Our citizens work hard,
but solely with the object of getting rich
The old man was sitting ... up in bed,
at his usual occupation, counting out dried peas
from one pan to another.
On seeing his visitor he looked up, beaming with delight
--The Plague, Albert Camus
The news cycle is fast and violent. Take Mexico.
Just a few weeks ago the big deal was guns drifting south of the border, causing death and mayhem. This was the media's blitz presaging an anticipated campaign to further limit U.S. gun sales. The push was to keep assault-type weapons from reaching the drug lords. But we have since moved on.
Today the big news is the flu pandemic headed north to gringoland. If the flu proves to be a massive killer, that would constrict the gun flow question into one of relative insignificance.
Last night, Reuters reported "WHO warns flu pandemic imminent"; today, AP reports Mexico says cases are leveling off.
We as a nation are like a loose cannon, with no grip on reality. There are things that can kill you which lack a high-capacity magazine or bayonet stud, and this applies to terrorism, as well.
On 9-11 the U.S. lost about 3,000 people in a criminal event, and this was used to justify a totally disproportionate military response. In fact, our reactionary wars demonstrated our total ineffectiveness. The same formula applies to the flu epidemic hanging over our heads.
Terrorism or gun sales problems are not even a blip on the radar compared to the death tolls that could be racked up by a flu pandemic. We lose ourselves in phony wars based upon phony or non-existent threat analysis, yet are no safer than we were on 9-12-01.
And then a virus raises its ugly little potential. Meanwhile, we blithely distract and busy ourselves with political jockeying and trumped up charges and wars, and we continue depleting and polluting our resources at an alarming rate. Population rates continue to grow towards the planet's carrying capacity, and pontiffs and plutocrats smile while encouraging their supporters to go forth and multiply.
Meanwhile, our smallest nemeses, the viruses, continue their inexorable path of mutation and multiplication.
Now that is a threat with a deadly potential beyond the vagaries of political action.
Labels: avian flu, camus, carrying capacity, distractions, mexican flu, overpopulation, pandemic, swine flu, the plague, viruses