Monday, May 4, 2009

Pen Meets Paper May 4'09

Opinion by Helge Nome

“A shepherd boy tending his flock one night amused himself by shouting to the local villagers, "Wolf, wolf!" when there was none, just to see them come running. He repeated the trick and each time the villagers came to help, just to find the boy had tricked them again. Later that night a wolf really did come. The boy again called "Wolf, wolf!", but believing it to be another trick, no-one came, leaving the wolf free to kill all the sheep he wanted.”

World Health Organization officials have something to learn from this condensed fable by a rather famous writer called Aesop. They have been diligently appearing in front of cameras and microphones lately with their message of fear for the new(?) H1N1 virus (wolf). Last time it was the H5N1 “birdflu” virus (wolf again) that turned out to be a fizzer.

It is very gratifying for people who are not normally recognized to stand in front of the world media and cry “wolf!” so as to bring attention to themselves. It is equally convenient for the media to play along because of the “easy news copy” they obtain from the process. So we have a typical “collusion of interest” in operation. What none of these people seem to think about are the downstream consequences of their actions: They have unwittingly(?) created excuses for politically motivated actions against individuals and states, in the form of the closing of borders to products and restrictions on travel.

And right here in Alberta, the already stressed pork industry has received another blow on the nose, not unlike the BSE Panic which transferred a lot of beef producers farm equity into the hands of their bankers.

The other scary aspect of the behavior of WHO officials and the mainstream media people is that when a nasty virus does appear on the scene, people will not take any notice of their warnings: The real wolf will have his day!

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