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Dear Readers: I am happy to report I will be able to delve into two areas of personal study on the next edition of Canto Talk Thursday: infectious diseases and history.  As military history expert Barry Jacobsen concludes his review of World War I history with a look at its aftermath, I will chime in on the event that took even more lives in 1918: The Spanish Flu Pandemic.

Click HERE Thursday, Sept. 25th at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or after for the podcast.

A great documentary on the subject: WE HEARD THE BELLS.

A synopsis:

Influenza Strikes

Throughout history, influenza viruses have mutated and caused pandemics or global epidemics. In 1890, an especially virulent influenza pandemic struck, killing many Americans. Those who survived that pandemic and lived to experience the 1918 pandemic tended to be less susceptible to the disease.

From Kansas to Europe and Back Again:

Where did the 1918 influenza come from? And why was it so lethal?

In 1918, the Public Health Service had just begun to require state and local health departments to provide them with reports about diseases in their communities. The problem? Influenza wasn’t a reportable disease.

But in early March of 1918, officials in Haskell County in Kansas sent a worrisome report to the Public Health Service. Although these officials knew that influenza was not a reportable disease, they wanted the federal government to know that “18 cases of influenza of a severe type” had been reported there.

By May, reports of severe influenza trickled in from Europe. Young soldiers, men in the prime of life, were becoming ill in large numbers. Most of these men recovered quickly but some developed a secondary pneumonia of “a most virulent and deadly type.”

Within two months, influenza had spread from the military to the civilian population in Europe. From there, the disease spread outward—to Asia, Africa, South America and, back again, to North America.

Wave After Wave:

In late August, the influenza virus probably mutated again and epidemics now erupted in three port cities: Freetown, Sierra Leone; Brest, France, and Boston, Massachusetts.

In Boston, dockworkers at Commonwealth Pier reported sick in massive numbers during the last week in August. Suffering from fevers as high as 105 degrees, these workers had severe muscle and joint pains. For most of these men, recovery quickly followed. But 5 to 10% of these patients developed severe and massive pneumonia. Death often followed.

Public health experts had little time to register their shock at the severity of this outbreak. Within days, the disease had spread outward to the city of Boston itself. By mid-September, the epidemic had spread even further with states as far away as California, North Dakota, Florida and Texas reporting severe epidemics.

The Unfolding of the Pandemic:

The pandemic of 1918-1919 occurred in three waves. The first wave had occurred when mild influenza erupted in the late spring and summer of 1918. The second wave occurred with an outbreak of severe influenza in the fall of 1918 and the final wave occurred in the spring of 1919.

In its wake, the pandemic would leave about twenty million dead across the world. In America alone, about 675,000 people in a population of 105 million would die from the disease.

Find out what happened in your state during the Pandemic

Mobilizing to Fight Influenza:

Although taken unaware by the pandemic, federal, state and local authorities quickly mobilized to fight the disease.

On September 27th, influenza became a reportable disease. However, influenza had become so widespread by that time that most states were unable to keep accurate records. Many simply failed to report to the Public Health Service during the pandemic, leaving epidemiologists to guess at the impact the disease may have had in different areas.

World War I had left many communities with a shortage of trained medical personnel. As influenza spread, local officials urgently requested the Public Health Service to send nurses and doctors. With less than 700 officers on duty, the Public Health Service was unable to meet most of these requests.

On the rare occasions when the PHS was able to send physicians and nurses,
they often became ill en route. Those who did reach their destination safely often found themselves both unprepared and unable to provide real assistance.

In October, Congress appropriated a million dollars for the Public Health Service. The money enabled the PHS to recruit and pay for additional doctors and nurses. The existing shortage of doctors and nurses, caused by the war, made it difficult for the PHS to locate and hire qualified practitioners. The virulence of the disease also meant that many nurses and doctors contracted influenza within days of being hired.

Confronted with a shortage of hospital beds, many local officials ordered that community centers and local schools be transformed into emergency hospitals. In some areas, the lack of doctors meant that nursing and medical students were drafted to staff these makeshift hospitals.

The Pandemic Hits:

Entire families became ill. In Philadelphia, a city especially hard hit, so many children were orphaned that the Bureau of Child Hygiene found itself overwhelmed and unable to care for them.

As the disease spread, schools and businesses emptied. Telegraph and telephone services collapsed as operators took to their beds. Garbage went uncollected as garbage men reported sick. The mail piled up as postal carriers failed to come to work.

State and local departments of health also suffered from high absentee rates. No one was left to record the pandemic’s spread and the Public Health Service’s requests for information went unanswered.

As the bodies accumulated, funeral parlors ran out of caskets and bodies went uncollected in morgues.

Protecting Yourself From Influenza:

In the absence of a sure cure, fighting influenza seemed an impossible task.

In many communities, quarantines were imposed to prevent the spread of the disease. Schools, theaters, saloons, pool halls and even churches were all closed. As the bodies mounted, even funerals were held out doors to protect mourners against the spread of the disease.

Public officials, who were unaware that influenza was a virus and that masks provided no real protection against viruses, often demanded that people wear gauze masks. Some cities even passed laws requiring people to wear masks. Enforcing these laws proved to be very difficult as many people resisted wearing masks.

Advertisements recommending drugs which could cure influenza filled newspapers. Some doctors suggested that drinking alcohol might prevent infection, causing a run on alcohol supplies. Some folk healers insisted that wearing a specific type of amulet or a small bag of camphor could protect against influenza.

States passed laws forbidding spitting, fearing that this common practice spread influenza.

None of these suggestions proved effective in limiting the spread of the pandemic.

Communications During the Pandemic:

Public health officials sought to stem the rising panic by censoring newspapers and issuing simple directives. Posters and cartoons were also printed, warning people of the dangers of influenza.

Although the Public Health Service was aware that much of the nation’s large immigrant population did not speak or read English, posters used English almost exclusively. But even native English speakers found the posters and directives confusing. And limited understanding of influenza, combined with the rapidity of its spread, meant that these directives were often ignored or poorly understood.

Fading of the Pandemic:

In November, two months after the pandemic had erupted, the Public Health Service began reporting that influenza cases were declining.

Communities slowly lifted their quarantines. Masks were discarded. Schools were re-opened and citizens flocked to celebrate the end of World War I.

Communities and the disease continued to be a threat throughout the spring of 1919.

By the time the pandemic had ended, in the summer of 1919, nearly 675,000 Americans were dead from influenza. Hundred of thousands more were orphaned and widowed.

And answering the question: Was the Spanish Flu Really Spanish???

Did the so-called “Spanish flu,” an epidemic that killed more than 50 million people worldwide between 1918 and 1919, really start in Spain? For almost a century Spaniards have either borne this mark of shame with resignation, wearily telling the world that it had to start somewhere, or have put the blame on neighboring France.

A new study by Spanish and US scientists points out that the pandemic was dubbed “Spanish Influenza” by the world because the press in Spain widely reported the outbreak in its early stages between May and June of 1918. Spain was not involved in World War I, and its media had no restrictions, while the main European nations and the United States, embroiled in the conflict, censored all news relating to the pandemic for fear of a decline in troop morale.

Dear Readers: Some of you may recall I had the pleasure of meeting Illustwriter Bosch Fawstin at the first annual TAMCON in June….

Bosch is an outstanding graphic artist.  Unlike Legal Insurrection’s super-talented A.F. Branco, Bosch doesn’t do political cartoons so much as super-hero, comic-book inspired work.  The basis for his art is the passion derived from being a former Muslim greatly angered by the  events of September 11, 2001.

Needless to say, DC and Marvel comics won’t be picking up his work soon, so check it out HERE.

It is my privilege to have him on as a guest with the always amazing Silvio Canto, Jr. on CANTO TALK. I am hitting the podcast waves this Wednesday, Sept. 17th at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST with Silvio for a “Crazy California” round-up, and Bosch joins us at 7:30 pm for a review of how he became inspired to create “Pigman”. (click HERE FOR A LINK TO THE LIVE SHOW OR ARCHIVED PODCAST).

He gives us a look at the challenges awaiting him as he tries to market his work:

On March 1st of this past year, “The Daily Show” aired a prerecorded segment that I taped with them a few weeks earlier. During the segment I was interviewed by Aasif Mandvi, the show’s “liberal Muslim” correspondent. The main topic discussed was the “Muslim” Batman, but we also spent a significant amount of time discussing my own creation, a counter-jihad superhero named Pigman. Based on what was filmed during the 3-hour shoot, the segment had the potential to be humorous, controversial and informative. How it actually turned out was the product of some pretty crafty editing. And, unfortunately, I had no control over that. It was still humorous, but it was gutted of almost all significant substance, and some of the good humorous bits were left out as well.

First, I need to explain why I agreed to do it at all. I’ve been working on my graphic novel, The Infidel featuring Pigman, for years. After trying with dozens of agents, editors, and publishers to get someone to take on the project, and finding that not even those who were sympathetic were willing to do so (some cited Muslim reprisal as a reason,) I needed to get publicity however I could. In this context, one day I received an e-mail from one of “The Daily Show” producers, asking me to appear and discuss my views on Nightrunner, the “Muslim” Batman, which I had discussed in this post here at NewsRealBlog.com. After having long conversations with two different producers, and realizing their interest in having me on was real, and included an interest in discussing Pigman, I decided, for better or worse, to go ahead with it.

When I arrived at the shoot, I learned that my interviewer would be Aasif Mandvi, the show’s “liberal” Muslim correspondent. When I commented on this to the producer (he had actually mentioned a different correspondent in one of the e-mails leading up to the shoot), he played dumb (of course.) I smelled a rat, but proceeded anyway. During my interactions with them on the set, the producer, Aasif, and the crew were professional and friendly, which was to be expected. (The producer was also friendly to me in correspondence via e-mail both before and after the shoot. This was also to be expected.)

Then came time for the sit-down interview. It was wide-ranging, going from serious to funny to silly to blasphemous. Here are some of the things I recall that were left out of the edited segment:

The most egregious omission/dropping-of-context was with respect to my answer to the question that was supposed to be the focus of the piece: “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” The aired segment makes it appear as if my answer was “Nightrunner could be a Jihadist.” During the actual shooting, I was prompted to state that as a complete sentence, after responding “yes” to Aasif’s question, “Could Nighrunner be a Jihadist?” That statement was NOT given as an answer to the question, “What is wrong with a Muslim Batman?” My answer to that question is and was a lot more involved. The short answer, which I stated immediately after being asked the question, and which was edited out, was, “What’s wrong with Batman, during WWII, recruiting a German Batman with no mention of Nazis?” During a significant portion of the interview, Aasif was emphasizing that comics aren’t real and was asking, in essence: Why can’t comics just take a piece of reality, out of context, if they want? My point was, you can’t peer into reality just a little bit, and pick-and-choose in this way. The only reason Nightrunner exists (and probably the reason Aasif is on “The Daily Show” although he seems to be a nice guy who does a good job) is because Muslim terrorists attacked us on September 11, 2001, and they did it in the name of Islam. (I made a similar point during the interview.) In my view, it is irresponsible for any cultural medium to include Muslims while dropping the larger context that is the reason for including them at all. (At least “The Daily Show” sometimes includes some of this larger context, and often does a good job of it.)

Dear Readers:  Legal Insurrection will be publishing my formal post on TAMCON 2014 tomorrow.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the great photos and moments I was able to capture at the first “meet-up” for The Tammy Bruce Show.

I was privileged to win the lottery for a select group of TAM Army members to be able to join one of the best and most passionate conservative pundits, along with some of her support staff, for a perfect southern California afternoon of camaraderie for many independent-minded citizen activists and talk show fans.

The event wouldn’t have been complete without a “shameless fan moment” at the post-event happy hour.

LI #05A Tammy and Leslie

My groupie behavior also including getting pics with Shifra, Ashley and Maynard — mainstays of the show and the website.

Meeting Shifra was a highlight, since many of her great posts on Tammy’s site are an inspiration for my own work (check out the one on the anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s death for an example). Her comments about the California weather and friendliness of the people she met here took the edge off of my insanity derived from living in the “Land of Fruit and Nuts.”

TAMCon 2014 002

Ashley made everyone feel so welcome, and her energy and enthusiasm enhanced the day:

TAMCon 2014 013

I must admit, loved, loved loved talking to Maynard — his wit is as dry as the Sahara.

TAMCon 2014 011

But were any of these people the star of the show? No! That honor went to Sydney Bruce, who is pictured with one of the best known of the TAMily members, Rob W!

TAMCon 2014 008

I sat myself down with four really great guys: Mike, Steve, Carlos and Buster. Buster came all the way from Texas to attend TAMCON! We had a great time chatting about the news and who we were apt to vote for as POTUS in 2016 (hint – Bush and Clinton were not among our picks).

TAMCon 2014 001

Michael is the name of God’s warrior arch-angel. I think He was sending a message about the meet-up, as several of the other great men I met were also named Michael, including one who signed in with another TAMily member whose American-Israel flag pin caught my eye. It turns out Thomas is a fellow Catholic, and were able to chat a few moments about being Catholic and conservative.

TAMCon 2014 015

I also met many dynamic women. I would like to give a special shout-out to Lauren from Texas, who shared a margarita with me at the happy hour. I am kicking myself for not grabbing a pic with her! A beautiful woman and a beautiful spirit! I also had a chance to meet Nonie, another San Diego area TAMily member. We vowed to stay in touch and have our own mini-meet-up sometime soon.

TAMCon 2014 006

One of my favorite moments from the very many great ones I had was meeting naga5, Rick, who resides just to the north of Los Angeles. We had a chance to compare-and-contrast local craft beet enterprises! That he is such a savvy and energetic conservative who works in a very challenging environment for such political views is inspirational. I am planning to keep in touch with him in hopes of better monitoring the craziness coming from the LA area.

The picture I took with IsaacT also failed to come out (but below is one of him getting a picture with Tammy). However, I was thrilled to meet a Virginian and get the latest news from that state. I am planning to be there in August, and the next TAMCON is slated to be held there soon.

TAMCon 2014 016

Update: IsaacT comes through with a pic from his camera!

IMAG0145

One last note: My formal post will contain information on two of Tammy’s friends who also contribute to the success of her show: Amy Peikoff and Bosch Fawtsin. Bosch is an exceptionally talent graphic artist who does superhero-inspired comics-style work.

He does work on commission: I think I am going to have him work up a Cleopatra-theme “Goddess of Flaming Capitalism” graphic to spruce up the place!

Show #006 Joseph in Egypt

In time for Eastern and Passover, Barry Jacobsen and I review the stories of Joseph and the Exodus — with an eye to the ties to these sagas and the ancient Egyptian historical record.

Head over to our new podcast site and enjoy!!!

Show #006 – Ancient Egypt in the Bible

Dear Friends: I have some thrilling news to share.

I have partnered with Barry Jacobsen, author of “Deadliest Blogger,” former associate producer of SpikeTV’s “Deadliest Warrior,” and frequent guest/co-host on Canto Talk to create a new talk-show business model.

It is a pay-for-podcast program, which covers the events and people of the past impacting today’s world.

HISTORY BYTES:

Where the tides of history crash into the shores of current events.

Leslie.final(1)

Ukraine updates: Putin signs treaty making Crimea part of Russia

With ongoing developments on the crisis in Ukraine, here are some news updates from Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a draft treaty making Crimea part of Russia.

From CNN, Ukraine cries ‘robbery’ as Russia annexes Crimea:

Never mind what the West thinks — the Kremlin says Ukraine’s Crimea region is now part of Russia.

A signing ceremony Tuesday between Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol made it official, the Kremlin said in a statement. The territory, ceded to Ukraine in the Soviet era, is now part of the Russian Federation, it said.

History Bytes will be able to offer the historical background that will shed additional light how past events and personalities led to the news today:

Show #005: In the Shadow of the Bear

Military history expert Barry Jacobsen discusses the history of the Black Sea region of Russia, including:

  • The era of Genghis Khan and the Golden Horde.
  • The forced exodus of the Crimean Tartars on the orders of Joseph Stalin.
  • The rationale behind Vladimir Putin’s power grab in Georgia.
  • The development of Islamic extremism in Chechnya and its consequences.
  • The origins of the Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution”

Leslie Eastman co-hosts.

Barry and I hope you will join us on other social media platforms:

Little Logo

HISTORY BYTES – FACEBOOK

Twitter Header small

@HistoryBytes – TWITTER

Other shows in our roster:

Barry and I hope to be profitable enough to maintain and expand this fledgling effort.

I have some special people to thank for this new profit opportunity:

Finally, I would like to thank my son (my biggest source of inspiration) and my husband (whose hard work allows me to delve into the bowels of history and contemplate the complexities of culture).

Ben-Leslie AnguillaHalloween2012MomBlake

Dear Readers: Once again, Silvio Canto and I are thrilled to have Legal Insurrection Editor Mandy Nagy as our Guest.  She will be joining us on Thursday, March 20th; click HERE at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST for live show or afterward for archived podcast).

Legal Insurrection Editor, Mandy Nagy

Legal Insurrection Editor, Mandy Nagy

However, my colleague Barry Jacobsen at Deadliest Blogger will be starting the show with a special FLAMING HOT CAPITALISM ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!

As always, there will be lots of news to cover. We will get an update from Mandy about her quest to obtain Obamacare. News fresh from the Legal Insurrection site:

Integrity: Official resigns over “remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy”

The former Director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), David Wright, recently resigned in powerful fashion, penning a scathing letter to his boss in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about the “remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy.”

The letter, written on February 25th and recently published at sciencemag.org, details the “intensely political environment” that is HHS, the department charged with crafting and implementing Obamacare policy and regulations.

Also, we will chat about the status of the lost Malaysian airliner:

A recent report from the Malaysian newspaper, The New Straits Times, has generated a lot of buzz and fueled speculation that the missing plane may still be in tact, somewhere.

CNN Reports,

[The report indicated] the plane may have flown low to the ground — 5,000 feet or less — and used mountainous terrain as cover to evade radar detection. The newspaper cited unnamed sources for its reporting, which CNN could not immediately confirm.

However, Malaysian officials said Monday that they were not aware of the report.
“It does not come from us,” said Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

Experts were skeptical, however, noting that even if the plane did drop to that altitude, it likely would not be able to avoid radar detection.

And we’ll get Mandy’s take on the US giving control of the Intenet to the UN.

The U.S. government’s plan to give away authority over the Internet’s core architecture to the “global Internet community” could endanger the security of both the Internet and the U.S. — and open the door to a global tax on Web use.

“U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing,” former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller. “This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.”

The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Friday it would relinquish control of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the organization charged with managing domain names, assigning Internet protocol addresses and other crucial Web functions — after its current contract expires next year.

As always, it will be a great night of Insurrection with Mandy!!!!

Dear Readers:  March 13th is going to be a luck day this month, as we have America’s Conservative Warrior Princess Teri O’Brien as our guest on Canto Talk!  (Please click here at 7 pm PST/ 9 pm CT/ 10 pm ET or after for an archived podcast).

Teri O’Brien – America’s Conservative Warrior Princess

Teri O’Brien – America’s Conservative Warrior Princess

Teri is the host of another outstanding BlogTalkRadio.com show, The Teri O’Brien Show.

Because it’s impossible to be free and ignorant LIBERALS LISTEN AT YOUR OWN RISK! “If you’re going to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.” George Bernard Shaw

Our topics will probably include her wonderful book: Teri O’Brien’s The ABC’s of Barack Obama

Not surprisingly, my favorite letters in her tome center on key aspects of “capitalism”. For example, “J is for Jobs” is a walk down memory lane about the Keystone Pipeline being thwarted. The Canadians said over 7,000 jobs would be created if the unit went through as planned. The Obama Administration dismissed it, saying a mere 50 jobs might be generated — and that wouldn’t compare to all the “green jobs” the “Stimulus Plan” would create.

They explained in their applications for federal assistance that they would create 102,883 new jobs! That number was a teensy bit off target. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the actual number was 300 permanent jobs. http://bit.ly/16LW6hp But those were, and are, real jobs. How many real jobs has the proposed phase 4 of the Keystone Pipeline created? That’s right. Zero, unless you count the jobs created by the attorneys and engineers involved in producing the mountains of environmental impact statements and legal briefs required by the battle to try to get it approved.

Another topic will likely include the crushing of Tea Party by….the Republican Establishment.

Establishment GOP Vows to Crush Tea Party, Sarah Palin at CPAC, Ted Cruz on Obamacare Repeal: Show Notes, The Teri O’Brien Show, 3-9-14

Leading Republicans Move to Stamp Out Challenges From Right – NYTimes.com (Seriously? These guys still think that their biggest problem is Ted Cruz and the Tea Party, not Barack Obama? If GOP takes the Senate, we’re going to have to keep watching these guys constantly.)

Then, the Goddess and the Princess will dish about the growing schism between white feminists and feminists of color, which just shook out over a post on white belly dancers: A lesson from Tea Party activism…and dancing

For example, many of my friends in the dance community would never, ever call themselves conservative. They are not used to being called “racist” — a term tossed about with abandon when speaking about Tea Party activists.

So, a Salon article by Randa Jarrar that is part of “feminists of color” series came as a slap-in-the-face to many:  Why I can’t stand white belly dancers

…But, here’s the thing. Arab women are not vessels for white women to pour themselves and lose themselves in; we are not bangles or eyeliner or tiny bells on hips. We are human beings. This dance form is originally ours, and does not exist so that white women can have a better sense of community; can gain a deeper sense of sisterhood with each other; can reclaim their bodies; can celebrate their sexualities; can perform for the female gaze. Just because a white woman doesn’t profit from her performance doesn’t mean she’s not appropriating a culture. And, ultimately, the question is this: Why does a white woman’s sisterhood, her self-reclamation, her celebration, have to happen on Arab women’s backs?

We have been following the growing tensions between white liberal feminists and non-white liberal feminists. This article is part of that dynamic. However, this represents the first time many of the dancers in my acquaintance were targeted for presumed racism.

So join us Thursday – Teri and I will shake things up!

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