The Death of Democracy in One Debate, New York City Edition

Oh, how merry the Rude Pundit was, having been given a VIP ticket, no less, to sit in the first four rows at a theater at the College of Staten Island to witness the apotheosis of our American democracy in action: the candidates' debate. This would be between Republican incumbent Congressman Michael Grimm, he of the indictment on perjury and other charges and of the threat to throw a NY1 reporter off "this fuckin' balcony," and Domenic Recchia, a Democrat who was on the New York City Council for over a decade and is best known at this point as "that guy The Daily Show destroyed for being a meathead who can't beat a corrupt asshole." (Grimm has also been a Daily Show joke, so...balance.) The race is for a district that includes all of Staten Island and a distinctly non-hipster section of Brooklyn (although Bay Ridge is well on its way).  It's like South Carolina with a harsher accent.

It was a full house, a raucous crowd that had to be quieted multiple times by NY1 host Errol Louis, who totally deserves a network gig. One loud bastard directly behind the Rude Pundit yelled, "Yes!" every time Grimm spoke and kept making a popping sound with his mouth when he was bored by Recchia.

How to summarize the evening? Imagine that the Devil has given you two choices: you can get ass-raped by starving Kodiak bears or you can beat your head against a wall in a room alone, both for all eternity. You might try to logic it out. You might think, "Well, chances are the ass raping, clawing, and biting will hurt a great deal more than the head beating, but, if we're talking long-term, the bears would at least be company." Of course, no matter what your choice is, you still end up bleeding in Hell.

So it was last night as the gut-wrenching reality of the election took hold. Grimm was slick as Ebola diarrhea, looking like a GOP version of The Wire's Tommy Carcetti. He referred repeatedly to having been a Marine ("Semper Fi," yelled the numbnuts behind the Rude Pundit) and to having been an FBI agent for nearly a dozen years. He used well-worn Republican talking points, calling Recchia a "tax and spend" politician, which is a fucking laugh when said by any Republican who supported George W. Bush, who threw away money like he had terminal cancer and chose to die in a whorehouse. Grimm spoke against the Affordable Care Act, attacked Recchia for his lack of foreign policy experience (which one assumes most incoming members of the House lack), promised to cut taxes, and, really weirdly, said he's always there to help his constituents, but "I pray to God you never need my help." Currently, Grimm has no House committee assignments because he might be in jail sometime next year.

The rumor before the debate was that Recchia was going to try to push Grimm to explode. So he was constantly harping on Grimm's indictment over a failed restaurant, Healthalicious (a name for which Grimm should be pantsed in public), and Recchia berated Grimm for not being able to run a business, an argument that worked so well for Mitt Romney in 2012. The sad part is that Recchia supports a higher minimum wage, marriage equality, and pay equity for women and said he would vote for Hillary Clinton for president, but he is such a terrible messenger, such a bumbler at expressing these opinions that he couldn't rationally explain why he had initially accidentally said he was against a minimum wage hike (which made members of the rollicking crowd yell, "No!" in order to get him to correct himself).

It'd be great to have a regular-guy liberal in Congress, but the sadder part is how firmly Recchia has his nose planted in Michael Bloomberg's anus. He couldn't go two minutes without mentioning how he worked with Bloomberg, constantly referring to the independent-since-2007 Bloomberg as a Republican. It was a demonstration of how he could work with Republicans, he claimed, which might have worked if Bloomberg were still Republican and that Republicans in Congress were more like Bloomberg.

This could go on. There were absurd moments, like when neither candidate could name the last book they read or the last politician they donated money to. There were compassionate references to Staten Island's Liberian population in the time of Ebola. There were constant cheers and boos from the audience. There were references to 9/11 and to Superstorm Sandy. There were slams on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. It was entertaining as hell, to be sure. Who won? Who the fuck cares? If it were the Rude Pundit's district, he'd vote for Recchia because who the fuck else is there to vote for who even vaguely has a shot?

What's so frustrating here is that this should have been a slam dunk for the Democrats. There's simply no reason that the DNCC shouldn't have found a strong candidate to wreck Grimm. Instead, they got Recchia, and that has kept Grimm not only in the fight, but will likely keep him in office. This race, like so many around the country, demonstrate that there is no national strategy by the Democrats. They are merely hoping to eke out victories wherever possible instead of creating a movement based on a cogent message. Candidates all over abandoned the president because the Democrats have always been afraid of defending him.

And you know what's even more depressing? This whole election is a goddamn cosmic joke by some wizened trickster god of politics because, unless the turnover in Congress is massive one way or another, nothing will fucking get done for the next two years, at least. Republicans have abdicated their duties, and this debate, with its bullshit useless arguments, never addressed that enormous fucking gorilla in the room. This is how democracy dies, one worthless election at a time, a slow accretion of poisoned bodies forming an insurmountable mountain for Progress to climb.

At the end of the debate, a Democratic operative who was on the Rude Pundit's left leaned over and whiskey breathed, "You know the old saying. People get the elected officials they deserve." The alcoholic is right. We deserve this. We let it happen. And we don't have leaders who would make it better.


Republicans Count on Americans Being a Bunch of Pussies

The other day, the Rude Pundit got into a discussion with the Rude Brother about RB's politics. RB wanted to know how he should vote in the Louisiana Senate race. He thought he might want to actually go for Mary Landrieu after leaning towards the Republican because, for instance, he doesn't give a shit if people of the same sex want to get married while Bill Cassidy does. But something was bugging RB about the Democrats.

"I've seen Cassidy's ads against Landrieu and I'm totally against amnesty," RB said, which is when the Rude Pundit cut him off.

"That's a lie. Obama isn't pushing for any amnesty," the Rude Pundit said. Then he explained how it was Great God Reagan who actually did give amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants and that Obama has been tougher than Bush in his use of deportation. Then he said that what Obama has done when it comes to enforcement of immigration laws is a kind of triage: "Obama just said that he'd rather devote resources to going after the bad guys and leave the kids who were brought here by their parents alone. It's like when the police decide to spend more time and money on investigating murders than arresting dope smokers. Republicans are just trying to scare you. Fuck them." (He might not have been that articulate, but the spirit is there.)

At the end of the day, that's what Republicans have to offer, once again, as in so many other elections: be very afraid of the world that Democrats, especially Barack Obama, have created. The Republican National Committee is up with an ad that throws every scary thing in the world at you. "ISIS gaining ground. Terrorists committing mass murder. Ebola inside the U.S. Americans alarmed about national security," says the ominous voice ominously. "What’s President Obama doing? Making plans to bring terrorists from Guantanamo to our country. Ignoring the Constitution, the Congress, and the American people. November 4th, Obama’s policies are on the ballot. Vote to keep terrorists off U.S. soil. Vote Republican."

Just for a moment, let us explore the logic of the ad. Leave aside that ISIS wouldn't exist if we hadn't invaded Iraq, which Obama distinctly did not do. And leave aside that blaming Obama for Ebola in the U.S. is about as absurd as allegations get. Instead, look at a couple of phrases: "Ignoring the Constitution," for instance. Would that be the same constitution that guarantees people habeas corpus rights, which the Gitmo detainees have been denied? And if Obama is "ignoring...the Congress," how the fuck is electing a Republican going to make the President listen to Congress? As for "ignoring...the American people," how'd that go when 90% of Americans wanted expanded gun background checks? Fuck these fuckers with a pineapple dildo.

But the Gitmo argument, that's kind of insane, no? We bring terrorists to the United States all the goddamn time. Last fucking week, a terrorist who has been held at Bagram Air Base (aka "Afghan Gitmo") since 2009 was flown to New York City to face trial. A couple of days before that, a henchman of a terrorist who was convicted earlier this year in a U.S. court was extradited to face trial here. The few dozen men, at best, from Guantanamo, who have been waterboarded and solitary-confined into insanity? Are we really supposed to be afraid of them?

That's what Republicans are counting on, that Americans will once again show what giant pussies we are when it comes to security, willing to be fucked again and again by exploitative microdicks who have nothing else to campaign on. Check out Kansas Senator Pat Roberts' ad with Election Day a week away. The message is that Roberts will never, ever allow detainees at Gitmo to be transferred to the military prison at Leavenworth. In the most ironic move, Roberts is portrayed as the tough guy for standing up to Obama while his opponent, Greg Orman, is Obama's bitch who wouldn't stop Obama from letting terrorists blow up wheat fields.

You got that? If you think, like Obama, that the United States is strong enough to put terrorists on trial, you're weak. That's all kinds of reverse logic bullshit. As Washington Monthly called Roberts and those who refuse to close Gitmo, they're the "Bedwetter Caucus." (Just to be clear: Orman actually agrees that Gitmo should not be closed. Independents can be bedwetters, too.)

Goddamnit, American motherfuckers, every single one of us: Aren't you tired of being afraid all the time? Isn't it exhausting? Aren't you tired of being told that you're just a fuckin' wimp who would be murdered the second a terrorist touched our precious soil? Aren't you sick of these assholes making you think that Ebola is going to jump out of the Dark Continent and turn you black or whatever the fuck we're supposed to fear it does?

The new Democratic ad, the closing argument, if you will, should be: "Don't let Republicans tell you that Americans are pussies. You're not a pussy. Vote for the Democrats."


The Threats Against Women on the Internet Are Witch Hunts Without the Physical Commitment

This morning, the Rude Pundit was reading about the firing of CBC radio personality and host of Q, Jian Ghomeshi, because of fucked-up rough sex stuff alleged by several women. In his reading of the investigation in the Toronto Star, he came across this: "None of the women filed police complaints and none agreed to go on the record. The reasons given for not coming forward publicly include the fear that they would be sued or would be the object of Internet retaliation." The women have every reason to fear the wrath of the trolls: "A woman who wrote an account of an encounter with a Canadian radio host believed to be Ghomeshi was subjected to vicious Internet attacks by online readers who said they were supporters of the host."

Whatever you may think about the Ghomeshi situation or the allegations (if you think about it at all), consider for a moment: Women who say they were beaten and choked, with no safe word, were afraid to go to the police because they thought that assholes on computers would berate, degrade, dox, and threaten them. And, while public shaming has always been a hindrance to women reporting sexual violence, rape, and harassment, this seems different. The plague of online threats is propagating faster and faster, going from public figures to women who write or speak their minds to women who accuse men of crimes. Whether it's the anonymity or the ease with which one can say that they will ass-fuck someone in front of her kids before killing them (see? That was simple), it's a bullshit word game that most are playing - who can most creatively put the following words into the most original order: "bitch," "cunt," "skullfuck," "my cock," "suck," "rape," and "dead." The goal is to shut these bitch-cunts up with their cocks. Or at least make them scared enough to disappear from public (and maybe even their homes). If you can get your sub-Reddit fans to upvote your threat, all the better.

The Rude Pundit spoke to some gamer friends this weekend about GamerGate; their replies ranged from "What the fuck is that?" to "Why the fuck do I care?" to "I don't read that shit." This totally unscientific poll shows that most actual gamers could give a shit less about anything but the quality of the next GTA. GamerGate has become notorious because it has ensnared so many people in its talons because, depending on who you ask, chicks suck at making or writing about games or "ethics in gaming journalism." As for the latter, seriously, if you're spending your energy trying to hound into silence unethical journalists, maybe you could head over to the Fox "news" website for a while and use your superpowers of anonymous tweeting to take down someone who actually harms the nation.

If, by the way, you really think GamerGate is about anything other than degrading feminist writers, you should probably look at the statistics and find a new movement to be a part of.

Essentially, what's going on here are witch hunts, not in the McCarthyism sense, but in the Salem and Early Modern Europe sense. Argue if you want over what caused the witch hunting madness, but the ultimate goal of the torture and execution of primarily women (yes, there were some men) was to keep women in their place. Independent women were targeted, especially women who had some financial means to live on their own. They were accused by men and women. If a woman was particularly sexual, either in appearance or action, she was targeted.

What we have now is a variation on that. Women who piss off a certain group of (generally) men are subject to virtual burnings (yeah, yeah, the witch trials ended in hangings, mostly). It's all the fun of witch hunts without the effort of having to get out of your chair and physically carry a torch. Both the virtual and actual witch hunts come from the same cowardly place: the fear that the world is changing and you need to try to stop it. Oh, and if you can impress your friends on 8Chan with your way-cool insult of some cunt, all the better.

Whether it's that women get to create, play, and critique games or women would dare to say that their sex was nonconsensual, old gender orders will be disrupted. And there will always be men there trying to maintain their power. Perhaps the time has come to ask who is really a cunt: the woman trying to give a speech or the man who threatens to shoot the place up if she speaks. Take your time.

The witch hunts stopped eventually in Europe. Of course, it took about three centuries.


The Rude Pundit's Chicken Soup for the Ebola'd Soul

The Rude Pundit's gotta admit it: when he walked outside his place in the New York City area this morning, he was kind of pissed that it wasn't a raging hellscape of bleeding-eyed zombies and streets full of corpses. He felt like he was promised at least that. Not even an overturned car or garbage can fire, and that ain't atypical around this neighborhood. Nothing. Just parting clouds, man, and the sun coming through for the first time in a few days.

The subways are crowded. The streets are crowded. The restaurants are crowded. There's not even extra surgical mask-wearing going on.

Life is always a battle, you know, between the existential dread that, someday, something is gonna do you in and the affirming effort of not allowing that to define what you do every day.

All around the country, we're being watched up here, even more closely than usual. There's a good number of craven conservatives who desperately want us to freak out. They want us to panic. They hope we panic. They're begging us to. They want to puncture what they see as our pretension, that "we're better than you" image that we have when, in reality, every place has it. But because, unlike Texas, we're pretty liberal, the conservative ghouls want us to suffer, as if to prove us wrong about caring about people different than us.

So, sure, a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came home to the city. And, yes, he has Ebola. And, yes, he rode the trains and went bowling, probably had sex with his girlfriend, even. If you are someone who wants a travel ban on people from West Africa, are you saying that we should have just left him in Guinea, that we should leave Americans there?

Within 12 hours of this news, we got word that Nina Pham, the nurse who got Ebola treating the first Ebola patient in Dallas, is leaving the hospital, just fine. And by April, we could start having mass vaccinations of populations who are at risk for Ebola. Medicine and science. Who would have thought.

The Rude Pundit had a conversation today with a friend who lives in the South. She badly wants to leave, wants to move up here, to the Northeast. "You know what it is?" she said. "I just can't stand the Jesus crap anymore."

"I know," the Rude Pundit responded. "And it's like it's gotten worse in the last few years."

You could have heard her nodding through the phone. "It definitely has. You can't go anywhere without someone pushing Jesus at you. And they expect everyone to think the way they do."

He spoke to another friend sub-Mason-Dixon and that one told the Rude Pundit, "I got so pissed off at my dentist's office. In the waiting room, they were playing Christian music. I shouldn't have to hear that shit. I told the dentist, 'You know I can't come here anymore.' He knew and understood, but the women working the front, they were just confused that I didn't like it."

They're not homogenous down there. There's a lot of people in the South just like the Rude Pundit's friends. And we're not homogenous up here. We are filthy with religion, too.

But here's the difference, the reason that we're not freaking out. Our lawmakers, for the most part, know that science, not Jesus, shows us we shouldn't freak out. The people, for the most part, think that, too (and, besides, it's a helluva lot easier to go about your daily routine than change it up). So the pressure will be on us to panic. People who profit from such things will attempt to assure that it does. And maybe you will be able to wipe the smirk off our smug faces as we board our windows after another half dozen cases.

Until then, the Rude Pundit's got plans that involve being in crowded spaces. He'll be fine. It's the weekend and the sun is out at last.


The Human Ebola Bomb Fantasies of Marc Thiessen

This is what Washington Post columnist and torture advocate Marc Thiessen has to have pictured: A swarthy Middle-Eastern man, with full-on, untreated Ebola, which means he's shitting and vomiting all over the place, bleeding from several orifices, staggering unnoticed into a crowded area, maybe a mall, and detonating a suicide vest, spraying bits of his body and fluids all over everyone who didn't die from the actual explosion, a kind of biological bomb, thus giving Ebola to perhaps dozens of people.

Every once in a while, you can read the most fucked-up shit in what is ostensibly mainstream media, shit that envisions the darkest scenarios or describes the most horrific crimes, like there's an editor whose sole job is to troll the internet for nightmare fuel and send it to the writers. "Hey, Thiessen," he'd say, "which do want: human Ebola bomb or Muslim sex dungeon for donkeys or Vladimir Putin's baby-eating?"

For in his latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "playground of dementia built by a particularly savage masturbator"), Thiessen is all about making us wonder "What if?" as in, "What if the terrorists weaponized Ebola?" As he explains, "[T]he Ebola infection is raging right now in parts of Africa where Islamist extremists could have easy access."

And it ain't just suicide-infecting that Thiessen is talking about: "Terrorists could collect samples of infected body fluids, and then place them on doorknobs, handrails or airplane tray tables, allowing Ebola to spread quietly before officials even realize that a biological attack has taken place." That's right: some enterprising young terrorist could find Ebola patients, tap some of their blood or diarrhea or snot or something, maybe jack off a few lucky, unsuspecting Ebola dudes, perhaps "fill up a few Zip-Loc bags" with Ebola spooge, as Salon's Simon Maloy says in his Thiessen takedown, and then swab it on subway seats or vegetables or something. Then...profit?

Let's put aside that even if you popped an Ebola patient like a pimple, you'd have to get the fluids into an open cut or a mouth or eyes to even have a shot at sickening someone. Let's put aside the chances of someone getting Ebola from touching an infected doorknob are incredibly low. Let's put aside that the Ebola in the Zip-Loc would have to be used within a couple of hours of defrosting for it to survive on the surface of a restaurant's fork.

Instead, let's focus on how quickly Thiessen's column went from ludicrously over-the-top to completely useless bullshit. For, perhaps, when he was writing it this weekend, Thiessen felt free to say, "[I]f our health-care system was unable to handle a single Ebola patient, imagine what would happen if 50, 100 or more Ebola patients started showing up at U.S. hospitals." Now we know that our health care system handled it. Quite well, in fact. And with screening underway at all airports that West Africans can fly into, unless that Ebola-filled terrorist is gonna risk an ocean voyage, it's gonna be pretty tough to get into the United States without a hospital visit if you're sick.

But, hey, as the start of Thiessen's new fantasy dystopian novel, an Ebola man-bomb is pretty good. In reality? Let's be real.


Sorry, Poor Americans, But You're on Your Own

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a man who looks like a deflating yoga ball, really, really doesn't want to talk about the minimum wage. He didn't want to do a thing about it last year when he vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage, which the voters of New Jersey ended up hiking anyway by a landslide vote of 61% to 39%. He doesn't want to now.

This is not just an assumption. Here's what Christie said yesterday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. I don’t think there’s a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.’ Is that what parents aspire to for our children? They aspire to a greater, growing America where their children have the ability to make much more money and have much greater success than they have and that’s not about a higher minimum wage."

Now, let's put aside how utterly and completely wrong Christie is about who is making the minimum wage. 50% of its earners are adults 25 or older, so chances are Dad, or, more likely, Mom is sitting at the table, explaining to the kids why rich people listen to other rich people talk about how tired they are of hearing about the minimum wage,

This is our nation, the great, wealthy country where everyone can be anything as long as they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Of course, it'd help if people had boots.

'Cause see, as splendiferous and magnificent as the United States is, we can't even assure that poor people will have water. As the poorest people in Detroit learned (and, by the way, that "poorest" is 38% of the population), you can live in the 21st-century and your water can be shut off if you don't pay, like it was for 27,000 people in the last year, and the United Nations can come in, like it's just another Third World hellhole, and report about how truly fucked up that is. That report, by the way, kicks the nation right in its withering balls: "We were deeply disturbed to observe the indignity people have faced and continue to live with in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and in a city that was a symbol of America’s prosperity."

While the city said it has now turned the water back on, we still have to wrestle with the fact that it happened. "[T]he sad situation in Detroit also raises serious questions about what a citizen of a developed country—a country that not only believes itself to be the ideal model for liberal democracies around the world, but also regularly exports its way of life via commerce, capital, and sometimes military might—can expect of its government," as David Graham puts it in The Atlantic.

"Who the fuck are we?" is a question we ought to constantly be asking. What is our responsibility to each other? At what point do we simply cease to be a nation and become just an archipelago of individuals floating in a miasma of our selfishness and greed?

Which brings us back to Chris Christie, still slowly deflating, and his disdain for any talk about the minimum wage. In January, the rate will go up 13 cents in New Jersey, to $8.38 an hour. That's because voters passed a constitutional amendment that said the minimum wage must be tied to the cost of living. Every year it will go up because that's just fucking humane (even if the wage is still too low).

In other words, the minimum wage should be hung around Christie's neck, a millstone that drags his presidential aspirations down to the ground. Christie pretty much said, "Yeah, fuck the poor." But, really, is it that different than what the nation as a whole is saying when you hear about the takers and free stuff and anything else that exists just to keep people alive?


David Brooks: "Ebola Crisis" Fear Is Totally Understandable Because David Brooks Understands It

In today's episode of David Brooks Explains Everything For You in the Most Elitist, Pandering, Smug Way Possible While Pretending to Be One of the Proles is all about the "Ebola crisis." If you're talking about west Africa, well, yeah, it is a crisis. If you're talking about the United States, it ain't a crisis. It's a minor annoyance combined with hysterical screaming, like a particularly hairy spider that wanders into the tween girl slumber party. Mom can come into the room, tell everyone to calm the fuck down, and get rid of the goddamn spider. Now who wants hot chocolate? ("Get out of my room, Mom. We're watching Shailene Woodley in something or other.")

But, hell, if a New York Times columnist says it's a crisis, motherfuckers, let's just go with it.

Why does Brooks think we've gone bugfuck insane about Ebola? Because we're so isolated. No, really. Let's kick out the dime store anthropology: "In the first place, we’re living in a segmented society. Over the past few decades we’ve seen a pervasive increase in the gaps between different social classes. People are much less likely to marry across social class, or to join a club and befriend people across social class.That means there are many more people who feel completely alienated from the leadership class of this country, whether it’s the political, cultural or scientific leadership. They don’t know people in authority. They perceive a vast status gap between themselves and people in authority." The Rude Pundit knows what you're going to say, but, like an ejaculation you want to be especially explosive, deny yourself the immediate pleasure.

There's other stuff that's making us lose our collective minds when it comes to the big, bad nipple bleeder: "[Y]ou get the rise of the anti-vaccine parents, who simply distrust the cloud of experts telling them that vaccines are safe for their children. You get the rise of the anti-science folks, who distrust the realm of far-off studies and prefer anecdotes from friends to data about populations." No, not yet. Put a clothespin on it.

"Second, you’ve got a large group of people who are bone-deep suspicious of globalization, what it does to their jobs and their communities," Brooks tells us. "Third, you’ve got the culture of instant news. It’s a weird phenomenon of the media age that, except in extreme circumstances, it is a lot scarier to follow an event on TV than it is to actually be there covering it. When you’re watching on TV, you only see the death and mayhem." Okay, now you can let it spray.

Who the fuck made the nation this way? Who the fuck spent the better part of the last few decades in a concerted effort to divide us so we could be conquered? Who the fuck spread mistrust of science like it was a badge of honor to be stupid? Who the fuck exploited globalization to the extent that our factories moved across the border and overseas? Who the fuck invented the media that exists only to scare people into isolation and suspicion? Yeah, fuckin' David Brooks and all the fuckin' people who are supposedly on his side of the political street. (We'll leave out the anti-vaccine nuts. They're from Park Slope or Mars or somewhere.)

It's like Brooks has a wooden paddle with Reagan's face carved into it, and he just loves lining people up to spank their bare asses, leaving Reagan-shaped welts on their skin.

We are isolated. We are misinformed. We are ill-educated. And that's thanks to conservative policies and Fox "news." Conservatives believe in getting people to disengage from the civic square; they want the populace to huddle in their houses, with their guns, and watch madmen and madwomen blather on about the things they should fear. Jesus, all the evidence you need is found in the passage of voter i.d. laws. They exist just to ensure that very few people take part in our "democracy." Or we could throw in the utter refusal of Republicans to get money out of politics, thus causing those with more money to have more speech.

Brooks starts to conclude, "The Ebola crisis has aroused its own flavor of fear. It’s not the heart-pounding fear you might feel if you were running away from a bear or some distinct threat. It’s a sour, existential fear. It’s a fear you feel when the whole environment seems hostile, when the things that are supposed to keep you safe, like national borders and national authorities, seem porous and ineffective, when some menace is hard to understand." And then he offers, "In these circumstances, skepticism about authority turns into corrosive cynicism." So mission accomplished, right?

Fuck Ebola. We should fear rich dandies who attempt to theorize their way out of their own complicity in making us afraid.