Happy Thanksgiving, One and All!
Hello hello hello and welcome one and all to our Thanksgiving Day daily podcast here at USA Really! Its November 22, the fourth Thursday in November, and it’s time to stuff our faces with gobs of turkey and stuffing and potatoes and whatever other yummies you have adorning your tables! And, of course, don’t forget, the most important part of the day is to remember to be thankful—for your family and friends and for everything you have in your life—both for the good times and the hard times that help us to grow as people. And remember, gratitude is something addressed to someone—and that ought to be God, from Whom all blessings flow.
And of course we all need money and can be thankful when we have it, and we’ve got two chances for you to grab fistfuls! First is our Global Democracy Award where we’re looking for original works on the US government’s interference in other states, and our Zuckerberg Wanted action where we’re looking for solid evidence of the government enforcing illegal censorship online, and especially on social networks. In both cases, you could find yourself the happy owner of several thousands of dollars, so check both of these items out!
And with that, on with the articles! And let’s kick things off with a look at our opinion piece for today. It’s entitled “What is behind the disintegration of civility in America? – Part I” and it’s by Seraphim Hanisch. The last few months have been noteworthy in terms of lack of civility and the increased prevalence of violence motivated by political or cultural viewpoints in the United States. We have seen the most obvious smear campaign in modern history with the attempt to block Judge Brett Kavanaugh from confirmation to the US Supreme Court. Even now we see various newly elected US Representatives with plans to somehow impeach the man from this post. We have seen a never-ending barrage of attacks against the President, most of them led and condoned by many major media outlets, The New York Times and Washington Post and CNN acting as the ringleaders. Never in modern history has a duly-elected President faced such expressly biased and dishonest opposition. This behavior holds at all levels. In Colorado Springs on October 20, a young man who was “doxxed” and discovered to be a very politically conservative Orthodox Christian was attacked brutally by members of “Antifa.” He was attacked with knives as well as fists, and he suffered a broken orbital bone and his face was really beaten badly. For political preference. That’s about the shape of things now, so check out this piece for Hanisch’s thoughts on how things used to be too. It’s a pivotal piece for right now!
Then let’s rock out with some history in our “This Day in History” piece. On this day in 1963, a pretty momentous event took place that really rocked the entire nation, and it’s something we still talk about today. Know what it is? The assassination of JFK. This remains one of the biggest mysteries in American history. Who really shot him? How many people were involved? Was there a shooter on the grassy knoll? Why did they shoot him? There’re various theories on all of that. Will we ever know the truth? Does the government know the truth? Big questions. And on this day in 1987, hackers hijacked the signal of local Chicago TV stations, scaring both employees and viewers of the channels. First a sportscast was interrupted for about 25 seconds, and two hours later an episode of Dr. Who for about 90 seconds. And on this day in 1995, Toy Story was released. Dang! That means I’m old! Already 23 years ago… That’s crazy! Unless you live in a cave, you know what Toy Story is, but check out this piece for more details on all these stories.
Next up is an economic piece: “Why Oil Prices Go Down.” There’s an interesting situation today: While the world has witnessed a wave of protests against the increase in gas prices, the price of a barrel has been falling. On Tuesday, the Brent brand was trading for $67—a 23% decline from early October. After the American sanctions against Iran were announced in March, it seemed that nothing could stop the price of oil, which has repeatedly moved above $80. Traders believed that the loss of more than a million Iranian barrels would exacerbate the already tense situation in the oil market and push prices up to $90 or even $100. In fact, the exact opposite happened. Demand remains high, but all oil-producing countries have increased production at the same time, flooding the market with excess oil. All of this depends on complex geopolitical factors, and this piece attempts to take you through them, so be sure to check it out.
Next up is Part 16 of our series “Voting Problems, Fraud, Scandals Plague Polling Places Across America” and this time it’s about Kansas. Election Day in Kansas was marked by strange polling locations, which the authorities moved outside the city. In Dodge City, a federal judge decided not to move the site to another location when the authorities initially set up a place outside the city and more than a mile from the bus stop. While the only polling station for the city's 28,000 registered voters for two decades was the civic center in a majority white part of the city. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere, there were long lines, broken machines, and even lost voter registrations. This all just seems like a huge farce.
Next up is another voting piece, on felons in Iowa. It’s pretty interesting, discussing the issues with whether felons can vote or not. I guess I never really thought about it. I probably would have assumed they cannot vote, but even in the states that prohibit them in general, they can complete the prohibitive restoration process to get their voting rights back. Nationwide, about 6.2 million citizens cannot vote of hold office because they have felony records. Of them, about 52,000 are in Iowa, and nearly 7,000 of those are black. But, as we said, there is a process, at least in Iowa, of getting the right back, and it is given to some people each year. In 2011, former Gov. Branstad restored the voting rights of 3 people. The following year, 17 had their rights restored, and in 2014 Branstad restored the rights of 23 people. 2016 was a bit of an anomaly with the rights of 106 people being restored. Check out this article for all the details—what kind of materials they need to get their right to vote back, and what kinds of issues are still prevalent.
And you remember yesterday we told you about a fun E. coli outbreak? Well now it looks like there’ salmonella from … TURKEY too! Terrible time for that to happen, isn’t it? But don’t worry, I don’t think it should ruin your Thanksgiving. But, there has been a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. In that case, 164 people in 35 states have fallen ill, 63 have been hospitalized, and one person has died. However, the investigation has led to only a single product recall. So if you’ve had Jennie-O brand ground turkey, well, be careful and toss that stuff out! Oh, and some Duncan Hines cake mix has been recalled too. Check out this piece for all the dirty deets!
Aaaaand a law banning female genital mutilation has been declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. A federal judge in Detroit on Tuesday declared a US law banning female genital mutilation unconstitutional, and also dismissed several charges against two doctors and others in the first US criminal case of its kind. Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Matthew Schneider in Detroit, said the prosecutor’s office would review the decision before deciding whether to appeal. FGM is a common practice among many northern and southern African countries, but it is banned or criminalized by at least 59 countries and several international treaties. It is considered a human rights violation by the World Health Organization. It typically involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and is used to control the sexuality of women and girls. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM. Now, it certainly does sound to me like a barbaric practice, but then again, if it’s part of their religion, what grounds is there for outlawing it? I can easily imagine this being a case that gets dragged out and becomes pretty heated.
That’ll do it for the news, but you know the drill—let’s wrap up this whole kit and caboodle with a preview of tomorrow’s opinion piece: “Facebook admits to targeting billionaire George Soros and rival companies Google and Apple in PR attack” by Pradeep Banerjee. This one kind of surprises me. I would have thought FB and Soros would be in cahoots to ruin the world. But, it turns out it’s about diverting negative media attention away from FB: Last week The New York Times reported that Facebook, facing flak over allegations that the Russians used its platform to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections, hired the Republican-linked consulting firm Definers Public Affairs to divert media attention from it and to tie all anti-Facebook groups to the Soros-backed Open Society Foundations. FB responded that Soros had criticized FB in some speech, so they started to investigate to see if there was some financial motivation to him saying this. “Later, when the ‘Freedom from Facebook’ campaign emerged as a so-called grassroots coalition, the team asked Definers to help understand the groups behind them," Facebook added, referring to a coalition of progressive groups that have been critical of the social media platform. “They learned that George Soros was funding several of the coalition members. They prepared documents and distributed these to the press to show that this was not simply a spontaneous grassroots movement,” the Facebook statement also said. There are two constants in this life—where there’s Soros, there’s trouble, and where there’s FB, there’s trouble. Check out this piece tomorrow for all the juicy details!
Alright all yins out there, that’ll do it for us today. Have a great Thanksgiving, and remember especially to thank God! Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.