Joe's Scratchpad

Odds & Ends and Random Thoughts

Oct 20

"I recently visited someone who has an African violet in their house. Should I stay home from work for three weeks?"

Folks, that is an actual tweet from somebody tagged @KagroX. I ran across it just after I’d received a somewhat panicked email from a buddy of mine in his 80s living in Alabama. Now, James is an intelligent guy, but the fact that he is concerned about a possible Ebola pandemic in America shows just how effective the right-wing fear machine, ignorant politicians and cable TV have been in fanning the flames on this issue. For the Right, of course, it’s all a matter of blaming Obama and getting fearful voters to vote Republican in the upcoming election.

Anyway, here’s what I replied to James – for whatever good it’ll do:

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James,
Much of the nat’l dialogue now about Ebola has been pushed so far to the loony fringe that even what passes as ‘commonsense’ on the subject now will be considered laughable in years to come. 
Just make sure you’ve had your flu shot and stop fretting about Ebola. Al was one of the hardest hit states for the flu last year and folks in our age group are particularly vulnerable. Remember, 48,000 Americans died of the flu in 2004 alone. If Ebola toll ever reaches even a fraction of that level, all the handwringing going on now would make sense. 
But, it absolutely makes no sense now, unless you are a cable TV news producer trying to juice the ratings, or a craven politician hoping to exploit public fear and ignorance to win elective office, or a cog in that well-funded ‘right-wing fear machine’ intent of keeping gullible citizens either fearful or angry at anything that can be pinned on Obama and ‘big govmt.’
In the meantime, it is sad to hear calls to C-Span from old coots, who face actual danger from the flu this winter, now cowering in butt-puckering terror over something as likely to hit them as an astroid.
Joe


Oct 18

Oct 17

Oct 15
Don’t let Ebola fears stop you from flying:
One passenger at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. is apparently not taking any chances.

A female passenger dressed in a hazmat suit — complete with a full body gown, mask and gloves — was spotted Wednesday waiting for a flight at the airport. Another traveler snapped a photo of the woman and provided it to The Daily Caller.

Don’t let Ebola fears stop you from flying:

One passenger at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. is apparently not taking any chances.

A female passenger dressed in a hazmat suit — complete with a full body gown, mask and gloves — was spotted Wednesday waiting for a flight at the airport. Another traveler snapped a photo of the woman and provided it to The Daily Caller.




Oct 14

The power and passion of the late, great Etta James…


Neil DeGrasse Tyson reveals some interesting historical facts in this video. But he also delivers a message that we should be mindful of when we consider the growing number of science deniers in this country. I’m talking about the folks who deny things like evolution, climate change and scientific inquiry, in general. 

–  Joe



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