September 2022 Fallout From Philadelphia

President Joe Biden addressed our nation on September 1 to express his deep concerns that American equality and democracy are under assault. He said, “There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None ever.”

“Too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal… There’s no question the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to democracy… Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic”.

Many of us have been concerned about this very issue for several years now.

We have witnessed firsthand some alarming dangerous attitudes and behaviors by far-right “MAGA” radical groups beginning around 2016.

One of the shibboleths of the current MAGA movement occurred on June 1, 2020

when then-President Trump orchestrated a near-riot in Washington, D.C.  After walking from the White House, across Lafayette Square, to St. John’s Church, he staged a photo-op with a Bible in front of the Church, inspiring those who prefer fear, hate and anarchy to reject honest debate.

These most recent alarming attitudes and dangerous behaviors have much in common with:

  • The second “Red Scare” which began in 1947, and reached its peak between 1950-54 under the leadership of U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy;
  • A period of extreme antisemitism which emerged in the 1930’s, inspired by Father Charles Coughlin (and others) who spread various conspiracy theories, creating a robust underground movement which spread fear that Jews were working for the destruction or replacement of white Americans and Christianity in the U.S., together with (false) allegations which accused “the Jews” of dominating Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, of causing the Great Depression, and of dragging the United States into World War II.
  • The ‘race riots’ of the late 1960’s, which included Birmingham (1963); Harlem (1964); Watts (1965); Chicago (1966); Newark (1967); MLK, Jr. Riots, 125 cities (1968); and the list goes on and on….
  • Post 9/11/01, we witnessed an irrational groundswell of anti-Muslim sentiment.  The al-Qaida terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon represent a very rare and extremist sect of Islam. Despite that reality, many Muslims, as well as other Arab Americans, became the targets of anger, racism and hate crimes, continuing to this day.

Biden’s recent remarks ring true.  He loudly and clearly reminded us that not all Republicans are MAGA Republicans.

Look back to the early 1930’s when Father Charles Coughlin’s radio show was extraordinarily popular, with a weekly audience estimated to be around 30 Million. His theme centered on an isolationist, anti-Semitic and conspiratorial viewpoint that resonated with many listeners at that time.

Yet, we know that not all Catholics were Isolationist or anti-Semitic.  Sound familiar?

The Big Question remains: Who or what is creating false narratives today? Who is spreading hate speech, nurturing and encouraging intolerance in the U.S., empowering the narcissistic blamers who feel marginalized to go off on a compound rage comprised and triggered by:  anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, skin color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and an unidentifiable myriad of other perceived irritations?

Think of the last time you attended an orchestra performance.  The orchestra Conductor led and guided the various sections to complement each other resulting in a rich and complex sound which was pleasing to the audience.

Now, imagine if that orchestra performance was infiltrated by some musicians who refused to allow the conductor to lead.

Within the wind section, the brass instruments would play out of sync with the woodwinds.

Although the string musicians are mostly in harmony, the harpist occasionally takes his lead from the woodwinds, creating periods of discord.

The percussion instruments are off in a zone of their own, just doing what they want, totally out of touch with the conductor or any of the other musical sections, angry that they aren’t in charge.

  • Although relatively small in number, the renegade percussion section has sufficient noise to create complete and destructive cacophony, driving off the audience as well as the other musicians.

A recent report from AdWeek (TVNewser) shows Fox News – in particular, Tucker Carlson at 8 PM – leading the networks in viewership in both total viewers, and in the coveted 25-54 Demographic.

Translation:  Tucker is a money machine.  Advertisers are begging to support his daily hour of glory.

The Wednesday, August 31, 2022 Tucker Carlson show on Fox News began with a review of negative allegations against Joe Biden, including: a sly attack on son Hunter; recall of Joe showering with his daughter Ashley when she was a child; and how his wife currently knows he has Dementia.

Then, a rather long diatribe on the eve of Biden’s 80th birthday and how this is a sign of incompetence; that Joe is fixated on trivial and meaningless issues such as climate change, diversity and trans rights; that he is devoid of any ‘vision’; purely a partisan seeking advantage in the upcoming elections, leading into further emphasis on the negative aspects of Biden’s age.

Carlson continued with more passion, focusing in on recent Biden public commentary related to those individuals in America who have crossed the line into realm of ‘semi-Fascism’. Mr. Carlson managed to inject a critique blasting Biden saying he is, “…the same politician who had the FBI raid the home of the man who is running against him in the next election”.

Carlson segued into a commentary on the White House Press Office. Says Carlson, “… would have been better (for the Press Office to say) that Biden had a stroke, apologize and then move on.”  Carlson further denigrated the intelligence, experience and abilities of the White House communications team, stating, “Biden’s history-making publicist, the single dumbest person to ever hold that job, explained that her boss had spoken intentionally and with precision” then reinforcing the notion that Biden had made a blanket statement that Republicans are Fascists.

Those who may be interested in watching and listening to the entire broadcast are directed here: https://www.fox.com/watch/46d7f725b815fd5a7c10e1a1128558a3/

Meanwhile, enough Walrus commentary on the Tucker Carlson show of August 31.

Tucker is just one of many catalysts working on a base of angry white Christian men, keeping them stirred up by constantly reminding them that external forces have conspired to disenfranchise them.

Joined by his colleagues at Fox News, NewsMax, OAN, various podcasts and conspiracy driven social media groups, they continue to use Donald Trump as their demagogue by echoing and amplifying the ranting and raving of the Monarch of MAGA Americans toward an inevitable second Civil War.

Electric Power Generation v. Commercial Fishing

On August 26, 2022, Fox News (Jesse Watters Primetime) produced and broadcast over public airwaves an attack piece on offshore wind farms. It alleges that Democrats have conspired against the private commercial fishing industry to decimate historic fishing grounds; deprive them and nearby port communities of their legacy commercial activities; and potentially destroy entire regional economies.

Background:  

Wind is one of the cleanest energy sources available, and some scientists insist the U.S. is sitting next to a gold mine. A study published in 2009, “Global potential for wind-generated electricity” (PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) firmly established wind power as the most effective and efficient means to generate sufficient electrical power to meet both present and future needs.[1]

A subsequent study conducted in 2017[2] found that wind speeds over the oceans could allow offshore turbines to generate far more energy than land-based wind farms – with the North Atlantic, in particular, theoretically able to provide enough energy for all of human civilization.

In tapping into wind as an energy source, the U.S. has lagged behind the U.K. and Europe for decades. Two of the largest offshore wind farms in the world are the London Array and the Netherlands’ Gemini wind farm.

The U.S. is beginning to catch up. The first offshore wind farm in the U.S. began generating electricity in late 2016. It consists of five, 6-MW (megawatt) Haliade-X turbines supplied by GE Renewable Energy linked through a submarine transmission cable into the New England grid.  Located about 3 miles off the coast of Block Island, RI, this wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes on the island and to meet around 90 percent of its total electricity demand. [3]

The Current Domestic Situation:  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was created in 2011, and it is poised to review at least 16 offshore wind plans for potential approval in the next three years, up from two total approvals since the agency was created.

The Biden administration apparently has ambitious plans to open up vast swaths of coastline in order to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. Energy companies are stepping up: Six leases off the New Jersey and New York coasts sold for $4.3 Billion in February 2022, the most lucrative wind lease sale in U.S. history.

Among other cases, Oregon officials are asking BOEM to delay a planned lease sale next year over concerns about its potential impacts on commercial fishing.

The commercial fishing industry has real and legitimate concerns which need to be investigated and addressed, honestly and thoroughly.

Interim Conclusion:  This is a very complex issue which needs input from cool heads; full transparency; and no further publicly broadcast emotional diatribes.  Like most issues today, we need to allow real experts to develop and distribute a solid strategy which achieves optimum current and future outcomes for our society as a whole.


[1] This 2009 study was supported by National Science Foundation Grant ATM-0635548; the authors represent an international multidisciplinary team of scholars.

[2] “Geophysical potential for wind energy over the open oceans”; Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305.

[3] Block Island Wind Farm has a peak capacity of 30 MW (megawatts) and is expected to produce around 125,000 MWh (megawatt-hours) of electricity annually.