Draft of a letter to the Grey Lady

I find myself so churned up these days, as truth and outrageous fiction have become interchangeable in politics, and even reasonable medical advice is weaponized for “political” ends in our 40% John Birch Society America. 

The news is an ongoing nightmare to me, as things that should not be in controversy at all are continually fought to the death — you say reality, I say Q!

Since the Chauvin trial for killing the handcuffed George Floyd began on March 29th, only 64 civilians, a mere three a day, have lost their lives during encounters with police, (50% of them have been white) [1]. The question everyone on the right is asking — why are Blacks and liberals claiming there’s a problem with police violence, or the disproportionately racist application of police violence?

Now we have new headlines informing us that Republicans are starting to unite in their opposition to a commission to study if prominent Republicans organized, funded and fomented the January 6 riot at the Capitol (and let it rage for hours, unchecked).  Of course they are united in opposing it. You would be too!

So, in the absence of something more concrete to do about anything today, I’m taking Sekhnet’s advice and drafting a letter to the NY Times about their recent “puff piece” for Jeff Bezos.


To the Editor:

I have to question why an article that concludes “Turnout for the vote was low, at only about half of all eligible workers, suggesting that neither Amazon nor the union had overwhelming support” was headlined Why Amazon Workers​ ​Sided With the Company Over a Union​. If the article had been PR written by Jeff Bezos himself, it could not have been more faithful to his point of view or desired outcome.Fittingly, it ends with Mr. Bezos promising shareholders he’ll do even better to make his lowest paid employees even happier.  

The authors observe that if the estimated 25% of the workforce that “turned over” during the three month organizing/voting period had stayed, the union likely would have prevailed.

Among crucial issues unaddressed by the article, if Amazon workers in fact sided with their employer over the union, and love their well-paying $15/hr. jobs and health insurance from day one, why does Amazon have such massive worker turnover, even during a pandemic and economic hard times in one of the poorest states in the US?

The reader is left to piece together, from the “wish” expressed by Amazon supporters that they could have more than a 30 minute break during their ten hour shifts, that working conditions might be less than ideal at the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon fulfillment center.

The reader is left completely uninformed about the “aggressive” (and multi-million dollar) measures Amazon took to defeat the union and dissuade half of its workforce from voting at all.

We get only the gentlest hint of the famously oppressive conditions at the Amazon warehouses that cause so many to quit their jobs, even in one of the poorest states in America, during an international health emergency. As though the right to urinate when it’s urgent is irrelevant compared to a generous minimum wage and company provided health insurance.

Eliot Widaen, New York, NY

Mr. Widaen is a wild-eyed hothead who is often angered by the status quo-defending distortions regularly published by the Journal of Record.


Grrr… grrrrr!!!

The NY Times has got me by the throat lately, I just read this beautifully crafted, non-judgmental paragraph, in the article cited above, about the 64 civilians who died in encounters with police since the Chauvin trial began three weeks ago, that is making me foam at the mouth slightly:

And their [police killings] fallout has been wrenchingly familiar, from the graphic videos that so often emerge to the protests that so often descend into scuffles between law enforcement and demonstrators on streets filled with tear gas. Just as one community confronts one killing, another happens.


Reasonable, constitutionally protected protests that are typically met by police clad in anti-riot gear, deploying crowd dispersal methods designed for use against violent insurgents “so often descend into scuffles” on streets “filled with tear gas” (probably terrorist tear gas, no?, beautiful thing, that passive voice — who released the tear gas that filled the streets “filled with tear gas”?) 

Makes me wanna holler.

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