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Is Mexico going to be the fall guy?

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By Wendy Binnie

When discussing something as serious as disease, it is helpful to know what certain words mean instead of throwing them around like confetti.

Epidemic: An outbreak of disease that attacks many people at about the same time and may spread through one or several communities.

Endemic: A disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. Malaria is a constant worry in parts of Africa.

Pandemic: When an epidemic spreads throughout the world.

In a ‘humorous’ conversation between an official of the previous administration to a colleague after the collapse of Wall Street, “Well, it could be worse. We could be facing a pandemic.” After 9/11, Katrina, the inability to trump up the existence of WMD, the fiasco in Iraq, the mistakes in Afghanistan, the recession, the lack of ‘flu vaccine, the collapse of the building market, global warming, the run up in the cost of petroleum, the sharp rise in food prices, the banking industry’s pressure on the credit card market, the collapse of Wall Street, record unemployment, the loss of prestige in international markets, the pain in the rust belt sections of the country, the dangers posed to the automotive industry, the mortgage crisis and on and on; one could always say at least an illness, a pandemic didn’t occur.  Now, we’re not too sure; anyone for using the very descriptive word polemic?

We could be silly and say it is as if the Republican “nay-sayers” had colluded to wish this on Obama and the American people, so that we would not only fail, Democrats would utterly collapse or our country would fall over the precipice into the black hole created by the last president and his self-centered, short-sighted misanthropes. If we believed in witchcraft, it would not be difficult to accept the idea that this is the result of Republican malpractice that is more concerned with getting even than helping the people who are trying to survive after eight years of the worst presidency ever recorded. And it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the hard-hearted vamp of Savannah: “There was Hannah pouring water on a drownin’ man.” In that respect, the Republicans are lucky. We are not going to burn them alive for being witches which is perhaps the only good thing that can be said for their unproductive, uncooperative attitude that ironically is rushing them to a form of obloquy faster than they realize.

As long as this presidency and all its backers suffer, the opposition seems willing to suffer along. And most of these fools went to law school. The sad truth remains, however, we don’t know what we are facing and it could be a disaster. Or it could be another anthrax or daily color chart used to scare the people. Right now, the Center for Disease Control doesn’t have a clue. They don’t know whether the disease is a variant that they don’t know of and how it’s spread or where it came from. It will take at least a week or so to decide the truth from the evidence. In the meantime, if the medical field knows anything more than we do, listening to them spend a huge quota of words that convey nothing may reassure some, but it makes the rest of us worry more. Of course, those who do not accept Darwin and his Theory of Evolution must be gob smacked to comprehend and have to accept that the mutation and evolution of viral diseases dissolves their creation theory.

If the flu turns out to be deadly, it will take at least three or four months to get a working vaccine to be effective. And that is the big question mark: What happens in those three or four months? For the time being, we try to be good little citizens but the advances in transportation that make it easier to get around, at the same time make it easier to spread disease.  In the meantime, we can keep all digits crossed. Therefore, let’s finish our little tribute to those who have worked so hard to destroy virtually every vestige of what remains of our country and with it, democracy: What is

sad is that before the previous administration and minions laid their hands on anything, it seemed that everything was flowing smoothly, people were happy, we were on top of our indebtedness and hoping to pay off from our surplus in record time.  What a difference eight years makes. Which is not to say this outbreak and subsequent media hysteria would not have materialized if the present administration were not in power. You just mutter “hmm” and move on.

Whom do we thank for attempting (and hopefully not succeeding) to return us to the Stone Age? There’s someone sitting in a Dallas mansion totally oblivious to the truth of what his actions and inactions have wrought: Does it ever dawn on him that he had surrounded himself like the kings of old with only those who told him that which he wanted to hear? That anomaly, incidentally, was the job of the Court Jester who was allowed to tell the truth without losing his head or other parts of his body. It is surprising to encounter a cadre of well-placed politicians who seem to be so totally devoid of curiosity or desire for the truth. Poppy was correct: “Your brother would have made a better president because at the very least he has some scattered gray matter,” (that is of course assuming the country needed another Bush.) Instead, we all pay the price for Ford’s mistake with Cheney and Rumsfeld and say thanks for our current administration who worries not about erring on the side of caution when throwing around important words ending in MIC.

As I was saying …

Wendy England Binnie a novelist and op/ed columnist lives in Oak Trace Vil