The big pork pandemic
By Mark Alexander
Recently, I asserted in "The Peaceful Revolution's First 100 Days," that "flu fear" would be managed according to what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel calls "Rule 1" of Obama's political playbook: "Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things."
Indeed, the model for Obama's amazing success, both his election and the implementation of colossal "economic reforms" during his administration's first 100 days, is to inflate an event into an immense crisis, produce fear and panic, then squeeze every ounce of opportunity out of the resulting public hysteria.
Thus, on Day 99, after the media fanned the flames about a "swine flu pandemic," Obama warned, "This is obviously a serious situation, serious enough to take the utmost precautions." (Predictably, he then asked Congress for $1.5 billion in emergency funding.)
The same day, Joe Biden, live on ABC, stirred the panic, "I have told members of my family I would not go anywhere in confined places now -- not on airplanes or subways ... not in cars or classrooms."
Now, I do not mean to suggest that influenza is something to sneeze at. In 2006, the latest year of record, 56,326 Americans died from influenza strains in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control, and $6.1 billion was spent by the central government on prevention and treatment. (Sidebar: Comparably, in 2006 there were 12,113 AIDS-related deaths and $13.7 billion dollars for U.S. HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment -- that's twice the spending on a totally preventable disease which kills less than one fourth of the number of citizens who die from the flu.)
As of this writing, a full three weeks into the "pandemic threat," one American citizen has died of symptoms associated with swine flu.
Of course, the administration's agenda was not about saving lives. The fear mongering had a more sinister motive. According to sources within the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense, Team Obama used the "serious situation" to collect reams of additional psychometric and sociometric data on public reaction to an imminent crisis in order to further refine their "Rule 1" model -- using fear as a catalyst for rapid policy implementation.
Frankly, I am surprised that DHS and HHS did not issue a joint statement that swine flu originated at the "tea party" tax protests a week earlier. Let's see if, before the week is over, somebody in Obamaland will suggest that the administration's quick action "saved" thousands of jobs, er, uh, lives.
As you recall, the weekend before Obama's election Joe Biden proclaimed: "Mark my words: It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. Watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. ... It will not be six months. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate, and he's gonna need help. ...[W]e're gonna need you to use your influence ... within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right. ... Gird your loins. Obama is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man."
At the time, this comment seemed like another one of "Crazy Joe's" demented remarks, but maybe Joe is crazy, like a fox. Perhaps he wrote "Rule 1."
"Mark my words," the Obama administration will continue to use the mass media to promote mass crises to create mass hysterics in order to implement mass change ... and maybe sooner than later.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.
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