August 2009 Archives

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NYC swine flu report shows far milder than seasonal flu

By Michael Fumento

In the wake of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology report with its "plausible scenario" of 30,000 - 90,000 swine flu deaths during the cold season comes a report from New York showing how truly mild the disease appears to be.

City officials estimate about 800,000 New Yorkers were infected in the spring. Through July, 47 of these died. That's a fatality rate of 0.006% - a tenth to a 40th the death rate of Americans due to seasonal flu, according to the CDC estimate range. Some pandemic.

Meanwhile, the family of a New York man who died of swine flu has announced it's planning to sue the city, claiming it failed to provide a safe workplace (he worked for the public school system) and failed to adequately control the H1N1 outbreak. They're asking for $40 million. Not incidentally, photos show the man is clearly obese and obesity has been found to be a special risk factor for swine flu.

Let's see, I had a really nasty cold last year. That should be good for at least a few million, don't you think?

August 31, 2009 11:49 AM  ·  Permalink  ·  Swine Flu

Why you should always keep the toilet cover down

By Michael Fumento

From the Washington Post:

Animal Watch
Boa Finds New Home Is Quite Commodious

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SILVER SPRING, Delancy Dr., 400 block, Aug. 13. A homeowner called Animal Services to report a snake in a toilet. An investigator confirmed that a small boa constrictor had made itself at home in the toilet bowl. The reptile was taken to the shelter for care. Investigators learned that the homeowner was renting a room to a tenant who kept a snake without the owner's knowledge. The snake apparently escaped from its cage and set up residence in the toilet. The homeowner banned the snake, and it was made available for adoption.

August 30, 2009 11:48 AM  ·  Permalink  ·  Fun

Swine Flu deaths so slight they don't even register

By Michael Fumento

This graph from today's weekly CDC influenza report depicts flu and pneumonia deaths collected from 122 cities. Compared to the three previous years you see no unusual flu activity at all; it's within what's called "background noise" range.This is WHO's pandemic?

Oh, most definitely says the President's Council on Science and Technology in a much ballyhooed report giving a "plausible scenario" of 30,000 - 90,000 swine flu deaths during the coming cold months.

It's a big, fat fib. Watch this space.

August 28, 2009 02:22 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Swine Flu

Stimulus plan sham

By Michael Fumento

There was never doubt that whenever the economy began turning around the Obama administration, and especially the $787 billion stimulus package, would get the credit. They did. The media called stimulus skeptics fools. Obama took credit, so did Christina Romer, chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

But in my Investor's Business Daily article, I relate that she boasted of how much the U.S. was spending on stimulus versus European countries, without pointing out there was absolutely no correlation. Thus France spent about a fourth of the percentage of its GDP on stimulus as did the U.S., yet France had 0.3% growth in the last quarter while the U.S. "recovery" comprised a quarter in which our economy shrank by 1%!

This is par for Romer's course. For decades she's held that stimulus plans have little if any benefit on economic recoveries. Suddenly in January she essentially denied that position, saying the stimulus simply had to be big enough and spent fast enough. Then just this month she gave credit for the "recovery" to a stimulus package that hasn't even had time to work and is but a fraction of the money the Fed has been pouring into the economy.

As Tennessee Ernie Ford might have sung: "A whole lot of spending and what did we get? Another year gone by and deeper in debt!"

August 24, 2009 09:01 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Economy

What a shocker! "First" embryonic stem cell clinical trial put off again!

By Michael Fumento

Geron Corp. has announced that the FDA has again put on hold what we've long been told will be the first clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells.

If you're not shocked, it's because you don't know that it has been portrayed as the first human clinical trial since 2002 when lead scientist Hans Keirstead said his much-celebrated study on partially-paralyzed rats would be replicated as soon as the next year. As I've written repeatedly over the years, most recently in Forbes Online, somehow those "just around the corner" treatments for ES cells keep being a corner too far.

August 20, 2009 12:27 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Stem Cells

The Polish Joke May Be Dead but Sentiment Lives On

By Michael Fumento

Washington Post item: "Driver Dies After Hitting Pole"

NOTHING in the story about what happened to the poor Pole!

August 17, 2009 08:34 AM  ·  Permalink  ·  Humor

Bring out your dead! The plague is back!

By Michael Fumento

Swine flu, move over! The plague is back - at least in China, where it's now killed three people in the province of Qinghai. A single outbreak of the plague from 1348 - 1351, called "The Black Death," is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population. THEREFORE, we can say with a high degree of confidence that 60% of the world's population, or over four billion people, will be dead of plague within three years.

My having now made that prediction, you can expect to see me tonight on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CNN. I will probably be paired with other experts, some of whom will say my estimate is probably more of a "best-case scenario" and possibly the entire planet is at risk. But, as always, women and children will suffer the most.

August 5, 2009 11:33 AM  ·  Permalink  ·  Diseases (other than AIDS and cancer)

Study submitted for publication April 1 shows man-made warming very real!

By Michael Fumento

Okay, you climate change skeptics, try to respond to this.

A just-published study, submitted on April 1, uses an exquisite model to show that just the amount of greenhouse gas emanating from the U.S. Capitol Building each year will contribute to a global rise in temperature of 0.8 degrees Centigrade by 2020. In a press conference, the researchers added that this is expected to rise significantly now that Al Franken has been seated in the Senate.

Aw, c'mon! Would I lie to you?

August 4, 2009 08:46 AM  ·  Permalink  ·  Global Warming

Four months of swine flu deaths finally equal 1 seasonal flu day

By Michael Fumento

The WHO now reports 816 flu deaths worldwide, since the first cases in March. Seasonal flu, it says, kills 250,000 to 500,000 people each year, or 744 to 1488 deaths. So after over four months, we've finally got swine flu cases equal to those at the lower end of the range for a single day of seasonal flu.

For the U.S., deaths are equivalent to what we'd see in one or two days of seasonal flu during the season.

And that's your pandemic panic update.

August 2, 2009 07:06 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Swine Flu

"Not Quite Real," my Philly Inquirer piece about EOD in Iraq

By Michael Fumento

One word keeps appearing in reviews of The Hurt Locker, the critically acclaimed war film: realism. In fact, as I note in my Philadelphia Inquirer piece, the incidents in the film are grossly unrealistic - as I know from having been a combat engineer myself and having embedded with a Navy-Marine EOD near Fallujah.

The most obvious explanation for what the reviewers perceived as realism is that they know no more about war, Iraq, or EOD than EOD technicians know about reviewing movies.

Nevertheless, if the shoot-'em-up; blow 'em up depictions were typically Hollywood, the movie did convey a sense of realism in its approach to the antagonists and in putting you into the movie. Clearly, it's the best film made about the Iraq war.

August 2, 2009 04:43 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq ~ Military