Tag: Reflections of the Fall

Tired of the oversold flights, cancellations, and bad customer service that seem to be an unpleasant part of traveling by air? The airlines, their employees, and executives certainly have the most proximate responsibility over their day to day operations. But they are also dealing with a distant and menacing power that pressures everything they do. Like most of the corporate world, the airline industry is suffused with the infernal odor of greed, which emanates from Wall Street and permeates like a heavy and ever more stifling gas:

Relentless pressure on corporate America is creating an increasingly Dickensian experience for many consumers as companies focus on maximizing profit. And nowhere is the trend as stark as in the airline industry, whose service is delivered in an aluminum tube packed with up to four different classes, cheek by jowl, 35,000 feet in the air.
“There’s always been pressure from Wall Street,” said Robert L. Dilenschneider, a veteran public relations executive who advises companies and chief executives on strategic communications. “But I’ve been watching this for 30 years, and it’s never been as intense as it is today.”

Read it all at New York Times.

The tragic and mysterious demise of a beloved child star is still under investigation. Erin Moran was adored by millions as “Joanie” in the 1974-84 sitcom “Happy Days”, and its spin off show “Joanie Loves Chachi”. The web is full of stories today about her troubles following the end of her sitcom TV family.

One lesson to learn here is that fame and stardom don’t guarantee a good life or a happy end. Those who reached out to her have said that she rebuffed their attempts. Paul Peterson, a former child star and child-actor advocate, has been quoted as saying, “Erin had friends and she knew it. Abandonment was not the issue… We did our best with the resources available to us, but it was a very dark room. Some don’t find the light switch in time.” (Fox News). Her inner demons apparently included hard drinking, and it was partly drinking and partying that led to her becoming destitute.

Also, there appear to have been issues with her husband. People magazine reported in 2002 that “Moran later married Steve Fleischmann, a Walmart employee, in 1993. The couple moved into Fleischmann’s mother’s trailer in Indiana so Moran could act as her caregiver.” On the surface this might appear to be a compassionate act, but a 2013 public altercation reported by a tabloid calls this into question:

Steve was so angry he stormed out of the bar, and an intoxicated Erin hurled insults at him, like “Get the hell out of here, you big crybaby! Go home, crawl into bed and suck your thumb as you cry yourself to sleep, you mama’s boy!” (National Enquirer)

If this incident truly happened then it raises a question whether she may have been the victim of a “MEM”, or a “mother-enmeshed man”. (Of course this would be but pure speculation here).

What are we speaking of? A mother enmeshed man is the human wreckage left of someone raised by a narcissistic or otherwise domineering mother. A MEM is a man who in many ways is “married to mom”–some of these ways are obvious (particularly if she still calls the shots) and many are much less so (manifesting perhaps as emotional distance, or difficulty with trust). Such a man may be emotionally eviscerated and still controlled by the first great relationship of life–the mother-child relationship. (This can happen to daughters also). By the way, full disclosure here, it hurts me to speak of this, because I may have a whiff of this in my own life, my own marriage.

If you are in a relationship with a MEM, or if you are a man who feels that this may be you, then seek professional help. A helpful 2007 book on this subject is When He’s Married to Mom: How to Help Mother‑Enmeshed Men by Kenneth M. Adams.

Of course, we at this site would remiss if we did not advocate much prayer. And if you are in a covenant of marriage, the closer each of you grows in your relationship to God, the further and dimmer will be the other troubles, and the easier it will be to set healthy boundaries and overcome dysfunctional influences.

(Note: We wish to emphasize, and perhaps to reassure, that we are non-political, and therefore we do not endorse a particular party or candidate in a given election).

The major news outlets, from CNN to the New York Times, have been shown to be in close and unfair collusion with the Democratic Party and with the campaign of Hillary Clinton. In a way, this and the effort by progressives to subvert the Catholic Church from within are the two most troubling revelations from Wikileaks this year.

Other leaks have gotten much more attention in the media and blogosphere, as they have shown us inside information about Clinton’s campaign, touching on how her aides felt about the ill-advised email server, and bringing to light some questionable activities related to her private foundation. But these are merely the private machinations and moral defects of one person. The machinations and moral defects of the Press are another matter altogether.

In the case of the Press, alleged misdeeds are far more sinister and devastating because they have a wider effect. By “The Press” here I am referring to the so-called “mainstream media”, namely the nation’s most prominent newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal), and TV news outlets (CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox), and maybe NPR radio. Note that I am not including blogs (like mine, nice as it may be). Nor do I include progressive or socialist news outlets, or the “alt-right”.  (Regarding “balance” I suppose that one could argue persuasively that if you set the Daily Kos on one end of a teeter-totter with Breitbart on the other end, and put all the other news sources in between, then it all balances out; Although I personally digest information from both ends of the spectrum, I do bemoan this kind of fragmentation–like trying to see through a kaleidoscope). My concern for purposes of this article is about the “mainstream media”.  We are talking about a kind of social institution which has claimed to be our window to truth.

A good bit of the credibility of the Press has been tied to the idea of impartiality.  Despite the fact that media types donate to Democrats over Republicans 10 to 1, and that Gallup polls show most Americans believe the media to be biased towards liberals, those who have publicly questioned this impartiality of the media have generally been dismissed, and besmirched as activists or deceivers. For a recent example, Poynter.com asked University of Connecticut Associate Professor of Communications Dave D’Alessio the question, “Is media bias really rampant?” He replies in the negative; Apparently bias, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder:

“You want to rally the troops. Both of the sides know that the way to get anything done is to get everyone on the same page, so anything they can do to create an opposition is good, because they can point at the media and say “The media are out to get me. The media are out to get us. So we can fight against this. And the way to do that is to vote for me.”

Well, now there is fairly incontrovertible proof that those who suspected unfairness were right. Evidence from released emails suggests that the problem might even be worse than anyone thought.

In one glaring example of collusion CNN contributor and new interim DNC chair Donna Brazile gave to Hillary Clinton some Town Hall debate questions in advance. She was subsequently fired from CNN but remained as interim DNC chair. (See this Fox News report, for example). When confronted about the email, she showed no remorse or sensitivity: “I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said. “Podesta’s emails were stolen. You’re so interested in talking about stolen material, you’re like a thief that wants to bring into the night the things that you found that was in the gutter. (Read more at Politico).

Here are a few more examples:

The Democratic National Committee apparently suggested questions to CNN to hammer at Trump and Cruz.

A Washington Post reporter asked for DNC research / dirt on Trump to put into an article.

CNBC asked the Clinton campaign what questions to ask Trump in advance of an interview.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, has been famously quoted as saying that the New York Times is “our press”.  In support of this idea, leaked emails have shown that he apparently received rough drafts of Politico and New York Times stories to read over prior to publication. In one email he gloated about having placed pro-Hillary articles in Politico.  Furthermore, Clinton staffers were given the option of vetoing parts of NYT stories.

To its credit, the New York Times has issued a statement that, while not containing an actual apology, nonetheless pledges to its readers to do better:

…we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.

We will hope that the New York Times lives up to this pledge. In the meantime, we are filing this under the category of “Reflections of the Fall”.