The devastating floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey will damage many human habitats, but after the flood recedes, the waterlogged city may become a more welcoming habitat for mosquitoes. And that means that residents already made vulnerable by the hurricane might also eventually be at increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Zika.
West Nile virus has been endemic in Texas since 2002. In 2016, the state had 370 cases; so far in 2017, there have been 36 confirmed cases. Harris County, where Houston is located, has seen cases of West Nile in humans this year, and detected the virus in local mosquitoes.
Texas has also had 22 Zika cases in 2017, although local transmission has only been detected in Brownsville, a city on the Gulf Coast close to the Mexican border.
RELATED: What Makes a Storm Deadly?
The risk of infectious-disease outbreaks shortly after natural disasters is not as high as one might think, according to an overview published by researchers from the World Health Organization in Emerging Infectious Diseases. “Deaths associated with natural disasters, particularly rapid-onset disasters, are overwhelmingly due to blunt trauma, crush-related injuries, or drowning,” the article reads. “Deaths from communicable diseases after natural disasters are less common.” The greatest disease risk, according to these authors, comes from population displacement. If people are crowded in shelters with insufficient sanitation, that could create the conditions for disease to spread.
If people are crowded in shelters with insufficient sanitation, that could create the conditions for disease to spread.
With mosquito-borne illnesses specifically, it appears that there may be a delayed effect. In the short term, after a hurricane, there should actually be a lower risk of contracting these viruses, because the water likely washed away the existing breeding sites.
“But then over time, as the floodwaters recede, you’re left with pockets of water which are good for breeding both Culex mosquitoes and Aedes mosquitoes,” says Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Culex mosquitoes carry West Nile, as well as St. Louis encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. Aedes aegypti are the primary carriers for Zika, as well as dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
This is what happened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There was no increase in West Nile disease or St. Louis encephalitis in Louisiana or Mississippi that year. Researchers suspected this was because not only did flooding and winds destroy mosquitoes’ habitats, but evacuees ended up in areas less affected by those diseases.
1. “I’m not special. I’m a limited edition.”
2. “You don’t like my attitude? That’s fine. It doesn’t like you either.”
3. “Don’t compare me to other people. There’s no competition. I’m one of a kind.”
4. “I’m at the point now where I don’t want to impress anyone anymore. If people like me the way I am, great. If they don’t, well it’s their loss.”
5. “I’m really not cranky. I just have a violent reaction when I meet stupid people.”
6. “It’s my decision who I love and how I live. No one can take that choice away from me.”
7. “Silence is the best response when you’re dealing with an idiot.”
8. “I’m not arguing with you. I’m just explaining why I’m right.”
9. “I don’t have time to hate the people who are hating me. I’m way too busy loving the people who are loving me.”
10. “I haven’t changed. I grew up. Maybe you should give it a try sometime.”
Americans are facing another oil yo-yo. As the political presidential cycle returns, if what has happened in the past that the price of oil rises to pay the VIG needed to fund the political campaigns of Congress then get ready to eat oil sticker shock. With the world producing oil glut we would hope the price would lower to help the little guy have a few shekels left after landlords, health care, and taxes eat up every last cent. But if the past repeats itself, now is the time to keep our oil consumption habit in check.
When the last Bush ran with Dick Cheney the CEO of Halliburton a huge oil industry player, it seems plausible that the Oil Industry coopted the election with the shenanigans over ballots in Florida. In what seems a very curious outcome to the election of 2000, oil had it’s way.
When the world discovered oil underneath our precious planet crust, it was a boon to the worlds economy. Great progress has been achieved but the Military Industrial Complex like everything else used this gift of nature to send armies marching and wars to this day are fueled by oil.
Maybe it is time to rethink oil before it is too late. It is almost too late to save the environment. It is close to impossible to return oil to peaceful purposes.
If oil were looked at as if it were Nuclear material that needs to be monitored and protected from falling into the wrong hands, either from incompetence or dastardly intentions, then maybe we could remove it from having marching armies use oil as their ticket to ride.
Big ideas are hard to discover, but Oil for Peace is one to chew on.
Yes politicians or at least 90% of the politicians are funded by interest groups with agendas. People are the last considered issue when it comes to those friends who fund elections. If you are in a major industry you better have representation in Washington. Everyone is either giving or receiving government handouts. It is a huge industry lobbying, and special interest groups have no choice but to find the sources of monies only our financially swayed politicians could promise. This is our political system.
Energy to change our system is lacking when half the population is struggling to put food on the table and surviving in a corporate minded control of the economy that is non inclusive.
We the people have to use our oil products in a fashion that holds the oil companies accountable to the environment and accountable to life itself. Until people globally are fed up then oil will continue to fund the politicians to represent their bottom line, and not ours.
Backstabbing gotchya GOP talking heads, the Morning Joe’s who have even violated our joy of the first cup, have wondered why the Bernie’s of the other party haven’t tried to destroy one another in the first Democratic Debate.
Let’s face it there is no room in that side of the political cup of coffee reality to consider human empathy, even to the point of digs being the norm over civility.
The Democratic Party never was a gotcha Party. They still aren’t. The Media however is ninety percent gotcha and 01% what we the people need to hear.
Democrat and Republican office holders and seekers are now more than ever beholden to the inflated costs of campaigning.
I don’t care about your hair or your facial make-up says the citizen, and I have a miserable fear ridden life of uncertainty about my job and our family health, and if I can have clean water, or enough water, food, clothing and shelter.
It is time to accept our responsibility and recognize the irresponsible war torn party of the elephant has none. No responsibility in the Middle East, the Budget they broke but promised to balance all the way back to our Ronny Reagan, who busted it wide open when losing Afghanistan to the Russians. Go figure, Millennials have no clue to the march of the history or the germinating force seeding wars in perpetuity.
Democratic Congressman Tells Young People To Keep Filming Police
Neither the press, nor the Congress are telling us the real story. We have and indirectly many a news reporter suggested the link. The Republican Party is held hostage to the Keystone Pipeline and the funding from the Oil companies that supports their campaigns.
Maybe the thinking is that we must have health care connected to the pipeline because the pipeline will require anyone connected to or in proximity of the pipeline will need lots of health care. If only that were the thinking but it is not.
The question still remains why are the politicians and the press dancing around this truth that the pipeline and health care are linked politically?
It can only be concluded news organizations are owned by the same corporations that own our oil production. Therefore they won’t reveal the truth to the peril of that knowledge bringing down the whole house.
This fact alone shows how bought and paid for the Republican Party is to the Oil Industry. That is the mirror no republican constituent is willing to look at. Democrats are silent and beholden too.
A shutdown isn’t just bad politically, it can also be damaging to the United States’ economy, taking the paychecks of federal employees out of the mix, and disrupting tourism across the country.
MDC says, it’s about time the evil empire collapses for good. Remember it was almost 18 years ago since the last shutdown which lasted almost 3 weeks. The politicians are a disgrace for swearing on the constitution.
Here’s a look at some of the latest numbers on how a shutdown might affect our economy:
A shutdown that lasted between three and four week could cost the economy about $55 billion, by the estimate of Moody’s Analytics economist Brian Kessler.
Washington, DC, would lose $200 million a day on lost wages and lost spending by those who get furloughed. That estimate doesn’t include tourism, and the huge losses DC will feel from the museums and national mall being closed.
The shutdown would “reduce federal spending” by about $8 billion, which could reduce GDP growth by .8 percent annualized, according to a report released Monday by Goldman Sachs.
Moody’s Analytics’ Mark Zandi pegs the amount lost in economic growth in the fourth quarter at as much as 1.4 percent.
One billion dollars a week from the pay of the roughly 800,000 federal employees will be lost from the U.S. economy.
These numbers, of course, don’t count a lot of things: The loans that the Small Business Administration will stop making, the permits that the Environmental Protection Agency won’t issue, the contracts that will be put on hold, and the nutrition assistance for infants and mothers that won’t go out. Or, of course, a tanking stock market that could ruin consumer confidence.
MDC says, it’s happening again. How New York Became One Of The Most Corrupt States.
Rarely a month seems to pass when there isn’t some state legislator in New York facing indictment.
The latest, former Democratic state Sen. Shirley Huntley, was sentenced Thursday to spend a year and a day in prison for stealing $88,000 from a charity she controlled. A day earlier, a federal judge had unsealed records showing that Huntley last year secretly recorded conversations with seven other elected officials she suspected of corruption.
Among them were Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, both former Democratic leaders of the Senate who have already been indicted.
“It’s a culture of corruption, there’s no question about it,” say Seymour Lachman, a former Democratic state senator. “It’s very sad that you have at this point in New York state, the Empire State, more corrupt officials than any other state.”
There’s been a torrent of corruption charges recently, but there’s nothing new about this. Bill Mahoney, a spokesman for New York Public Interest Research Group, says he counts 32 scandals involving legislators or state officials over the past seven years.
“It would be surprising to go the rest of the year without seeing a few more scandals emerge,” he says.
Corruption occurs nearly everywhere politics is practiced, but there are several reasons the problem appears to be endemic in Albany.
1. Single-Party Dominance
For decades, Democrats have controlled the state Assembly, while Republicans have usually controlled the Senate. The Senate has flipped back and forth in recent years, but when it comes to individual districts, there’s hardly any partisan competition at all.
District lines are drawn in ways that not only favor one party or the other, but insulate most incumbents from primary challenges as well.
“Once they manage to get in, their districts are effectively uncompetitive,” says Richard Briffault, a law professor at Columbia University. “They don’t really have to worry about being challenged or critiqued by anyone.”
2. The Hunt For Campaign Funds
Although their races aren’t competitive, legislative candidates still raise a lot of money. The limits for what individual donors can give candidates are among the highest in the country.
Senate candidates can solicit donations exceeding $15,000 per individual per election cycle, while House candidates can bring in more than $8,000.
And the state is notorious for not regulating campaign finance too stringently. The State Board of Elections is run by four commissioners — two Democrats and two Republicans. It takes three votes for the commissioners to recommend prosecution, so only those officials who are pariahs in both parties are ever pursued.
On Tuesday, NYPIRG released a study showing that there had been 103,805 violations of campaign finance law in the state.
In the past two years.
“Nobody’s regulating what they’re doing with campaign finance,” Mahoney says.
3. Insular Decision-Making
In 2006, Lachman, now an academic at Wagner College, published a book called Three Men in a Room. The title encapsulated a well-known dynamic in Albany.
All of the big decisions are made by a handful of players. The budget, for instance, is generally worked out by the governor, Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader.
There’s nothing unusual about top leaders controlling major legislation, but the lack of shared responsibility and transparency in New York is legendary.
Rank-and-file members may not get to make much policy, but often they are rewarded for supporting what the leaders craft by being granted earmarks — or “member items,” in the local parlance — or less formal control of contracts.
“The ability of legislators to affect development or to affect public spending in very large dollar figures with an opaque process — and very few internal rules even once you get inside the opaque process — is a recipe for what we have,” says Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches at Columbia.
4. Media Aren’t Watching
It may be surprising that legislators seem to get away with so much graft in a state that is home to so many ferocious reporters and major media outlets. But the reality is that Albany, like a number of other state capitals, is a long way from the primary population center.
What happens north of Bear Mountain — whether it’s financial indiscretions or marital ones — often stays north of Bear Mountain.
There are too many legislators from New York City to command much individual attention from reporters there, who anyway might have been distracted by a string of scandals in recent years involving local officials and members of Congress.
“There’s a sense that they’re not being watched and conversely that the major metropolitan media focus more on the city than the state,” Briffault says.
5. Lack Of Local Anti-Corruption Efforts
It’s rare for local law enforcement agencies or district attorneys to break public corruption cases, whether for lack of resources or because they are too enmeshed in the local political culture themselves.
In neighboring New Jersey, GOP Gov. Chris Christie first came to prominence as a U.S. attorney, having convicted more than 125 state and local officials.
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said repeatedly that he’d like to pass ethics legislation. Cleaning up the culture in Albany would undoubtedly be helpful in terms of his national political aspirations.
In response to the NYPIRG report, Cuomo released a statement saying, “The common-sense reforms I have proposed … must be passed this session.”
Richman, the former prosecutor, says better rules are always helpful, but he’s skeptical that a few new laws will be enough to fix a broken system. Bribery, he notes, is already illegal under New York state law.
What may actually help more is a sense among legislators that they can’t get away with malfeasance — particularly when they can’t even trust their own colleagues to keep things on the down low.
“When people realize that members have been wired by prosecutors, that may have a chilling effect,” Richman says. “If you regularly wired up state legislators in a number of states, and perhaps a majority of states, you’d find interesting things.”
Source : NPR
THE HOOVER PARTY VS, THE MCCARTHY PARTY
The Republicant Party has morphed into two distinct factions of paranoia. And they are clearly defined for everyone to understand if you have a cursory knowledge of American Political History.
Let us look at the Hoover Presidency, which heralded in the Great Depression with an austerity minded model after the Stock Market crash of ’29. Recently America was very close to revisiting the poverty that created Hoovervilles across America. I visited one of those sights on the California Coast. Another and the most dramatic Hooverville was on the Mall in Washington D. C. The American voter kept those Republicants the same ones that tried to kill Social Security out of majority in Congress for forty years.
Senator Joseph McCarthy, from the great state of Illinois, led the witch hunt or more specifically the “there are Communists in our Government” hunt that sounds so familiar with a part of the Republicant Party today. The Newly elected Senator from that Great State of Texas (in their own minds}, Senator Cruz exemplifies the return of that historical point of view. There were Communists in our government no doubt, and they probably represented that view which can be so appealing, ”for the good of all”. If you are not afraid then there is room in America for all points of view. The Congressmen and Women who specifically are dead set against Social Programs are leading the verbal charge against supporters of these Social programs calling supporters Commies and that is not true. Compassion and Charity should not be confused with Communism.
There were reasonable Republicans once. John McCain once was reasonable. He has morphed into the Corporate Republicant who cannot vote against his Corporate Constituents, and McCain is the best example of the demise of the GOP, and very proud of it.
MDC shares the full video with audio the day John F. Kennedy was murdered. The President was ” HIT in HEAD at 6:00 into recording.” A true warrior, who began to break the empire.
It’s been nearly a half-century since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
But new information from that day in Dallas has just been released — audiotape of conversations between Air Force One and Washington.
For the first time, the complete audio record of the flight back from Dallas to Washington is available to the public online, from the National Archives, for free.
It helps to fill in the record of that day of sorrow, confusion and fear.
“Gonna put Mrs. Rose Kennedy on the line now,” one voice can be heard saying.
Lyndon Johnson, newly sworn-in as president of the United States, and his wife, Ladybird, attempted to console President Kennedy’s mother.
“I wish to God,” Lyndon Johnson said, “there was something that I could do. And I wanted to tell you that we are grieving with you.”
“Thank you very much,” Rose Kennedy responded. “Thank you very much. I know you loved Jack. And he loved you.”
“Mrs. Kennedy,” Ladybird said, “We just wanted to — we feel like we’ve lost…”
“Thank you very much,” Rose Kennedy repeated.” Then, goodbyes all-around.