WPCNR MILESTONES. News and Comment by John F. Bailey. December 31, 2018:
1918 has been a bad year. But, but, but America has had bad years before. Much worse years.
In 1814, during the War of 1812, the British burned down the White House. Had we had today’s nation press and HNNs (Hysterical News Networks) I can imagine how commentators would say “The American nation is not going to last much longer, it’s only a matter of time before the former Tories return the colonies to England.” Well, that didn’t happen.
Prejudice, racial injustice unprecedented? 2018 compares little to 1830 when President Andrew Jackson, a known Indian-hater, upon discovery of gold in North Georgia removed the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole Indians and moved them to beyond the Mississippi on a march known as the “Trail of Tears.”
You think the federal courts and the Supreme Court is prejudiced now in 2018? The Supreme Court of 1857 took up the case of Dred Scott a slave who went to court to become a free man, having lived in Wisconsin a free state with his owner. The Court decided that, under the Constitution, Scott was his master’s property and was not a citizenof the United States. The Court also declared that the Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery in certain areas,unconstitutionally deprived people of property their slaves.
The Dred Scott decision was a serious blow to abolitionists, divided the country and lead to the next bad year: 1861 when the Civil War started. The Supreme Court than described as stacked with five southern judges, essentially ruled that Dred Scott was not a person, put property.
(Today’s Supreme Court has made an even more amazing decision they decided that corporations had the same rights as a person, allowing them to contribute any amount of sums to political parties and campaigns.)
1865: This was a year that started so well. The South had surrendered, ending the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had been elected to a second term, the slaves had been freed. The stage was set for the nation to start anew eliminating the racism of the past. But Lincoln was killed. This lead to a rise of the Ku Klux Klan gangs of the south who murdered thousands Negroes in the South until President Grant prosecuted these vigilanties, jailing over a thousand Klansmen.
1894. Do you think 2018 is anti-union? There are movements to limit union-influence by our present Supreme Court and governors who should know better. But the robber barons of the 1880s and 1890s worked their employees 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.
In 1894, George Pullman hired Pinkertons to deal with striking workers who refused to work because Pullman cut their wages. A number of workers were killed by the Pinkertons and the strike spread nationally halting mail West of the Mississippi.
Federal troops were called out by President Grover Cleveland. Thirty striking workers were killed by troops and 57 injured across the nation. That was using federal troops against workers in support of a private corporation. Today, federal troops have not been used against American citizens yet.
1917: The United States abandoned isolationism and entered the First World War, which set the stage for the Second World War due to its punishments of Germany that lead to the rise of the infamous Adolf Hitler.
1929: The Great Crash started a severe 12 year Great Depression, the “recession” of 2008-2016 hardly compares. Significantly aggressive investments without merit or backing lead to both prolonged periods of misery for the every day citizen, with little punishment for the financially corrupt captains of industry.
1941: The United States was attacked by Japan and also declared war on Germany. A two front war which the U.S. had no idea they would win. But American citizens through themselves behind the war effort and pulled this conflict of all conflicts out. The present conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan hardly compare to what was at stake in World War II, but the U.S. failure to recognize the antagonism of Russia and China to our interests, influences on our elections, have to be dealt with, and the naivete of our present leader contribute to a threat to our way of life.
However, it is not the government responsibility to keep our data safe: it is the responsibility of the banks, the web giants and the networks to make sure their security is beefed up. American naivete and greed at the top continually neglect security.
1968: How bleak was it then? The Street riots in Detroit that burned down have the city. The riots outside the Chicago convention that culminated from the rising protests against the Vietnam war lead to an atmosphere of anarchy leading to a switch Richard Nixon as President, whose irresponsible compulsion to win at all costs, compromised and made him the only President to resign. Yes, 1968, a very bad time when America was against each other: Hawks vs. Doves, with the media cheering on the discord, and taking sides.
2001: A clear blue sky on a beautiful Tuesday and 9/11 happened out of the sky, entering America into two decades of conflict.
Now we enter 2019. Looking back at each of those years, we can see that America’s survival was in doubt in all of those years.
Today we live in a distracted society with a leader who is an expert at distracting us from issues we need to be thinking about. His ability to distract the public and influence them is unwittingly enabled by the media whose fragile egos are consistently pricked by his taunts, and they make the story the threats to their sovereignty as journalists.
Freedom of the press only survives if you use it. Just keep on pressing. You have to have a thick skin.
You need to simply ferret out facts and keep pursuing the dialogue. The minute you start feeling as a reporter that you know what the situation is, you’re lost. You don’t. They will lie to you.
When Drew Pearson was writing Washington Merry Go Round he was hated by every politician in Washington because he wrote what no other reporter or editor would dare write. When Walter Winchell wrote against the danger of Hitler in the 30s, he was the only one doing it. Isolationists and industrialists in America warned against antagonizing Germany. The State Department did nothing to support the Jews in Germany, even though they were informed by the ambassador to Germany of how Jews were being persecuted in the mid-1930s.
The press today has to guard against spreading too wide a tent of “experts,” and “commentators.” They have to have as good reporters as the administration has spokespersons.
Kellyann Conway, who made the rounds of talk shows this weekend was devastatingly effective in polishing up the Trump position on the shutdown; his “success” in the economy; in pointing out the Democrats have “quit,” not being willing to negotiate. You cannot treat a seasoned public relations pro like Ms Conway by saying “that’s not true,” or “saying how can you say that?”
In 30 seconds she had leveled three excellent planks for the 2020 Trump Campaign, Economy, Energy, Enterprise. The Democrats need to dishevel Ms. Conway. And simply not act bewildered.
The Democrats have been maneuvered into a corner and they are not coming out for “the bell.”
Killer Conway had the audacity to say with a straight confident voice on Bloomberg Radio that Trump was willing to compromise indicating the democrats would not. She is good. She is really good.
Trump is good. He is really good at selling the big lie. Scrapping it. And telling an exact opposite Big Lie. And the Bigger the Lie, the more you want to believe it’s true. He varies his lies with the reactions to previous lies. He plays you. Just as he plays the press.
How do we go about our daily lives against the hourly assault on our sense of well-being?
You have to keep an eye on the same tactics your local politicians are practicing. Just because they treat you nice, that does not mean they have your best interests at heart.
You should ask questions of school officials and local government officials, with the knowledge they will tell you what will ease your mind, so you have to maneuver them as they maneuver you. By trying to answer specific questions, if you are tough enough you may get them to start a task force and put you on the committee, or hold a meeting with your group
Inclusion of all stakeholders is a political technique to not change things too much.
I also think we need to concentrate on our families and bring them closer together.
Make more phone calls to relatives and you will be surprised after just a few moments how, no matter how much the person’s life style may irritate you,you will find common ground.
Estranged from a distant sister? Call her up and tell her you’re sorry for not being more supportive and in touch and that is a start.
Put your troubles in perspective. You can deal with them.
The last day of the year and the first day of the next year are good times for discussing your personal issues and figuring out what things you could do to make things better. I am going to try and put all my dates and commitments on a overall calendar, the very day I make them. (I am always forgetting appointments.)
I found an old Apple TV box my wife thought was thrown out. I found it behind the Tv where it had obviously been knocked between TV and wall by a cat. This lead to a savings of $150 on a new box.
It also shocked my wife that I found a way to move the gigundus tv without disconnecting. This lead to giving my wife a project which she loves, accessing hard-to-access protocols by punching in passwords. She loves those puzzles. And she got it working. I pointed out how this was a successful joint project we had achieved. I wa smet with the usual eyebrow roll.
I also resolve never to upgrade to a new Wordmith version again. I am currently trying to figure that out.
So keep your focus locally go to more community meetings. Watch your politician’s achievements, and how much they really make your life better.
Read a newspaper. Follow my website and have lunches with friends more often.
Sample more craft beers. Discover vintage cocktails.
Do not watch news networks.
Go shopping to the supermarket with your spouse.
Go to more museums.
Live, do not live vicariously by watching television series.
Go to the theatre.
Go to baseball games.
Walk around New York City more.
It’s the greatest City in the world.