Bird flu and BDS have more in common than you think, except if you don't think....
[ UPDATE: Tired of the Same Old BDS Conspiracy Blather? Try some facts for instant relief: The Wall Street Journal's Avian Flu News Tracker ]
"I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up."
LIKE A FLU-FLUSHED CANARY IN A COAL MINE, I try to stay on top of new outbreaks of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), but lately the onslaught is taking on tsunamic proportions.
More alarming still is that the average number of BDS-associated exclamation marks, even in garden variety Bush Derangement Syndrome frothing, is increasing. As we all know, the more exclamation marks, the deeper the derangement. Last year the word Bush was represented by those afflicted by BDR as "Bush!!!" This year the usage has become "Bush !!!!!!!" This is a full 125% increase in froth!!!!!!!
This is not a good sign.
It is not a good sign for the mean mental health of our Republic because it usually means that the epidemic of BDS has moved from the relatively benign state of "Bush!!! -- he so dumb." to the more debilitating state of "Bush !!!!!!! -- "Evol-sooper-genius with many mini-me's who do -- Oh, yes indeedy-do they do!!!!!!! -- rule ze world und control ze weather!!!!!!!"
Now the newest symptom to present itself in classic Bush Derangement Syndrome is, wait for it, "Bush and Cronies [Especially Rumsfeld!!!!!!!] are behind Bird Flu!!!!!!!"
My email this morning brings me the following gang-forward from a well-meaning friend. In whole and in part, the email is a classic example of how the deadly virus of Bush Derangement Syndrome can take over a susceptible human brain stem and reduce it to rice pudding.
Note the Ginsbergian Howlish use of "Do you know?" The repeated use of "Do you know?" is of course a device that should signal most people that you are about to be deluged with a New York Deli sized Truth and Bullshit sandwich in which small slivers of truth are served up between super-sized slices of Bullshit.
This particular net virus "reveals" how "....we end up paying for medicine [Tamiflu] while Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush do the business," and concludes with the burning question " ARE WE CRAZY!!? OR ARE WE IDIOTS!!?"
We report. You deride....
Editorial comments in "[ ]'s"
Do you know that 'bird flu' was discovered in Vietnam 9 years ago?
[Actually, the viral family being looked at here is one called H5N1. The first variety of which was seen in Scotland in 1959. The current, much more virulent strain was found in Thailand in 1999, but we'll give you Vietnam since who knows what's cooking with those chicken farmers on those non-existent borders. Basic sanitation is not exactly their strong suit.]
Do you know that barely 100 people have died in the whole world in all that time?
[ Snopes board: Cumulative human deaths are currently about 110, with the most recent deaths appearing in Egypt in April.
Well, may the baby Jesus open my mind and shut my mouth! Yes, we are all aware that the virus is not yet killing humans by the millions. If it was we should certainly have heard. We are also aware that the operating word here is "threat" of pandemic. And since H5N1 is an influenza A virus, recent history shows it might be wise to take it seriously. " Influenza A viruses are significant for their potential for disease and death in humans and other animals. Influenza A virus subtypes that have been confirmed in humans, in order of the number of known human pandemic deaths that they have caused, include: " the Spanish Flu (50 million to 100 million killed world-wide), and the ever-popular Asian and Hong Kong flu that circulates on an annual basis and, as the World Health Organization notes, can mutate into a virus with the ability to cause a similar pandemic at any time.]
Do you know that it was the Americans who alerted us to the efficacy of the human antiviral TAMIFLU as a preventative.
[Ah, another subtle world-controlling plot from "the Americans" to get money from "us," whoever "us" is.]
Do you know that TAMIFLU barely alleviates some symptoms of the common flu?
[Seems to me that when you have the flu any alleviation, even that which is qualified by the weasel word "barely," is a welcome change.]
Do you know that its efficacy against the common flu is questioned by a great part of the scientific community?
[Do you know that almost any proposition in science is questioned by a "great" or "small" part of the scientific community?
Snopes Forum on Bird flu "I find absolutely no evidence of this anywhere. It doesn't work for some people as well as others, and it has to be taken within 48 hours of exposure; as stated above, there is concern it may not work against H5N1, but no surety either way. But as far as "a great part of the scientific community" questioning Tamiflu's efficacy, no."]
Do you know that against a SUPPOSED mutant virus such as H5N1, TAMIFLU barely alleviates the illness?
[There's no "SUPPOSED" about it. H5N1 is a mutation whose lineage is very well established. As to "barely" -- Well, you take the edge you can, don't you?]
Do you know that to date Avian Flu affects birds only?
[Do you know that will come as a great consolation to the 100+ humans you already cited as killed by the flu.]
Do you know who markets TAMIFLU?
[Okay, here comes the "money shot" so we can get this conspiracy rolling now that we've blinded you with bullshit. Slap on you BS snorkels, ladies, here it comes...]
[Oooo, big business. Bad. Very bad. Be afraid. Be very afraid.]
Do you know who bought the patent for TAMIFLU from ROCHE LABORATORIES in 1996?
[No, but I wish I'd bought the stock in 1996 if that's true.... ]
GILEAD SCIENCES INC.
[And, as a matter of fact, it would seem the author has got that "linkage" exactly backwards Gilead -- Tamiflu "Discovered by Gilead and brought to market by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, our worldwide development and marketing partner...." Big business, like basic math, is so hard for some people when the froth of BDS is seething in their brains.]
Do you know who was the then  president of GILEAD SCIENCES INC. and remains a major shareholder?
[I... can't... wait. Sock it to me!]
DONALD RUMSFELD, the present Secretary of Defence of the USA.
[No! Get! Out! Do you mean he actually had a job before becoming the Number One Terrorist Killer in the World? Who knew?
Actually, Rumsfeld was not president of Gilead until 1997, even though he was on the board since 1988 right after it was founded. Wish I'd been, but nobody asked me.]
Do you know that the base of TAMIFLU is crushed aniseed?
[Do tell. Do you know that most medicines more effective than Celestial Seasoning Teas are made from ingredients? "Anise is the source of shikimic acid, which is what Tamiflu is made from. "]
Do you know who controls 90% of the world's production of this tree?
[Seems to me that if, as an executive of Roche, I saw I'd be asked for a huge amount of Tamiflu, I'd got out and buy a lot of what I needed to make it. But that's just me.]
Do you know that sales of TAMIFLU were over $254 million in 2004 and more than $1000 million in 2005?
[Well, with a demand like that it is little wonder that ROCHE is buying up all the raw materials it can get.]
Do you know how many more millions ROCHE can earn in the coming months if the business of fear continues?
[If I knew that I'd know how many shares of the company to buy. If you get a clue, please email me right away.]
So the summary of the story is as follows:
[Hurts. Hurts. Make it stop!]
Bush's friends decide that the medicine TAMIFLU is the solution for a pandemic that has not yet occurred and that has caused a hundred deaths worldwide in 9 years.
[In general, this sort of planning is called "preventive" steps and forward thinking. Many adults favor this kind of thinking and planning as a good thing.
While you are studying on that, could I please have a complete list of the Bush FOB's to hang right next to my vintage collection of the Clinton FOBs? This concept of Presidents having cronies and friends and supporters overwhelms me with its novelty. It is so of the new, so of the fresh, so of the insight deep.]
This medicine doesn't so much as cure the common flu.
[It isn't made to "cure" the flu, it is made to "reduce the severity" of the flu.]
In normal conditions the virus does not affect humans.
[Except for those increasingly frequent abnormal conditions in which it sickens and/or kills them.]
Rumsfeld sells the patent for TAMIFLU to ROCHE for which they pay him a fortune. Roche acquires 90% of the global production of crushed aniseed, the base for the antivirus.
[Standard Business Clue 1: It is the duty of a chief executive of any company to sell the assets and products of that company for as much money as he or she can get.
Standard Business Clue 2: If a company perceives a need for an ingredient for one of their flagship products that may have, due to developments as yet to happen, a massive demand, the executives of that company have a duty to secure a supply that will enable them to meet the demand.]
The governments of the entire world threaten a pandemic and then buy industrial quantities of the product from Roche.
[I guess it was a good call for Rumsfeld to sell to Roche, a company that can actually produce industrial quantities of medicines. He could have sold to Halliburton, but they would have just built dams out of all that crushed aniseed.
Of the entire world? That would be every single government in the UN plus, right? And exactly what is an "industrial quantity?" A truckload? A trainload? A supertanker full of tablets?]
So we end up paying for medicine while Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush do the business [sic].
[Is this a complaint about how tax dollars are being used? Would you rather the same monies be redirected to increasing nuclear weapons that could be used to sterilize the entire flu producing countries of Asia? You pays your money and you takes your meds, but we'd suggest different meds than Tamiflu in your case.]
ARE WE CRAZY!!? OR ARE WE IDIOTS!!?
[Tough choice. Let's just say that, on both counts, "Quod erot demonstrandu."]
AT LEAST PASS THIS ON SO THAT IT CAN BE KNOWN!!!!!!!
[And so I have. As we read in the Holy Book of Bob Dylan,"Call me if you die."]