Wednesday, December 30, 2009

H1N1 vaccines: the real failure

As always, the failure is government. This should never be surprising yet people never fail to be amazed when the government fails and, incredulous that government failures can be indicative of a deeper problem with government qua government, turn to blame everything in the world except government.

Despite the conspiracy theories on this forum, the reality is that the demand for flu vaccines is real and, in particular, the demand for H1N1 vaccines is real. I see lines of co-workers in the cafeteria getting the jab. I forgo the flu vaccines each year and suffer for it. This is because I believe it's good for my immune system to get a full-body workout once in a while but those flu shots are looking better and better each year. Now that my kids are entering school this year, I'm really re-thinking the flu shot.

To ascribe to the government an over-arching conspiracy to engineer and release H1N1 and then brainwash us through the media to go get the shots is to give them far too much credit for competency. In reality, government bungles everything it touches. The only real competency government has is war and, in the last five decades or so, even that it cannot get right.

We should not discount the possibility of the commission of biological crimes. From what I have read, it does not require a great deal of capital to culture and manufacture deadly biological agents, such as Anthrax. I think it is good that we have detailed epidemiological investigation into new strains of flus and other bugs. Medical manufacturing corporations have a real interest in releasing infections for which they have the exclusive cure, so long as they can be sure not to get caught in the act. And, as always, we cannot rule out the government itself as a suspect in these cases. Western governments possess the largest biological weapons knowledge capital. The US Army's Anthrax is what was used in the 2001 Anthrax scare, one month after 9/11. Whether a co-conspiracy with the 9/11 attacks or the act of a copy-cat, the potential for misuse of the biological weapons cache and know-how within the US and other Western governments is an ever-present danger, especially given the large revenue boost that the public gives the government in the wake of catastrophic attacks.

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