From yesterday's Miami Herald, for an article by Fred Grimm --
I had a lot to say, but after reading Fred Grimm's wonderful piece, I realized that the best thing to do is really let Mr. Grimm speak for himself, in his scathing portrayal of not only the Florida governor Rick Scott, who's in a dead-heat race.race for re-election, but also of the Ebola "hysteria."
Over the weekend, Governor Scott had followed the earlier lead of three of his fellow-governors by ordering close monitoring of travelers entering their states who had come from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone -- an action which in Mr. Scott's case didn't impact the polls. As Scott campaigned across Florida alongside one of those same governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey, it became clear to the reporter one of the most likely reasons for the lack of voter interest in the order -- Scott was simply "too late jumping on the Ebola train."
Scott had failed to heed the old adage: If you're going to exploit a deadly disease for political purposes, you need to get ahead of the crowd.
Fred Grimm notes one other problem that Rick Scott faced in ordering his "strict monitoring" of visitors coming into the state from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone -- it's that Florida doesn't actually have any direct flights that come into the state from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Or anywhere in West Africa.
The good news for the governor, though, is what lead to the journalist's headline suggestion -- and to perhaps his best and most spot-on pointed line in the article. "Florida, however, has plenty of flights out of Texas, particularly from Dallas, the virtual Ebola capital of the United States"
If anything rooted out the sense of irrational hysteria that politicians (and media) are throwing out about Ebola, that might be it. Two nurses in Dallas were infected by the virus, which after all is twice as many as the next highest state in the country. Not to mention that pretty much all medical advice from actual experts on the subject have stated bluntly that banning flights (whether or not any come into your state...) is the very worst thing that can be done.
Still, as quippy as Fred Grimm might have been about his own suggestion, I think it's at least worth closer scrutiny. After all, I've long been advocating similar actions about Texas for years. After all, Texas has been yammering about seceding from the Union from years, and I've said it's time we took them up on it. And now, we have the even greater justification to do so. Consider -- if we did let Texas secede, then everyone living in the state would become foreigners. And by law, they would need passports and require that every Texan pass through Immigration Control when trying to enter any part of the United States. And this secession would cover all "strict monitoring" of flights from Texas, as well, whether one was a Texas foreigner or not. Because being a foreign country, anyone at all who left the Republic of Texas and arrived back in the good ol' U.S. of A. would need a passport to pass through Immigration. It's a win-win!!
If you'd like to read Fred Grimm's entire article, you can find it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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