It’s time for 2018’s losers.
Biggest Loser: President Trump. But not for the reasons one might expect. Fact is, he accomplished quite a bit over the last year, including bringing nuclear-happy Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table; implementing his tax cut; demanding that NATO countries pay up; and pulling troops out of the Syrian quagmire.
The President’s biggest mistake was reversing his position of several years ago, when he correctly criticized President Obama for bringing Ebola-stricken patients into the U.S. for treatment, and for not banning flights from West Africa.
While Americans have been busy watching Netflix and sipping lattes, it has gone largely unnoticed that the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history is ravaging West Africa — including, for the first time, the virus gaining a foothold in a city of over a million.
Yet, mindbogglingly, the President just allowed a medical worker with possible Ebola contamination onto American soil. And flights from West Africa continue unabated — even though Ebola’s cousin, the equally deadly Marburg virus, just appeared in West Africa for the first time.
Need this column remind Mr. Trump that Ebola is the deadliest virus in history, with mortality rates up to ninety percent, and one that continues to surprise scientists? And that the Centers for Disease Control — the self-proclaimed “authority” on Ebola — did virtually everything wrong the last time it brought Ebola patients here? And that the smart way to deal with infected Americans is to quarantine them on specialized Navy ships or remote islands with CDC bio-containment units?
Mr. President, for the sake of the world, become a winner on this. Before it’s too late.
9/11 Memorial in NYC: By its somber nature, the 9/11 museum cannot be described as “spectacular,” but it is extremely well-done and a must-see.
That said, its operation is inexcusable. On a recent trip, this author saw hundreds upon hundreds of people — with timed tickets — repeatedly placed in wrong lines. Instructional signage was virtually nonexistent, and what limited personnel were on hand didn’t have a clue about where people should go. There were no signs differentiating will-call, City Pass, timed tickets, walk-ups, etc., so many people stood in the wrong lines for well over an hour — only to be told they had to do it all over again. One Midwesterner had 9 a.m. tickets, but due to staff incompetence, stood in pouring rain for almost two hours in three different lines. And since she had to leave by 12:30, she didn’t come close to seeing all the exhibits. Others simply walked away, leaving money on the table, while angrily asking why there were “timed” tickets if entry wasn’t anywhere close to the allotted time.
Yet the museum states, “Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your entry time. We can guarantee entry only on the date and time of the reservation.”
Foreign visitors who come to pay their respects should not have to experience such an embarrassment. But it’s absolutely unacceptable that Americans can’t even enter their most hallowed of memorials without a sour taste.
It’s ridiculous that it took thirteen years to construct (each of the Twin Towers was erected in less than three years). But since it’s been open since 2014, museum staff should know what they’re doing.
Of all things, how can they not get this right? We don’t expect perfection. But competence at such a sacred place should be a given. Americans, and especially the nearly 3,000 victims and their families, deserve no less.
Michael Flynn: The legal team of President Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn actually argued that Flynn wasn’t told that lying to the FBI was a crime. Seriously? He was a General who served 33 years in the military, operated at the highest echelons of business and government, and was as politically seasoned as they come. If nothing else, such stupidity merits jail time. What a pathetic way to end a stellar career.
Forever 21: The clothing store caved to pressure and apologized for a white model wearing a “Wakanda Forever” sweater that was associated with movie "Black Panther."
But why apologize, and thus give credibility to a few bored social media freaks who didn’t like it? Those people are offended by everything, so who cares what they think! After all, under their rationale, no ethnicity other than blacks should be allowed to wear that sweater. Intolerance is a problem, but the cowardice that feeds it is the real issue. Forever 21 couldn’t be forever gone soon enough.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: Philly’s murder rate is up a staggering 12 percent, and homelessness, poverty and violence rates rank among the nation’s highest. Yet the Mayor’s priorities seem to be rebuking the President and championing Sanctuary cities. Given that Philadelphia is a Democratic stronghold, the blame for Philly’s colossal failures lies solely with Kenney.
Finally, it’s a shame that people can’t take five seconds to sign their Christmas cards, which would give that almost-extinct gift called personal interaction. Hopefully that will change in 2019!
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.