Monday, February 18, 2008

Mad Cows and Mad People


1.  No. of people who have died of mad cow disease in the U.S.:  ZERO

2.  No. of people who have gotten mad cow disease in the U.S.:  ZERO

3.  No. of COWS who have been found to have mad cow disease in the U.S. (imported from elsewhere):  ONE.

4.  No. of people who died in that "drag race" incident over the weekend:  "at least" EITHGT.

5.  No. of people who have died from brid flu in the U.S.:  ZERO

6.  No. of people who have gotten bird flu in the U.S.:  ZERO

7.  No.  of people who have died of SARS in the U.S.:  ZERO

8.  No. of people who have gotten SARS in the U.S.:  effectively ZERO.

9.  No. of people who have gotten smallpox (in the WORLD) since it was eradicated outside of government labs:  ZERO.

10.  MEDIA stories on the drag race deaths:  essentially ONE (not many on the 42,000 traffic/vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year). 

11.  Media SCARE stories on the OTHER "dangers" referred to above:  COUNTLESS.

As I have said before, the media is out of control in this country.  They have no perspective at all, and become more hysterical every day (certainly no better than the "yellow journalism" of the past, wnd with worse effect because of the all pervasive nature of modern communication). 

Yes, I am talking about this story about the "biggest beef recall" in our nation's history (the most meaningless statistic you can imagine, both because there are more people, and therefore more beef now, and because we have become more aggressive in food recalls).

The media started off this story trying to HYPE the fact that the meat "might" be infected with mad cow disease, because the cows were not properly insprected.   Review the FACTS I itemize above.  There is NO CHANCE that the meat is infected with mad cow disease.  There is NO evidence that the meat is tainted at all.  Rules on inspection were simply not followed.  Even though the sheer number of Federal laws and regulations make it likely that EVERY substantial business in this country is violating some of them, and make it impossible to effectively enforce those that actually mean something, this meat company seems to have been so deficient as to justify the recall.  Cynical people, of course, might believe that this meat plant just happened to get CAUGHT, and that human nature would suggest that rules are often not followed.  The point here:  That des NOT mean our meat is "unsafe".  I remind yoiu that SPINACH was found to actually KILL people. E coli in beef has killed some, although spinach and beef COMBINED have pretty much killed fewer people in the last two years than that drag race vehicle accident over the weekend.

Hysteria is not indicated.  Mere MENTION of "mad cow disease" was STUPID.  There is no indication that the meat in questiion is even tainted--just indication that it was not properly inspected.  That merits action (against the meat company, and probably--not certainly--the recall), but not the hysteria of the media (altrady being echoed by POLITICIANS).

I say above, and official statistics bear me out, that NO cases of human infection by mad cow disease have occurred in the U.S.  There is, however, anecdotal evidence that these official statistics are wrong.  It would explain a lot if media people were infected with mad cow disease--not to mention politicians (especially of the leftist kind, but you can see symptoms in most of them).  It is, therefore, not quite certain that mad cow disease is not spreading in certain occupational areas (these people tend to congregate with each other).   Until mincoscopically confirmed, however, the similarity of the symptoms to those of mad cow disease may be just coincidence.

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