I got in my car the other morning and as I turned the key, the first word to come out of the radio was Ebola. I hit the scan button; the next station was on less than a minute before the word Ebola was used again. I hit scan…Ebola! I hit scan again…Ebola, finally, I was like Samuel L. Jackson in the film Pulp Fiction, “Say Ebola one more time!” I turned my radio off. There’s news and then there’s not news. The President is calling up the National Guard (eight of them) to assist our military in FIGHTING Ebola in West Africa. Here in Northeast Ohio, a local school district closed two middle schools for two days, because a school employee flew on the same airline, on the same day as an Ebola patient. Mind you, not the same flight, only the same day and the same airline.
To call it hysteria would be an understatement. The average American’s chances of contracting Ebola are comparable to winning the lottery two days in a row; as likely as being trampled by zebras in New York’s Central Park, and comparable to being struck by a meteor while playing wiffle ball in your own back yard. The primary methods of contracting Ebola are as follows: Eating bats, particularly fruit bats which are extra tasty with a honey-mustard dipping sauce or coming into direct contact with someone in the full throws of the virus. The good news is, I’ve checked with Kroger, Giant Eagle and the Winn-Dixie; they’re all fresh out of fruit bats. So if you can avoid direct contact with Ebola victims, you’ll be safe. You can continue with all the bad habits which put your life in real mortal peril and ease your weary brow about the threat from Ebola.
Now you got to ask yourself…why are people eating fruit bats? Obviously, they’re more nutritious than say eating at McDonalds, but still. McDonalds has a drive through and thousands of locations but remember you have to catch fruit bats yourself. These are hungry people; fruit bat isn’t their first choice of entrée. So, it’s not so much an epidemic as it is a famine, instead of sending food, we’re sending the military and doctors to FIGHT Ebola. It’s George Orwell’s two minutes of hate, fighting a name, this time a strange and deadly disease in a remote and faraway place. And why are we fighting Ebola over there? Because if we don’t, we will have to fight Ebola over here. Does this sound at all familiar to you?
We must fight ________________ over there before they can reach our shores.
a. the Kaiser
b. the Nazis
c. the Communists
d. the North Vietnamese
e. the Contras
g. Al Qaeda
h. ISIS or ISIL
j. All of the above
Since the earliest days of George W’s administration, the US military has longed to position US troops in Africa. By in large, having seen the positive aspects of US troops in the Middle East, most African governments have been unresponsive, but it is Barack Obama’s stated policy to protect US interests (oil) around the world, just as it was Dick Cheney’s and George W’s policy. It takes me back to those by gone days; it’s all so reminiscent of duct tape, plastic sheeting and color coded threat levels.
In Stalinist Russia, possession of a radio tube was punishable by a ten-year prison sentence. It was considered conspiracy. You see, if you had a radio tube, then someone else you knew probably had a radio tube. Then somebody else they knew probably had a radio tube, too. The conspirators would all meet secretly and listen to the radio illegally. The net effect of such laws, by designed, was to limit socialization. Old Vladimir down at the tractor factory might be a pretty good old boy. You might consider inviting him over for vodka and maybe play some poker. But that dang fool might have a radio tube under his pillow! If he gets caught, he’s gonna tell the KGB he was over at your place and then, that’s it for you. Even if they never found where you had hidden your radio tube that’s no reprieve, just because you’re clever at hiding radio tubes, doesn’t get you off the hook.
In the wake of 9-11, this government established the TSA, the Transportation Safety Administration. The TSA’s purpose is to foil terrorist plots, so empty your pockets at the airport. No, no bombs there. Now take your shoes off; no, no bombs there. The goal is not to foil terrorist plots, but to never let you forget that there could be a terrorist plot. See that kindly looking grandmother? See that guy in line with his wife and two kids headed for Disney World? Sure, to the untrained eye, they look affable enough, but they might be terrorists! They could be terrorists, how can we be sure, especially if we don’t strip search a few of them? This time your buddy Vladimir from the tractor factory might be carrying a bomb on the plane. Be afraid; be very afraid of each other.
Remember the Lockerbie bombing over Scotland? Terrorist’s sent a radio packed with explosives air freight. The package was then placed in the cargo hold of the airliner and exploded when it reached a proscribed altitude. So while you’re being searched and x-rayed, poked and prodded, the airline is quickly loading next day air packages into the cargo hold. The real threat is ignored, but is there even a real threat? Yes and no, yes there are sick people who might try to blow up an airliner, but are there more than say, those who might try to rob a bank? Are you searched entering the bank?
In the neoliberal world, public education is a bad thing. You’re only allotted the education your parents can afford to provide. To the neoliberalist, government has no business picking the pockets of billionaires to educate the children of the untermenschen. Heard of any shootings at private schools lately? I know that sounds conspiracy minded and it is, but it’s not. Part of the TSA’s program is to keep us living in a fear-based society. They once called it hijacking, then air piracy and now… terrorism. The conspiracy theorists are having a field day! Barack Obama is using Ebola in a veiled attempt to kill us all! Meanwhile, on the other side of the tin foil hat, and I read this on Facebook: “Maybe if Barack Obama wasn’t spending so much time on the golf course, he could do something about Ebola!” Just what should he do, hit it across the nose with a rolled up newspaper? Send more troops, rir strikes, cruise missiles?
Propaganda is an amazing thing, millions of Americans left, right and center taking sides and pointing fingers over a crisis which does not really exist, spurred on by the constant drumbeat of mass media hysteria. But why, why would a system do that? Why spend millions upon millions of dollars to frighten its own people? The short answer is to keep us from focusing on the real issues of the day.
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ~ Henry A. Wallace
About the author: David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for TLR and an award winning author and musician; he is the author of the novel, “The Servants of Pilate.”