"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Sky Is Falling, The Sky Is Falling–Chicken Little In The White House

Chicken Little likes to walk in the woods. She likes to look at the trees. She likes to smell the flowers. She likes to listen to the birds singing.

One day while she is walking an acorn falls from a tree, and hits the top of her little head.

“My, oh, my, the sky is falling. I must run and tell the lion about it”, says Chicken Little and begins to run.

Image result for images chicken little original drawings

America is a nation of doomsday-sayers.  Over twenty percent of Americans believe that Armageddon will happen in their lifetimes, and many more expect it the near future – not God-willed, but due to the ignorance and moral lassitude of human beings who refuse the reality of climate change.  

If these environmentalists are to be believed, the earth will continue warming at an accelerated rate, forests will be incinerated, cropland will become dry, cracked, and unproductive, and coastal cities will be submerged.  The earth will become a frightful, uninhabitable place.

Or so Chicken Little says. 

Most people believe in the versatility and adaptability of the human race.  Cities will be reconfigured through engineered wetlands, canals, waterways, hanging gardens, and floating neighborhoods. Recombinant DNA advances will enable hardy, drought-resistant crops to flourish, and eventually most agriculture will move north.  The far northern reaches of Canada, Russia, China, and Scandinavia will become the new grain belts of the world.

Perhaps most importantly, once the human genome is completely deciphered, the age of human genetic engineering will be fast upon us, and man will gain complete control of the environment.  No amount of global warming, Ice Age cooling, or variant climate change will be of any consequence.  

Just as agriculturalists are genetically modifying plants to be resistant to drought, pests, and soil depletion; so will engineers be able to modify the human genome to adapt to environmental conditions.   

Cities will not have to be changed to accommodate global warming.  Human beings will change.  The ability to thrive in water, to breathe different compositions of air, and to live well in either colder or warmer climates will be easily programmed.  Environmentalism will die as a movement, and human modification will be the focus of all attention.

Image result for Images DNA. Size: 156 x 100. Source: wallpapercave.com

If not global warming, then catastrophic, pandemic viral disease will wipe out human civilization, say Chicken Little doomsday sayers. It is only a matter of time before ‘The Big One’ emerges from a live poultry market in Hunan and destroys the human race.  Corona, Ebola, and plague will be nothing compared to the ravages of Virus X.

There are still some old school nuclear worriers who are convinced that an atomic holocaust is just over the horizon.  It is only a question of when before the world unleashes its nuclear armory in one final, extinction event. 

Americans come by this Chicken Little mentality honestly.  Over thirty percent of Americans believe that the Bible – and the Book of Revelations which predicts an imminent fiery end to the world – is the literal word of God; and millions have been duped in an earlier age by snake oil salesmen, snake charmers, hucksters, big tent preachers, side show carny barkers, and vaudevillian charmers.  

Tens of millions believe in wild conspiracy theories circulating virally on social media – alien invasions, fluoride mind control, international financial cabals, and many others even more far fetched. Millions recount their personal encounter with aliens, and tens of millions more with Jesus.   How can we not believe the most incredible stories of doom and annihilation?

Image result for images bible word of god

We were not always this way.  Americans not long ago were a hardy lot, afraid of nothing.   Our ancestors braved and survived malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and infection to tame the overgrown bottomland of the Mississippi Delta, the Northern Neck of Virginia, and the pestilential swamps of North Carolina.  

They fought and killed the Indians of the Western plains to make the range habitable for cultivation and residence.  Our great grandfathers fought and killed Mexicans to reclaim lands rightfully theirs.  Our forefathers drove cattle from the Mexican border to the Montana prairies, settled on virgin land and made the dream of Jefferson and Lewis and Clark a reality.

They in their great adventure were maimed, infected, snake-bit, crippled and disemboweled; and yet they persisted.  It was an adventure with death and disease but one of high purpose and determination. The’Greatest Generation’ of World War II was not the first but one of many in the history of the United States – generations of uncommon courage, steadfastness, and honor.

Image result for images lewis and clark

Along comes the COVID pandemic, and we shake in our boots.  Forget the fact that the death rate is high only in the immune-compromised and the elderly (most of whom are immune compromised in some way) populations.  Forget that the disease causes either no symptoms or mild symptoms in young, healthy people – the demographic majority.  Forget the fact that deaths from cardiovascular disease per year far outnumber COVID deaths at the height of the epidemic.  Forget the fact that over 3 million deaths occur every year in the United States, only a small fraction of which were due to COVID.

Not only do we overreact because of an innate cultural assumption of imminent holocaust, because of a similarly culturally innate credulousness; and because of self-serving progressive arguments about disaster and necessary communitarian, government response, we feel entitled to our four-score-and-twenty years, however spent.

The life expectancy at the time of the Napoleonic Wars was barely more than 30 years.  If death was certain at that young age, then why not die gloriously on the battlefield rather than from snakebite?

Pierre (War and Peace) has noted something else – a spirit and camaraderie that seemed to ignore death and dying:

The booming cannonade and the fusillade of musketry were growing
more intense over the whole field, especially to the left where
Bagration’s fleches were, but where Pierre was the smoke of the firing
made it almost impossible to distinguish anything. Moreover, his
whole attention was engrossed by watching the family circle –
separated from all else – formed by the men in the battery. […] Pierre
did not look out at the battlefield and was not concerned to know what
was happening there; he was entirely absorbed in watching this fire
which burned even more brightly and which he felt was flaming up in
the same way in his own soul.

Even though the battle became more dangerous and threatening, the spirits of the men never flagged, and to Pierre’s surprise increased:

Pierre noticed that after every ball that hit the redoubt, and after every
loss, the liveliness increased more and more. As the flames of the fire
hidden within come more and more vividly and rapidly from an
approaching thundercloud, so, as if in opposition to what was taking
place, the lightning of hidden fire growing more and more intense
glowed in the faces of these men

This was more than Henry V’s band of brothers at Agincourt.

Something else animated the spirit of the soldiers – an indefinable sense of humanity, life, and the exhilaration of war. It is more than morale, discipline, or even patriotism.  Pierre saw in the almost happy faces of his comrades a complete, transforming, and overwhelming drive.

By ten o’clock some twenty men had already been carried away from
the battery; two guns were smashed and cannon balls fell more and
more frequently on the battery and spent bullets buzzed and whistled
around. But the men in the battery seemed not to notice this, and merry
voices and jokes were heard on all sides.

Progressivism in the United States deliberately does not pride itself on courage, valor, duty, and fearlessness but on cautious communitarianism, Utopianism and wariness.  Wars are no longer fought for victory, but for compromised stalemate. Better to win conditionally and save military and civilian lives than to win at all costs.   Life has been ascribed an absolute value, not a value only measured by honor, heroism, or high achievement.

So it is no surprise that the Biden Administration has projected a Chicken Little, Afraid-Of-One’s-Own-Shadow approach to COVID; and it is certainly no surprise that liberals in power are relishing the almost uncontested imposition or government lockdowns, shutdowns, and mask mandates.

Nor is it a surprise that the latest government ‘it’s the science’ flip-flops and the unnecessary imposition of restrictions and mandates have finally awakened the sleeping giant of the American people.  Basta! Enough is enough!

Where are you going? - asks Foxey Loxey.

Do you know where he lives? asks the fox.

I don't, says Chicken Little.

I don't, says Henny Penny.

I don't, says Ducky Lucky.

I do, says Foxey Loxey. Come with me and I can show you the way.

He walks on and on until he comes to his den.

Come right in, says Foxey Loxey.

They all go in, but they never, never come out again.

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