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Be Prepared

Flu virus sparks 'social distancing' trend


Move towards 'social distancing' as people worry about swine flu epidemic

Thinking the Unthinkable


Six (Uncomfortable) Questions About the Swine Flu

WHO statement on swine flu


The Director-General has raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from the current phase 3 to phase 4.

CDC: Human Swine Influenza Investigation


Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of the infection and whether additional people have been infected with swine influenza viruses.

Swine flu: What it is, how to fight it


It's a common respiratory ailment in pigs, but this strain appears to bea subtype never before seen in pigs or humans. Here are answers to questions you may have about swine flu

News Stories

May 4


WHO hits back at critics, warns of second wave


The head of the World Health Organization hit back at critics who have accused it of over-reaction to the swine flu crisis, warning it may return “with a vengeance” in the months ahead.

Flu Spreads Deeper in U.S., Europe, Latin America


The swine flu epidemic spread deeper into the United States, Europe and Latin America — and in Canada, back to pigs — even as Mexico's health chief hinted Sunday it may soon be time to reopen businesses and schools in the nation where the outbreak likely began.

Swine flu hysteria crowds hospitals


After a week of headlines about the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, many emergency rooms and hospitals are crammed with people, many of whom don't need to be there.

U.S. antiviral supplies tighten as prescriptions soar


Pharmacies across the country are struggling to meet demand for antiviral medications as anxious patients rush to fill prescriptions, raising the specter of supply shortages for those who really need treatment.

Mexico says flu epidemic over the worst


Mexico announced on Sunday its swine flu epidemic had passed the worst and experts said the new H1N1 virus might be no more severe than normal flu, although it could still have an impact on world health.

Hong Kong hotel quarantine move stirs controversy


Travelers quarantined in a Hong Kong hotel for a week after a Mexican guest tested positive for the H1N1 flu expressed dismay on Saturday at the tough steps, while an infectious disease expert said the authorities had over-reacted.

China denies flu discrimination against Mexicans


China denied discrimination lay behind its confinement of scores of Mexican nationals over fears of the H1N1 flu, urging Mexico to respond calmly and cooperate in fighting the virus.

Swine flu goes person-to-pig; could it jump back?


Now that the swine flu virus has passed from a farmworker to pigs, could it jump back to people? The question is important, because crossing species again could make it more deadly.

Swine Flu May Merge With Other Flu Viruses, CDC Says


Swine flu’s potential to reconfigure its genetic material and become more deadly is a “major concern,” said Anne Schuchat, a scientist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Irate pig farmers clash with police in Egypt


'They fired guns, and they threw stones and bottles'

May 1

WHO Slammed for Slow Flu Response


Mexico's top epidemiologist says the World Health Organization was slow to react to an outbreak of atypical pneumonia that grew into the swine flu epidemic, and wants a probe.

Mexico prepares for flu shutdown


Mexico is preparing for a five-day shutdown of parts of its economy in a bid to slow the spread of swine flu.

Mexico: 300 confirmed swine flu cases, 12 dead


Mexican health authorities said Thursday they confirmed 300 swine flu cases and 12 deaths due to the virus among a total of 679 people tested so far.

More than 40 probable swine flu cases reported in Illinois


The number of probable cases of swine flu has risen to at least 41 in Illinois on Thursday and with school children among the possible cases, several area schools will close through the weekend.

More schools close, swine flu cases pass 100


Hundreds of schools scattered around the country closed as the nation's swine flu caseload passed 100 Thursday, and U.S. authorities said they eventually could produce enough vaccine for everyone if necessary — but that shots couldn't begin until fall at the earliest.

Middle East Governments Respond Aggressively to Prevent Spread of Swine Flu


So far, Israel has been the only Middle Eastern country to have confirmed cases of swine flu, after two travelers were inflected following a trip Mexico. Yet some Middle Eastern countries have taken aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza A virus.

Biden's Advice to Avoid Air Travel Borders on 'Fearmongering,' Airline Says


Vice President Biden's comment that he would advise against air travel or commuting in any confined space due to flu fears borders on "fearmongering," an airline spokesman said.

Biden Backtracks After Swine Flu Travel Warning


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he would tell his family to stay out of airplanes or subways to avoid contracting swine flu, prompting his office to issue a clarification.

Obama Staffer Tested Negative for Swine Flu, 3 Family Members Diagnosed


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that an administration staffer exhibited flu-like symptoms while traveling in Mexico City as part of the advance security team for Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Misinformation Spreads Along With Virus


Confusion over how to prevent catching swine flu spreads as more become ill.

Flu 'source' village besieged


In his white lab coat, Dr Alejandro Cevallos is going door to door. His helper bangs the iron gate outside each house in La Gloria.

Swine Flu Dampens Rallies for Illegal Immigrants


The timing is not the best. Immigration-rights rallies are set for Friday as health officials try to clamp down on a swine flu epidemic with roots in the same country as many of the expected demonstrators: Mexico.

Swine flu may bring heat scanners to US airports


You might have to go-through one more screening step at the airport because of the swine flu outbreak.

April 30

WHO raises flu threat level, warns pandemic imminent


The World Health Organization said on Wednesday the world is at the brink of a pandemic, raising its threat level as the swine flu virus spread and killed the first person outside of Mexico, a toddler in Texas.

BBC Outbreak Map


Track the virus spreads across the world.

Mexico to Shut Down, Citizens Urged to Stay Home


Mexico's president told citizens on Wednesday to stay home for a five-day partial shutdown of the economy, after the World Health Organization raised its alert level and said a swine flu pandemic was imminent.

World takes drastic steps to contain swine flu


From Egypt's order that all 300,000 pigs in the country be slaughtered to travel bans and putting the kibosh on kissing, the world is taking drastic - and some say debatable - measures to combat swine flu.

Texas Declares Swine Flu Emergency


Texas became the second US state to declare a swine flu emergency Wednesday as officials shut a number of schools and cancelled sports meets after the first US fatality was reported in the state.

France asks EU to suspend flights to Mexico


France called on Wednesday for a European Union ban on flights to Mexico in the latest response to fears of swine flu, but the EU's executive Commission said it had no power to curtail travel from its 27 member nations.

More than 100 U.S. schools closed because of swine flu


At least 74 schools have closed across the country because of confirmed or probable cases of swine flu and 30 more have closed as a precautionary measure, the Department of Education said Wednesday.

Outbreak of swine flu could fizzle like 1976 scare


The last time America faced a full-fledged swine flu scare was 33 years ago, when feds warned that the U.S. faced a possible epidemic.

Swine Flu - Myth vs. Fact


Mexico's health secretary may have thought he was allaying fears about swine flu when he suggested that the nation's swine flu death rate was 6 or 7 percent. In reality, that would mean a monstrous killer virus — and no experts are close to saying that.

Obama vows great `vigilance' as swine flu spreads


Obama vows `great vigilance' for swine flu as it takes first life in US, won't close border

Egyptian Christians riot after swine flu cull


Egyptian leaders ordered the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs today to help protect against swine flu, prompting angry protests from the poor Christan farmers who feed their animals with a country's food scraps. The decision was also criticized as a "real mistake" by a senior UN food expert.

First Mexico fatal flu victim sought help for days


The 39-year-old woman who was the first to die in Mexico's swine flu epidemic spent the last eight days of her life going from clinic to clinic to find out what was wrong with her but doctors were baffled.

April 29

Confusion -- WHO says only 7 dead from swine flu


A member of the World Health Organization (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.

Swine flu will kill in US, says CDC chief


More Than 60 Cases Confirmed; Obama Asks For $1.5 Billion To Fight Fast-Spreading Disease

New swine flu infections intensify travel fears


A global hunt for swine flu turned up new infections all around the world on Tuesday, and frightened governments warned people to stay away from Mexico, where up to 159 people have died.

Scientists: Swine Flu Vaccine Still Months Away


U.S. scientists hope to have a key ingredient for a swine flu vaccine ready in early May, but are finding that the novel virus grows slowly in eggs — the chief way flu vaccines are made.

Obama seeks $1.5 billion for swine flu as cases jump


President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday for an additional $1.5 billion to fight swine flu as the confirmed caseload jumped to 65 people across six states in what doctors fear may become a pandemic.

Drunk Passengers Cause Flu Scare on Flight


Two men who had too much to drink caused 117 passengers on a flight from Mexico to Maryland to wait on board after landing while health authorities checked the two for symptoms of swine flu, officials said Tuesday.

Why has swine flu killed only in Mexico?


Mexico has reported 152 fatalities in flu-like cases in recent days, seven of which have been confirmed as swine flu. By contrast, the United States has had 64 confirmed cases, five hospitalizations and no deaths.

Mexicans put faith in masks — but do they work?


The cloth patches in green, blue and white are everywhere, clamped tight over the mouth and nose of teachers, toddlers, policemen and drunks.

Schwarzenegger declares emergency over swine flu


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency that will help California agencies coordinate efforts in response to the outbreak of swine flu.

Pork Industry Fights Concerns Over Swine Flu


The swine flu is producing global hesitation over eating pork.

April 28

World closer to swine flu pandemic


A new virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and the World Health Organization moved closer on Monday to declaring it the first flu pandemic in 40 years as more people were infected in the United States and Europe.

Swine flu epidemic enters dangerous new phase


The swine flu epidemic entered a dangerous new phase Monday as the death toll climbed in Mexico and the number of suspected cases there and in the United States nearly doubled. The World Health Organization raised its alert level but stopped short of declaring a global emergency.

How Bush Prepared for the Outbreak


Tools developed in the last few years will help the Obama administration fight back.

WHO not recommending swine flu travel restrictions


The World Health Organisation is not recommending travel restrictions and border closures to fight swine flu, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

WHO Has Enough Antiviral Medication for 5 Million


The World Health Organization is working closely with Mexican officials to make sure effective drugs are available to fight the outbreak of swine flu, but cautions other countries may need more as well if the disease spreads, a senior official said Monday.

Swine Flu Could Mean New Threat to U.S. Economy


The U.S. economy, which was showing tentative early signs of a recovery, faces a potentially grave new threat: swine flu. A widespread outbreak could batter the tourism, food and transportation industries in particular, deepening the recession in the U.S. and possibly worldwide.

US military 'monitoring' flu outbreak


The US Defense Department said on Monday it was closely following the outbreak of swine flu but had no immediate plans to release anti-viral drugs from its stockpiles.

UK, France, Germany advise against travel to Mexico


Britain, France and Germany advised their nationals against non-vital travel to Mexico because of the swine flu outbreak.

Swine flu fears may hammer travel industry


For an ailing global travel industry, swine flu couldn't have erupted at a worse time.

Cruise lines cancel Mexico stops over flu fear


At least three cruise lines have canceled stops at popular ports in Mexico over concerns about swine flu, while those that haven't are assuring passengers the ships are clean and risk is low because most reported illnesses there are inland.

Swine flu spreads to Middle East, Asia-Pacific


The swine flu epidemic crossed new borders Tuesday with the first cases confirmed in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, as the number of deaths in Mexico blamed on the virus surpassed 150.

A Timeline of Events in the Swine Flu Outbreak


A timeline of events in the swine flu outbreak

April 27

Global Race to Contain Flu


The world's governments raced to avoid both a pandemic and global hysteria Sunday as more possible swine flu cases surfaced from Canada to New Zealand and the United States declared a public health emergency. "It's not a time to panic," the White House said.

WHO: Swine Flu Has "Pandemic Potential"


Eight Cases Suspected At NYC School; More Than 1,000 Sickened In Mexico As Schools Remain Closed, All Public Events Cancelled

Obama has no flu symptoms after Mexico visit


The president met with a museum director in Mexico City who died a week later of pneumonia.

U.S. Activates Emergency Plan to Contain Swine Flu


Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said 25 percent of the stockpile for the swine flu anti-viral medication has been released as the U.S. declares a public health emergency.

Swine flu raises travel concerns in Europe


The top EU health official urged Europeans on Monday to postpone nonessential travel to the United States and Mexico because of the swine flu virus, and Spanish health officials confirmed the first case outside North America.

Is swine flu 'the big one' or a flu that fizzles?


As reports of a unique form of swine flu erupt around the world, the inevitable question arises: Is this the big one?

Mexico City locks itself in amid swine flu fears


The cardinal said Mass in a shuttered cathedral. Soccer teams played to empty stadiums. A televised variety show filled its seats with cardboard cutouts. Mexico's overcrowded capital locked itself indoors Sunday, terrified by a new strain of swine flu that was spreading around the world.

Swine flu fears close schools in NY, Texas, Calif.


Cleaning crews spent the day scrubbing down every desk, chair and classroom at a New York City high school. Infected students wore surgical masks as they recovered in their beds. Anxious parents woke their children at night to check their temperature.

US says not testing travelers from Mexico for flu


The United States is not testing airplane travelers from Mexico for the swine flu virus that has heightened fears of a possible pandemic, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday.

1976: Fear of a great plague


Does America mobilize for mass inoculations in time to have everybody ready for the next flu season? Or should the country wait to see if the new virus would, as they often do, get stronger to hit harder in the second year?

Asia on alert over swine flu threat


Asian health officials went on alert and urged the public to be vigilant amid the threat of a flu strain that has killed up to 81 people in Mexico and sparked warnings of a potential pandemic.

W.H.: Obama Updated Regularly, Despite Golf Outing


White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says President Obama is being updated regularly on swine flu tracking, and the administration is not suffering from the lack of a secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Russia Suspends Mexican, Some U.S. Meat Imports on Swine Flu


Russia suspended imports of all meat from Mexico and the U.S. states of Texas, California and Kansas shipped after April 21 on concern about the spread of swine flu, the country’s veterinary watchdog said.

U.S. Pork Industry Assures Product is Safe


U.S. pork producers, responding to a swine flu outbreak that has escalated into a public health emergency, said Sunday their product is safe and that consumers cannot catch the virus by eating properly cooked food.

Go to the polls and keep mob rule at bay

Scott Olson/Getty Images

November is nearly upon us, and polls are starting to come out. The most recent was a poll conducted last week by the Washington Post and ABC News that showed Congressional Democrats have an 11 point lead heading into the midterms. The biggest swing, as expected after the Kavanaugh circus, is Independent women who are sliding Democrat 52% to 38% Republican.

This is a significant build on the lead last reported back in mid September. Real Clear Politics took the average of eighteen total polls, minus Rasmussen - because it's uh… Rasmussen - and it showed Democrats holding on to a slim lead of six and a half points.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

If this trajectory holds, it appears that the Left got exactly what they wanted when they tried to destroy a man's life all in the disgusting name of politics. They wanted a repeat of the 1991/92 Clarence Thomas fallout - later dubbed "The Year of The Woman - and they're on pace to get it.

How is it that we are so easily played by these awful people we call politicians? This is something I realize everyone listening right now already knows, but if your first thought is emotion every time someone in Washington opens their mouth… take a step back! Do some research and ask yourself, "Why am I feeling so outraged?" This has never been more important than right now. The left is abandoning the rule of law and moving towards mob rule. There's a reason why they all want to abolish the Electoral College. They want to work you up into a frenzy, and then they want to unleash you on the polling booth. But it's all fake. It's a con.

If fiscal responsibility is this bad now, imagine how bad it'll get with a Democrat controlled House, Senate and Executive Branch. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University just released their annual report on fiscal accountability, showing which states are run the most efficiently. Over the past several years, these are the worst run states in the entire Union: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island. Notice a common denominator here? Every single one is a blue state.

We cannot hand power over to mob rule.

On the other hand, these are the most efficiently ran states: South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana. Umm, yeah… ALL Red states.

The facts and numbers are there, but the Left doesn't want you to see them. They don't want you doing your own homework… they just want you pissed off! Don't give in to the outrage. We cannot hand power over to mob rule. There's too much at stake.

"May you live in interesting times" it seems, is actually not an ancient Chinese saying, blessing or curse. The strongest match one can find to its origins comes from the Yorkshire Post in 1936:

Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the "grave injury" to collective security by Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno.

Sir Austen, who referred to himself as "a very old Parliamentarian," said:

It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us. We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.

I like the quote, Chinese or English, as it gives us a correct or new perspective on strife, should we care to view our struggles as neither blessing nor curse. My father taught this to me as a small child. But I only really learned it in one of the darkest chapters of my life. Alcoholism and divorce. There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it. Will you allow it to change you in destructive ways through anger, bitterness and despair? Or will you allow it, whatever it is, to strengthen you through enlightenment, correction, humility?

There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it.

We have a desperate need for humility in our society from DC to Hollywood. Everyone left and right is convinced that either they are or their side is absolutely right. And if someone on their side strays from the pack, then they must be "a traitor to the race, party or cause". They are wrong and we remain right. Scientific atheists "know that there is no God" even though almost everything they now believe or "know" in science now proves that the scientists that came before them were wrong. How can those whose field has been built on enhancing, evolving, or outright proving that others and their theories were wrong, be so certain? If those who should be the least certain of final truth are now calling heretic for those who disagree, we are indeed living in interesting times.

But it isn't a "them" problem even though that is what the world is currently trying to sell each of us. It is instead a simple "us" issue. Perhaps we don't see it because we are so busy staging, filtering, or enhancing the colors on our Facebook or Instagram pics that we can no longer recognize or even like the simple truth about us and what our life really is. Much of our life is a lie. We have been marketed to since we were born, told that we are not complete unless we wear, consume, own, vacation at or buy product 1 or 2. It has gone so far as telling us that not only are we not good enough if we don't have all of that, but now, we cannot even be a part of the great new society unless we believe and champion (product, politician or party) A, B or C. Opinions have become products.

Now, however, we are in the next and perhaps final stage. We ourselves are the product. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube no longer see us as the customer, but what we do, think and believe are now commodities. If you cannot fill this line in: "I am ____________ , Someone will always be there to fill it in for you. Buy this makeup to use the word beautiful. This label to let others know "I AM cool, or in style," or even "I AM rich.'

Buy Democrat to be "compassionate," "smarter than others," or "science-minded." It doesn't matter if you really are any of those things in reality, the label is all you need. Buy Republican if you want to be patriotic, support our troops or for family values. We now buy and believe labels and always judge a book by its cover. Buy the label "Christian" and you can love any life you want but you now can use religion to excuse either yours or anyone else's behaviors. Buy the label progressive and you believe in science even though you deny it in basic biology.

Even labels that were never for sale like "courage" come with a price tag, and its price keeps going lower and lower. Now, this once time revered label can be yours for simply saying things out loud to a room full of people who agree with you and will all cheer when you say it.

Labels and words are experiencing a fire sale and it seems "everything must go."

What comes next is always tough.

Heaven knows the proper price to attach to something so celestial as freedom. — Thomas Payne.

Each generation, except for the last, has had to earn and renew their freedom. They did not buy or sell the label the "greatest generation." In fact, it wasn't even them that came up with that title. It was the "boomers." At the time, there were no labels - they just saw themselves as people, as Americans. They saw the crisis not as anyone's fault, but rather as their turn to stand and do the right thing. It is what they did with their "crisis" that made others bestow the "greatest generation" title on them, and only years later.

We are living in a time of great crisis, not much different or of smaller scale than the great struggles of the past. All of the labels we think we have now, will fall away. Those that we have bought will become worthless and every new label will be purchased with blood, sweat, tears and courage.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom.

What we will face, in the end, will not be smaller than what many of our grandparents or great grandparents faced in the World Wars. No less frightening than the global economic unrest of the 1930's. Nor will it be any greater. It will just be ours. And just like the generations past, it will be our choice on whether or not we survive. What a blessing. The boomers feasted off the crisis of their parents and never truly had to choose life or death, freedom or slavery. They never had to push themselves as a group beyond what humans thought possible to achieve something as valuable as freedom.

The crisis we are just now beginning to see is a blessing our parents never received. Each of us will have to pick between black and white, slavery or freedom, good or evil, and life or death. We will all know in the years to come who we really are, if we chose carefully or if we simply allowed ourselves to become. We can become, through this struggle, exactly who we were born to be. Our best and highest selves.

If each of us were honest and began to see this struggle in the proper light, we would admit that it is the softness of our foundations that have caused these struggles. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom. Look all around you. No matter whom you voted for, you will admit that the country, and perhaps the entire world over, is sick.

We are all feeling it and each of our political doctors are seeing the same symptoms and prescribing the opposite medicine. Each of us, as patients, all so desperate to cure what is killing us, become more and more vested in our own "doctor's cure." Our doctor is right and yours is wrong! At the same times each doctor knows that he or she has everything to lose if his patients begin to seek another opinion, diagnosis or remedy. It is their best interest to keep their patients busy looking at the other side. Meanwhile, none of us stop and ask if the diagnosis is even correct. I guess we are just too busy fighting for what our doctor said.

I am not sure about you, but when I am sick or in pain, I am usually at my worst interpersonally. We all snap at others. We act as our lesser selves. When I am sick, fearful or angry, it is almost always followed by a time where I begin conversations with, "I am so sorry for what I said or did, I was just having a really bad day."

We are all having a really very bad, most difficult day. Everyday, it seems.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin. Many, if not most of those who voted for democrats and those who voted for republican have much in common with those who voted for neither. While parties and politicians try to convince us otherwise, and many of us may have believed it or even engaged in this "warfare," it is becoming more and more clear that our neighbors are not our enemies.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin.

If you are finding this a difficult concept to reconcile, simply ponder what our ancestors came here for, be it three months or three centuries ago. To make a better life, in a country that would allow you to follow your dream, work hard and keep what you built so your children could live a better life than you did and achieve even more than you did. That opportunity came not from this land, or even its people, but rather from its mission statement: "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." While that mission statement was and always be aspirational, it has never been fully achieved. It is shaped and given the best chance to succeed when it is protected by the guardrails of the constitution and bill of rights. It is indeed our laws, which come from our American Thesis, that has created the modern world. It is indeed why people still die trying to get on this side of our border.

Is it too much of a stretch to believe that you and I are not alone in our doubt of our doctors? Are we the only ones left that think our neighbor, who knows how sick we all are, really wants everyone who disagrees with their doctor to die? Maybe they have seen flaws in their practitioner as we have. Maybe if we stop spending all our time looking at what is wrong with "them" and what's wrong with America, we can begin to see the things that are right and good.

Perhaps we are not as sick as some of these doctors tell us we are. Perhaps they are more akin to bad, crooked chiropractors that have done more damage to our spine than good and will bilk us for every dime week after week until we finally say no or are broke. We haven't wanted to listen to our friends, or those who tell us differently, because we feel the fool.

Perhaps we are beyond help and only have months to live, but, I don't think it needs to be this way. If we are going down, I want to go down with my friends and family around me. All of them, even those who told me not to listen to my doctor or the one I angrily chased away because I just knew they were wrong.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out. Easy to lose friends and harder to make them. In the end, our founding documents are just an idea. I think a really good idea. One that says we can and should all be who we choose to be and live the life we build for ourselves with dignity and security.

But that idea fails if no one remembers it or believes in it.

I still do.

I am not a doctor but I think our illness is all in our heads. We have been convinced by those who suffer from some sort of societal Munchausen by proxy, that we are fatally ill and will only survive because of them. I think they need us to be sick and I for one think we as a people have had enough bed rest.

Once we choose to see things the way they are, coupled with who we always strived to be — our best selves — we will be fine and perhaps stronger than ever. I believe if we can once again see the best in each other — put our past in the past, and our strife and crisis in the right light — down the road, some other generation will name this one — I believe it will be good.

But one thing is sure, it will not be one we choose but rather the label we earned.

North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson is a free man and back on U.S. soil. After being jailed for over two years by the Turkish government, U.S. officials secured Brunson's release on Friday.

Brunson appeared in a Turkish court on Friday, where he was declared guilty of aiding groups who attempted to overthrow President Erdogan in 2016, but he was sentenced to time already served. Brunson has always denied all the charges. He and his wife had served as missionaries in Turkey for 25 years without any previous such accusations. Brunson's arrest seemed to be just part of Erdogans's crackdown on any and all threats to his power, no matter how minor.

RELATED: Apparently religious liberty doesn't apply to Christians in Pakistan

The decision to finally release Brunson followed months of pressure and behind-the-scenes negotiations by the Trump administration. The pastor's detainment frayed relations between Turkey and the U.S. Turkey wanted the U.S. to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the coup attempt against him. Doesn't look like that's in the cards now.

Brunson and his wife met with President Trump in the Oval Office on Saturday, where Brunson prayed for the president. The media covering the meeting quickly changed the subject to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They wanted to know whether Brunson's release had anything to do with Turkey's desire for the U.S. to put pressure on Saudi Arabia for answers about Khashoggi. President Trump insisted that: "The timing is a strict coincidence. It really is."

That might've been a little more believable if he hadn't tacked on the "it really is" part.

Khashoggi, who works for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd. The Turkish government says Saudi agents then murdered him and dismembered his body. Saudi Arabia continues to deny any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Pastor Brunson looked severely out of place sitting there in the Oval Office.

Pastor Brunson's release will not suddenly thaw relations between the U.S. and Turkey. In reference to Brunson, the headline of a pro-Erdogan newspaper on Saturday said, "Never come back again!"

Pastor Brunson on the other hand, expressed no bitterness toward Turkey during the Oval Office press conference. He said: "We were there for 25 years, and we love the Turkish people."

Pastor Brunson looked severely out of place sitting there in the Oval Office – a humble pastor, devoted to his faith and flock, caught for a moment in the dirty, ruthless, sticky web of international politics.

This weekend, once again, Portland became the stage for radicalism and violence, insanity pretending to be heroic. An extreme, real-world outbreak of the tribal warfare that has shaken our culture and our country as a whole. Of course I'm talking about Antifa.

Yes, there were right-leaning protestors there, but, as usual, they were the ones under attack.

RELATED: Portland mayor allows hostile Antifa mob to threaten city's residents

If only Antifa members realized how utterly postmodern they are—I mean, let's start with the fact that they showed up to an event called the "Law and Order March" with "hard knuckle gloves, knives and firearms." The resultant mayhem has become so common that it would be redundant to give the details. And, more important, what matters here is that this behavior is not only continuing, but worsening.

I don't like to talk about problems and leave people without a solution, or at least a hint of reassurance.

Last week, The Atlantic published an article, titled "Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture"

Here are a few standouts:

Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don't belong to either extreme constitute an 'exhausted majority.' Their members 'share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.' Most members of the 'exhausted majority,' and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that 'political correctness is a problem in our country.' Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.

And here's the real clincher, a hard-and-fast, data-based assertion that most of us, most of America, has realized all along but has been too petrified to express:

Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country.

Antifa is the most perfect representation of this bratty population. They, more than any other group or individual, represent the heinous, obnoxious intentions of the New Left. As I have said before, their social justice warfare is inherently postmodern. Their war is against you.

But, there is a way out.

But, there is a way out.

I can assume that if you're listening to me now, you're already going to vote in a few weeks during mid-terms. That's a big one. The other thing you can do is stay informed. And remember that you are not alone, not by far.