Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sabbatical is Over, The Digg is Back

He’s baaaaaack.  Yes after months of personally imposed sequestration, Digg is back.  The last few months of inane absurdity by the media, government, and the general public has brought me back.  It’s not about you, it’s about me and my need for catharsis.  Now, let’s hit the pressure relief valve:

Ebola: Any disease with no known cure and a mortality rate approaching 70% can be frightful.  But it is not easily transmitted.  If it were, the dozens of people who interacted with Thomas Eric Duncan before he died would also have contracted the disease.  The calls to ban flights from West Africa are a panic-driven response as there are NO direct flights from the hardest hit nations in West Africa.  Should we ban flights from Brussels, London, Paris, Frankfurt too?  These restrictions have never worked in the past.  To  combat the disease, WHO states Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.”  This is why it needs to be stopped at the source in West Africa.  Ignorance in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea propagated the outbreak and ignorance in America is creating a level of unnecessary hysteria.  When 40% of Americans fear a major outbreak in America and 26% fear they or a family member will contract the disease, we have lost touch with reality.

Politics: The Republican Party liked to call themselves the Party of No since the Obama inauguration.  But it also became the party of fear, greed, and hate.  The constant barrage of ads and claims feeding off of an electorate’s emotions the cold war is back, Ebola is here, ISIS will attack us, the government still wants your guns, Guatemalan refugees will consume our services and resources, etc.  The Huckabee Social Conservatives who still oppose same sex marriage and we should deny those that don’t fit they’re warped Christian beliefs have no place in America.  The GOP is the Party of No, as in No New Ideas.  And a quick piece of advice to senate candidate Alison Grimes, when you’re asked who you voted for, tell them and then state unequivocally and forcefully why that was the right decision for your constituents.

The Middle East and Central Asia: The U.S. has bombed or invaded 14 Muslim countries since 1980 and what do we have to show for it?  A more fucked up region than ever and the American public’s goldilocks schizophrenic of “bring our troops home, but bomb them” or “we need to stay out of this, but now we have to do something” perpetuates the definition of insanity “definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”  Each time we set out to defeat one enemy, we create two more.  Our history of arming rebels and pushing regime change has led us not to stability to increased political and deadly instability.  Look at Libya and Iraq, and now there were calls to overthrow Assad in Syria.  Meanwhile in Central and South America, as the U.S. has stepped back from excessive engagement, there is more for stability in the region.  It is a safe bet that as the U.S. continues to engage militarily in the Middle East, neither our security will not be guaranteed nor our interests protected.

The Media: I will not reminisce over Russert or get nostalgic over Cronkite, but today’s main stream media is a failure.  The fourth estate is facing foreclosure thanks in part to its corporate masters’ business plans, excessively partisan reporting, and inadequate expertise.  Fox News is primarily the Republican Party’s PR firm, CNN is a laughable parody of a news organization, and MSNBC’s line up offers nothing in partisan free in-depth analysis.  The network news is one minute of updates for every three minutes of pharmaceuticals ads.  It has become unwatchable as it feeds the ISIS and Ebola frenzies.  The news shouldn't be about ratings, fancy graphics, or photogenic newsreaders, it should be about fact-based reporting and analysis by experts in the field, and not fiction writers (talking to you CNN).

Now I feel slightly better, but none of the above will change so I’ll be back soon…real soon.

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