Monday, March 13, 2006

H5N1 and your Pet Fluffy the Cat and Omar the Stevedores

I think the Dubai deal was a mistake and agree with Jim Carafano who indicated that the DPW make all kinds of concessions to Home Land Security demands that would have make cargoes coming here safer. Ambassador Mark Ginsberg also indicated this. Jim Geraghty says bloggers were taken for a ride. It looks like The Anchoress leans towards the deal and has a good round up. If two of your smartest friends Dennis Prager and Michael Medved who are Conservative and Orthodox Jews agree with this why can't Republicans like D. Hunter? Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer also share my perspective. I think Senator Lindsay Graham was correct when he said this DPW deal sounded "Tone Deaf" and at first like Prager indicated my knee jerk reaction was NO! However when I did some digging I learned otherwise. The President and White House are so bad at Marketing and the Congress is only looking for a sound bite item to run on in the Mid Term elections and only care about keeping their cushy jobs in DC and funding their nice Thrift retirement plan. All the smartest people you had on your show agreed with the deal including Kudlow on with J. Babbin. Until someone can tell me why The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia(John Hinderaker) can run 9 US ports unloading operations and UAE can't I will not be satisfied (issues outlined here) that this was nothing but sham and race to win the Sound Byte game with the Democrats! Next thing we should do to follow thru with this canned deal is to make all foreign port operators divest their holding in our ports including the Chi-Cons, Saudi's among other and give it to SSA Marine. I hope my favorites like Bennett, Ingraham and even you will push for this since all of your were either ambivalent or against the DPW deal.
Here's what James Robbins has to say:
  • I have to wonder if the approval of Dubai Ports World is payback for recent support by Dubai and the UAE in the war on terrorism. Some data points:
    December 2004: Dubai was the first government in the region to sign on to the U.S. Container Security Initiative to screen all containers heading for the United States for security risks.
    May 2005: Dubai signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to bar passage of nuclear material from passing through its ports, and install radiation-detecting equipment.
    June 2005: The UAE joined the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
    October 2005: The UAE Central Bank directed banks and financial institutions in the country to tighten their internal systems and controls in their fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. UAE banks routinely cooperate with U.N. and international law-enforcement agencies in supplying information about suspect accounts.
    November 2005: In the wake of the terror bombings in Jordan, General Shaykh Muhammad Bin-Zayid Al Nuhayyan, heir apparent of Abu Dhabi and supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, stated that “Muslim scholars who live among us must adopt a stand toward this terrorism… If they do not declare [terrorists] to be infidels, they should at least consider them as non-Muslims. …If there are no honest stands toward these non-religious and inhumane operations, these [attacks] will continue.”
    December 2005: The UAE National Consultative Council called for declaration of an all-out war against terrorism and depriving any person who pledges allegiance to foreign extremist groups the right of UAE citizenship. The council proclaimed that it regarded links to such groups as high treason.
    The UAE has also assisted the Coalition effort in Iraq, in particular training Iraqi security forces and sending material assistance to the Iraqi people.
    There is a lot on the other side of the ledger too — particularly a thank you statement from Hamas to the UAE in July 2005 for all the support — but given the way relationships work in the Middle East I can see Dubai expecting favorable treatment in return for its recent cooperation in the effort to combat terrorism, and especially for supporting the war effort in Iraq. It is the way of things.
    — James S. Robbins is author of the forthcoming Last in Their Class: Custer, Picket and the Goats of West Point and an NRO Contributor.
I hope all the Christian hosts of Salem Network realize their Jewish Counterparts Prager and Medved were right and realize intellectual honesty apply "the Dubai Standard" to All foeign Port ownership and make them all divest! Why will no one will speak to the Saudi control of 9 ports!

Moving on to the HH Talk Show Pet, the H5N1 Avian Flu pending pandemic and Fluffy the Kitty development, I have found this article in Nature that addresses the fact that 2 Austrian Katzen(Cats in German). The ressortment of genetic material is morphing the H5N1 genome into a form that will cause a World Wide Pandemic and millions of deaths world wide (see Mayo Clinic)!....
  • Genetic scrambling. (A) H5N1 mutates quickly and is notorious for grabbing large blocks of genetic code from viruses that infect other species, a process called reassortment. For that reason, it has particular potential to combine with a human flu virus, creating a new viral strain that spreads rapidly from person to person. The emergence of such a virus would mark the beginning of a potentially devastating pandemic. (CNN)
  • "Birds & Bird Flu graphics showing avian influenza (H5N1) mixing with other 'flu strains; image of bird flu viruses and human flu viruses entering the same cell and pandemic influenza emerging, diagram of replication of viruses showing reassortment of viral RNA genome segments (genetic mixing or recombination) creating a new viral strain (reassortant) with the potential to create a catastrophic new flu pandemic."
  • The virus can improve its transmissibility among humans via two principal mechanisms. The first is a “reassortment” event, in which genetic material is exchanged between human and avian viruses during co-infection of a human or pig. Reassortment could result in a fully transmissible pandemic virus, announced by a sudden surge of cases with explosive spread.
    The second mechanism is a more gradual process of adaptive mutation, whereby the capability of the virus to bind to human cells increases during subsequent infections of humans. Adaptive mutation, expressed initially as small clusters of human cases with some evidence of human-to-human transmission, would probably give the world some time to take defensive action, if detected sufficiently early.
  • These reassortants could result when a single host bird is simultaneously infected with both the vaccine and another AI virus. Owing to the segmented nature of the influenza virus genome, a reassortment of genetic material can readily occur, creating new influenza viruses. The basic drawback to any vaccine approach for the control of HPAI is the large number of HA subtypes that can cause the disease. Because there is no cross-protection among the 15 known HA subtypes, either a multivalent vaccine will be needed or vaccination postponed until the prevalent disease-causing subtype in the area is identified. A recombinant fowl pox virus vaccine containing the gene that codes for the production of the H5 antigen has recently been licensed. The use of a recombinant insect virus containing the gene for either the H5 or H7 antigen has been used to make these vaccine proteins in insect cell cultures.
  • Antigenic shift refers to an abrupt, major change to produce a novel influenza A virus subtype in humans that was not currently circulating among people (see more information below under Influenza Type A and Its Subtypes). Antigenic shift can occur either through direct animal (poultry)-to-human transmission or through mixing of human influenza A and animal influenza A virus genes to create a new human influenza A subtype virus through a process called genetic reassortment. Antigenic shift results in a new human influenza A subtype. A global influenza pandemic (worldwide spread) may occur if three conditions are met:
    • A new subtype of influenza A virus is introduced into the human population.
    • The virus causes serious illness in humans.
    • The virus can spread easily from person to person in a sustained manner.
  • Reassortment occurs when genetic material is exchanged between human and avian viruses during co-infection (infection with both viruses at the same time) of a human or pig. The result could be a fully transmissible pandemic virus—that is, a virus that can spread easily and directly to humans. A more gradual process is adaptive mutation, where the capability of a virus to bind to human cells increases during infections of humans.

Dominus Vobiscum (May the Lord be with You)

Francis Xavier Yubero, M.D.


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