Thursday, January 18, 2007
Bird Flu Blues: Source Country Suppression is the Only Viable Means to Prevent the International Transmission of Pandemic Strains
Peter Caley , Niels Becker, and David Philp of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia have modelled the impacts of various pandemic preparedness efforts on the timing of international spread of pandemic strains. The bottom line is that "[s]hort of preventing international travel altogether, eradicating a nascent pandemic in the source region appears to be the only reliable method of preventing country-to-country spread of a pandemic strain of influenza."PLoSOne link
Sunday, January 14, 2007
|Here is the pastoral letter from the head of my denomination regarding the escalation in Iraq:|
|The Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC General Minister and President, released the following pastoral letter in response to President Bush's Jan. 10 address calling for an escalation in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. |
The growing violence in Iraq, the enormous suffering being experienced by the citizens of Iraq, and the anguish of countless American families who have lost beloved sons and daughters to death and horrific injury calls for profound lament and repentance, not for stubborn commitment to the unilateralism and militarism that has been the hallmark of our failed policy in Iraq. That is why the President’s speech is not only politically disappointing, but morally deficient as well. The deceptions and arrogance which launched a war that brought Iraq to this place of pain and anguish and that have alienated the United States from so many of its friends must be acknowledged as more than strategic mistakes; they must be confessed as the core of the immoral justification for a war that failed to meet the criteria for a just war and that, as a result, cannot achieve the goals of a just peace.
The war in Iraq which has so preoccupied us at the expense of meaningful attentiveness to the tragedy of Darfur, the unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the crushing poverty faced by so many in the world, confronts people of faith with the urgency of today. It is the urgency of a prophetic imagination that offers a vision of the world far richer than the one we have been offered, a future secured by aggression and greed. And we are called to the urgency of prayer – prayer for the people of Iraq, prayer for our own soldiers and their families, especially those who grieve, prayer for the church and in particular for the small and vulnerable Christian community in Iraq, prayer for our leaders that they may listen with humility and act with wisdom. Thus may history not judge us, “too late,” and may the oft sung words of the first preacher who graced the pulpit where King spoke inspire: “Cure your children’s warring madness, bend our pride to your control. Shame our reckless, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.”