Ed Driscoll

Border Patrol Witnessing Diseases 'We Haven't Seen in Decades'

Chris Cabrea, Border Patrol Union vice president, tells Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that, as Breitbart TV reports, “‘a lot of our guys’ are coming down with diseases:”

“Coming off the long journey they have been subjected to and then diseases some agents are contracting. We had one get bacterial pneumonia a couple days ago,” Cabrea said. “A lot of our guys are coming down with scabies or lice.”

Cabrea added: “The border patrol is trying to play catch up and we’re having a lot of diseases coming in and some we haven’t seen in decades and we are worried they’ll spread throughout the United States especially if they are being released and have the disease.”

Shades of the opening of Tom Wolfe’s classic “Great Relearning” essay originally from 1987, updated in his 2000 non-fiction anthology, Hooking Up:

In 1968, in San Francisco, I came across a curious footnote to the hippie movement. At the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, there were doctors treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot. And how was it that they now returned? It had to do with the fact that thousands of young men and women had migrated to San Francisco to live communally in what I think history will record as one of the most extraordinary religious fevers of all time.

The hippies sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start from zero.

Among the codes and restraints that people in the communes swept aside–quite purposely–were those that said you shouldn’t use other people’s toothbrushes or sleep on other people’s mattresses without changing the sheets, or as was more likely, without using any sheets at all, or that you and five other people shouldn’t drink from the same bottle of Shasta or take tokes from the same cigarette. And now, in 1968, they were relearning…the laws of hygiene…by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot.

This process, namely the relearning — following a Promethean and unprecedented start from zero — seems to me to be the leitmotif of the twenty-first century in America.

The notion of “Start From Zero” has echoes of the terrifying phrase “Year Zero,” which socialist regimes invariably impose on their blighted captive subjects. As Wikipedia notes — and they’re actually right on this one — “The term Year Zero applied to the takeover of Cambodia in April 1975 by the Khmer Rouge, is an analogy to the Year One of the French Revolutionary Calendar:”

During the French Revolution, after the abolition of the French monarchy (September 20, 1792), the National Convention instituted a new calendar and declared the beginning of the Year I. The Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh was rapidly followed by a series of drastic revolutionary de-industrialization policies resulting in a death toll that vastly exceeded that of the French Reign of Terror.

The idea behind Year Zero is that all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch. All history of a nation or people before Year Zero is deemed largely irrelevant, as it will (as an ideal) be purged and replaced from the ground up.

In Cambodia, teachers, artists, and intellectuals were especially singled out and executed during the purges accompanying Year Zero.

Fortunately, American politics don’t quite play for those stakes — at least not yet — but there was plenty of Year Zero and Start From Zero-style talk amongst the fever swamps of Mr. Obama’s zanier supporters in 2008 and early 2009. Obama himself promised a “fundamental transformation” of America, as New Republic pundits openly called for Marxism, formerly staid Newsweek ran pro-socialism cover stories, and Spike Lee blurted out in late October of 2008 on Democrat house organ MSNBC his prediction that 2009 would usher in a BC/AD-rivaling millennial shift. “You have B.B.: Before Barack and A.B.: After Barack,” Lee promised:

What he’s done is historic. This coalition which he’s gotten: black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, whatever. It’s come together, and this has never been done before. And I think this thing is, predeortained [sic!] or whatever you want to call it. I’m not gonna say that it’s God. But this is not a mistake this is happening now. I don’t think it’s a mistake it’s happening, that he’s here when this country is at its lowest in many, many years.

Whenever I’ve quoted Wolfe’s “Great Relearning” essay, I’ve usually asked, “So when exactly does the Great Relearning begin?” But perhaps, things have gotten bad enough during the A.B. era to start the slow process rolling. Last fall, Roger L. Simon dubbed the president a “Libertarian Manufacturing Machine.” Perhaps the distinct lack of “prededeortainment” of illegal immigrants, the collapse of American foreign policy in the Middle East, the flat-lined economy, and a president who’d much rather party with rock stars and engage in late-night dorm room BS sessions than actually do the drudgework of managing the federal government has shaken some Americans out of their slumber in time for 2016, as Victor Davis Hanson writes in his latest article.

…If there still is an America in 2016, that is.

Related: Oh, and speaking of the Return of the Primitive and The Great Relearning