The PJ Tatler

Kiwi Pumpkin Seeds Can't Cross Border, But Ebola Can

President Obama continues to refuse to impose a travel ban on those seeking to enter the United States who came from Ebola-ravaged countries.  Yet when I attempted to enter the United States from New Zealand, I was prohibited from bringing packaged seeds from the delicious Queensland Blue pumpkin.  In fact, all totally harmless vegetable seeds from foreign countries are prohibited and, as in my case, confiscated at the border.

When I attempted to enter the country with pre-packaged Queensland Blue seeds in 2003, the delicious squash was common in Australia and New Zealand, but seeds were not widely available in the United States.  At Los Angeles, I was forced to surrender the seeds to an agriculture inspector at customs.

Queensland Blue seeds are harmless, and the vegetable is is commonly eaten across Australia and New Zealand.

The same can’t be said about Ebola, and only people who were in West Africa could bring it into the United States, which is precisely what happened.  I called for a travel ban two weeks ago on The Kelly File.

Among those supporting a travel ban are Sen. Ted Cruz, Speaker John Boehner, and the American people, overwhelmingly, as Katie Pavlich notes.

CAN come in (L), CAN'T come in (R)

CAN come in (L), Queeny Blue (R) CAN’T come in.

Contrary to reports, the CDC has less power to block the border than does President Obama personally.  Federal law gives the president personally (not the CDC) the power to bar entry into the United States to all people who have been in West Africa in the last 30 days.  I detailed this power here.  News reports which place that power with the CDC are giving President Obama a pass.  President Obama can issue an executive proclamation without any involvement from the CDC or other bureaucratic agencies.

If we are to believe the administration’s excuses for not doing so, health care workers can still be given special permission to enter West Africa on military flights.

Yet we are treated to the latest round of untrustworthy excuses from the CDC today in Hill testimony.  Among the latest excuse why banning travel is a bad idea is that the American government wouldn’t be able to monitor and track people who might have Ebola.  Tell that to the American people when the people that President Obama allowed into the country infect Americans in increasing numbers.

The varied reactions to the threat of Ebola have fallen into two camps.  Among those loudly defending Obama’s inaction and the CDC’s bumbling are progressives.  In this camp are the same folks always promising a brighter man-made future.  Pestilence is probably a word many of them have to look up in a dictionary.

But pestilence is the story of human history, and the other camp knows it.  The world was re-ordered in the wake of the Black Death, and the deaths of millions gave rise to the Renaissance.   Those who know the past more than they worship the future have reason to be worried.

Reactions before a calamity have always been similar.  There are those who cried loudly about the gathering threats despite the ridicule, or fled homes to sanctuary across oceans.  This camp hopes the other camp is correct.

Those in the other camp were sure it would all work out.  Many of them packed luggage full of things they’d never need where they were going.

If you find yourself packing bags in the next few months, be sure not to pack seeds.  You won’t be allowed across the border.

Updated: h/t to Kiwi Rob (@R_Puma9) who reminds me that New Zealand inspects the soles of your shoes and sanitizes them to avoid agents from entering the country.