Ron Paul

I think that Ron Paul says what he thinks. Most of us talk nonsense from time to time--certainly I do. Yet Dr Paul is fairly clear on what he believes. He thinks that one of the major problems in the world is the debasement of the dollar; I agree. He also seems to think that the expansive ambitions of the American Union, working through a government and constitution that was designed to be small and federal, are dangerous, and I agree there too. He thinks America should be out of Iraq, and that it should never have got involved in the way that it did. I don't know anyone who now disagrees with that.

Last year, running for president, he even had an airship. I loved that, even though I was not a Ron Paul supporter. I think that he, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama were the clear stars of last years' election (though I had a little bit of a fetish for Mad Jose/Marcus Aurelius Biden) and all the right people disliked him.

His solutions are often too pristine and too limiting for my tastes. Here, however, is the good doctor--he used to deliver babies--on swine flu. I disagree with him, but I have a track record of being wrong for the right reasons. I think that deep worry over this particular illness is justified, given the damage it did before. You may like to see what he thinks.

We are nearer to the world of our grandfathers than we think. That of our fathers matters too. In this short film, Congressman Paul points out that swine flu in 1976 was a memory-and-Rumsfeld driven scare; that nobody died apart from those killed by a side-effect of the vaccine in that event (and presumably apart from the original victim); that tuberculosis, kills thousands (mostly poor people, Asians and Hispanics); and that we are in a panic.

Just as a matter of interest, the vaccine he is going on about here is not the vaccine currently being distributed, which is, on all tests and by all assurances, safe.



UPDATE:
Here's what the American people were told in 1976 by F.David Matthews, the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare;
There is evidence there will be a major flu epidemic this coming fall. The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of the flu. In 1918 a half million Americans died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans in 1976.
You can read the rest on salon.com But, really, this is about risk and proven threat, isn't it? Would we be wrong to worry about Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Jerusalem in 2010 if Ahmedinajad got his hands on nuclear weapons, just because Castro didn't in 1962? I wonder.

Comments

PJMULVEY said…
Martin: More on the Rumsfeld connection with swine flu from his Wiki bio...."From January 1997 until being sworn in as the 21st Secretary of Defense in January 2001, Rumsfeld served as Chairman of Gilead Sciences, Inc. Gilead Sciences is the developer of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir), which is used in the treatment of bird flu. As a result, Rumsfeld's holdings in the company grew significantly when avian flu became a subject of popular anxiety during his later term as Secretary of Defense. Following standard practice, Rumsfeld recused himself from any decisions involving Gilead, and he directed the Pentagon's General Counsel issue instructions outlining what he could and could not be involved in if there were an avian flu pandemic and the Pentagon had to respond."

Is he up to his old tricks, the devil? And his buddy Cheney can't be far off........
Martin Meenagh said…
Hi Patrick

The level of cupidity and dishonesty attached to those two never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for the comment.

For some reason, I was seriously spooked by the news of swine flu on Sunday.

I suppose if you spend even a little time thinking about how stressed people are, and of course if you are thinking about people close to you, as I am, something like this can throw you.

All the best, and take care of yourself

Martin

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