Dr. Errington Thompson is a critical care trauma surgeon, author, and talk show host. Listen to the Errington Thompson Show, available through Podcast and download at: www.whereistheoutrage.net

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

A few things to think about this Christmas holiday.

Dr. Errington Thompson is a critical care trauma surgeon, author, and talk show host. Listen to the Errington Thompson Show, available through Podcast and download at: www.whereistheoutrage.net
by Errington C. Thompson, MD –

I’m thankful that Joe Biden is our president.

Is he perfect? No. I think that he has proven that he can organize the House and Senate Democrats. He is getting things done. There is no daily drama. No insulting tweets about Mexicans, his genitals, or “sh!thole” countries.

He has managed the Ukrainian war brilliantly. Personally, I think that we should be more involved. This war is about freedom. Freedom of the Ukrainian people to have their own country and their own government. If we, as Americans, can’t support freedom from Russia, I’m not sure that we should support anyone.

Economy

Our economy was recovering just fine from our Covid recession. Uncle Joe and the Dems injected money into the economy against the objections of the GOP. Businesses started hiring at a rapid pace. The world economy was recovering as well, until Russia upset the apple cart. They invaded Ukraine. Oil stopped flowing. Oil prices spiked. Everyone began talking about a recession. Yet Joe and the Federal Reserve figured out how to steer us through this crisis.

Oil prices began to fall, so businesses started cranking up their prices. All kinds of businesses decided that it was okay to raise prices and boost profits in a time of economic uncertainty. The Fed is doing all it can to manage inflation, but this kind of inflation is different from what we saw in the 1970s.

In classic inflation, prices go up, and business profits go down. Employment decreases as businesses shed jobs in order to fight lower revenue. But this is not what we are seeing today. The Fed has responded to inflation by raising interest rates. Businesses have raised prices in order to keep their profits high. Businesses have also continued to hire workers, which has kept our unemployment rate low. It is the average worker that seems to be caught in the squeeze. As an hourly worker, you can’t demand a pay raise to compensate for inflation. (Well, you can demand, but I suspect most employers would ignore, scoff, and otherwise laugh at such a request.)

Joe is doing about as good as anyone can. Managing our economy is like playing three-dimensional chess. Joe isn’t perfect, but he’s proving to be really good.

The Elephant in the Room

Our railroad workers have continued to work during Covid. They have worked under some ridiculous conditions. Little time off. Little or no notice for “surprise” shifts. Their benefits packages are minimal.

A large portion of our economy still moves via rail. One would figure that we would have a better way to move freight like that Star Trek transporter, but we do not have that yet. So, railroad workers were looking for some relief with their new contract negotiations. They want the same thing that you and I want. Increased pay. Better working conditions. Better benefits. More notice between shifts. Negotiations dragged on.

The Biden administration recognized that a strike would cripple the economy at this critical time. They offered to help broker negotiations. They got a deal. Then the deal was sent to the union membership, and four unions rejected the contract. Now, what should the Biden administration do?

This was a terrible dilemma. If Joe Biden and the Democrats want to keep the White House in 2024, the economy must be good. A terrible economy, along with an excuse that, as a Democrat, you are supporting unions, just will not fly with the average out-of-work American. So the dilemma was, should they force business back to the table and allow a strike that would cause enormous damage to our fragile economy? Or should they ask Congress to step in and prevent a strike?

I think that Biden played the only card that was reasonable. He asked Congress to step in and prevent a strike. I would love to see Biden bring both sides back to the negotiation table in six months if the economy is better and see if they can hammer out a long-term deal that everyone can agree on.

Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Kyrsten Sinema has decided to become an independent and leave the Democratic party. I’m not surprised.

I truly dislike folks who are ungrateful. Senator Sinema would have never been elected to anything in Arizona without the Democratic Party machinery. Now that she has name recognition, she believes that she can get re-elected without the Dems. I will work to make sure that she is a one-term senator. I’m positive we can find another progressive like Senator Mark Kelly, who can win a statewide election.

Thank You, Nancy

Nancy Pelosi has stepped down as Speaker of the House. She was a true progressive. She took flack from the Right and from the Left. She pushed, pulled, smiled, and got stuff done. If you really want to know how effective she was, look at the first 18 months of Obama’s first administration. She steered one progressive legislative victory after another through the House. She may be the most effective Democratic leader of my generation—and she’s far and away the most effective Speaker of the House in memory. Thank you, Nancy. (I’m praying that your husband has a full recovery.)

Nazis

I know that in our society, we can’t seem to agree on anything. But we should be able to agree that Nazis were bad. They were an awful scourge on Western society. Millions died in gas chambers. Millions more were killed on the battlefield. Humans were systematically killed because they worshipped the same God but in a different way.

I’m as open-minded as the next guy, but I have no tolerance for Nazis or those who sympathize with Nazis. If you deny that the Holocaust happened, I have no time for you! I don’t want to discuss it. I have read the horrifying accounts of American GIs liberating Nazi concentration camps. I have seen the photos.

Nazism is about hate. It is about treating those who did not fit your exact definition of superior race as sub-human. I’m not going back there. All of the major religions are based on love. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Love thy neighbor. I’m not sorry: I’m rejecting hate in the strongest of terms. If you had dinner with a Nazi sympathizer, then you have rejected the teachings of Christ, Moses, and Muhammad. It is that simple.

Christmas Season

I grew up in the 1970s. I know that seems like a very long time ago. We didn’t have DirecTV or DISH. Cable was in its infancy. The Christmas season was marked by Christmas television specials. Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and many others would have these hour-long, don’t-miss television shows. There was dancing and singing and some funny sketches.

There was the yearly showing of our favorite Christmas shows—A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, and the rest. Remember, if you missed one of your favorite shows, you were out of luck. The show did not air again until the next year. That was it. Thankfully things have changed. You can now stream your favorite Christmas movie whenever you want. Now, whenever you and the family can get together, you can share the same jokes and the same warm feelings of togetherness.

In my household, Christmas music was an integral part of Christmas. In the month of December, a stack of records was placed on the record player, and we had Christmas music from sunrise until we went to bed.

Anyway, here is my list of my top 10 Christmas tunes. This is no particular order.

  •   Nat King Cole – A Christmas Song
  •   Bing Crosby – White Christmas
  •   The Temptations – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  •   Boyz II Men – Let It Snow
  •   Andy Williams – Winter Wonderland
  •   Jackson 5 – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  •   Wynton Marsalis – The Little Drummer Boy
  •   Venessa Williams – Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  •   Take 6 – Amen
  •   Donny Hathaway – This Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


NOTE: The views and opinions expressed here, as well as assertions of facts, are those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Urban News.

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