I think it is an "Alice in Wonderland" character who says (paraphrasing slightly): Wehn I use a word, it means what want/choose it to mean--no more, no less." I saw aboujt 30 seconds (way too much) of Lou Dobbs on Thursday, and it is clear to me that the present use of "pandemic" has an "Alice in wonderland" quality to it. However, it is more pernicious than that A more direct and exact reference is Orwell's "1984", hwere words are mere instruments on propaganda for the approved agenda.
Am I accusing "scientists", "medical experts", "journalists" and government officials/politicians of an Orwellian use of "pandemic"? Damn right Iam. Am I accusing these same people of promoting an EVIL misuse of languaged.? Again, Damin right I am.
Before analyzing the 30 seconds of the Lou Dobbs program that prove my point, let us segue to Friday morning. I heard on e of those "public service" commercials (which tend to be Orwellian themselves--almost universally and on all subjects). You know the kind of commercial--for a dot.org organization ussually saying it is co-sponsoered by the "Ad Council" (I can't tell you how EVIL an "organization I regard the "Ad Council"!!!). Well, this particular ad was trying to SCARE you into getting a flu vaccine shot (of limited effectiveness against a NEW flu strain). Nope. The ad did not make the DIRECT error of saying that you needed to give you yound child a flue shot to protect the child from the swine flu, although the ad was clearly trying to "piggyback" on the swine flu scare (I really question whether NOW is the time to vaccinate yound children for the NEXT flue season). The scare point of the ad was that 100 children under 5 DIE of the regular flu EACH AND EVER YEAR in this country. I am not one of those kooks (part of my "yor are a kook if:" series) who overstate the danger of vaccines, and blame the evil drug compnay vaccines for everything from autism to mercury poisoning. However, I note that the ad does NOT state how many people may sicken or die from the VACCINE. This is not a digression, because it is all part of the Orwellian way we are beginning to misuse scare language in this country to epxlode the power of government (and those favored by the government)--in contradictory ways.
Let us segue back to Lou Dobbs, and the "expert" (not worthy of the term) he had on his program to address the new "outbreak" of swine flu in New York City. This "expert" at least provided SOME actual facts. He said there have been 4,000 confirmed cases of the swine flu in the USA, and 3 deaths (increased to 4 the next day). The expert said that this is no wrose than the ordinary flu, which kills one out of every thousand persons who contract the disease EVERY YEAR. The "expert" did thereby brush off Lou Dobbs' ridiculous, "mainstream media' suggestinon that the critical condition of an assistant principal in a New York City school raised the "danger" of a MUTATION of the swine fle into a more dangerous form. (Yes, Lou Dobbs is a KOOK, as are most of the mainstream media on this.) Regular flu strains, of course, mutate/change regularly, which is why it was so hard to devlop an EFFECTIVE flu faccine applicable to the strain of flu most prevalent in any individual year. There is no more "danger" of the swine flu strain "mutating" than there is of any other flu stain "mutating" (all mutations, by the way, are not bad).
Note, however, that neither the "expert", nor Lou Dobbs, brought up the statistic that the public service commercial was using to SCARE you into getting your child vaccinated for the flu. FOUR people (maybe one or two more by now) have died from the swine flu in the USA. ONE HUNDRED children under 5 (assuming this scare commerical to be ture) die from the REGULAR FLU EVERY YER. Whis is the more dangerous thing? That is not to mention how foolhardy most of us are to get in our automobile each day, when 43,000 people die every year in traffic accidents. I am no longer such a fool, as I no longer drive--nor do I even ride in an automobile for weeks at a time. (That is how my SCARE "public service/environmental comercial on the dangers of automobile travel would go, omitting that the main reason for this is my eyesight--also the main reason you will note a significant deficiency in proofreading and use of spell check in blog entries).
I have not even gotten to the main point of this blog entry, and why the Lou Dobbs "expert" should simply have been SHOT (figuratively, although literally is becoming more and more attactive). This "expert" matter of factly said (paraphrasing, but accurately): "This swine flu 'pandemic' has now spread to 33 countries."
Say what? The "expert" just got through saying that only THREE people have died in the USA from swine flu, and that it is no worse than the normal flu (which, in most years, kills MANY more people, and obviusly affects more people). That is what I mean when I talk about Orwellian misuse of language.
Remember how "pandemic" was used as a bogeyman to conjure up the image of people dying like flies--how the Democrats proposed two BILLIOIN dollars in supplemental funds to fight a potential flu "pandemic", and "save" us all?
If the regualr flu, in most yeard during my lifetime, was a PANDMIC, what are we worrying about? What does the word "pandemic" mean? It wobviously means what any one of these people want it to mean, for their own AGENDA, at any time the word is used. If FOUR people dying in the USA is a "pandemic", while 100 children dying every year is not, then the word has NO significance. Yes, I have come to that conclusin, and am willing to state it flatly: AS it is now being used, the word "pandemic" has NO MEANING wiht any significance for public policy. Its only meaning is as a means of screening out those people who should be SHOT for attempting to spread evil propaganda (which includes every single person who uses the word "pandemic" as a scare word).
As this blog has pointed out, and as is being proven each and every day, if this country can no longer handle a normal flu outbreak, then we are doomed--on our last legs as we enter the end stages of our power, about to follow the Roman Empire into historical oblivion. Nope. Desptie my respect for Dan (whol, after all is my only "fan"--sort of, in a left handed sort of way) said--in a comment last week--our inability to be ratioinal on this sort of thing is NOT a sign that we can handle a truly dangerous pandemic. It is simply a sign that we are now totally subject to Orwellian manipulation, and to letting our emotions overwhelm our reason.
Ye, I have raised AIDS before, wich really was (and to some degeree still is) a truly dangerous pandemic. Millions worldwide have died from the disease, and perhaps hundreds of thousands in this country. The homosexual commuinity was decimated by the disease in this country (where homosexual sex was the PRIMARY means the disease spread) as "the band played on". WHY was there not this kind of "establishment" hysteria over AIDS, where the establishment/leftist reaction was to talk about the IRRATIONAL fear of things that did NOT spread the disease?
You know the answer to that, as well as I do. The only difference, besides AIDS being a truly dangerous disease and swine flu merely orinary type flu, is that AIDS is PRIMARILY a SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE. Leftists, homosexual activists, the mainstream media, and the "establishment" in this country were "politically correct" about AIDS. With swine flu they are intrested in the SCARE. With AIDS, they were intrested in AVOIDING treating the disease like a real disease ("qurantine", shutting down homosexual bah houses and other breeding grounds for the disease, etc.). You heard a lot about how AIDS is NOT transmitted. You heard very little about how AIDS is a CONDUCT related disease, and that maybe the CONDUCT should be changed. There were two taboos preventing us from treating AIDS as a "real" disease: the taboo against labeling SEX as a dangerous acitivy (talking abut the promiscuous kind), and the taboo against saying anything negative about homosexual conduct. That is why I have said, and will continue to say, that the people who LET AIDS spread, without effective action, HAVE BLLOD ON THEIR HANDS> They KILLED PEOPLE.
Did you hear anything about shutting down acitivities because of AIDS (other than to dismiss the idea)? Did you see and hear extensive discussions of how and where AIDS WAS being spread, as distinguished from how it was NOT being spread? Did you hear "advice" on conduct such as sneezing into your elbow (stupid as that "advice" is)? Did you see a suggestion that people DESIST FROM HOMOSEXUAL SEX for a time when the disease was pandemic, or that homosexuals voluntarily test themselves for the disease. You really did not hear ANYTHING about how to CHANGE CONDUCT to avoid AIDS, beyond the letist agenda item of using a condom. Yes, people should have been told to use a condom to avoid the disease (MAYBE--the idea that condoms totally protect agaist sexually transmitted diseases is surely a leftist myth). But should AT RISK groups not have been SCARED into how crucial action was FOR THEM? Sure they should have. AIDS should have been treated like a dangerous PANDMIC. It was not. PEOPLE DIED who did not need to die.
That is why my prediction has been that the nex truly DANGEROUS nwe "pandemic" in the world will be a sexually transmitted disease, just like the last one (AIDS). When it involves SEX, we are incapable of treating a spreadking disease like a real disease. That makes sexually transmitted diseases much more potentially dangerous to us. This is, of course, only a matter of probability. We could face a totally new and deadly disease of any typel--such as the pneumonic form of the bubonic plague--the Black Death--that killed one person out of every 3 at its height in Eurpose.
Orwellian, POLITICAL, misue of language will not help us meet a rEAL threat of either the AIDS type or the Black Death type (or the flu "pandemics" of the first half of the 20th Century). "Crying wolf", especially in this kind of Orwellian manner, NEVER helps fight the real thing. Swine flu is NOT the real thing
And I have nothing but CONTEMPT for Loub Dobbs' "expert", and for the mainstream media in general, for the criminal way they are misuing both facts and language on things like the swine flu.