Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scariest Headline of the Week

We seem to live in a constant state of crisis -- a few genuine, but most of them trumped-up by the American Anxiety Industry -- so there's always stiff competition for top prize in my "Scariest Headline of the Week" contest (which I just started today). And this has been an especially competitive week, under the circumstances. But even though the week is still young, and we still have one vice presidential debate and another congressional rescue plan vote ahead, I've already made my pick.

So here it is, the Scariest Headline of the Week, which appeared above an AP story featured at

"Postal Service may deliver meds
in next anthrax attack"
The rest of the story -- if you have the nerve to read it -- can be found here. This is alarming on at least three levels.

First, use of the word “next” assumes there will be another anthrax attack – and one massive enough to require distribution of an antidote by postal workers. Not reassuring. Second, it means the victims of the attack, facing imminent death, will be relying on their postal carrier for a cure (and terrorists could easily foil this countermeasure by attacking on Sundays or federal holidays). Third, and perhaps most alarming, this new mission will become yet another justification for perpetuating a “government service” that long ago should have been privatized.

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