All Work and No Play Makes America a Dull Boy
Hello out there and welcome to our USA Really daily podcast for December 21. Keeping up with our countdown, that means only 4 days until Christmas! The feel of it is in the air! What kind of fun family traditions does your family or even your hometown have? In my hometown, a group of carolers goes throughout the whole town all night from midnight on Christmas Eve-Christmas day until about 6 AM, heralding the birth of Christ with traditional old hymns. It draws a huge crowd ever year and it’s really wonderful.
And let’s get things started with our announcements: Don’t forget to check out our Global Democracy Award contest, on the theme of the US government’s interference in other states, and our Zuckerberg Wanted action where we’re looking for you to hook us up with some sweet evidence of the government being a pain in the butt and enforcing illegal censorship online, especially on social networks. Both of these items could you bring you several thousand dollars, so check them both out today!
Then let’s keep rolling right along with a look at the first of our two opinion pieces today: “America has become a ‘No-vacation’ nation” by Pradeep Banerjee. He writes: “Christmas is a day of celebration, not just because of its religious importance, but also because it provides Americans a rare opportunity to break away from their otherwise mundane life and enjoy a day off with family and friends. In an otherwise Stakhanovite regime, Christmas represents a rare break. It is no secret that the American oligarchs treat workers as slaves, forcing them to work long hours and with almost no paid vacation time. Fear of repercussions, of being replaceable, and of being forced out of job is increasingly forcing Americans to let go of their vacation time and drudge. In 2017 the average American took just 17.2 days of vacation. Around half of the American workforce did not even avail their full allotment of days off. This grim situation is very different from the situation in other developed countries like France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom where workers are allotted 30 or more days of vacation time in a year.” So, my dear American compatriots. How are we to rectify this situation? We all need a break every now and then, and it even improves our work performance! Allow yourself some time to just kick back and chill. You’ll be glad you did!
Then our second piece concerns the ongoing immigration/border control story: “The Death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, While in U.S. Border Patrol Custody” by Luis Lazaro Tijerina. He says: “When thousands die in war their deaths become a statistic; when one dies out of negligence it is a tragedy. Jakelin Caal Maquin, a very young Guatemalan girl, just seven years old, began to show signs of sepsis shock near the Antelope Wells Port of Entry. Hours later, after being put on a bus to a Border Patrol station, she began vomiting and having difficulty breathing, and finally died December 8 at a hospital in El Paso, Texas. Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death is a death we should never forget. Her death is symbol of the indifference, the callousness, the cruelty that will be remembered as part of the official, legislated immigrant policies of the Federal Government of the United States of America, specifically, the Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of the Trump regime.” Tijerino also tells us about the girl’s father and challenges us to think about what we can really do in such situations, other than thoughtlessly reading about her death. He also includes a heartfelt poem that he offers in her memory.
And before hitting the news, let’s jump back in time with our “This Day in History” article. On this day in 1826, the Fredonian Rebellion began. What’s that, you ask. I asked the same thing! It was one of the first attempts made by White settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico. The settlers were led by Empresario Haden Edwards and they declared independence from Mexican Texas, creating the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches in the eastern part of the state. The short-lived republic encompassed the land the Mexican government had granted to Edwards in 1825 and included areas that had been previously settled. However, the whole thing soon fell apart, but you’ll have to read the article to find out how and why. On this day in 1861, the Medal of Honor was established—the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration, given for acts of valor. More than 3,500 such medals have been given out since then. And on this day in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves premiered—Disney’s first animated feature film, and the first full-length animated feature film in general. It has gone on to be one of the top 10 performing movies in North America of all time.
This is a really sad and pathetic story: “Heartless Vandals Strike Cars оf Senior Living Center Residents in West Las Vegas.” The parking lot is being painted at the senior living center where they live, so they had to park on a dark side street where there’re no security cameras. Unfortunately, that left their cars open to vandalism, and that’s what happened. We’re talking elderly citizens who live on fixed incomes. For several of them who were victimized, that means they have no money for Christmas—using instead to fix and repair their cars. How sad. One woman left a note on her car for the thieves—whether they will see it or not, we can’t say. Whatever the case, this is surely a sad, sad story.
Next up is an article on that theme that America just can’t seem to get away from: “Milwaukee Cop Loses Job for Racist Memes.” It’s the same old story we hear so often. Someone made some stupid remarks or social media posts, and later it comes back to bite them. So Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown must have been tasered by the police at some point, and this cop made a FB post saying it was nice to meet Sterling Brown at work. Then he made another a while later comparing a black man’s hair to a chocolate ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles. Let’s be honest—yes, he was dumb, but this isn’t all that bad, if you have a little perspective. He says he regrets the posts, but they were just jokes. Meanwhile, none of the cops involved in tasing Sterling Brown have been fired—just this guy for posting about it.
And that’s all the news we have for you today. So let’s take a look at tomorrow’s opinion piece and hit the dusty trail. It’s entitled, “Is the CIA Above the Law?” and it’s by Charles Lee Gillenwater. Gillenwater takes to task the author of an article who claimed that the Venezuelan government fleeces its people and behaves as a corrupt actor, pointing out that the assertion had no facts to back it up. And he suggests that the real reason for Venezuela’s terrible economy is actually CIA operations that have carried out an economic war there. Moreover, he writes: “While President Nicolas Maduro’s recent accusations that the U.S. is trying to over-through the Venezuelan Government, have not been substantiated, there is precedent for CIA activities along these lines, specifically, regime change in countries which refuse to passionately embrace Western ideology and leadership.” This piece offers an in-depth analysis of American involvement in Venezuela, pulling the mask off of what we usually hear in the media. So what is the truth about the CIA’s actions there? Read the piece to find out!
That brings us to the end of today’s podcast, my friends. Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.