Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Flaming, roaring morons . . .

Before I moved to Portland from Cincinnati I was active in an old Rotary club. Rotary clubs are all around the world and they all work under Rotary International, attempting to make a difference in the world. As in any social club there's a great deal of silliness but in Rotary there is also an opportunity to participate in worthwhile projects. One such project was a grand plan to completely eliminate infantile polio.

If you are old enough, you remember polio. There would always seem to be one little kid in a school, flopping around with braces or crutches or doomed to having his little kid head sticking out of an iron lung because he required constant and continuous mechanical intervention just to keep him breathing in an out. For the rest of his little kid confined life.

The polio vaccines of Sabin and Salk changed that to the great relief of parents who no longer had to worry about what disease their little kids were catching at school, and to the benefit of thousands of little American kids who were prevented from having their young lives permanently twisted up into pain and disability. Vaccines were a big deal.

Rotary, as I said, wanted to completely eliminate infantile polio from the whole world, not just the West. So a grand plan was set in motion. Rotarians and Rotary clubs all over the world, collected many millions of dollars world wide from Rotarians to buy the vaccine, and then brought on board many other worthy charities and world organizations to provide the delivery mechanism. It very soon ceased being a Rotary project and it would be unfair to credit Rotary with the whole thing. But Rotary contributed an awful lot to get this thing going, and it probably wouldn't have got going without Rotary International and Rotarians world wide who contributed time and a very considerable amount of cash to the project over a span of years. The project of course, became much bigger than Rotary, which is as it should be.

I'm trying to say that a very great number of ordinary people contributed many of their leisure hours and dollars in an extraordinary attempt to eradicate a horrible disease worldwide, for the good of all. Free. Free! Children all over the world, according to the plan, would be vaccinated without cost and there would be no host left, anywhere, for polio. Even in the worst pockets of poverty children could be vaccinated against polio. And of course, once the world was successful in eliminating this disease, we would have a model of how to go about eradicating other diseases on a worldwide basis.

But we aren't going to be able to completely eradicate polio. Oh, no. We got close, but it turns out we were vaccinating against the wrong disease. There needs to be a vaccine for a disease far more lethal than polio. I refer to infectious stupidity. Take a look at this. You shouldn't be surprised at the source of the opposition to free vaccine against polio. Yup. It's the imams.

Why is it that those who are institutionally ignorant aren't content living a life of nasty mediocrity? No, these flaming, roaring morons have to infect others with their insane hatreds, causing death and suffering to those who listen to them.

Catch a clue there, Sparky. It isn't our kids who can catch polio. It will be your kids who are at risk; your kids who will suffer and die horribly and probably at your unclean hands. We are trying to export better health; you are trying to export fear, ignorance, pain, stupidity, and death.

There aren't words enough.

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