Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sustain our Leaders

Look, our enemy is taking advantage of our disunity and inability to sustain our leaders. The church represents a pattern that we should apply to government and home. When the Quorem of the 12 and the 1st Pres decide an issue they hotly debate it before hand. Sometimes members are assigned to research and argue each side. Then the president makes the decision and everyone falls into line.

The decision to go into Irag has been made (inspired or not). We have the responsibility to sustain our president and the US military. They are doing the job they were trained to do. We shouldn’t feel bad that they are doing it, we should be grateful. The US military is never going to leave Irag. The miliatry is still in Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, and Bosnia. We have been in Iraq since GW1, we are going to continue to be Iraq for a long time. Please stop steadying the Ark.

We do not live in a democracy. We live in a Representative Democracy. Pure Democracy is tyranny by the majority. We elected our leaders, we must support them once the decision is made. The debate about going into Iraq is over. Now is the time good citizens can discuss ideas on how to progress from here. If you have any great ideas please share them. There is not such thing as constuctive criticism; “critics are not builders.” We need ideas, not monday morning quarterbacking.

Obviously Kerry wouldnt have made a good commander-and-chief after his speech about “get an education or join the military”. That showed his true colors. He can’t blame alcohol either.
Remember the lesson of Acts 23:
“And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to bsmite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou awhited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest? Then said Paul, I awist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”

It is ironic that while we are fighting religious extremism overseas we face political extremism here at home. The Right NeoCons and the Left secular progressives are a threat. I consider Bush very moderate conservative but I don’t deny that there are Neocons in the administration that have a lot of influence.

God permits tyrannt over countries like Iraq, IRan, and North Korea because of the wickedness of his people. Like the Lamanites they are permitted to exist to stir us up unto rememberance of him until we repent. We in the US and Europe need to repent of our immorality. Most all of our social ills in our country stem from extra-marital sex, drugs, and alcohol and materialism. THis is exactly what makes good people in countries like Iraq, Iran and North Korea mistrust us and gives power to their dictators. We will not solve these problems until we repent as a nation. George Bush isn’t the problem. We are the problem.

We should not see any conflict as a good guys vs bad guys thing (it takes 2 to tango). Each side may have something right that they are fighting for (or how could they get people to fight) and each side are partially in the wrong. Maybe one side is more wrong than the other. And sometimes war is justified. But that justification does not negate the consequences. We reap what we sow and in a perfect society there wouldnt be any war. I think it would do us good to look at how our actions contibute to the conflict instead at pointing fingers.

Both Iran, Palenstinians have elected anti-US governments. One must ask why? As far as North Korea is concerned, Kim Jong Il will be held accountable for sure. However, the North Korean people are reaping the consequences of our conflict with the Soviet Union after WW2. Because of the failings of the West, this created mistrust of the Russian people towards Western economy and they then could be fooled into accepting communism.

Support for this concept I obtained from the book “Biohazard.” Ken Ableck blindly set up a massive bioweapons program in the Soviet Union (weaponized anthrax, wheat rust, rice blast, tuleremia, small pox, etc, etc.). It wasn’t until he learned that Nixon stopped our bioweapons program in the US that he felt guilty for the first time and defected to the US. Unfortunately Russian biochemists have since taken their technology to Iraq, Iran, North Korea, North Africa, and Cuba (Raul Castro is in charge). Who needs nuclear weapons when a few liters of this stuff could kill more people.

If we don’t apply true gospel principles to politics and other issues we blog about. Then why have LDS blogs at all. We are no different from everyone else out there.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Win Hearts Not War

Some say that US policy inspires terrorists around the world. I disagree. All people desire freedom, prosperity, and opportunity. What they don’t want is apparent western materialism, secularism, and immorality; especially as depicted by American media. American media gives dictators, tyrants, and terrorist ammunition. Their most powerful aurgument against democracy is “Do you want your daughters to become Brittany Spears?” This is the major reason the US is called "the Great Satan."

The majority of people in Iraq, Iran and North Korea are good and honorable people with a natural sense of nationalism and love for their family, friends and neighbors. Most people from Iran or Iraq condem the actions of terrorist groups but either feel powerless to do anything about it or may even feel that the US deserves it, not necessarily because of our policies, but because they feel its the judgements of God on a wicked nation. Self-interested US policy and divisive, inflammatory language do not help. However, saying it is the root cause of terrorism is near-sighted and playing party politics.

The secret to fighting the war on terrorism is to win the hearts of the people. We have to unify all good people against those who would practice terrorism. I agree our political leaders should avoid policies and language which is inflammatory and divisive. We also must understand the nature of the conflict. This war is not a conflict of civilizations, it is a battle against civilization. Therefore we must be an example of a more civilized people.With the good people of the earth unified on the side of civilization, when terrorist plots are formulated, people will choose to warn the innocent victims instead of standing idlely by; feeling that justice is being served. There is no better motivation than appealing to a persons sense of rightness verses injustice.

The Bible teaches that we must first "remove the beam in our own eye." However, while actively participating in the political process; we should also be careful to "not speak evil of the ruler(s) of thy people" (Acts 23:3) and to not "steady the ark" (2 Sam. 6:6) (1Chr 13:9-10) (D&C 85:8). I find it troubling that many are so quick to call our elected leaders liars, cheats, robbers, and murderers while defending the actions of proven tyrants. Some of Bush's critics are guity of making similar remarks to those of Hugo Chavez. The Bible gives rules about proper speech despite our countries reverence towards freedom of speech

I feel the media has misinformed us as to why we are involved in this conflict in Iraq. The story starts with the cold war and our decision to "trust" in a military buildup against the former Soviet Union and to support pro-western 3rd-world governments (read Pres. Kimball’s, “The False Gods We Worship”). Iran was always pro-Soviet while Saddam Hussein rose to power with a pretend pro-western ideology.

Through our military buildup, the west successfully decapitated the dragon. But as John foretells in Revelations, the wounded Hydra heals itself and spons new heads. Many conflicts, which were temporarily stabilized during the cold war, destabilized again after. Ancient conflicts in the Balkans, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan re-erupted dashing any hopes of the expected post-cold war peace dividend.

During Gulf War I, Colin Powell called off the "March to Baghdad" because Saddam was a necessary evil to maintain stability in the Middle East. Although, a cease-fire was declared in Iraq, there was no official end to Gulf War I. After the cease-fire, Saddam attacked the Kurds and Shiites, which necessitated the formation of the Northern and Southern no-fly zones and continued US military presence in Iraq. Many Iraqi’s came to the US with stories of Saddam’s plans to obtain nuclear weapons to add to his existing arsenal of biological and chemical weapons. The UN sent inspectors to account for fermentors, centrifuges and other specialized equipment sold to Iraq by the US and Europe used in WMD production. The UN inspectors’ efforts were frustrated at every turn.

The UN threatened Iraq to cooperate with UNSCOM and disclose all WMD activity or face military action and regime change. A large majority of both Reps. and Dems. were convinced Iraq was a threat to world security. Since then, the war has been been politicized and there have been several misrepresentations propagated by the media.

1. The war was pre-emptive. The US was enforcing international law and the consequences set forth by UN Resolution 1441.
2. Pres. Bush declared war without legislative approval. Pres. Bush didn’t need another declaration of war because there had never been a truce signed after Gulf War I. Bush could act against Iraq under authority of the original declaration of war.
3. The US acted without worldwide support. It has recently been discovered that France, Germany, and Russia, the very countries who undermined the US’s attempts to gain UN approval to enforce UN resolution 1441, had been violating the “Oil for Food Program.” These countries were not only violating UN sanctions but also were constructing underground labs and headquarters in Iraq to evade US surveillance abilities. So, it turns out France, Germany, and Russia were the ones after Iraqi oil and not Bush.
4. The US thought Saddam was connected to 911. The Bush administration has never made this claim. What they said was that in a post-911 world, we cannot allow brutal regimes, like Iraq, to maintain power while threatening the West with WMD’s. The fact that no significant WMD’s have been found is inconsequential. Iraq was a brutal, corrupt regime, they threatened the West with WMD’s, they violated international law, and the US enforced international law. Bush was criticized for not pre-emptively dealing with Bin Ladin, he would have been even more criticized for not dealing with Iraq had they made good on their threats. This is what Bush means when he says we live in a “post-911 world.” He is not saying Saddam had anything to do with 911.
5. The US is responsible for the civil war in Iraq. The Kurds, Suni’s and Shiites have been at war for hundreds of years magnified by the fact that many middle-east countries are emptying their prisons by giving inmates one-way tickets to Iraq to fight the Americans (According to my Egyptian neighbor). The Book of Mormon warns nations who allow secret combinations to overrun their country. I hope the violence ends soon.
6. The US should have addressed Iran and North Korea before Iraq. The US addressed Iraq first because we already had a declaration of war, military on the ground, UN resolutions, and failed diplomacy. Also, a free Iraq would be strategically important in dealing with Iran. The US has not exhausted all diplomatic avenues with North Korea. The US still hopes pressure from China and UN sanctions will work with North Korea.
7. There has been no progress in Iraq. All my military friends I talk to tell me that there is a lot of progress going on in Iraq. Not to mention the successful elections of a Prime Minister, Parliament, and ratification of the Iraqi Constitution.
8. The US is a more dangerous place since the Iraq war. There hasn’t been an attack on American soil since the re-start of the war. The frontline of the war on terror is currently in Iraq. Terrorists are organizing themselves and fighting us in Iraq. I would rather the frontline be on neutral ground than fighting the insurgents in the US on on their turf.
9. The terrorists would leave us alone if we leave Iraq. The terrorists have declared war on us. They will be anywhere we are. If we are in the Balkans, they will fight us in the Balkans. If we are in Somalia, they will fight us in Somalia. We happen to be in Iraq trying to establish a representative democracy in the heart of the Middle East and so that is where the terrorist are.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Plot for IJ4

According to a recent interview by MTV, It seems Mr. Lucus is still having trouble putting together a script for IJ4. I don't blame him. After discovering the power of the Ark and immortality with the Holy Grail, it seems an almost insurmountable task to develop a script which could eclipse those plots. What could possibly inspire IJ to get off his rocker for IJ4? The Urim or Thummin or "Lights and Perfections."

These rocks are not just your average good luck charms. Aaron used these stones together with a breastplate to judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, used them to translate the Gold Plates into the Book of Mormon. The stones would allow one to see the answer to any question. The power of these stones is much greater than "glass looking." These seer stones can be considered the ultimate Google search engine. They may have been used by Solomon and the source of his great wisdom.

There is more to the story. From LC we know that IJ grew up in Utah and would be aware of Mormon mythology. According to this mythology, a number of other artifacts reside with the Seer Stones such as the unsheaved sword of Laban, breastplate of Laban, gold plates with its sealed portion, and director known as the Liahona. The gold plates and other artifacts were given back to an immortal being names Moroni and placed in the treasure room presummably in the Central American Commorah.

This mountain is the site of the final battles of 2 ancient American civilizations at the time of their annihalation. The artifacts are guarded by 3 immortal beings known as the 3 Nephites. The Antagonist could be a Spanish Colonialist (A wannabe Cortez). I would not use a renegade polygomist fundamentalist (i.e. Warren Jeffs) because he is a rather disturbing character.

Setting for the movie would include the Mormon Granite Vaults in Little Cottonwood Canyon Utah and Up-state New York and Ohio and Ilinois and other early Mormon church sites. IJ would visit these sites in search of clues. Other major settings includes the jungles of Central America and Ruins of Palanque which is believed to be the site of the Ancient Book of Mormon capital Zarahemla.

More information on Mormon mythology can be obtained by contacting FARMS at Brigham Young University Dept. of Ancient Scripture. IJ will also have to know Mayan Heiroglyphics. Alan Christiansen at BYU is an expert Ancient Mayan Art Historian.

I think the public is ready for this kind of plot. I just can't think of an archiological find that would eclipse finding the Holy Grail and the Ark. Solomon choose the gift of wisdom over power, wealth and immortality.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006

Da Vinci, Templars, and Masons

Dan Brown in his best-selling book, Da Vinci Code, creates a fictional thriller, which incorporates sensational and legendary subjects such as the Knights Templar. Although fiction, the Knights Templar did exist. However, through the centuries, the story of the Knights have been told and re-told so many times it’s difficult if not impossible to separate fact from fiction. Consequently, many books have been written since Da Vinci Code, which explore this fact vs. fiction debate. Though my individual studies of world history I have pieced together what I believe to be some interesting facts about the Knights Templar, who they were, what they did, and what happened to them.

At the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was part of the Roman Empire. Jews had a hope the God would send a savior or Messiah, which would restore their freedom and independence from Roman rule. Jesus claimed he was the Jewish Messiah and taught that the religion of Judaism was now irrelevant. Jesus referred to the writings of Moses, the great Jewish prophet, who taught that at some future time, “the Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Jesus taught that he was the fulfillment of this prophecy and that all Jews should now listen and follow his teaching. Threatened by this Christian movement, Jewish leaders killed Jesus in hopes to preserve what political power they had left. However, instead of fading away, this new Christian religion only gained momentum. Followers of Jesus began extensive missionary campaigns and Christianity spread like wild fire throughout the Roman Empire.

Roman Emperor Titus, fearful of the continual Jewish revolts and the new Christian movement spreading across the Empire, laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in 70 BC. Nevertheless, Christianity continued to spread until in 313, Constantine issues the Edict of Milan, which fully legalizes Christianity in the Empire. In 325, the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea was held and the major doctrines of Catholicism were established.

Jerusalem, in 324, became part of the Byzantine Empire after the Roman Empire was divided. Later, Persians, Arab Muslim and Turks conquer Jerusalem in 614, 638 and 1077 respectively. Muslims and Christians, in general, did not have much respect for each other’s holy places. When Jerusalem is in Christian control, Muslim holy places are destroyed and cathedrals are built. When Jerusalem is in Muslim control, Christian churches are destroyed and mosques built.

Sometime during or just after the First Crusades in 1096, a new Catholic order is established to protect Christian pilgrims who wished to visit the Holy Land and protect Christian holy sites. This Order was known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon or the Knights Templar. The Templars also had another secret mission. They were to scour Jerusalem for Christian artifacts and other relics. The Templars most impressive undertaking was the excavation at the western wall. Today, the deep shaft and tunnel dug by the Templars, which then extends under the Muslim Dome on the Rock where Solomon’s Temple was thought to have resided still exists. It is rumored that the Templars discovered the great Temple Treasure, which may have included Christian artifacts such as the Holy Grail, Ark of the Covenant, Shroud of Turin, and True Cross. In any event, the Templars shipped thousands upon thousands of Christian artifacts back to Europe where they formed one of the most lucrative markets in Europe.

Pilgrimages in those days were big church business. Lavish Christian cathedrals were constructed all over Europe, not only to provide a sanctuary for local Christians to worship, but also to attract visitor from other areas of the Empire. Those visitors contributed to the local economy and made direct contributions to the cathedral. But the key to attracting pilgrims to your cathedral was the quality of Christian relics or artifacts, which the cathedral owned and displayed. A relic is an object, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of someone of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial. Christian pilgrims believed relics were imbued with supernatural powers. Pilgrims were known to travel thousands of miles to pray at a cathedral that displayed St. Paul’s toenail clippings.

(Prominent early Christian who where considered Saints were believed by many Christians to be able to mediate or intercede between man and God. Christians felt they could better elicit heavenly blessings of health, forgiveness, and salvation by praying to God via a Saint. Praying at a cathedral, which possessed the remains of an individual who had achieved Sainthood, was considered more powerful).

The Templar Order grew in membership and power throughout Europe, After Jerusalem was lost to Saladin in the late 1100s, the Crusades gradually wound down and European support for the Order began to falter. In the early 1300s, King Philip IV of France (also known as "Philip the Fair") was in desperate need of money to continue his war with the English. Phillip had taken huge loans from the national bank (run by knights templars), which he could not repay. So, in 1312 , King Philip (who had been responsible for maneuvering Pope Clement V into the Vatican), pressured Pope Clement to denounce the order. Clement V officially disbanded the Order at the 15th Ecumenical Council of Vienne, despite the Council's wish to sustain the Order. Philip had all French Templars simultaneously arrested, charged with numerous heresies, and tortured under the Inquisition until they "confessed" or were burned alive. This action released Phillip from his obligation to repay huge loans from the Templars and justified his looting of Templar treasuries.

There is more to this story. In spite of his close relationship with Pope Clement V, Philip IV was very unpopular to some because of the long war with England. Certain French citizens, who included many Templars, plotted against Phillip to remove him from power and end the Capetian Dynasty. But how do you overthrow the King that has the favor of the Pope? They had to come up with a way to show divine favor for their candidate. So, the Grail legend was born. As Brown points out in “the Code”, the Holy Grail wasn’t a cup at all. The treasure that the Knights Templar had discovered under the temple mount was thousands of years of Jewish Genealogy. Jewish tradition required that they prove their relationship to Abraham. These pedigrees were stored in a library at Solomon’s Temple and were discovered by the Knights Templar. The Templars used that genealogy to support the story that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene, that Mary bore a child by him, and that divine bloodline flows through the Merovingian Dynasty. This dynasty had ruled France from the fifth to the eighth century before the Capetian and Carolingian Dynasties. The Templar’s claimed they discovered and moved the remains of Mary Magdalene to France after the crusades as well as identified and protected the identity of the descendants of Jesus Christ, which had intermarried with the Merovingian line. Therefore, by rejecting King Phillip, and restoring the Merovingian Dynasty to power, France would be reestablishing the “Sangria” or Holy Bloodline as Rulers of France. The Templars, who controlled the national banking system, were a formidable political threat to King Phillip.

The Templars also practiced very peculiar rituals. Templars claimed they had learned the secret rites and rituals, which had been performed in Solomon’s Temple. The Templars learned these rituals from descendants of the architects and builders of Herod’s Temple. These rites, which involved making vows of piety, obedience, and secrecy, were associated with unusual clothing, symbols, and passwords. Templars believed that these rites were necessary to gain Eternal Life. These practices together with the claims about Jesus’s marriage to Mary Magdalene were enough for Phillip to pressure Pope Clement V to renounce the Order. This renouncement allowed Phillip to round up the Templars (en mass) and burn them as heretics. On Friday the thirteenth of October 1307, Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, and sixty of his senior knights were arrested in Paris, tortured and burned in a slow fire.

Despite Phillip’s persecution, many Templars escaped to Scotland, which was outside Papal control. They were believed to have taken the Templar fleet filled with Christian artifacts and treasure with them. In Great Britian, the Knights Templar built the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland and the Temple chapel in London, to continue their ritual worship. Both chapels are known for being patterned after Solomon’s Temple.

Modern Freemasons continue the rituals of Knight’s Templars today. The highest degrees of both the York and Scottish Rite, bestow upon their members the title of Templar Knight. Catholic and Protestant churches are quick to discount the Mason’s and the Masonic rituals as having cult, pagan, gnosis, Marxist, Babylonian, mystical, or satanic origins. However, I think this reaction is due to ignorance with regard to the Temple worship. Almost all of the Founding Fathers were Masons as well as nearly a third of US Presidents. The Bible talks a lot about the Temple in both the Old and New Testaments, and Temple worship is an important aspect of Jewish and Christian worship.

Many Catholic and Protestants claim that Temple worship was part of the Law of Moses, which was fulfilled by Christ. However, the New Testament records Christ purifying the temple on two occasions and early Christians continuing to visit the Temple after Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. In fact the Bible prophesies that the temple will be rebuild and temple worship will continue. Isaiah says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us ago up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

So, it seems that temple worship and temple ritual are completely in harmony with Christian doctrine. Throughout the ages, the Templars, Rosicrucian, Freemasons, and Scottish and York Rite have added and subtracted much from the ritual so that current practices are not a pure reflection of the original. However, there is much truth preserved in their organizations. If we are living in the Last Days, as many Christians believe, then we should expect the restoration of pure temple knowledge and ritual as prophesied in the Bible.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Definition of Marriage and Protection of the Traditional Family

I support the traditional definition of marriage and the protection of the traditional family. I believe marriage exists to promote responsible procreation and superior child rearing. Therefore, according to this definition, a legal marriage can and should only occur between one man and one woman.

Marriage is a 3-way contract between the marriage couple and the community. (If the couple is religious, then marriage becomes a 4-way contract). The community in recognition of a marriage union bestows upon that union specific rights and privileges. Individuals in support of same-sex marriage argue that same-sex couples should have similar rights as married couples. I am in support of granting rights to same-sex couples with regard to checking accounts, medical-legal issues, tax laws, and inheritance laws, etc. I believe that granting these and other similar rights do NOT threaten the traditional definition of marriage and therefore should be supported

On the other hand, the right to rear children should be strictly reserved to traditional marriages alone. This right differentiates a legal marriage from a civil union. I believe it is a God-given and civil right of all children to be reared by both a mother and a father. Any laws that encourage children to be reared in non-traditional homes, without a mother and father, are in violation of the civil rights of children.

Single mothers and nontraditional families cannot rear children as well as traditional families. Traditional, two-parent households provide children with an educated mother who stays home to nurture the children as well as a father who provides for the temporal needs of the family. The argument that a single mother, who loves her children, can do a better job than a traditional family who abuses their children is a logical fallacy. The argument that there are more children needing adoption than traditional families willing to rear them is also a logical fallacy.

Supporting the traditional definition of marriage has an impact on same-sex couples or single women who are having children via sperm donors, in-vitro fertilization, and other advanced reproductive medical techniques. According to an NPR special on sperm-donor children, proponents argue that 1. having a child is a natural, good, ethical, God-given, self-evident right. 2. sperm-donor children are just as well adjusted as children born into traditional homes. 3. Family diversity makes our society stronger according to the laws of natural selection. 4. The traditional family is ideal but society and men have failed women. These women would be married if they could but men these days do not want to have children. 5. There are more unwanted children that need adoption than traditional families who are willing to adopt these children.

In rebuttal, the right to rear a child cannot violate the right of a child to be reared by a traditional family. Children have the right to be reared by a father and a mother who can serve as role models and instill in them the character and values of maleness and femaleness. There are many individual and societal consequences to children born to single-mothers and same-sex couples. Many children of sperm donors are angry, not knowing who they are, where they come from, and what genetic inheritance has been passed to them. The argument about Darwin and natural selection is outrageous. The disintegration of the traditional family is making our society less fit for survival, not more.

This issue demonstrates the current political trend to protect minority rights at the expense of our founding principles. This nation and the constitution were designed to protect both the ideals of society as well as minority rights. I recognize that the ideal is not attainable for everyone in every situation. The opposition argues that because the ideal is not attainable for all, laws that protect our ideals, engender bigotry and prejudice, and should therefore be tossed aside. This too is a logical fallacy. Laws should punish bigotry and prejudice while still protecting our founding principles. Concerning our founding principles, it has been said that our ideals are like the stars, although unattainable, can still serve to guide us individually and as a nation.
Again, I urge all citizens to support the protection of the traditional family, i.e. that a legal marriage is between one man and one woman. Children are a disenfranchised, vulnerable minority group. Children have no voice and few advocates in government. Protecting the traditional definition of the family protects the civil rights of children in America as well as the foundation principles on which our nation was built.

Monday, May 15, 2006

LDS on Emergency Preparedness

D&C 38:30 “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”
D&C 19:35 “Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage”
D&C 78:14 That through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world;
D&C 87:8 "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come".
D&C 109:8 "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing"
2 Ne. 25: 23 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Luke 6:46 “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
1 Tim. 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
D&C 88:89–91 “For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people"

F. Enzio Busche, “How Beautiful to Live in These Times and Be Prepared!” Ensign, June 1982, 16
"With a bottle of vegetable oil, one could acquire nearly every other desirable item."
"honey could be traded for three times as much as sugar"
"When a person is very hungry, the taste of food will change for him."
"Good people become better; they get close to one another; they learn to share and become united."

Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage,” Ensign, May 1976, 116
“Do I share with my neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who do not have a year’s supply? Do we have to share with them?” No, we don’t have to share—we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to death after sharing, “greater love hath no man than this …” (John 15:13.)

Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families’ needs? Don’t give this one more idle thought.

Victor L. Brown, “Prepare Every Needful Thing,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 79
Earlier I indicated that these principles have been taught for forty years. As a matter of fact, as President Kimball said, they have been taught for a much longer period of time. President Brigham Young, in remarks given in the Mill Creek Ward on July 25, 1868, had this to say, among other things:. . . They do not know what to do. They have been told what to do, but they did not hearken to this counsel.” (In Journal of Discourses, 12:240–41.)

Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 32
Vivid in my memory are the people who got on trains each morning with all kinds of bric-a-brac in their arms to go out to the countryside to trade their possessions for food. At evening time, the train station was filled with people with arms full of vegetables and fruits, and a menagerie of squealing pigs and chickens. You never heard such a commotion. These people were, of course, willing to barter practically anything for that commodity which sustains life—food.

“notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, … the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world” (D&C 78:14).

President Brigham Young said, “If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives?” (In Journal of Discourses, 8:68.)

“There is more salvation and security in wheat,” said Orson Hyde years ago, “than in all the political schemes of the world” (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207).

Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26.)

first public announcement in 1936 and declared the prime purpose of Church welfare was “to help the people help themselves” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3).

Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 68
April 1937 general conference of the Church, President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:
“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. …
“Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.
“Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.
“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)

For over 100 years we have been admonished to store up grain. “Remember the counsel that is given,” said Elder Orson Hyde, “ ‘… Store up all your grain,’ and take care of it! … And I tell you it is almost as necessary to have bread to sustain the body as it is to have food for the spirit; for the one is as necessary as the other to enable us to carry on the work of God upon the earth.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 17.) And he also said: “There is more salvation and security in wheat, than in all the political schemes of the world. …” (JD, vol. 2, p. 207.)

President Harold B. Lee has wisely counseled that “perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year … just enough to keep us alive if we didn’t have anything else to eat. We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live; and if you think in terms of that kind of annual storage rather than a whole year’s supply of everything that you are accustomed to eat which, in most cases, is utterly impossible for the average family, I think we will come nearer to what President Clark advised us way back in 1937.” (Welfare conference address, October 1, 1966.)

“The day will come,” said President Wilford Woodruff, “when, as we have been told, we shall all see the necessity of making our own shoes and clothing and raising our own food. …” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 166.)

In a message to the Saints in July of 1970, President Joseph Fielding Smith stated that the pioneers “were taught by their leaders to produce, as far as possible, all that they consumed … This is still excellent counsel.” (Improvement Era, vol. 73 [1970], p. 3.)

When will we learn these basic economic principles? However, “… when we really get into hard times,” said President Clark, “where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.” (Church News, November 21, 1953, p. 4.)

The strength of the Church welfare program lies in every family following the inspired direction of the Church leaders to be self-sustaining through adequate preparation. God intends for his Saints to so prepare themselves “that the church [as the Lord has said] may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world.” (D&C 78:14.)

“How on the face of the earth could a man enjoy his religion,” said Elder George A. Smith many years ago, “when he had been told by the Lord how to prepare for a day of famine, when, instead of doing so, he had fooled away that which would have sustained him and his family.” (JD, vol. 12, p. 142.)
And President Brigham Young said, “If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives? … If you cannot provide for your natural lives, how can you expect to have wisdom to obtain eternal lives?” (JD, vol. 8, p. 68.)
Let us not be dissuaded from preparing because of a seeming prosperity today, or a so-called peace. I have seen the ravages of inflation. I shall never forget Germany in the early 1920s. In December 1923 in Cologne, Germany, I paid six billion marks for breakfast. That was just 15 cents in American money. Today, the real inflation concern is in America and several other nations.
“The time is about ripe,” said President Lee, “for the demonstration of the power and efficacy of the Lord’s Plan which He designed as ‘a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it.’ ” (Deseret News, Church section, December 20, 1941, p. 7; see also D&C 45:9.)

L. Tom Perry, “The Need to Teach Personal and Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1981, 87
I like the story of the old man in nineteenth-century New Hampshire who treasured his independence and self-reliance above all else in his life. He accounted it true Christianity that he cared for his own and helped others, and fiercely resisted the notion that he ought to accept help from any other mortal. When his aged wife died, he buried her himself, then dug his own grave and laid in it his open, homemade coffin. “When my time is coming,” he said, “I’ll climb in the box and fold my arms over my chest. Won’t be no bother to no one. They can just nail down the lid and push in the dirt.”
President Marion G. Romney has said so often: “No self-respecting Church member will voluntarily shift the responsibility for his own maintenance to another. Furthermore, a man not only has the responsibility to care for himself; he also has the responsibility to care for his family.” (The Basics of Church Welfare, address to the Priesthood Board, 6 Mar. 1974, p. 2.)

Spencer W. Kimball, Apr. 1976
“We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. Study the best methods of providing your own foods.”

“Wherever possible, produce your nonfood necessities of life. Improve your sewing skills; sew and mend clothing for your family . . . Develop handicraft skills as the sisters have told us, and make or build needed items.”

“this is a gospel of action and whatever we learn we should put into action.“

Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct. 1998
“time has come to get our houses in order.”

“there is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.”

“I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.”

Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct. 2005
“The best storehouse is the family storeroom.”

“Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.”

“We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.”

“We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. . . . We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments.”

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

New York Times Talks Ventilators

Dr. David Sunwall, Director of the Utah Health Department, notified my Father and I about a great Article in the New York Times "Hospitals Short on Ventilators if Bird Flu Hits ." This article addresses the problem of a ventilator shortage during a pandemic and his numbers agree well with our estimates. The article mentions the Vortran Automatic Resuscitator as a cheap and efficient example of a vent that could be stockpiled and used during a disaster or pandemic ( This vent is purely pressure controlled and seems to operate akin to the magnet and bobbin "minivent" described in Anesthesia ( Cohen AD, The minivent respirator. Anesthesia. 1966 Oct; 21(4):563-8). The vent doesn't generate the optimal pressure/volume curve for ARDS, but hey, it only cost 50$.

The article also points out that even if we had all the necessary vents, we wouldn't have enough people to monitor them. One idea to remedy that would be to include ventilator theory and operation as part of Advanced Disaster, Cardiac, and Trauma Life Support curriculums. Also, Basic courses should also include vent theory as they do Automatic Cardiac Deffibrillator (ACD) operation.

This article also corrects my last email. The Strategic National Stockpile has 4,000-5,000 vents total, and not per cache. I support additional research in feasibility of using such a emergency vent for a pandemic scenario as well as investing money in stockpiling such devices.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Local versus Global Disaster Preparation

Now, more than ever before we face the possibility of natural or man-made disasters. Natural disasters come in the form of tsunami, asteroid impacts, earthquake, volcano, and hurricane. Man-made disasters include nuclear detonation and bioterrorism. There are also disasters that are a result of natural and man-made influences such as a dam break or forest fire. Local and national governments plan and prepare for disaster but their preparation does not supplant individual and family preparedness. It is the duty of every individual to be prepared for difficult times.

In addition to dividing disasters into natural vs. Man-made, it is more useful to define disasters in terms of their range of influence; such as individual, local, regional, and global. Similar principles of preparedness are applicable to each type, but each requires are different type of preparedness.

The most important aspect of any type of preparedness, whether individual or global, is spiritual preparation. If you feel your life is in-line with the will of God then you will be prepared for any eventuality. The scriptures promise, "If ye are [spiritually] prepared, ye shall not fear."

Individual Disasters can include lost work, disability, death of a loved one, or home fire. It is important to save, get out of debt, and have a strong social support network as well as an array of coping mechanisms. Disasters are stressful and those who deal best with stress can deal with it through exercise, sports, music, or humor. Other characteristics of people who successfully weather adversity include being adaptable, creative, and optimistic. These people make lemonade out of lemons and see the silver lining around even the darkest cloud.

Local and national government have done well preparing for and responding to local disasters such as earthquake and flood. Hurricane Katrina was actually a regional disaster involving 4 US states and exceeded the US's ability to respond. Therefore, it was a true disaster by definition. That said, many other disasters such as earthquake or forest fire are more local in extent. Therefore, local and national governments have the resources to respond in a timely manner. However, even the most timely response, aide may not reach you for up to 72 hours. So, the best preparation for a local catastrophe is a 72-hour kit.

A 72-hour kit is placed in 2-3 duffle bags or backpacks that can be picked up and carried at a moments notice. It should contain food, water purification, medical essentials, radio, and other essentials for keeping warm and dry for 3 days until outside help can arrive. It is also important to bring important papers with you such as title to home, cars, etc.

Regional and global catastrophes are true disasters. These have such a wide area of effect that no government could adequately prepare. That said, individuals can effectively and economically prepare for these broader threats. Such disasters may not directly cause harm but have such broad effects generally that there are disruptions of transportation, utilities, and the economy. In such instances, having a supply of food stuffs to preserve life for 1 year is the best manner of preparation. This involves the storage of commodities such as wheat, beans, rice, oil, sugar, powdered milk, and medicines. Stockpiling canned food is very inefficient. Canned food is mostly water. Dry-pack storage of wheat, beans, rice is the most economical, efficient, and effective way to store food. To learn how to create an emergency food storage go to and

How to Survive the H5N1 Avian Flu Pandemic

There is something everyone can do to prepare for the H5N1 avian flu pandemic. You don't need a vaccine. You don't need Tamiflu. Protection is as easy as self-quarantine. You lock yourself in your home, you don't visit, you don't have visitors. According to the lastest H5N1 avian flu pandemic poll conducted by Harvard, this is exactly what Americans plan on doing. However, this means you can't visit the grocery store or the hospital. So, your family must have commodities such as wheat, beans, rice, oil, sugar, powdered milk, and medicines, to keep you alive for at least 3 months. Stockpiling canned food is very inefficent. Canned food is mostly water. Storage of dry wheat, beans, rice is the most economical, efficient, and effective way to stockpile. To learn how to create an emergency food storage for the H5N1 avian flu pandemic go to and

Top 10 US Disaster Threats

10. Pacific Northwest Megathrust Earthquake. Geologists know it’s just a matter of time before another 9.0 or larger earthquake strikes somewhere between Northern California and Canada. The shaking would be locally catastrophic, but the biggest threat is the tsunami that would ensue from a fault line that’s seismically identical to the one that caused the deadly 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.
9. New York Hurricane. Major hurricanes have made direct hits on the boroughs before, but the interval between them is so long that people forget, and officials fear they might not take evacuation orders seriously. The larger problem: It would take nearly 24 hours to make a proper evacuation of New York City, but hurricanes move more swiftly as they race north, so real warning time could be just a few hours.
8. Asteroid Impact. Scientists can’t say when the next devastating asteroid impact will occur. Odds are it won’t be for decades or centuries, but an unknown space rock could make a sucker punch any time. Many experts say planning to deal with a continent-wide catastrophe should begin now.
7. Los Angeles Tsunami. An earthquake fault just off Southern California could generate a major quake and a $42 billion tsunami that would strike so fast many coastal residents would not have time to escape. Add to that the unprecedented destruction from the earthquake’s shaking, and the situation would be reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina.
6. Supervolcano. It probably won’t happen for hundreds or possibly even millions of years, but nobody really knows when Yellowstone will blow again, destroying life for hundreds of miles around and burying half the country in ash up to 3 feet (1 meter) deep.
5. Midwest Earthquake. It has been nearly two centuries since a series of three magnitude-8 quakes shook the then-sparsely populated Midwest, centered near New Madrid, Missouri. Another big one is inevitable. Now the region is heavily populated, yet building codes are generally not up to earthquake snuff. What’s more, geology east of the Rockies causes quakes to be felt across a much wider region. Shelves would rattle from Boston to South Carolina. Some homes along the Mississippi would sink into oblivion.
4. Heat Waves. Heat waves kill more U.S. residents than any other natural disaster. As many as 10,000 people have died in past events. As urban areas get hotter, electricity systems are strained and the population ages, the risk grows.
3. East Coast Tsunami. It seems no coast is immune to the threat of tsunami. For the Eastern United States, the likeliest scenario is waves kicked up by an asteroid splashing into the ocean. Astronomers already have their eye on one rock that could hit in the distant future, but the cosmos could hold a surprise, too.
2. Gulf Coast Tsunami. A fault line in the Caribbean has generated deadly tsunamis before. Up to 35 million people could be threatened by one in the not-to-distant future, scientists say.
1. Total Destruction of Earth. Okay, so nobody is spending too much time worrying about what to do if the planet is annihilated, but at least one person has seriously pondered whether and when it could happen. From being sucked into a black hole to being blown up by an antimatter reaction, there are scientifically plausible risks of an event that would render this whole list moot.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Strategic National Stockpile

Dr. Phillip Coule, director of the MCG Center of Operational Medicine reported today that each strategic national stockpile (SNS) cache will contain 2-5,000 univents/minivents as well as antibiotics and other medications. These ventilators will be available to treat victims of the impending H5N1 avian flu pandemic. I am pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services is taking such steps in preparing our country for any eventuality. Ofcourse, this news does not supplant individual and local preparation for the H5N1 avian flu pandemic.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How to Survive the H5N1 Avian Flu Pandemic

There is something everyone can do to prepare for the H5N1 avian flu pandemic. You don't need a vaccine. You don't need Tamiflu. Protection is as easy as self-quarantine. You lock yourself in your home, you don't visit, you don't have visitors. According to the lastest H5N1 avian flu pandemic poll conducted by Harvard, this is exactly what Americans plan on doing. However, this means you can't visit the grocery store or the hospital. So, your family must have commodities such as wheat, beans, rice, oil, sugar, powdered milk, and medicines, to keep you alive for at least 3 months. Stockpiling canned food is very inefficent. Canned food is mostly water. Storage of dry wheat, beans, rice is the most economical, efficient, and effective way to stockpile. To learn how to create an emergency food storage for the H5N1 avian flu pandemic go to and

Worst-Case Scenario for H5N1 Avian Pandemic Flu

During Hurricane Katrina we witnessed how vulnerable the US is to disasters. New Orleans was a scenes of mass hysteria. The health system was also grossly ill-prepared. Hundreds of patients in skilled nursing facilities were left behind to die. Charity Hospital was a nightmare. Short-staffed, no power, no food, no medicine. Staff hand-ventilated critically ill patients hour-after-hour, day-after-day; with the hope, "they are coming to save us." But noone came.
After 5 days without rescue, hospital staff became exhausted, hopeless, and disheartened. Such severe physical duress and emotional torment can only be paralleled to that which was experienced by the Donner party. And in the moment of dark desperation a few could not squeeze the Ambu bag any more and resorted to euthanasia. I do not condemn but mourn.

During a severe H5N1 avain flu pandemic there will be massive disruptions of transportation, economy, and utilities. The first pandemic wave will last 6 weeks. At its peak, a hundred thousand US citizens could die in one day. The supermarket shelves will be stripped bare in a few hours of the first day. As the pandemic rages on and the food runs out, I can't imagine the acts of desperation that will transpire. The hospital can run up to a week without resupply and less without power. There will not be any vaccine, there will not be any Tamiflu (not that it helps anyways), there will be no ventilators, there is no treatment. The nightmare of New Orleans and Charity Hospital will flood over every city and hospital across the country and across the world.

Beware of the belief that because we are so technologically advanced that we won't fair as poorly as they did in 1918. The US may be the only world superpower, but we as Americans are weak. We are so much less self-sufficient and less independent than 1918. With NAFTA and World Trade, we import our food from Brazil and Mexico and our N95 masks from Taiwan. In 1918 food was locally grown and harvested. Americans knew how to cultivate a garden, how to save, how to rashion, and how to make due. We are emotionally weak. In 1918, women died in childbirth, and babies died in infancy. All Americans in 1918 knew how to deal with loss. Today, we cannot emotionally manage the loss of a few who volunteer their lives for their country and to pay the price of freedom for their brothers. Even if the eventual H5N1 avian pandemic flu virus isn't as virulent as in 1918, we will fare much worse.

Avian Flu to Pandemic

The current H5N1 avian flu strain spreads primarily via the GI tract. This is why is doesn't spread efficiently person to person. People who come into close contact with chickens and their "dropping" are at the greatest risk to contract the disease. After contracting the virus, the immune system "overreacts" to the virus which result in multi-organ failure. While seasonal flu targets infants and the elderly with weak immune systems, pandemic flu kills healthy young people with strong immunity.

Researchers are currently studying the evolution of H5N1 avian flu to see what changes are necessary to cause it to be efficently spread human to human. Studying the latest cases in Turkey show that these changes are happening before our eyes. First the virus is obtaining mutations which allow it to replicate at cooler temperatures, such as those found in the human respiratory tract. Sequence of virus isolated from victims in Turkey also show new mutations which allow more efficent binding of the virus to cell receptors in lung tissue. It is this conversion from GI to respiratory that will allow efficent human to humanspread. The flu virus will increase in communicability by specializing on attacking lung tissue and then be transmissible by droplet rather than by fecal-oral route. Other similar mutations will result in the impending pandemic.

When this specialization occurs, the virus will cause overwelming damage to lung tissue. Victims will suffer respiratory failure and require mechanical ventillation or die. Even with mechanical ventillation, victims will develop ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). No one really understands the cause of this syndrome. But we do know that 50% of ARDS patients die inspite of being on a vent. Without mechanical ventillation, death rates will be far worse. In spite of the perfect cell-based vaccine, a mountain of Tamiflu, we are going to need hundreds of thousands more ventillators than we currently have and could hope to produce. Could there be a way to "Macgyver" a ventillator out of common hospital supplies, wall suction, air, O2, PleuraVac and what is known as a PEEP valve. If we could come up with a cheep alternative to the expensive ventillator machines, potentially hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved from H5N1 avian flu pandemic.

"MacGyver'ed" Ventilators?

During a moderate to severe flu pandemic or other respiratory virus, there will be a critical shortage of ventilators. Due to labor shortages, it will be impossible to hand bag-ventilate all patients who require ventilator support. Ventilators are very complex and expensive machines. Therefore, It is not practical to stockpile such equipment. However, if a simple unit could be developed or instructions drawn up for a simple and cheap (plastic and tubes) vent device, it may be practical to produce and stockpile them or construct them using stockpiled components. Also, there may be alternative ways to automatically assist with ventilation on a large scale.

Ventilator Schematic

Focus on Pandemic Flu Treatment

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken the lead in preparing the country for a potential pandemic. HHS goals include: tracking the global spread of the H5N1 influenza virus, early human detection, assisting with local preparation, increasing stockpiles of antiviral drugs, developing vaccines against potential pandemic virus strains, and enhance domestic vaccine production capacity.1 These goals illustrate HHS focus on early detection, containment, and prevention. However, in addition to these goals, a comprehensive plan should also include preparation for the grave complications associated with influenza infection.

During a moderate to severe flu pandemic, an estimated 20-50 % or 60-150 million people in the US would become infected. 1-10 % or 3-30 million would die from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS was and will be the most common complication and cause of death in pandemic flu patients. The 3-30 million expected to die will be in need of positive pressure ventilation. Sadly, the US only has 100,000 ventilators.2 ARDS is a deadly respiratory complication of pneumonia resulting in 50 % mortality with mechanical ventilation and 100 % mortality without it. That said; if ventilators could be provided to all 3-30 million people who would develop ARDS, 1.5-15 million lives could potentially be saved.

Stockpiling modern ventilators is an impossible proposition. Vents average between $10-50,000 each and are complex mechanical and electronic machinery.3 Although ventilators are complex, the functions of oxygenating and ventilating a patient are simpler processes that can be performed short-term with a bag and mask. The challenge is automating these processes.

Very little research has been done to address disaster-associated ventilator shortages. A PubMed search produced one article published in 1994 in Critical Care Medicine. This research group recognizes the inadequate surge capacity of the US healthcare system during catastrophes because of the lack of ventilators. Accordingly, they illustrate 2 novel ideas to mechanically ventilate multiple patients using one ventilator.4 Simple ideas like this could make a significant impact during a pandemic.

Aspects of additional research should involve a comprehensive literature search, and design and testing of simple ultra-cheap ventilator systems. These “mini-vents” could be more practically and economically mass-produced and stockpiled. Also, plans to “MacGyver” a ventilator using common “off-the-shelf” hospital and hardware store equipment could also be developed and tested.

One exciting idea involves an alternative form of mechanical ventilation used in very premature babies in the NICU called High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV).5 It turns out that portable ball/tire pumps work about the same as these HFOV machines but cost between $10-50 instead of $10-50,000. If proven feasible after testing, units could be stockpiled at a cost of $10/unit. Additional units could be procured by utilizing available stock at local hardware stores as needed. This idea could prove a substantial value in comparison to Tamiflu with costs $8/pill.

In association with mechanical ventilation, it is the generally accepted that patients who are expected to be mechanically ventilated for long periods of time such as is required to recover from ARDS, do better with a tracheotomy (tube in neck) rather than being intubated (tube in mouth). Also, tracheostomy tubes are associated with less ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Patients who receive HFOV must be paralyzed and sedated. Paralytic medications, tracheostomy tubes, pressurized oxygen and broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat VAP will be in short supply and must also be stockpiled.

In addition to its current goals, HHS must focus on resolving the impending pandemic-associated ventilator shortage as well as develop goals to treat victims of pandemic flu as a part of its comprehensive plan. If a simple alternative to modern ventilators could be found, it could result in the biggest mortality benefit to those who will eventually become stricken with this deadly disease. These ideas could also be utilized in other disaster scenarios such as natural disaster, bioterrorism attack with nerve agent, and major industrial accidents.

1. News Release, Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, Department of Health and Human Services, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006.

2. Osterholm, MT. Preparing for the Next Pandemic, NEJM. May, 2005 352:1839-1842.

3. Blanch, PB. An Evaluation of Ventilator Reliability, Respiratory Care. August 2001.

4. Sommer DD, Improvised automatic lung ventilation for unanticipated emergencies. Crit Care Med. 1994 Apr;22(4):705-9.

5. Ritacca et al. Clinical review: High-frequency oscillatory ventilation in adults. Critical Care. 2003, 7:385-390.

Critical Ventilator Shortage

The last couple months I have been participating with the development of our hospital's pandemic flu plan in compliance with recommendations by the Department of Health and Human Services. Among other issues, we discussed a critical ventilator shortage in even a mild pandemic. Restating the problem: the US has 100,000 vents, and the flu pandemic could produce 3 million or more vent-dependent patients. Since our meeting I have been researching simple vent designs which could be cheaply produced and stockpiled or "MacGyver'ed" from components found at a hardware store and in the hospital. So far we have been discussing:

Emerson ventilator
Bird mini-ventilator (Percussionaire/Oscillitron)
Multiple people on single vent
Sommer DD, Improvised automatic lung ventilation for unanticipated emergencies. Crit Care Med. 1994 Apr;22(4):705-
Magnet and Bobbin MiniventCohen AD, The minivent respirator. Anaesthesia. 1966 Oct; 21(4):563-8.
HFOV using modified portable air compressor
HFOV using modified oil vs diphragm air compressor
HFOV using modified shop vac or other vacuum
HFPPV using modified shop vac or other vacuum
HFJV using modified portable air compressor

Treatment for Pandemic Flu reviews info about using the chemotherapy drug etoposide as a treatment for pandemic flu. This drug is already effective for treatment of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a disease which is a result of the over-reatction of the bodies immune system to EBV. Etoposide is human Cipro, targeting topoisomerase. It seems that young adults who die of H5N1 look exactly like young adults with HLH. This means it will be more important to have vents available so that victims of pandemic flu can get this medicine and recover.

Flu Pandemic Severe-Case Estimates:

1918 "Spanish" Flu
World Population = 1.8 Billion
US Population = 100 Million
Attack Rate = 20%
World Infected = 360 Million
US Infected = 20 Million
Death Rate = 1%
World Deaths = 20 Million
US Deaths = 675,000

2006 Flu Pandemic
World Population = 6.5 Billion
US Population = 300 Million
Attack Rate = 20%
World Infected = 1.3 Billion
US Infected = 60 Million
Death Rate = 1%
World Deaths = 65 Million
US Deaths = 3 Million
World Ventilators = 100,000
US Ventilators = 100,000