West Nile Virus Cases Up 25% in Last Week

And worse more than half of the infections since the out break began are more serious versions that have higher fatality rates than the infections that just express as a bad flu.

DALLAS (Reuters) – The number of U.S. cases of West Nile virus rose 25 percent in the latest week, putting the 2012 outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease on track to be the most severe on record in the United States, health officials said on Wednesday.

It’s already the worst year ever in Texas, they said.

So far this year, 1,993 cases have been reported to federal health officials, up from 1,590 reported the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly update of outbreak data. A total of 87 people have now died from the disease, compared with 66 reported one week ago.

The disease has been reported in people, birds or mosquitoes in 48 U.S. states, so far absent only in Alaska and Hawaii. About half of all human cases are in Texas, the CDC said.

Of the nearly 2,000 cases reported to the CDC this year, 1,069, or 54 percent, are of the severe neuroinvasive form of the disease, which can lead to meningitis and encephalitis.

The milder form of the disease causes flu-like symptoms and is rarely lethal.

Texas, the outbreak’s epicenter, has had 40 deaths and 495 neuroinvasive cases this year, said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

About a quarter of the cases have been in Dallas County, he said. “This is our worst year ever in Texas,” Lakey said.
The previous Texas record was in 2003, when there were 40 deaths and 439 neuroinvasive cases. Texas has had 1,013 cases overall this year, Lakey said.

CDC figures – which sometimes lag behind state data – show that South Dakota has the next-highest number, with 119 cases and two deaths. More than 70 percent of the cases have been reported from Texas, South Dakota and four other states: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Michigan, the CDC said.

Do not leave standing water near your house and wear bug repellent when outdoors.

Drought May Begin to Disrupt Electricity for Americans

It hasn’t done so yet but historicaly droughts last about seven years so who know. From OilPrice.com:

Much business writing on the effects of the drought have focused on its agricultural aspects. To give but one, the hottest, driest summer since 1936 scorching the Midwest have diminished projected corn and soybean crop yields s in the U.S. for a third straight year to their lowest levels in nine years. Accordingly, the price of a bushel of corn has jumped 62 percent since 15 June and soybeans gained 32 percent in the same period.

But as consumers fret about the inevitable rise in food prices to come, the drought is unveiling another, darker threat to the American lifestyle, as it is now threatening U.S. electricity supplies.


Because virtually all power plants, whether they are nuclear, coal, or natural gas-fired, are completely dependent on water for cooling. Hydroelectric plants require continuous water flow to operate their turbines. Given the drought, many facilities are overheating and utilities are shutting them down or running their plants at lower capacity. Few Americans know (or up to this point have cared) that the country’s power plants account for about half of all the water used in the United States. For every gallon of residential water used in the average U.S. household, five times more is used to provide that home with electricity via hydropower turbines and fossil fuel power plants, roughly 40,000 gallons each month.

Michael Webber, associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, is under no such illusions, stating that the summer’s record high heat and drought have worked together to overtax the nation’s electrical grid, adding that families use more water to power their homes than they use from their tap. Webber said, “In summer you often get a double whammy. People want their air-conditioning and drought gets worse. You have more demand for electricity and less water available to produce it. That is what we are seeing in the Midwest right now, power plants on the edge.”

In July U.S. nuclear-power production hit its lowest seasonal levels in nine years as drought and heat forced Nuclear power plants from Ohio to Vermont to slow output. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre explained, “Heat is the main issue, because if the river is getting warmer the water going into the plant is warmer and makes it harder to cool. If the water gets too warm, you have to dial back production,” McIntyre said. “That’s for reactor safety, and also to regulate the temperature of discharge water, which affects aquatic life.”

Read the rest it’s pretty scary stuff.

Supermarkets in Spain Being Looted by Socialist Thugs

Via Surviving in Argentina here’s some video of the social chaos. Since we have similar debt and currency problems and are about to be hit by one of the worst crop yields in modern history I’m betting this sort of behavior will be seen in some of our major cities where radical leftism holds sway:

This video shows formerly middle class people dumpster diving – the media here hasn’t told you things in Spain are that bad and that this is the reason we see raids on grocery stores:

Of course stealing is counter productive since grocery stores will stop operating if they are just going to be robbed. I say the odds of this happening here are 50/50.

h/t Noisy Room

Farmageddon – The Truth About the Food and Dairy Industry

As I have finally accepted the Crunchy Con label though I hate the images that term brings up I find myself more and more interested in the sovietization of our food industry by the corporatism alliance of large agricultural and livestock concerns and clueless bureaucrats. Ironically it was that very issue, and my interest in individual self-reliance, that pushed me into the non-Red version of being “green” but that’s an essay for another day.

Farmageddon, though clearly made by and aimed by people who consider themselves liberals, illustrates nicely the problem with our political food production system. Conservative will note that many of the most onerous and heavy handed attacks on small farms and consumer rights come from solidly blue states but the movie really doesn’t get into that which will no doubt irk many. However every American should watch this movie to understand why taking the “green” movement away from urban liberals who are complicit in the sovietization of farming and ranching needs to be a priority for all Americans.