Thursday, August 7, 2014

Comprehensive immigration reform versus the Ebola virus

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is far, far worse than most of us realize. Richard Fernandez provides a chilling graphic of the skyrocketing number of cases:

This is yet another instance in which the national delusion that is the Obama presidency comes up against the hard reality of nature:
[T]he World Health Organization is meeting to decide whether the experimental drug Zmapp should be provided to the stricken African countries. Nothing like demanding a uncertified, unneeded product created by a morally defective capitalist pharmaceutical system to save the world. The LA Times reports:
[T]he World Health Organization said it was convening a panel of medical ethicists early next week to consider whether experimental drugs should be more widely released. 
A decision to allow two American health workers infected in Liberia to have access to an experimental treatment — while dozens of African doctors and nurses have perished — has ignited a controversy over the ethics of the decision, which reportedly sidestepped Liberian health regulations.
If the serum proves their last hope they’ll first demand it as a ‘right’– then commandeer it if necessary.  Necessity knows no bounds. But that cuts both ways. There may be no serum other than a few experimental vials. Reality doesn’t give a damn about Liberian health regulations nor WHO edicts nor speeches by president Obama. It cares about facts.
About who invested in medical research, and who didn’t; about who has good epidemic controls systems and which don’t; about which country have functioning border controls and which care about ‘immigration reform’.  And there isn’t any serum in production, then there’s no serum. The problem is that since our leaders have messed up the facts, they can’t fix things with speeches.
War, Famine and Pestilence all obey the laws of physics. The media, government and the academy have heretofore cared about the laws of political correctness and the tyranny of appearances.  Now we get to see who wins. In recent years it has become fashionable to claim the Narrative trumps reality. Yet you can’t bribe viruses, can’t “hide” infectious victims, can’t appease dictators and you can’t print money. As I’ve written many times before, nobody beats arithmetic.
Not even Saudi Arabia. If the Saudis don’t act rationally then the Haj can become one giant virus distribution system, their K street lobby notwithstanding. If Obama doesn’t close the border, if something can come along, something will come along.  Something like Ebola, which if unchecked will teach the Boko Haram and ISIS that chopping off people’s heads and having sex with hundreds of kidnapped African schoolgirls isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The narrative of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is often given a mystical interpretation. But it can be viewed as a straightforward secular warning against folly. According to Billy Graham, the First Horseman is the great liar, the false prophet, the anti-Christ.  But even if you’re not a Billy Graham fan, and even if you hate him, it’s easy to see how a venal government, a debased culture, a system of self-deception can lead to famine, pestilence and war.
Corrupting the information store will get you every time.
We had the Plague of Justinian. We had the Black Death. Now we have the Ebola virus. Up against "comprehensive immigration reform." We'll see who wins.

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