Tony Dighera
What are the chances that three pumpkins would grow to look exactly like Dr. Frankenstein's monster?

How Did I Miss That? Frank-O-Lantern; Ebola Fearmongering

Steve Russell

The New York Times reported about a farmer from Fillmore, California, Tony Dighera, who has sold his entire pumpkin crop for $75 each. The big orange squash are expected to fetch $100 and up retail, because they are grown in plastic molds making the head of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. The pumpkins are not “Frankenfood,” because Dighera calls his farm Cinagro, which is “organic” spelled backwards. My cousin Ray Sixkiller thought the price was a little steep but he had to admit a pre-carved jack-o-lantern would be handy.

This week offers contrasting ideas of “to protect and to serve.”

HuffPost reported that unidentified police officers in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina pepper sprayed DeShawn Currie, 18, in his own living room because a neighbor had called in a burglary, not knowing a black child was being fostered by a white family for the last year.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Officer Ben Hall, 31, stopped a car based on a complaint that a 5-year-old was aboard without a booster seat. The mother explained that her car had been repossessed with the child’s booster seat inside and she had not been able to put together the money to get a booster seat for the borrowed car because she was only working part time. Officer Hall did not write a ticket, but ordered her to follow him to Wal-Mart, where he fronted $55 for a booster seat.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported the cancellation of the Sayreville War Memorial High School football season over allegations of hazing by upperclassmen that included sexual assaults and has resulted in seven arrests. In an unrelated incident, a coach at the same school resigned after his arrest for possession of steroids. Parents packed the next school board meeting to protest not the hazing, not the steroids, but the cancellation, and the victims and their parents were concealing their identities, fearing retaliation. “Assaults and steroids,” Cousin Ray mused, “sounds like those kids are preparing to play in the NFL and the parents are on board.”

Foreign Policy reported that U.S. forces destroyed an ISIL pickup truck costing, at the outside, $30,000, for only half a million. A CentCom press release bragged about an airstrike destroying “an ISIL guard shack, an armed vehicle, and a bunker.” One TV commentator ridiculed an F-15 engaging a motorcycle. Many of the vehicles we are destroying came from us in the first place. Cousin Ray suggested that we put aside a quota of Humvees at the factory matching the percentage ISIL would seize and destroy them ourselves. “Cutting out the middlemen would be cheaper for our taxpayers and safer for our airmen.”

Al Jazeera reported that Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, nominated to be Yemeni prime minister under a UN-brokered peace deal, turned down the office after some rebels disagreed. “I can’t imagine,” Cousin Ray said, rolling his eyes, “why the guy wouldn’t jump at the chance to be part of the government in Yemen. The concession in broken military hardware alone is worth more than the average Yemeni makes in a year.”

Many sources carried a story created by a U.S. Airways flight attendant who refused to hang up the dress jacket belonging to a combat decorated GI because the closets “are for first class only.” Several first class passengers offered their seats to First Sergeant Albert Marle, who politely declined and stayed in coach. Another first class passenger hung the jacket at his own seat. “First class,” Cousin Ray observed, “means different things to different people.”

The latest Obama scandal alleges that a college student volunteer, a 25-year-old unmarried law student, employed a prostitute in a city where prostitution is legal. Two years ago. According to a Secret Service leak. “The Secret Service,” Cousin Ray reminded me, “is supposed to keep the president from getting shot. Throwing him under the bus is different.”

A blog named after the late fact-challenged right-wing hero, Breitbart Texas, ran a story about the first Ebola case in Texas with the helpful title, “Naïve Liberal Texas Judge Enters Ebola Apartment Without Protection.” Judge Clay Jenkins, about whose politics I’m not informed but he seems to be a publicly professing Christian, had indeed gone to the apartment twice, once to check on the family’s welfare and again when he persuaded personal friends to offer them shelter. He drove them to the undisclosed location himself.

This would be at a time when the patient had been gone long enough that any of the virus from him was dead and everyone quarantined in the apartment has been checked daily and had no symptoms, without which Ebola is not contagious. Besides stoking unnecessary fear, The Texas Observer reported that an anonymous Breitbart Texas reader used the blog as a basis for a complaint against Judge Jenkins to Child Protective Services, based on the cockamamie idea that the judge going home to his daughter without changing clothes might expose her to Ebola.

The late Andy Breitbart, remembered for twin triumphs of fakery over fact—getting Shirley Sherrod fired by making her anti-racism speech appear racist and pushing reports on the selectively edited video that destroyed ACORN—would be proud.

The Washington Post reported that the Ebola outbreak is outrunning the response to it. When the “reproduction number” of new cases traceable to each patient, falls below one, the good guys are winning. Reporting is haphazard in the three nations affected so far, but the best estimates of the reproduction number put it between 1.5 and 2. The New York Times reported that health officials in Sierra Leone have admitted “defeat” in attempting to catch up to the virus and started distributing “home treatment” kits. The number of patients in Sierra Leone is doubling every month.

The New York Times reported that the Antonov Company, maker of award-winning aircraft in the Soviet Union days, is still a state-run enterprise in Ukraine. Last year, it sold four airplanes, three to Cuba and one to North Korea. So far this year, it has sold one to Cuba. Boeing and Airbus are not kept up at night worrying about the competition.


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
More irreverent fun from Mr. Russell and Cousin Ray! I look forward to their articles all the time as (the regular) news is so dismal. I DO have something I'd like to offer Steve and Ray. I work in a high school and a surprising number of students are exhibiting a lot of apprehensions about two things in particular. Ebola and Isis. I personally feel that the news media is fear-mongering so I'm advising students to combine the two so they can cut their worries in half. Their prime concern should now be Ebolisis or Isisbolah>