Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Take Our Brain. Please 

Imagine our trepidation when we learned that Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda minions may soon be able to accomplish what right-wing radio hosts have been doing for years. From an article called "Could Terrorists Hijack Your Brain?":
Security experts need to prepare for a much broader spectrum of potential bioterror agents, according to a report released this week by the Washington, DC-based National Academies.

Most bioweapons research has focused on traditional biological agents, such as anthrax and smallpox. But that focus is dangerously narrow, the report says; emerging technologies in biotechnology and the life sciences could be hijacked to take control of genes, immune systems, and even brains!!!!!!!!!!!
[Emphasis added.] Well, we needn't tell you that the mere thought of terrorists hijacking our brain (with their box cutters, maybe) sent a potent frisson of dread rippling down the imperial spine. Before long we had worked ourselves into a veritable dither, and nothing, it seemed, could snap us out of it, not even the news that the National Academies had recommended generous "incentives for the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries to create broadly active vaccines and other products that can protect against diverse agents" of the sort that our own military is undoubtedly concocting even now -- because, as simple logic tells us, we can't devise a defense against diverse agents until we have the diverse agents. We had frankly resigned ourselves to a fitful, sleepless night of sheet-twisting, pillow-biting, and spouse-kicking until Zemblan patriot J.D. sent us a delightfully soothing column by contrarian conservative Paul Craig Roberts. Upon reading it we realized that there was really no cause for alarm, because most Americans have no brains to hijack:
Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses. Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and understanding information.

Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation agency for the Bush administration. Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio are the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree.

Despite the media's failure, about half the population has managed to discern that the US invasion of Iraq has not made them safer and that the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties is not a necessary component of the war on terror. The problem, thus, lies with the absence of due diligence on the part of the other half of the population.

Consider the New York Times/CBS poll. Sixty-four percent of the respondents have concerns about losing civil liberties as a result of anti-terrorism measures put in place by President Bush. Yet, 53 percent approve of spying without obtaining court warrants "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism."

Why does any American think that spying without a warrant has any more effect in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant? . . . .

The LA Times/Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent said they approved of Bush's performance as president. But a majority believe Bush's policies have made the US more secure.

It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the US. Prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5 percent do . . . .

According to news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the US-financed Fatah Party from office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the US has interfered in their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the US government . . . .

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the inability of half of the US population to acquire and understand information are far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.
Ahhhhhh-h-h. That's better. Sleep tight!

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