(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) The internet has been swamped with frenzied articles, posts, and social media wars over Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets and ABC’s subsequent cancellation of her recently rebooted show. People are squabbling over her right to free speech, the network’s right to cancel the show, and the hypocrisy of right-wingers backing Roseanne’s right to free speech while they deny the right of NFL players to allegedly disrespect their special national song and piece of cloth.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government’s inane and depraved brutality and incompetence continue unabated, regardless of how triggered its subjects are over a famous pill popper.
Here is a sampling of things that are of more consequence to humanity than a crazy celebrity’s incoherent ramblings and a Hollywood entertainment company’s reaction to them:
1. In between complaining about how Disney’s Bob Iger treated him, President Trump slapped a 25 percent tariff on goods coming into the country from China, a move that ultimately burdens working Americans. It covers $50 billion worth of goods.
2. The Department of Homeland Security has doubled down on its plans to monitor journalists, an example of threatening free speech that follows previous government efforts to keep tabs on the press and reports critical of the state. DHS insists there is no reason to worry.
3. Exponentially more people died in Puerto Rico as a result of hurricane Maria than previously reported. The government’s official death toll is 64. In truth, it’s over 4,600, according to a survey published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. That’s more than 70 times the government’s tally. The U.S. government’s response to the natural disaster in the U.S. territory was wildly insufficient, and people are still struggling to recover and survive.
5. The Trump administration is covering up civilian deaths in overseas wars even more than the Obama administration, which also tried to keep the numbers under wraps. This is of particular concern considering the number of bombs dropped by the U.S. military has skyrocketed under Trump and that last week, the House of Representatives passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which the ACLU has warned will enable “true global war without end,” allow the U.S. to “declare war on a person,” turn the power to declare war “almost entirely over to this president and every future president,” and grant further authority to any president “to use the military to lock people up with no charge or trial.”
In other recent stories hardly anyone was paying attention to even before the Roseanne feeding frenzy began this week, the NSA is back to collecting record amounts of private data, the TSA is compiling a list of “unruly” travelers, financial experts are warning the economy is on its way to a massive correction, and law enforcement agents are molesting children, raping women, beating unarmed civilians, and responding to citizen complaints about children selling lemonade for charity.
But by all means, carry on about Roseanne.