Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, March 19, 2018

The right wing is banging on, again, claiming Americans are being infected with D68 (polio like virus) by children coming across the Mexican border.  I've seen this claim over and over, and not once has one of the right wingers stopped to do a bit of research on the virus.  If they had, they would have discovered, rather quickly, E identified in the US about 50 years ago:

"Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962."

The question isn't where did it come from, but why has it become so virulent. But the Right can't be bothered with the real questions - they are more interested in pushing their racist thought wagon from one failed political point to the next. Heaven forbid they advocate funding the sciences and medical research more, that would be tantamount to heresy. It's far more productive to pretend the nasty foreign kids are infecting American children. The fine folks over at WND prefer this:


"Enterovirus D68 has killed five U.S. children and infected hundreds more in the past month and a half, doctors confirm, and some believe there may be a connection between the sudden outbreak and the throngs of unaccompanied, illegal-alien children now being housed across the country.""
The article is ridiculous. The banner proclaims, without an iota of irony "There are all kinds of diseases in the rest of the world, and we don't want them in this country."" They go on to claim, the virus started spinning out of control when school went back in and the foreign kids infected the Americans. They are indulging in a gregious fallacy - the foreign kids are here; our children are infected, ergo, the foreign kids infected our kids.   The fact the most recent outbreak was reported weeks before school went back in seems to have evaded them. They give lip service to the fact it was originally identified in the US, dismissing it as pretty much irrelevant and continue to harp on the nasty foreign kids meme.
They complete their dizzying racist nonsense with a quote from Phylis Schafly, the single most irrelevant human in the US:
“Obama doesn’t want America to believe that we’re exceptional,” Schlafly said. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.”
Ah yes, Schlafly is dredging up the hoary old nonsense about American exceptionalism. God is looking out for America because well, "we're just so darned wonderful and god fearing". These bitter, fearful people have no common sense or decency. Evoking Ebola and the scary Black man in the Presidents office is enough to send every Tea Bagger in the nation for their bunkers. The  arrogant notion of "American exceptionalism" is the backbone of many misguided and bigoted policies that come out of the American Right.  They can justify every hateful, vicious thought that falls from their lips, simply by uttering those words. Schlafly and her privileged pals are the greatest obstacle to investing in medical research. As long as their thinking is mired in "God'll protect us because we're American", the US is screwed.


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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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