Wild Beasts in the Amazon and Desecrated Bodies at the Local Cemetery, or Stepping on the Little Guy and the Dead Guy
Welcome once again to our daily USA Really podcast. I’m Jesse Dominick for USA Really, and we’re going to run down all the most important news and insights that we’ve published on our pages in the past day. We’ve got a bunch of good stuff today, including an examination of Amazon and its economic practices, one of America’s most forgotten presidents, the scoop on those envelopes being covertly passed during the Kavanaugh hearing, and a whole lot more.
Before we jump into the articles, I want to kick things off by remind you again about USA Really’s first ever contest—the Global Democracy Award. We’re looking for the best, most creative, and thought-provoking essays, poems, films, and memes, and we’re giving away boatloads of cash for it! Entries are being accepted through December 1, so be sure to check out the contest page for a whole lot more!
And with that, let’s get to it.
The overall job market in America is keeping people in purely survival mood—it really sucks. Many with degrees and high school diplomas have no REAL marketable skills. That is a problem that needs to be addressed, and few are willing to go there. The education that most Americans are receiving is not the kind they will need to make a decent living. And in this environment, is Jeff Bezos’ Amazon an enslaver or a savior? Jeff Silverman shares his thoughts on the topic with you in today’s opinion piece. Jeff Bezos is filthy rich, but his employees make less than $30,000 on average and overtime isn’t readily available. He’s also accused of cooking the books and other misdeeds. Does he have a moral obligation to provide something better for his employees? Silverman also shares the experience of two former Amazon employees whom he spoke with, and he also offers his thoughts on what we need in the future. Be sure to check it out!
Then, for all you history buffs, or perhaps all y’all who need to bone up on your history, we’ve got your this day in history piece, as always. When you think of great American presidents, who do you think of? Lincoln, Washington … and … Chester A. Arthur, right?! I know I do. Well, he was born this day in 1829. He was in office from 1881 to 1885, but, it seems history has largely forgotten him since then. The Killough Massacre, believed to be the last wide-scale attack on white settlers by Native Americans, at least in the territory of Texas, took place this day in 1838, and Hollywood Black Friday, a bloody riot right at the gates of Warner Brothers’ studios in Burbank, California, with carpenters, painters, cartoonists and several other craftsmen working for the studios protesting to protect their rights, went down on October 5, 1945.
Some folks say that a hippie won’t steal, but I caught three in my corn field. One had a flag and the other had a bomb, and the third ol’ boy was a-getting’ on home. That’s right—while we often associate hippies with pot smoking and peace, it just isn’t always that way, and Maryland Republican Representative Andy Harris found out the hard way this week. It seems he was headed to his office when two protesters from a pro-marijuana group tried to creepily follow him into his office. The protestors, who malign Harris as “Big Pharma” because he is against using weed as a treatment for the opioid crisis, claim that the politician then slammed the door on the foot of one of the protestors. When the police arrived she was lying on the floor, though moments before she had been standing with no problems. She was taken away in a wheelchair and cuffs. This piece has more on Harris and the fight for pot throughout the country, so head on over there for all the details.
Did you see that clip from the Kavanaugh hearing where Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) was caught on camera slipping some mysterious envelopes to Dr. Ford’s attorney, Michael Bromwich? It’s all over the place. So what the heck were in those envelopes? There’s certainly plenty of speculation that it was something fishy going on. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but whatever the case, our piece, “New Details in the ‘Envelope Case’ From the Kavanaugh Hearings Raise More Questions” takes you through the day’s events and what happened to the envelope, then takes a closer look at the players involved.
Our next piece, “Russia’s Toxicity and America’s Addiction to War” is inspired by an interview with Dmitry Orlov, a Russian-American engineer, geopolitical analyst, writer, and blogger who moved to the U.S. as a child and lives in the Boston area. Being an expert on Russia, in his interview Orlov spoke mainly about Russia, but through the prism of U.S. policy. He spoke in detail about the situation in Syria, the Middle East and the EU. He touched upon the economic situation in the United States, Europe, Russia, and talked about the causes of the crisis and potential ways out of the situation, and our piece has all the highlights for you, with all of Orlov’ unique insights.
A 30-year police veteran was killed and six of his colleagues wounded when a man opened fire from inside his Darlington, South Carolina home on deputies who came to serve a search warrant on Wednesday at about 4:00 PM. The shooting continued for two hours as the man barricaded himself inside his home with children, firing from a distance at officers who came to help. The shooting ended with the shooter’s surrender. The shooter, 74-year-old Fred Hopkins is a Vietnam War vet. Our article on the shooting has the full story for you.
Lt. Col. Matt Smith-Meck was one of the key figures in the Fast and Furious scandal in 2016 and together with Robert Tosh Plumlee helped to expose information about the U.S.’s ties to ISIS. Well, as you can guess, there’re people who don’t appreciate that he did that. Now, on Wednesday, photos with threats to the former marine were published on the Twitter account of an independent journalist. In one of the photos, there is a message that reads, “Tread carefully, you are in danger,” all in caps. To be honest, I’d never heard of Smith-Meck before, but it seems to me he’s a national hero. I hope that he can get the protection he needs, and that they can find whoever’s responsible for the threats. Check out our piece, “Somebody tries to silence former U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Blowing the Whistle on Fast and Furious” for the full scoop.
And while demonstrators are facing off on the streets outside the Capitol about the FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh affair and his possible upcoming confirmation to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh himself has put out an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, calling himself “independent,” and “impartial.” “My hearing testimony was forceful and passionate. That is because I forcefully and passionately denied the allegation against me,” Kavanaugh wrote in the Journal. “I do not decide cases based on personal or policy preferences. I am not a pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judge. I am not a pro-prosecution or pro-defense judge. I am a pro-law judge.” He added that the country’s top court “must never be viewed as a partisan institution.” Of course, the fighting, which mainly falls along Republican-Democrat lines, shows that even the Supreme Court is seen as precisely a partisan institution. Many believe there is a rapidly growing rift in American society, but the question is—where is it all headed?
Next up, we’ve got another update on the latest NHL hockey games for you, and it looks like the Penguins-Capitals game was one for the ages. There was a lot of back and forth, with both teams on top at various points throughout the game, coming to a 6-6 tie that led into overtime. If you don’t hear about the game yet, I won’t spoil the results for you, but head on over to our piece for the play-by-play.
Ok, this next story is totally messed up. Families gathered on Thursday in front of Park Cemetery in Bridgeport, CT to hold a protest after a lawsuit alleged that the cemetery was double-stacking bodies in graves and disposing of old bones and caskets to make room for new burials. People have found tire tracks on burial plots, sunken graves, and human bones found around the cemetery! Dozens of headstones, some dating back to the 1800s, have been moved so that the newly dead could be buried in plots stacked on old graves. A local detective says a grave digger told him that he had been ordered to throw old bones and caskets away to make room for new graves. That’s pretty sick. When I lived at a monastery I worked in the cemetery quite often, mowing the grass and weed whacking. It’s sacred work. This is where your loved ones are lying in wait of the coming resurrection. Desecrating graves is evil. “Families Protest Bridgeport Cemetery Amid Shocking Allegations of Missing Bodies” brings you the whole story.
Alright folks, that’s gonna do it for today. I’m Jesse Dominick for USA Really saying thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a great weekend!