The art of language: What to call the influenza?

April 30, 2009

Reuters is reporting that U.S. pork producers are balking at the negative implications associated with the name of the virulent influenza strain that is causing national and worldwide havoc. They do not want the disease called swine flu.

Who can blame them?

At a news briefing, Homeland INsecurity Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the “H1N1 virus.”

“This is not a food-borne illness…virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that’s not what this is about,” Vilsack said.

Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it “Mexico flu.” The nation’s dietary laws forbid eating pork.

Seeing Red AZ opted for the more correct moniker of “Mexican flu” a couple of days ago, since that is the country of origin.

In 1594, William Shakespeare said it well when he opined, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

In the meantime what will it take to get our porous southern border to be called “closed?”

RNC steps up to fiscal responsibility

April 30, 2009

Randy Pullen, the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) elected treasurer, along with former RNC General Counsel David Norcross and three other former top RNC officers have presented Chairman Michael Steele with a resolution, calling for a new set of checks and balances on the chairman’s power to allocate money. The powers include new controls on awarding contracts and spending money on outside legal counsel and other services.

The resolution would make it a written rule that contracts of $100,000 or more be open to competitive bidding; that all checks be signed by two RNC officers; that party staff be prohibited from signing on behalf of an officer; and that all contracts be reviewed and approved by the members of the RNC executive committee.

Pullen, a CPA, is serving his second term as state chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.

In an article titled Steele may lose purse strings, the Washington Times carries the complete two-page report here.

The group needs signatures from RNC members from 16 states to compel the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full party committee at the May 20 special meeting.

 “It is of course not lost on me that each of you worked tirelessly down to the last minute in an effort to stop me from becoming chairman,” Mr. Steele wrote to the men.

Pullen, himself a candidate for treasurer, in fact backed no one for national chairman.

The party’s former general counsel David Norcross, a longtime friend and mentor to Steele, supported the South Carolina GOP chairman. Since then, Norcross said Chairman Steele has not responded to telephone calls and e-mails from him.  Steele assumed office on January 30, 2009.

Today’s Washington Times has a report on the chairman’s response: Steele fights back against RNC ‘scheme.’

Democrat contagion: Foot in mouth disease outpaces Mexican flu

April 30, 2009

VP Joe Biden sticks his foot in it again

Speaking with Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning, Vice President Joe Biden was asked whether he would advise his own family members against flying to Mexico. Biden’s very unPC answer: “I would tell members of my family — and I have — that I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” he said. “It’s not just going into Mexico. If you’re any place in a confined aircraft and one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft.”

Before long, Biden’s office issued a statement retreating from the remarks, saying he was talking only about travel to Mexico, where the new virus has hit hardest, and urging people not to use public transportation while sick.

The airline and travel industries were quick to cry foul over Biden’s remarks.

James May, president of the Air Transport Association, an airline representative, contacted Biden by letter expressing “extreme disappointment at your suggestion that people should avoid air travel.”

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith declined to comment directly on the vice president’s remarks, but said, “To suggest that people not fly at this stage of things is a broad brush stroke bordering on fear-mongering.”

Biden is in heavy competition, vying with Janet Napolitano for the Obama embarrassment award. Trying to topple her from her lead will be difficult, but Biden is gaining ground.

Sheriff Arpaio: Flu outbreak underscores need for border enforcement

April 30, 2009

Deputies supplied with protective gear for arrests of illegals

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says it is estimated that over 90% of all illegal aliens arrested by his Anti Human Smuggling Unit come from areas south of Mexico City where the swine flu has already killed nearly 150 people.

In order to better protect his deputies, Arpaio will supply hundreds of protective gear kits and will strongly recommend that his 750 deputies use face masks and gloves in the field when they encounter and arrest illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico.

In addition, beginning today, ICE-trained Sheriff’s detention officers in the jails will begin screening all incoming inmates for swine flu symptoms. To better safeguard jail staff and inmates, anyone suspected of being exposed will be flagged for further medical evaluation and placed in isolation cells if necessary.

The Sheriff says his deputies and jail staff may be at a far higher risk of exposure to this virus, considering the thousands of suspected illegal immigrants they come in contact with on a weekly basis in the field and in the jails. Tuberculosis and chicken pox have already presented health concerns in the jails, and both diseases are primarily brought in by illegal immigrants

The entire three-page news release is available here.

The First Hundred Days: Can America endure the next 1,360?

April 29, 2009

Ralph Peters has written an insightful piece on Obama’s first 100 days in office. Titled The Obama doctrine: Hugging foes, hurting friends. Peters’ New York Post article gives a spot on assessment of the Obama administration and policies, beginning with these words:

The combination of dizzying naiveté, dislike of our allies, disdain for our military, distrust of our intelligence services and distaste for our own country promises the worst foreign policy of our lifetimes. That includes President Jimmy Carter’s abysmal record of failure.

Read the rest here.

Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin‘s 100 Days of Reckless Photo-Op Hubris provides yet another fine overview of the disaster named Obama. We highly recommend her Townhall column, available here.

First case of Mexican flu hits Phoenix boy, closes school

April 29, 2009

A Phoenix elementary school with over 800 students was closed today after lab tests confirmed an 8-year-old boy was Arizona’s first case of the insidious and rapidly spreading influenza. This case brought the number of confirmed cases of the disease across the U.S. to 91 in 10 states.

Moon Mountain School Principal Mary Lou Palmer sent home a parent’s advisory letter, announcing that the school located at 13424 North 19th Avenue, will remain closed for at least seven days, according to the report on KTAR News.

Maybe it’s time to close the border, Janet.

Janet Napolitano: Another day another verbal stumble

April 29, 2009

Janet Napolitano is backtracking on her previous use of the term “passive surveillance,” saying the description she initially gave of the Mexican flu monitoring effort no longer applies.

Testifying today before a Senate panel, Homeland Insecurity Secretary Napolitano said that “passive surveillance” is “not an accurate picture of what is going on” at U.S. entry points.

She used that term only yesterday to describe the type of monitoring being conducted in an effort to observe signs of illness in those entering the United States.

Today Napolitano said that U.S. officials are “actively” questioning visitors at the border, asking questions about “whether they are ill, their travel history and the like.”

She discounted turning to thermal meters to gauge whether people are carrying a fever. Of course, she reiterated that she does not believe the facts of the current situation would merit closing the border.

In the open borders world of Naputopia nothing would merit such prudent efforts.

Napolitano has had a rough ride since assuming her duties with the Obama administration. Numerous calls for her firing have come on the heels of her unwillingness to secure the border as a precautionary method of controlling the increasing number of influenza cases.

And sometime Republican John McCain rushed to her aid, even as she insulted returning American military personnel by referring to them as potential terrorists in an absurd report put out by her agency, titled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. Read it here.

Does it ever stop?