The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bad news from Zogby
The president’s poll numbers are down again, which doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me is that 40% of the people actually think the country is moving in the right direction, and that about one in three think Bush is actually doing a good job.

More social ills
I’m not sure there is ever a good time to be homeless, but now is definitely not one of those times. Here is a report listing the top twenty cities which are hostile to homeless people. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with so many new displaced people, you would think our country would be more charitable instead of more mean-spirited. America has not always been like this. And we’re headed in the right direction?

Cautious optimism?
There was a big flurry of bird flu cases in Turkey there for awhile, but now they seem to have somewhat subsided, with no new cases cropping up in the past few days. All that should be encouraging, and it is, but officials remain cautious in case the disease flares up again.

Or cautious pessimism?
On the other hand, Guenael Rodier, a prominent WHO official investigating the outbreak in Turkey, says that it is possible that bird flu has been spread from human to human. Though there is no evidence to support that contention, Rodier gives some interesting reasons why this possibility exists. He also gives interesting reasons why such an eventuality might not result in a pandemic.

Migratory birds?
The controversy over whether migrating birds spread H5N1 continues. Now Finland has joined the discussion. I must say that I have been perplexed over this question, but now I really believe that migrating birds actually do spread bird flu. Once I saw video of Van, where those three Turkish children died, I decided that was the only conclusion I could reach.

What is the risk of a pandemic?
Here is a global map which graphically displays the likelihood that a pandemic will occur, country by country. For the record, the risk of a pandemic striking the US is medium. The risk to Great Britain is extreme. (Thanks to Worldwide Disasters for pointing me to the map.)

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