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?

Curious omission

April 29, 2009

Republic details criminal activities and arrests, but culprits go unnamed

The daily features a lengthy article on highly organized shoplifting gangs that are targeting Valley merchants. These sticky fingered “boosters” are in in for more than satisfying their kleptomaniac urges. They are well-oiled thievery rings whose business is resale — on eBay and or in their own homes — which they’ve turned into shop-off-the-rack stores.

The group detailed in today’s newspaper report is a central Phoenix family which has several homes and no legitimate means of support. Eleven members of the single family have been charged in the Valley-wide criminal organization..

In just over an hour at one mall three women and a 15-year-old boldly stole approximately $7,500 in clothing and other household merchandise. The haul was so hefty it required numerous trips to get the bulging bags from the mall to their car.

In hopes of thwarting such schemes, State Sen. Linda Gray, (R-Dist.10), has introduced SB 1059 that would make organized retail theft a separate criminal charge from shoplifting and stiffen the penalty.

Under current state laws a shoplifter can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the goods, and be punished by up to two years in prison. Under Gray’s bill, organized retail theft — defined as shoplifting with the intent to resell or trade the merchandise — would be a felony, regardless of the value of the stolen goods. It would be punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Sen. Gray’s efforts are laudable.

These crimes are skyrocketing in Arizona cities, harshly impacting merchants who are seeing fewer customers due to the rough economy. Additionally, the loss of sales-tax revenues negatively affect the communities where the crimes are occurring.

It would be interesting to know why the Arizona Republic chose to omit the names of the family members charged with these brazen criminal offenses.

Last month, FOX News reported on a widespread shoplifting crime organization and named Michelle Stanton, 29, as the ringleader of that five-person operation.

Pandemic? Pestilence? Black Death? Don’t expect Napolitano to close the border

April 29, 2009

With the cases of the Mexican flu (that is the country where it originated, after all) spiraling, why does Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano say the costs of closing the border outweigh the medical benefits of doing so?

Although Cuba and Argentina have already banned flights from Mexico, Sky Harbor International Airport continues to run 18 daily nonstop flights between Phoenix and cities in Mexico, according to a report on KPHO.

Napolitano has said closing the border with Mexico, as many have recommended, would not help the situation, “given the speed with which the disease has spread.” Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has become the first member of Congress to call for halting travel between the two countries. His thoughtful statement is here.

But Napolitano remains insistent even as the confirmed cases and deaths continue to climb. “Closing the border is something one would do if one had a realistic hope of containment, but given that we already have outbreaks in at least five states and probably more, and in at least two provinces in Canada, that really wouldn’t make sense,” Napolitano said. “We are simply in preparation mode, we do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States.”

“And, of course, closing the border is not only complicated but would really cost millions of dollars in terms of trading commerce. So that, right now, is not something that we are looking at,” she stated.

We’re already doing passive surveillance at the border,” Napolitano said. “You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States.”

Noting that those infected with the flu may not show symptoms for a few days, Napolitano said  “more draconian enforcement steps are not yet necessary,” even as she acknowledged that officials ”anticipate confirmed cases in more states.”

In other words, no matter the severity of the situation she will remain entrenched in her illogical policy.

KTAR reports on the administration’s “passive surveillance” policy here.

Rosa Brooks: Leftist billionaire George Soros’ mole in the Pentagon

April 28, 2009

Before she was a far-left columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Rosa Brooks was once counsel to Soros’ Open Societies Institute. Now she’s the “principal adviser” to Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon’s No. 3 official and top policymaker.

So begins the Investor’s Business Daily report, guaranteed to make you sit up and take notice at the insidious intrusions into the highest areas of government.

As an example IBD writes: Rosa Brooks has echoed the assertions of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others that we had it coming on 9/11 and that al-Qaida was an exaggerated threat exploited to invade Iraq. In a September 2006 column titled “Our Torturer-In-Chief,” (referencing President George W. Bush) she wrote: “Today the chickens are coming home to roost.” Sound familiar?

IBD further asserts that in 2007, Brooks dismissed Osama bin Laden’s group as “little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well-financed and intermittently lethal, but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull.” Tell that to the people of New York, Madrid, London or her colleagues at the Pentagon who remember one of al-Qaida’s “intermittently lethal” little pinpricks.

According to her, “On 9/11, they got lucky . . . . Thanks to U.S. policies, al-Qaida has become the vast global threat the administration imagined it to be in 2001.” Imagined it to be? This is the person who will be a Pentagon adviser on policy?

The complete report can be read here. We encourage readers to take a couple of minutes to become fully informed. Knowledge is power.