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Stand Up for Your Right to Cruise

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The H1N1 was swine flu but the name has been changed. Pig farmers are feeling the heat and so are pigs in Egypt where thousands of them have been slaughtered, and the pig farmers are understandably upset, saying the cause is mere panic.

The “H1N1 nee: swine flu” situation is overblown and the worst offenders are television media, especially cable news channel CNN using the phrase “eminent pandemic” at every opportunity. This is not a pandemic. In fact, this work week brought news of only two additional deaths from this disease, both of them from people who contracted the virus in Mexico.

Mexico, lagging in reporting because the government health agencies are not very robust reported the number of has gone up, but mostly because they are reviewing old, suspected case to see if they were H1N1. There are now more cases reported in Mexico than previously, but the Mexican Health Minister actually said new reported cases of the disease are slowing down. In fact, out of all deaths in Mexico only 12 have been confirmed as H1N1 deaths. Has the media told you that?

Obama just admitted there is no proof that this virus is any more lethal than any other flu virus, especially in its non ground-zero Mexican form. In fact, we still have not seen more than one death outside of Mexico.

There is a company called Veratect near Seattle that claims they discovered the virus long before the CDC did. Following their updates it is easy to see the panic in action. Many cases first believed to be H1N1 are later confirmed not to be. They also show that even in Europe and Asia, many suspected and confirmed cases are largely people who traveled to Mexico before they were warned to watch out for this virus. They caught something close to the original form and still noneof them have died.

Mexico is now largely shut down and tourism is dead. I doubt we will be hearing about many more cases of people going to Mexico and coming back with H1N1 within two weeks. That means the number of reported cases worldwide is going to drop very soon. And the touted European prediction “we haven’t seen any deaths, BUT WE WILL” could very well continue to be unfulfilled.

I have been getting email, and so far it is running five to one that people agree that H1N1 is overhyped by the media, for their own benefit and the administration in power. It is the perfect diversion from news of Chrysler going bankrupt.

It is an opportunity for our President to come out and sounding wise and concerned when he tells us “wipe your nose, you have a little something right there.”

Lets face it, the media loves to cover Obama, but the economy is a very dry subject. But Obama talking about something as common as the flu, that’s great TV, almost like adopting a puppy.

Joe Biden, aka “the gaffe machine” – said on the Today Show he wouldn’t take any subways or planes. The President’s spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, had to explain to the press what he “meant” to say. Did the administration forget to tell Joe how to couch his comments? Or did Joe uses his “oops” trick to say what no one else can say? When Joe makes a “gaffe” haven’t we all been conditioned to give the President a pass on it?

What does any of this have to do with cruising? All the cruise lines have been pressured by public opinion to cancel port stops in Mexico when they initially decided there was very, very limited danger of exposure. This is due to a flu virus that has killed nine people worldwide when 36,000 people die from flu in the U.S. alone every year.

There is another disease that the WHO already says is epidemic to the Caribbean, South America and other tropical areas called Dengue Fever. The WHO says some 2.5 billion people, two fifths of the world’s population, are now at risk from Dengue and estimates that there may be 50 million cases of dengue infection worldwide every year. It is spread by mosquitos. Dengue is now epidemic in more than 100 countries. Where is the 15-minute news update cycle on that disease?

What we are NOT being told is the message here.

Why do we keep hearing the words, “eminent Pandemic?” Why are other world health officials saying, “we haven’t seen any deaths yet, but we will,” but we haven’t? Why do we not hear about all the cases that have been proven NOT to be H1N1, when in fact it is ruled out in several cases every hour after tests. Why have all the things we are hearing will happen have not yet happened?

At some point the cruise lines are going to return to Mexico ports. There is a very good chance they could go back soon and not have a significant exposure to this virus as long as prudence is used when passengers go ashore. But that has always been the case in Mexico. Everyone already knows not to touch things and not to drink the water there.

The most likely thing to stop the cruise lines from going back to Mexico is panic on the part of the general public, not cruisers. We have heard from cruisers, they are NOT overly alarmed by this virus, and they want their cruise to Mexico. But if the media keeps boosting the H1N1 profile to boost their ratings, then we will hear an outcry from the general public not to let cruise ships go there. This will come from panicked moms, the same moms who stuff a kleenex and hand sanitizer in their kids’ pockets every morning.

All it will take is one comment from Obama or Joe Biden about cruise ships and this industry will take a multi-million dollar haircut. Hundreds of scheduled cruises to Mexico will have to be relocated to places that are already suffering from overcapacity.

And so it is up to you, dear cruisers, to tell the world that you want your Mexico cruises. Tell us you are willing to take responsibility for your own health. With your encouragement the cruise lines will be able to formulate a reasonable plan to continue cruising to Mexico.

By the way, where did I get the title “stand up for your right to cruise?” A Judith *** wrote this to me when I told her, “you have the right not to cruise to Mexico, but don’t infringe on my right to go there.” Here is her reply…


“Infringe on your right?” Please tell me you’re joking. (You know Colbert is joking, don’t you?) I have read the U.S. Constitution and doesn’t say anything about a “right” to cruise to Mexico. Maybe it’s
in the Arizona constitution? Second, the government is not suspending Mexican cruises–the companies are…

Seriously, if you believe that other peoples’ needs, interests, and perspectives amount to an infringement on your personal rights, then you’ve misunderstood the nature of a democratic society. I’m sorry I bothered you and I hope you can find someplace on this earth where everyone leaves you alone. No reply necessary or desired, you’re in my junk filter now.

So, here is my reply, Judith. It seems to me it used to be acceptable to criticize the party in power in this country without being insulted. It was called free speech and as I learned in public school, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Judith, I happened to have a copy of the Constitution on my desk when you wrote that so I looked it up. The 14th amendment says every U.S. citizen has the right to leave the state and come back with full rights and liberties intact. No one can deny my rights for any reason just because I left. It is generally known as the “right to travel” amendment.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Article 9 says that just because a right is not stated in the Consitution it does mean I do not have the right. It is called “the silent amendment.”

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

So Judith, I will never tell you to shut up or insult your intelligence for your opinion. I respect your opinion, although I disagree with it. Too bad as a ‘democratic society” American you don’t see it the same way. And for the record, I am NOT right wing as you obviously assume. In fact I am equally skeptical and critical of the conservatives. The thing I abhor the most is the newly accepted practice in this country of insulting people instead of disputing their ideas if you disagree with their political opinion.

Stand up for your rights, including the first amendment which allows the right to a free press and freedom of speech. And please don’t let anyone intimidate you with name calling.

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Comment from Dave Beers
Time May 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

To add to the above, this is not a “democratic society” as Judith called it. It is a constitutional republic.

But to the topic – to me this is largely an event that was created by the media, a troubling habit of theirs that has grown out-of-hand over the past few years. Around a dozen people have died from this strain of flu so far. Meanwhile a thousand times that figure died from the anticipated strain over the past year. Entire school systems closed for several days because one or two students “might” have the flu. It’s an insane overreaction.

Comment from Tom
Time May 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I agree, I contracted dengue fever last month in Malalaysia and I have not seen any messages from media nor Malaysia government warning about the risk and disease. The swine is truly overblown, the risks are much lower than other diseases, I don’t get why media get so excited about this issue.

Comment from Paul Motter
Time May 1, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Thank you dave, the term “democratic society” is indeed a world government thought that I see as undermining the true pillar of our nation – The Constitution.

For those of you who are wondering, here are the differences:

A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government’s power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is checked by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power.

The fact that a constitution exists that limits the government’s power, makes the state constitutional. That the head(s) of state and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, and that their decisions are subject to judicial review the state a republic.

Unlike a pure democracy, in a constitutional republic, citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law.

Constitutional Republics are a deliberate attempt to hold in check the threat of mobocracy thereby protecting dissenting individuals from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself.

John Adams defined a constitutional republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.”

This is what I see as a danger of this new turn toward the Democratic party having near absolute rule in all three branches.

I keep hearing “The American people voted for this governemt, and so Republicans just have to deal with that.”

It seems to me 53% of Americans voted for Obama, while 47% voted for the other party. That is a small majority, but these days if you say anything even hinting of criticism of Obama you are castigated and often invited to find a new country as I was in Judith’s email. Rather rude in my opinion, pretty much telling me to bow down or lose my head.

I have to say, I lost all respect for CNN when I heard them refering to tax protesters, exercising their first amendment rights, as “teabaggers” – a term for people in porn movies who mouth a male “orb.”

So, I have decided the people who report or enjoy reports about Obama’s new dog are serving up “fluff,” a common term for media filler. It’s also a term like teabagger, except you use your hands.

So, dear CNN, “Hello fluffers.”

Comment from Fireba11
Time May 1, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Whenever I see something like the Swine Flu being blown out of proportion I ask myself, what is the government up to now that it is trying to hide from the eyes of the public?

Truth of the matter is that people in the U.S.A. die every year from the flue, no matter what strain it is. Why all the hubbub then? Ron Paul introduced a bill this week to audit the federal reserve and it was supposed to come to a vote and I haven’t heard anything on the news about it, could it be that this Flu scare is to keep us occupied enough to not notice this bill and call our Senators and Congressmen and ask them to support it?

Comment from Cheryl Sorrill
Time May 2, 2009 at 1:38 am

I totally agree with you that the media has blown this whole flu thing out of proportion! I live in Florida where between 2005 and 2007, 1400 people died from influenza. 114 in my county alone! Europe has been telling their countrymen not to come to United States because of the
swine flu. So what will happen to our tourist industry, in an already bad economy? If this media blitz continues we could very well be in the same situation as Mexico. Talk about hurting the cruise lines even more! Give me back my Mexican cruise!!!!

Comment from Dave Beers
Time May 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Paul….”Hello Fluffers”…I love it. And, I am with you.

Comment from Bob
Time May 4, 2009 at 8:52 am

I am the only one that has made the connection between H1N1 and a term that refers to my rear end (though I don’t think I have ever know the correct spelling of hi-knee).

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