios was a smallpox outbreak, in which SCL would spread fictitious reports of a toxic chemical spill, to get people to stay at home.

To be fair, there is a real problem of people panicking and doing the wrong thing in a crisis. But I'd think we need better communication, not secrecy and disinformation.

pontificator, go here for the quick summaries... more can be found at flu wiki.

YK, that's exactly right,and very wrong. This all 9/11 all terror all the time is why FEMA is part of Homeland Security.


Where are the grown-ups?

Grown-ups? Any real grownups have long since been drummed out of this government. I guess we should be past amazability at this point, but I'm still dumbstruck at each new proof that you just can't caricature this gang: if it doesn't promise to make money or blow up real good, it's just not on their radar screen. I mean, they get slammed for sleeping through a natural disaster of epic proportions, and the only lesson they seem to take from it is to spin harder. As for secrecy, it's their default position; you think science is any different? They've viewed everything through the lenses of ideology and power for so long that they seem literally incapable of just taking a clear-eyed look at anything. Laurel and Hardy would be an improvement.

More and better analysis here of the CDC secrecy thingie.

Avian flu "not a threat to humans" yet? Stevens apparently does not consider the people in Southeast Asia to be "humans". What a revealing comment from one of the dumbest hacks in the Senate.

Do they vote republican, Mimikatz? Then what'a your beef?

Well, that explains a lot. Until Hurricane Katrina made landfall, it wasn't "a threat to humans," so no reason to waste tax dollars preparing, right?

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