Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The 1918 swine flu started in the United States and spread quickly, helped in part by thousands of troops being shipped back and forth across the Atlantic.
That was an H1N1, just like this one, and just like the last one, it spread world-wide, was mild, albiet with some resulting fatalities, but so it goes with many flus.
The second wave, however, was deadly, a world-wide killer of 50 million people, beginning in Europe in November, and spreading just as the war ended and troops were coming home from Europe. Many graves in Canada from that time are of 1918 Swine Flu victims. Masks over faces did not begin with SARS. There are photographs in Alberta of farmers with masks over their mouths in 1918-1919.
Here’s a story on the disturbing pattern of this swine flu, by the Vancouver Sun, and the worry this one, too, will have a deadly second wave.


Haven’t posted for a while due to dilemma interuptions.

After evicting a tenant who hadn’t paid rent for three months, I discovered upon return to the house, by unexpectedly splashing through water going downstairs, that a metre of water in the drywalled basement meant I had an unexpected indoor swimming pool.

I hadn’t re-rented the place right away as the deadbeat tenants left the house a disasterous mess. I expected to do some serious cleaning up, but nothing on this level. It’s freakin’ serious. It is absolutely unbelievable.

This follows on the heels of another bad renter- another house- that I am still doing repairs on a year and a half later. Just when I was beginning to see the end of this, I am pushed back tens of thousands of dollars and lucky to save the house.

I’ll tell you. If you are a landlord, act like Mike Holmes looking for a contractor. References, references, references. Include a clause they can be evicted with 72 hours notice for any reason. Unreasonable? Ha! No pets of any sort. Not even goldfish. When you rent a place you own out, you’ll learn fast tenants can put you in the poorhouse. Tenant rights? I’m learning landlord rights should be seriously beefed up.

And I was so nice! Ten days free to get moved in. Late with rent? You know it can’t happen again. You know, it can’t happen again. (Are you listening?) Excuse me, your cheque has bounced. (There’s more but you wouldn’t believe it.) Best advice from my vantage point? Be cruel, severe, and no nonsense. One strike, you’re gone. No exceptions. Before all this, it would be seemed unreasonable to me. No longer.

I’m at the end of my freakin’ teather with people who want to rent and treat my houses, including the home I have lived in like it was a doghouse or worse.

What could be causing intentional damage would get you in trouble in some countries. I’m still determining if this was intentional. The evidence is pointing to likely. The thought briefly crossed my mind (ugly thought) that maybe the Taliban have a better justice system than Canada, in spite of all the fighting we are doing in Afghanistan so they adopt fair justice methods or something close to it. (Erase that thought.)

I wish I had Mike Holmes phone number. I just absolutely am flabbergasted by the damage, and this was a family of four. It is just unbelievable. It’s like a nightmare you never wake from.

Blogging on politics, ours and American, will be a pleasure once all this is straightened out.

If ever.

Meanwhile, feel free to read back posts. Thanks, and may you never rent to deadbeats. I am getting out of the business of renting to people for good.

If you have property you rent out, your risk is huge, the returns mediocre.

Know something that further amazes me? I’m amazed I didn’t swear even once in this entire post. And now, back to work.

I wouldn’t do this, but after listening the other day to a radio announcer harp on a Liberal campaign television attack ad on the listeriosis deaths, and just now reading his piece, I’m prompted to write.

Now 19 people have reportedly lost their lives to the listeriosis outbreak caused by contaminated food, including cold cut meat, from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Ontario. The plant has since been cleaned up. It reopened September 20.

The radio host- you’d recognize him if I gave the name, but why encourage dribble- made this rant: “Bacteria doesn’t kill people. Conservatives do.” attributing it to a Liberal Party position. Once he created his straw man, he then called the Liberal position “shameless”.

Giving the party that raises the concern about having safe food shameless? Give your head a shake.

Radio talk show hosts are latter-day carnival barkers. Agitate the crowd of suckers, tease them, prod them, prick their sensibilities- they’ll toss you a dollar and throw that ball to win the 10 cent doll or pick up the phone and give their opinion. Or in this case, I suppose, respond in writing.

If you work- I mean at a real job- you pack a lunch. Millions of lunch pails each day going to work and to school with cold cuts in between slices of bread. There isn’t a person in Canada right now who isn’t thinking about that when they pick up pack lunch items at the grocery store.

If the Conservatives, as the governing party, were planning to reduce government inspection of meat processing plants, as they were, that’s a legitimate issue. (Calgary Herald story link.)

For a primer on what listeriosis is and who is most at risk, here is an article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Once linked, download it as a PDF. You’ll need Acrobat Reader or a similar PDF reader. If you don’t have Acrobat Reader, click here and note the link “Get Adobe Reader.”

That journal of the Canadian Medical Assocation has also raised concerns about a government position taken in April, of having industry take more responsibility for inspecting its own meat. Link here for the article, titled, Shifting to food industry self-monitoring may be hazardous, but once linked, you’ll have to download it as a PDF.

Click here for another CMAJ article, Learning from Listeria: the autonomy of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Once linked, you also have to download it as a PDF.

My past posts on the issue: Pomerleau and the lunch meat election; The lunch meat election; and New Democrats understand the lunch meat election.

Thank you for reading Aardvark Cola

What better election plank than food safety?
Fifteen Canadians dead eating tainted lunch meat, and Canada’s Health Minister doesn’t pause in his playing Obama groupie in Denver, rather than considering the Maple Leaf Foods listeriosis crisis is crisis enough to come home to attend to.

All this on the heels of government plans to cut health inspections.
Luc Pomerleau, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency biologist and union steward, was fired last month for forwarding by e-mail to his union a note (apparently made public by accident), describing cabinet plans to cut government food inspection services while transferring more responsibility to the food industry.

Even with all this on its plate the government has shown it still doesn’t get it.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had said Pomerleau may face charges, that he was no whistleblower, and that title should go to the individual who turned Pomerleau in.
No issue more clearly illustrates how government can be more than uncaring, but mean-spirited and dangerous.


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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence