Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day
My Top Five Thanks of Things that Happened in NYC & the USA
Well, it’s been some year thus far. And the good news is that there is much for which to be thankful.
Thanks #1 - We’re Still a Democracy
A lame effort to overthrow our democracy failed. This is in spite of seeming to have the support of the best propagandists on Fox News, in tandem with what appears to be the involvement of some of the key players of what seems to be an emerging ideology I’d describe as American Fascism or the 'New Trump Republicans'.
The key players of this new brand of Republican ideology seemed to include the likes of Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani who Murdoch’s Fox News labels as America’s Mayor, Sydney Powell, as well as Trump wannabee’s - Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. This attempted coup, appeared to be incited by none other than former President Donald Trump, who seemed to be aided and abetted by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News propaganda coverage, in what I can only hope will be their final swan songs. But that’s a super optimistic wish.
In any event, members of the House and Senate, did not allow themselves to be intimidated and continued to finalize the electoral process, with the final tabulation of the Electoral College vote count, certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
CoVid Vaccinations, Emergence of the Delta Variant, & as goes CoVid, so goes the Economy
The next crises to be dealt with, included a languid economy, handicapped by a vividly voracious virus. Thus the vaccines, created to address these microscopic monsters, did a fairly good Julius Caesar imitation of “veni, vidi, vici” which means “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
But the Corona Virus, ever the able and nimble survivor, said “not so fast”, and proceeded to spin out numerous variants - one of which was called the Delta variant. Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet which carries a number of meanings, one of which is about ‘change’. And change it did. During the Spring CoVid was on the run as more and more Americans were inoculated. But by early Summer, CoVid was once again on the rise, driven by the Delta variant.
Naturally, as goes CoVid, so goes the economy. And thus the economy, strongly on the mend in the Spring, started to stall by late Summer, as the CoVid Delta rise took hold. I’ll come back to this in a minute.
- CLICK here to read the rest of our column on five things for which we're thankful this Thanksgiving 2021 NYC including our democracy, the end of the war in Afghanistan, common sense mandates on vaccines and masks, festina lente progress on the supply chain bottlenecks and Republicans and Democrats first bipartisan effort to come together to pass the Infrastructure Bill / legislation.
Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day
My Top Five Thanks of Things that Happened in NYC & the USA
Thankful #2 - We’ve Ended our Military Involvment / War in Afghanistan - but at the Wall St. Journal, Biden's Worst Day in Office, Lives on Every Day on Murdoch's Paper's Front Page ...
So while all of this was going on, President Biden was working to withdraw American forces, personnel and Afghani helpers from the war torn nation. The war in Afghanistan had stalemated after somewhere between $1 - $2 trillion of American taxpayer money had been spent.
Special recognition must be given in part to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and NY Post propagandists urging America to get into that war. What they didn’t tell their non-discerning audience, was that they were urging America to go to war because it was good for ratings, and eventually good for former Vice President Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch’s large shares of an oil and gas company [Genie Energy], which had acquired questionable rights to contested territory in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
So Murdoch didn’t seem supportive of the idea to exit Afghanistan, as it might imperil his exploitative investment in the region. Hence Murdoch’s Wall St. Journal led the lemming, corporate suited, legion of TV teleprompter news reporters to ‘pollywanna cracker parrot’ Murdoch’s narrative that Biden was conducting the withdrawal from Afghanistan in an incompetent manner. But the truth to that assessment, was anything but. Click here to read our assessment of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, that the knucklehead TV news failed to report.
The major American media outlets, particularly TV News, failed to INFORM the American people about the complexities of the Afghan withdrawal, so instead of doing the hard work of sorting through the complexities of what was happening, they opted instead to ‘cheat’ by looking across the aisle to copy someone else’s work, which happened to be Murdoch’s, via the Wall St. Journal. Thus American media just repeatedly parroted the Wall St. Journal initiated narrative that had been quickly supported and heralded by Murdoch’ Fox News, NY Post and ABC [Murdoch and two of the top shareholders of Fox now own about 25% of Disney / ABC and I believe the new Disney Chairman was selected by Murdoch & co].
The ineptness and laziness on the part of competing news outlets, in Australia and Britain is how Murdoch came to sieze control of the government apparatus in those two nations, and is the foreshadowing of what could happen in this country in the not-too-distant future.
The good news here is that President Biden didn’t waiver and continued the withdrawal even after a suicide bomber infiltrated the crowd at Kabul Airport and killed quite a number of people, including 13 American soldiers.
Not so Thankful #2.b. - Democracy Trojan Horse - Murdoch's Goebbels Style, Manipulative Mass Media, Undermining Our National Institutions, from Within our Moronic Midst
Murdoch’s propagandistic Wall St. Journal continues to run an August 20, 2021 video of the chaos on its front page, even to this day - over a quarter year later - as a ‘Recommended Video’. That’s propaganda.
And that’s why in July of 2020, 300 courageous journalists of the Wall St. Journal objected to the way Murdoch was using the paper propagandistically try to sway the presidential election of 2020. Admittedly, my description is an opinion of what the journalists at the WSJ actually said, but I it's fair to say that it’s likely what they meant. But you can see for yourself by looking up and reading a more objective account of the WSJ staff letter, in a July 24, 2020 NYT report entitled ‘At the Wall Street Journal, News Side and Opinion Staff Collide’.
In high school, I was the Assistant Editor of 'The Lance' [school newspaper] at Abbott Pennings High School in DePere, Wisconsin, while the current Wall Street Journal OpEd Page Editor Paul Gigot, was a reporter. It’s my opinion that he was a better reporter back then, than he is an editor today. In the graphic at right is Paul Gigot, the WSJ OpEd Editor, who seems to buy into Murdoch's use of the paper as a propaganda rag. We've continue add reports to do a series we started about Rupert Murdoch's media misdeeds beginning in 2016, which we called Murdoch Media Madness and later renamed it to the Rise of the 21st Century Propaganda Press. Click the link to view our series about the man I consider the most dangerous to American democracy since Adolph Hitler.
As noted above, Murdoch controls one of the three U.S. national daily newspapers [the WSJ], one of the nation’s biggest tabloids [NY Post] and TWO of the nation’s broadcast networks [Fox & ABC]. For one man to hold so much share of voice in our nation is very, very unhealthy. One need only look to Australia to see the results. In Australia Murdoch controls about 65% of their daily newspapers, and the lion’s share of broadcast media, so that the Australians are living in a nearly totalitarian controlled nation and don’t know it. And in Britain Murdoch controls the dominant share of newspapers, including two of that nation’s largest dailies, the London Times and the Sun, along with the dominant share of privately held broadcast TV. Murdoch is why Britain exited the European Union, and yet most Brits are completely unaware of that.
Thankful #3 - True Leadership - Mandating Common Sense - CoVid Vaccinations to Improve our National Health and Economy
As the Delta variant took hold, our own Mayor de Blasio, took the bold step to mandate CoVid vaccinations for city workers. De Blasio rolled this mandate out rather intelligently, starting with the Teachers Union, as they are likely to be generally well informed, well educated, and thus are aware of the benefits of vaccinations. And perhaps most importantly, less susceptible to the manipulative, divisive rhetoric of Murdoch’s propagandists - most or all of whom I believe are vaccinated themselves.
Nonetheless Murdoch’s propagandists have incited their vacant-headed viewers to become angry at the government for taking steps to mandate what - without Murdoch’s manipulative media in our midst - would be common sense. That’s what getting inoculated was in the 1950’s when Americans were vaccinated for polio. In doing so, America essentially rid the nation of that debilitating disease. And most of the unvaccinated rebels - who are rebelling against common sense and scientifically proven facts - have likely been previously inoculated for other health dangers in their lifetime, like tetanus to prevent debilitating bacterial infections.
Murdoch's Fox News, WSJ, NY Post and soon ABC News viewers are fighting for their 'freedom' to do reckless things. They parrot the Fox News freedom chants, which are absent the notion that with freedom comes responsibility. What these 'freedom fighting Murdoch anti vaxing terrorists' are saying, isn't much different than a drunk arguing they are free to drive away in their car fully loaded [intoxicated], prior to the passage of strict alcohol limits on drivers. If their car were a horse and this was the early 1800's in the west, so be it because they would only be putting themselves in danger. Likewise with viral infections and vaccinations, two centuries ago, fine. But today most of us come into contact with dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands, of people in a given day. So like the drunk driver, our behavior has consequences for others, and therefore we must act responsibly.
But some people seem to like to get jacked up [or off?] by Murdoch’s manipulative media, and that is their constitutional right. But the rest of us don’t have to put up with it, per se, and the popularly elected officials have the right - perhaps the duty - to protect their constituents. Thus, sometimes that involves making decisions which may be unpopular with many, even if the decisions appear the right thing to do. And that is what Mayor de Blasio has done, and so has President Biden.
Thus, in the Fall, CoVid began retreating again, and the economy continued strengthening again. As more people get vaccinated, and fewer people get sick, hospitalized and / or die, the stronger our economy will be. This past week the unemployment claim number was the lowest it’s been since 1969.
But the CoVid battle isn’t over, the risks of new variants remain, and booster shots are not only needed, but are necessary if we are eventually to prevail. The good news is that about 70% of Americans have taken the step to get at least one shot, and 59% are fully vaccinated. And kids over age 2 are now eligible for protection.
So we live in a society where people get to make their own choices. Thus, government officials are free to mandate vaccinations for the people working for them, as are businesses, as well as mandate health requirements in public places, just as they mandate cleanliness in restaurants and food operations. And each person, is free to decide not to get vaccinated, but increasingly they do so not only with ongoing health risks, but also with social and economic penalties. At some point the fight [for what?] just isn’t going to be worth it. That’s a super optimistic wish again.
Is it too much to want to see us move into a healthier space - not just physically - but economically and psychologically as well?
Thankful #4 - A Competent Listener Addresses the Supply Chain Problem - 'Festina lente'
I suppose one of the benefits of a stutter handicap, as President Joe Biden has, is that he seems to be a very good listener. This is in contrast to his predecessor, who seemed to be an engaging - if not outragious - speaker, but a terrible listener.
Thus in September, after withdrawing from Afghanistan, President Biden and his team stepped up to aid in unclogging the supply chain bottlenecks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, which account for about 40% of the nation’s imports. Since then they have: 1) increased port operations availability to 24/7 [prior to this the port closed on Sundays and late at night], 2) implemented what I would call loitering fees for cargo remaining at the dock or in port warehouses beyond three days, and 3) worked with California Governor Newsom to address state / local issues to ‘unlock’ the supply chain.
As these are HUGE operations [remember 40% of the nation’s imports], and the backlog had ramped up as demand grew and the pandemic subsided, it’s difficult to turn around the equivalent of a super tanker on a dime. But based on a perusal of the statistics on the Port of Los Angeles website, it appears progress is being made, albeit, slowly.
My Dad used to tell me, “Festina lente or Make haste slowly.” That’s the Latin translation of a Greek oxymoron. An oxymoron is a phrase that doesn’t seem to make sense because it’s contradictory. But what it means is that the best way to accomplish something is to do it slowly, deliberately. This is in some manner, akin to the saying that “Haste makes waste.”
I surmise that Biden’s approach was the same in 1) withdrawing us from Afghanistan [he negotiated for more time with the Taliban moving back the May deadline to August], 2) rolling out the CoVid mandates [he let people decide for themselves and when that wasn’t working he rolled out the mandates], and 3) the infrastructure deal [he could have tried to rush Senators Manchin & Sinema to do it before the November 2021 election but he didn’t politicize it].
Thankful #5 - A Less Divided & Thus More ‘United’, States?
And the last big thing I am thankful for this year is the passage of the infrastructure bill. Not just because the federal government is finally addressing the deficiencies in our roads, bridges, water supply, the accessibility of internet access, public transit and climate change. But because it was passed by both Republicans and Democrats coming together to do something for ALL of the American people - not just some of them.
In this situation, Biden had to unite his own party as much as uniting Democrats and Republicans. This was something Trump, in his four years in office, failed to do because he is a divider, not a uniter.
So this year I feel there is much for which we have to be thankful.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.