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On FoxNews.com today ...

Scary, possible, but not probable in my opinion.

An uncontrollable, deadly virus ravages America, shutting down civilian institutions and triggering martial law. Vaccinations are compulsory, and there are mass quarantines throughout the country.

It's the stuff of Hollywood — but rumors that it could be real are spreading like the flu in the blogosphere, where some people are loudly expressing their fears that the federal government is seriously considering such measures as it maps out a worst-case-scenario response to the swine flu pandemic.

During the bird flu scare of 2005, the Bush administration added novel forms of influenza — including the swine flu — to the official list of "quarantinable communicable diseases," clearing the way for the forced detention of people who exhibit symptoms of the disease.

Now a proposal awaiting Defense Secretary Robert Gates' approval would allow the military to set up regional teams to assist civilian authorities in dealing with the impact of the swine flu pandemic. And some observers see this level of government preparedness as little more than a pretext for tyranny.

"The implications are far reaching," Michel Chossudovsky wrote on the Global Research Web site, which averages 18,000 visitors daily. "The decision points toward the establishment of a police state," he said.

"It would be extremely troubling and raise serious constitutional questions," Chris Calabre, ACLU counsel for technology and liberty, told FOXNews.com when asked how the civil liberties group would react to mandatory quarantines. "We opposed this in 2005 and will do so again because it gives the government blanket authority to hold anyone and has no due process."
 

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Government has always had the power of the quarantine to isolate. It has the power to mandate vaccination, and has had that pretty much since the small pox vaccine was invented.

There have been plenty of court rulings that where the exigencies of public health are involved, Uncle and The States have the power to protect us--even from ourselves.

We have forcibly put people in leaper colonies, in specialized hospitals for tuberculosis, in isolation for being a carrier of typhoid fever, and more. In the 19th century we isolated communities when there were outbreaks of typhoid and shigellosis.

H1N1 is unlikely to be sufficient a public health issue for any such measures to be put in place, but other things that pop up from time to time could be.

When there is a high probability of a mass epidemic we get a choice. Cooperate with public health officials and do the things the public health authorities require of us, or be utterly selfish and foolish and possibly lose our lives and the lives of those close to us to disease.

We have been remarkably lax in controlling several epidemics by not quarantining those who are infected. That is because as a practical matter government has chosen insofar as possible to favor freedom over the quarantine and isolation; using those as a last resort. That however, doesn't mean the latter two can't be used when necessary. There isn't a State or Federal court that will uphold individuals against the government in a crisis requiring use of the quarantine. Nor should there be. I don't want someone else endangering me by their careless and selfish behavior and I don't want to endanger someone else by adhering to a paranoid fearfulness that might cause me to disobey those who know what must be done to protect us.

The folks who argue against government power in situations like this remind me of the stubborn individuals who last year refused to heed evacuation orders during the hurricane that hit Galveston/Bolivar Island; then drowned themselves. Hey, they made a great political statement about their right to defy authority.
 

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Now a proposal awaiting Defense Secretary Robert Gates' approval would allow the military to set up regional teams to assist civilian authorities in dealing with the impact of the swine flu pandemic
Nothing new. They already have teams in place for all kinds of things. All the locals have to do is go through the governor's office and request the resources.
 

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Government has always had the power of the quarantine to isolate. It has the power to mandate vaccination, and has had that pretty much since the small pox vaccine was invented.

There have been plenty of court rulings that where the exigencies of public health are involved, Uncle and The States have the power to protect us--even from ourselves.

We have forcibly put people in leaper colonies, in specialized hospitals for tuberculosis, in isolation for being a carrier of typhoid fever, and more. In the 19th century we isolated communities when there were outbreaks of typhoid and shigellosis.

H1N1 is unlikely to be sufficient a public health issue for any such measures to be put in place, but other things that pop up from time to time could be.

When there is a high probability of a mass epidemic we get a choice. Cooperate with public health officials and do the things the public health authorities require of us, or be utterly selfish and foolish and possibly lose our lives and the lives of those close to us to disease.

We have been remarkably lax in controlling several epidemics by not quarantining those who are infected. That is because as a practical matter government has chosen insofar as possible to favor freedom over the quarantine and isolation; using those as a last resort. That however, doesn't mean the latter two can't be used when necessary. There isn't a State or Federal court that will uphold individuals against the government in a crisis requiring use of the quarantine. Nor should there be. I don't want someone else endangering me by their careless and selfish behavior and I don't want to endanger someone else by adhering to a paranoid fearfulness that might cause me to disobey those who know what must be done to protect us.

The folks who argue against government power in situations like this remind me of the stubborn individuals who last year refused to heed evacuation orders during the hurricane that hit Galveston/Bolivar Island; then drowned themselves. Hey, they made a great political statement about their right to defy authority.
+1

Sometimes people need to be protected against themselves, or it costs the others millions of dollars and many lives to bail them out later.
When Katrina hit many did not take warning and had to be rescued later and complained that rescue wasn't fast enough. Had they listened instead of staying put their would have been no rescue therefore leaving resources to deal with other issues.
I don't want to get into a debate about the problems with the feds response during and after Katrina. I just used it as an example of people needing to be protected a times.
 

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Sometimes people need to be protected against themselves
I see your point on this, but also, this is the same reason the anti-2A'ers will give for rounding up your guns.

The fact is that the swine flu is mild and not really any worse than regular seasonal flu (unless/until it mutates to become more deadly). If it does not mutate, mandatory vaccines would be a violation of civil liberties. A forced vaccination program, where, potentially, armed LEO's will accompany a nurse door-to-door to make sure you and your's are vaccinated, would indeed be symptomatic of a police state. I'm not saying, if it comes to this, to decline the vaccine, and I'm certainly not saying to excersise your 2A rights in declining the vaccine, but I also get irritated when the "keep your hands off my body" liberals force a vaccination. If they roll out a new vaccination this fall, that means it was developed in about 6 months. Normally to develop and test a vaccine it takes 12-18 months so this vaccine won't be guaranteed safe. In the 1976 swine flu outbreak at Fort Dix, President Ford launched a mandatory vaccine program and at least 500 people contracted the paralyzing Guillain-Barré syndrome from the vaccine. For the new vaccine, will it be thimerosal free? Thimerosal is a preservative that contains high levels of mercury and is commonly used in vaccines. It has been linked to autism and SIDS in children. So have administering multiple vaccines in too short a period, and administering vaccines while a child's immunity is concurrently weakened by some ailment such as a cold or sinus infection. Will a mandatory vaccine program make accomodations for these circumstances, or will it be take the needle at gunpoint?
 

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No one is talking about forced H1N1 vaccination

I see your point on this, but also, this is the same reason the anti-2A'ers will give for rounding up your guns.

The fact is that the swine flu is mild and not really any worse than regular seasonal flu (unless/until it mutates to become more deadly).
Relax. No one is talking about any such thing as forced vaccination for H1N1, though it wouldn't be such a bad idea for school kids.

It has been said many times that our constitution isn't a suicide pact.

If folks need to be vaccinated and that is the best judgment of the public health officials, by golly, I'm going to be the first on line if I can get there. My wife will be second. My kiddo, right in front of me if I can push him there.

This isn't a civil rights issue.

Now, as a practical matter, it doesn't take 100% compliance with a vaccination program to kill off an epidemic. Few epidemics will propagate if even about half the folks are vaccinated. That is because
there are always folks who are naturally resistant, others who simply won't ever get exposed, and transmission isn't necessarily highly efficient.

So, stand on line or not as you wish for your flu shots when they come out. Hopefully more than half of us will not see this as some big brother conspiracy, and we will have a mild season.

Added-- Guillaine Barre syndrome (and several related neurological difficulties) can occur from a variety of infections, and vaccination isn't the primary cause.

If you are going to be afraid of things, or afraid of your government as well, at least base the fear on fact and not myth.
 

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+1

Sometimes people need to be protected against themselves, or it costs the others millions of dollars and many lives to bail them out later.
When Katrina hit many did not take warning and had to be rescued later and complained that rescue wasn't fast enough. Had they listened instead of staying put their would have been no rescue therefore leaving resources to deal with other issues.
I don't want to get into a debate about the problems with the feds response during and after Katrina. I just used it as an example of people needing to be protected a times.
Katrina is not a good comparrison with a virus. A person should be able to decide for themselves in that case, it only endangers them. Refusing flu precautions could endanger many others as well as themselves.

Michael
 

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Katrina is not a good comparrison with a virus. A person should be able to decide for themselves in that case, it only endangers them. Refusing flu precautions could endanger many others as well as themselves.

Michael
Sure it is, read the sentence right before the one you highlighted. The people who did not leave before Katrina, risked the lives of many who would later have to render aide to rescue them. When you do not evacuate from a natural disaster you are risking the lives of many rescuers not only your own.
 
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