Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The flu

This season's flu seems to me to have been the worst that I can remember.

And it's still going on.

I know many friends who have young children who have not just had the flu once but have had it twice.

And the vaccine really didn't appear to prevent it in adults that I know -- they may have had it less worse as a result of getting the shot but they still had it.

Most of us had it for around five days.  On the fifth day, I didn't have fever and wasn't throwing up but I probably didn't feel good for another 3 to 4 days after that fifth day.

Kate Randall (WSWS) reports:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday that at least 16 more children died of the flu over the previous week, with 42 states reporting high levels of the flu activity, up from 39 states the week before. This brings the number of child deaths this flu season to at least 53.
Typically tragic was the case of 7-year-old Savanna Jessie of Columbus, Indiana, who was sent home from the hospital after testing positive for influenza B, strep throat, and scarlet fever. Her father found her in bed unresponsive the next morning. Medics rushed her to the regional hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“Hospitalizations are now the highest we’ve seen,” said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat in the Friday briefing. CDC officials expect to see numbers similar to or greater than those from the 2014-2015 flu season, when 710,000 Americans were hospitalized and about 56,000 died, including nearly 150 children.
Hospitalizations are one of the key measures of the severity of an outbreak. The rate currently stands at 51.4 per 100,000 people, already significantly higher than the 43.5 rate for the same period during the 2014-2015 season. In California, hospitalization rates are four times higher than they were two years ago.
Although there are indications that flu activity may be peaking in the Western US, Schuchat cautioned that the disease is continuing to spread in the East and remains largely unchanged in the South.

It really makes it clear, this season's flu, just how easy a pandemic could spread.  :(

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018.  Selling war continues to this day, the US' latest propaganda push to help re-elect Hayder al-Abadi prime minister of Iraq, and much more.

On this day in 2003, US Sec of State Colin Powell lied to the world and began an illegal war that came near annihilating Iraq.

in 2003 US Secretary of State Colin Powell, showing a tube allegedly containing anthrax, tells the UN Security Council Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction

Colin The Blot Powell.

This day will be marked.  What about the day it became clear 'liberal' MSNBC was a fraud?  When Rachel Maddow began regularly pimping Collie's devoted and slavish servant Lawrence Wilkerson as a trusted source and someone for the left to embrace?

The little re-written ditty Ava and I served up when calling out The Blot in 2005 when he sat across from Barbara Walters and tried to rewrite reality ("Colin and Barbara Remake The Way We Were")  is still true of him and the media to this day:

In the place of real reporting.
Mushy soft focus moments
Not The Way It Was.

Unasked questions
Of the facts that are well known.
Facts that never will be buried
Of The Way It Was.

Can it be that spin can triumph fact
If we carefully rewrite each line.
If he had the choice to do it all again
He would -- he could.

May be full of lies and yet
If we push hard enough
Others will simply forget.

So it's the spin
We will hold onto
Whenever we discuss
The Way It Was.
The Way It Was.

Colin Powell sold the Iraq War and did so knowingly.  But Rachel Maddow gave Lawrence Wilkerson hour upon hour to pimp the lie that Collie was tricked, sweet, saintly Collie was tricked -- and Rachel not only never pushed back, she endorsed this lie.

She is the ultimate in fake news.

Colin's lies predate Iraq.

Late to reality about Collie?

Robert Parry was on to him long ago:

Behind Colin Powell's Legend: Part One
Retired Gen. Colin Powell has given some legitimacy to George W. Bush's dubious election. But what's the real story behind the Powell legend, from My Lai to Iran-contra to the Persian Gulf War? By Robert Parry & Norman Solomon. December 17, 2000.

Behind Colin Powell's Legend: Part Two
Colin Powell emerged from the Iran-contra scandal with his reputation intact, but a review of the secret evidence shows that the scandal might never have happened but for Powell's circumventing Pentagon rules -- and flouting the law. December 19, 2000

Behind Colin Powell's Legend: Part Three
In late 1986, the desperate call went out to Gen. Colin Powell at his command in West Germany. He was needed back in Washington to save Ronald Reagan. December 22, 2000

Behind Colin Powell's Legend: Part Four
Colin Powell achieved his icon status through his command of U.S. forces in the Panama invasion and the Persian Gulf War. But his acclaim came at a price. December 26, 2000

Behind Colin Powell's Legend: Part Five
Gen. Powell's reputation for integrity dodged a bullet when President George H.W. Bush halted the Iran-contra investigation in late 1992. This last segment of the series shows how Powell went on to near-universal acclaim with the Washington press corps. December 27, 2000

Ask yourself why Rachel Maddow pimped Colin as an innocent?

Then ask yourself why she never had Robert Parry on her show?  (He passed away last month.)

MSNBC spews lies.  They're good at standing on their soapboxes, they're just not good at telling the truth.

And please grasp that while she was more than happy to serve up (and endorse) Wilkerson's lies to paint Colin Powell in a better light regarding Iraq, when she had Colin on her show April1, 2009 (how appropriate for both of them), she never once asked of Iraq.

Yes, I am aware Lawrence Wilkerson has an opinion column in NYT today.  That's not a good thing.  Yet again, one of the liars about Iraq is given space while the ones who rightly opposed the illegal war are rendered invisible.  The ones who sold the illegal war should all just get gone (and, in the words of Fiona, "put away that meat you're selling").

Turning to election propaganda, US troops out of Iraq!!!!

Nope, that's not happening.

But the headlines and the term "drawdown" are confusing a number of people.

A "drawdown" is not a withdrawal.  It only means that a lower number of US troops will continue to be present.

CIPHER BRIEF attempts to walk readers through this and points out, "With Iraqi elections slated for May, and the indefinite presence of U.S. troops a divisive issue domestically, a drawdown would be both unsurprising and smart politics."

The Defense Dept explains the mission is shifting "from enabling combat operations to sustaining military gains."  Simplify that?  Lydia Magallanes (KALB) spoke with US Col Brian Sullivan ("commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division") and he explained the changing mission as, "We continue to shift based on the needs of the Iraqis. Right now we are pretty much arrayed in the population centers in the north, center, and west and partnered with the Iraqis where they most need us to help them counter the ISIS threat and assist them in the stabilization effort."

No, it's not really much of a change.  But elections approach in Iraq.  They're supposed to be held May 12th.  US troops on the ground in Iraq has never been a popular position.

Vague headlines and reporting allow the impression that US troops are in the process of (fully) departing from Iraq.  That's not happening.

Hayder al-Abadi has so little to campaign on.  ISIS has not been vanquished from Iraq.  William J. Astore (CONSORTIUM NEWS) observes, "How about Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State?  U.S.-led coalition forces have launched more than 10,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since Donald Trump became president, unleashing 39,577 weapons in 2017. (The figure for 2016 was 30,743.)  The 'caliphate' is now gone and ISIS deflated but not defeated, since you can’t extinguish an ideology solely with bombs."

He's not accomplished anything.  And this makes it look like (a) he's driven US troops out of Iraq or (b) he's begun the process for that.

Nope, not happening currently.

GULF NEWS reports:

The Badr Organisation, a Shiite group that has a minister in Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s government, in charge of the interior, said any remaining US troops would be cause for instability.
“The two governments should coordinate to ensure a full withdrawal. US presence will be cause for internal polarisation and a magnet for terrorists,” Badr spokesman Kareem Nouri said.

Again, this is a real issue in Iraq (even as the US yawns and pretends the Iraq War ended long ago).  Whether it will work or not, that is the point of the announcement.

Jack Detsch (AL-MONITOR) offers:

“This is to give Abadi the visible reduction he needs to show before elections,” Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Al-Monitor. “The US knows it has the same influence with 4,000 or 8,000 troops.”
[. . .]
With Abadi facing an electoral threat from Iranian-backed militias that split from his coalition last month as well as resurgent Shiite rivals such as former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former Transportation Minister Hadi al-Ameri, the prime minister “wants to pre-empt any electioneering on the issue of US presence, and is heading it off with pre-emptive reductions,” Knights said.



2012 ~ World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the 2 battles for the town of Falluja, a new study reports a "staggering rise" in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the 2004 war.

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