Friday, May 1, 2009

Does H1N1 lead to political opportunism on immigration, trade?


Columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr. has an interesting column on CNN, “It’s time to end flu hysteria”, link here.

Like an earlier Washington Times editorial (April 28), Navarrette believes that most of the deaths from flus like this (H1N1 flu or “swine” flu (sic) occur from secondary infections, although there is quite a bit of evidence that “cytokine storms” from primary infection can kill young healthy people quickly with extreme forms of these viruses.

He also criticizes Biden’s careless comments, which he says, “It was about what you should do if someone else is sick.” He also gets into the disproportionate sacrifice – this time, hog farmers (maybe Smithfield, which was named as the owner of a farm in Mexico near ground zero). Ecuador has banned import of US pork products, and Egypt, remember, wanted to destroy its entire hog population. He says that this is an opportunity for some countries to weasel out of trade agreements. He points out that, while it could be easy to scapegoat illegal immigrants, we should think about the people who traveled legally – students for spring break parties. It’s interesting that parents had been urging kids not to go to Mexico because of the drug cartel and security problems, and the parents may have been right – if not for the right reasons.

He has a Dec. 21, 2008 piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune, “Why America needs more guest workers”, here.

He talks about the H-2A program and maintains that there are too many dirty jobs that Americans don’t want to do or can’t do, even in a bad economy. It sounds like bad karma for us!

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