Welcome to America, where every day is Halloween

Friday is Halloween. So is today and tomorrow, and so was yesterday.

In 21st century America, every day is Halloween. Every day, we find something with which to scare ourselves, something to obsess over and be terrified by. I sometimes think we’ve turned civic life into a long-running horror movie that we watch in order to feel frightened, and to give us something tangible on which to focus the otherwise groundless sense of dread that pervades our culture.

Yes, we in the media play a major role in creating that atmosphere. Fear sells. It titillates. It makes our hearts beat a little faster, it sets the adrenalin flowing and somewhere deep in our lizard brains, we like that feeling. We court it, for the same reason that we enjoy identifying with the characters in disaster movies and horror movies.

But characters in horror movies … they tend to do stupid things. And so do we. That’s because fear makes us stupid. Fear makes us think in terms of very short-term survival, without regard to longer term consequences. Fear insists that we act now, immediately, even if acting now means that we increase risk overall.

And of course, the latest iteration of all this is the controversy surrounding Ebola.

Ignoring the advice of experts at the Centers for Disease Control as well as pleas from international health officials, elected officials in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and elsewhere have imposed what amounts to mandatory quarantine on health workers returning from the fight against Ebola in West Africa. This week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal joined them, requiring returning health workers to serve a 21-day isolation period, even if they have no symptoms and thus are not contagious.

That is not acting out of caution. That is acting out of fear, and it’s particularly troubling to see such action here in Georgia, the headquarters of the CDC. Health workers are going to the front lines on our behalf, risking their lives against a terrible disease on our behalf. If Ebola somehow breaks containment from West Africa into the larger world, it won’t be attributable to a few individuals traveling back and forth on planes. As public health experts continue to remind us, that particular threat is perfectly containable.

But if we can’t bring the medical, communications and logistical resources to bear on the disease where it is now rampaging, if 5,000 cases becomes 10,000 cases becomes 50,000 cases becomes 100,000 cases, if society and the economy break down and large numbers of people start fleeing the region in panic, taking the virus with them, then the problem becomes much more real. And according to international aid experts, we are thousands of doctors and nurses short of what we need to contain the disease.

With the new rules, a six-week volunteer commitment to Doctors Without Borders — six weeks not making an income, under harsh, heart-breaking conditions, exposed to a deadly disease — becomes a nine-week commitment, with the last three weeks served in isolation somewhere for reasons that have nothing to do with science or medicine, and everything to do with short-term, fear-driven emotion.

Instead of encouraging such heroism, we discourage and penalize it, and by doing so we increase the risk that we attempt to minimize.

Reader Comments 0

516 comments
LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Yep...Obama is who we thought he was.....we have no leaders, just opportunist

Tony_King
Tony_King

Why is it that Conservatives/ Republicans/ Pundits are always saying we should trust and follow the Generals but they say don't believe the CDC and other scientists?  Both groups work for the government yet one group has more credibility, really???  How often have the Generals led us into unnecessary and costly wars (Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Iraq...), yet we should always trust them, right?  But, when it comes to debunking some of the myths of Benghazi you don't listen to those Generals but you find another group of Generals to believe.  So, I am left to conclude this cadre of idiots is not really serious nor should their opinions be valued.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

We continue to be ruled by horrible, horrible people.

Heading upstairs.

St_Simons_he-ne-ha
St_Simons_he-ne-ha

"Clown Terror Spreads in France"

see cons, you DO have common ground with those French

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

If not previously reported, Israeli SHEETZ.

gotalife
gotalife

Of course w cutting and running from obl to occupy Iraq was pretty good proof aq was no longer a threat.



BeeJay
BeeJay

Looks like mr bookman has his own sheep. Must be very gratifying to him.

gotalife
gotalife

9/11 gave us the guidelines on a real threat.


1. No playing politics and congress unites to show patriotism and resolve.


2. Most of the world agrees to form a coalition to fight the threat 

3. congress funds it and do not use it in elections.

Number 3 proved aq shot their load on 9/11 and the threat was over.



CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

Maybe it's not so much the disease itself that scares "us"  but the inept action demonstrated by this administration in response and tries to make it solely a political issue to score points. What if we extend the Halloween metaphor to the mask(s) being worn by this administration in a way that makes them two faced, incapable of telling the truth to "us". Continued blind faith in this bunch of phonies will lead "us" to the sacrificial altar of progressiveism, after all remember what happened to the lemmings.

scrappy-22
scrappy-22

That nurse in NJ hired a lawyer and was let go in 3 days, not 21... perhaps Doctors Without Borders needs to put some lawyers on the US volunteer front. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

My goodness, when did conservatives become sooooo scared of their own shadows? 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Hagel just announced all branches of military will be on a 21 day regimen, aka quarantine, upon returning from Ebola infected countries.

The spin will be outrageous, just as it is here, trying to dance around how the military is different, etc.

At least there is one branch of the Obama administration that retains common sense and efforts for the general welfare.

Look no further than nurse Hickox, or however she spells her name, for the ridiculous and dangerous Liberal way. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I differ in opinion with you on this one, Jay.  Ebola is real; it is not the flu.  It is more than an inconvenience; this type is deadly DEADLY 50% of the time.  The "cure" is replacing fluids and blood, and trying to keep body systems from failing, IF you are lucky.  Even with that, your chances are only fair.


If we had a massive outbreak here, even with our world class health system, it would be overwhelmed. We would be unable to provide the care these first few in the US have gotten.


Ebola can spread on the exhalations of the ill.  It can live on surfaces for a short time.  A person can feel a bit under the weather the first day, and be spreading it before reality hits and they realize THIS IS IT.


Ebola is not something to eft around with and about.

Kamchak
Kamchak

EBOLAGHAZI !

ISISGHAZI !

FASTANDFURIOUSGHAZI !

IRSGHAZI !

BIRTHCERTIFICATEGHAZI !

FERGUSONGHAZI !

CLIVENBUNDYGHAZI !

OBAMACAREGHAZI !


It's always entertaining to see what the next week will bring.

gotalife
gotalife

First rule of fear rehab is turn off all media.

gotalife
gotalife

Might as well face it you are addicted to fear.


I see a business opportunity,


Fear rehab.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

Pajamvet,

The leftist has a fear of answering questions. You weren't here earlier, but you will see many unanswered in the previous hours. 

You have a fear of being discovered. .....as fakes and frauds that obama is. 

JamVet
JamVet

@BeeJay 

frog, LOL!

BeeJay acknowledges that he is just another JB ovis aries?



JamVet
JamVet

@CreamofBuckwheat 

What "inept action" EXACTLY are you talking about, cream of white power?


Let's hear your "solutions"...

scrappy-22
scrappy-22

@CreamofBuckwheat I think if some truth came up and bit you in the arrse... you still wouldn't know what it was. 


Posts like that make me think of the South Park song "Blame Canada".  Its been awhile since I have watched the show... wonder if they have come up with a "Blame Obama" song ? 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@CreamofBuckwheat whatever . . . 4 or 5 folks contact it overseas and the whole of American loses its collective mind. It's like 9/11 all over again, ain't it . . .?

TBS
TBS

@consumedconsumer


Not all by any means but many are what talk radio, briethbart, the pundits on Fox, dailycaller, etc tell them to be......  

gotalife
gotalife

@JohnnyReb Of course the President was dead right as usual to not discourage our heroes from going over there to end the threat con. You are always dead wrong con. Give it up fool.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@JohnnyReb  "At least there is one branch of the Obama administration that retains common sense and efforts for the general welfare."


God hates RINOs, JReb.  You'd better go straight to church and pray your heart out after that heretical statement.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@JohnnyReb  I believe that Hagel reports to the whatcha call Commander-in-Chief, what's his name Obama. Also, it's pretty easy to quarantine when making a boat trip back home. Details schmetails.

gotalife
gotalife

@JohnnyReb Still desperately trying to be right on just one thing huh reb?

fedup52
fedup52

@Wascatlady  We have outbreak of guns in this country.  That kills thousands every year.  It is VERY, VERY DEADLY.  Don't see anybody crapping their britches.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@Wascatlady  As I recall, we've had a pretty good recovery rate in the US. Thanks for recapping for the zillionth time, though.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Wascatlady - be careful, you are stating common sense at a place where it is seldom seen and never understood.

BeeJay
BeeJay

@Kamchak I'd guess you think you're clever. Instead you belittle important things. Anyone who has suffered from Ebola, ISIS, Fast and Furious, etc., and indeed Benghazi, deserves more respect and compassion.  Except birth certificate crap, which is indeed crap. Who gives a crap where he was born. He's here and wreaking havoc now.

fedup52
fedup52

@gotalife  They love that stuff.  Poor pathetic life they have.

JamVet
JamVet

@Yes_Jesus_Can 


Take heart, Jeebus Kid.

There is one title that that you will never relinquish - worst example of an acolyte of Christ to be found on any of these forums!

JamVet
JamVet

@Yes_Jesus_Can 

No worries malignant "Christian".

Ask away and get your rear end kicked yet again...

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@Yes_Jesus_Can "The leftist has a fear of answering questions. You weren't here earlier, but you will see many unanswered in the previous hours."


Nobody's afraid of you, YJC.  You've just turned into a complete leg humping d-nozzle and nobody is foolish enough to get sucked into your stupid questions any more.  The fact that you consistently and constantly misrepresent what others think in order to formulate your posts has pretty much driven off anyone who might have wanted to discuss things with you.


In short, none of the regulars here are that into you any more.


TBS
TBS

@Yes_Jesus_Can


"fear of being discovered"


How ironic coming from the closeted one.  


You should start a comedy act with all your puppets.    


bwhahahhaa



TomGaff
TomGaff

@gotalife @JohnnyReb Ok, gotnolife, my solution is for all returning health care volunteer folks from Africa should move into your neighborhood. Good luck with that!

fedup52
fedup52

@gotalife @JohnnyReb  rws wanted to send troops to fight ISIS (since Obama was against it).......  you know the drill.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@OldEngineer @JohnnyReb Anyone else notice how Obama likes to call himself the Commander in Chief ever chance he gets? I guess it is such a big jump from Community Organizer, that he can not help himself? He seems more concerned about the Africans than the citizens of the USA? Wonder why? Maybe there is something to that Kenya thing, who really knows?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@BeeJay If you think you're suffering from "havoc," then you are a sad, sad little person indeed.


TBS
TBS

@Tuna Meowt @Yes_Jesus_Can


"Any more"?


That might be a stretch.  Under any of the names he uses most were never into him at all.


He just loves negative attention so he just comments and comments until someone pays attention to him.


Must be a sad life.  



OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@TBS @Yes_Jesus_Can  He's already admitted his joy when the terrorists make any headway, and it doesn't get any more disgusting than that. Ummm - I think his sock puppets are all stuck together by now.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@OldEngineer @TBS @Yes_Jesus_Can Effing DISGUSTING.  I didn't care for President Bush, but regardless of who's in command, a decent American NEVER bets against our servicemembers or cheers their losses.


I doubt YJC has the stones to make it through 24 hours of boot camp, let alone a patrol through a hot zone in Afghanistan.

TBS
TBS

@Tuna Meowt @TBS @Yes_Jesus_Can


LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!


Now that is funny.