Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Salena Zito: COVID-19 Allowed Too Many to Pervert Their Power

 TRAFFORD, Pennsylvania -- For the first couple of weeks in December, a tiny, bare tulip tree, common in Appalachia, grows on the trail that hugs Turtle Creek and the eye of passersby. Decorated with cheerful homemade Christmas ornaments, it brought smiles to the faces of cyclists, runners and walkers who saw it every day.

        Some days, people would pull an ornament from their jacket pocket and add it while on their daily stride. On other days, one might see a parent pushing a stroller or with a child on their bicycle stop and look at the delightful little ornaments.

        Without fail, each child would look at it with the same awe you might see from a child who lives in New York City and visits Rockefeller Center to take in that giant spectacle of a tree.

        It was a sad little tree, but it had a lot of love and community around it. And that made it special because the community created it and cared for it.

        Then one day, shortly before Christmas, the tree was stripped bare, the joy it gave gone. Within days, a sign went up that read, "Whoever took our Christmas tree ornaments ... put them back."

        Weeks later, the sign is still stubbornly there -- despite the wind and rain that have pounded the area. It is a reminder that some people demand accountability even for something as seemingly inconsequential as the decorations on a small tree.

        You might wonder why people would go out of their way to strip this tree of ornaments that had no monetary value, other than to do it because they could get away with it. They glean some sense of perverse power. Well, then, certainly the thought has crossed your mind in two years or so: Why have we collectively been allowing people to go out of their way to destroy things in our culture for no reason other than that they get away with it?
        And they too glean some sense of perverse power.

        It is still hard to fathom the number of freedoms and amount of information and liberty we have willingly given away for the past two years during the pandemic to the influential cultural curators within government and institutions such as unions, academia, media and corporations.

        It is still hard to fathom that we have collectively allowed the questioning power to get shunned from polite society and shamed into submission.

        According to those curators, you should lose your job, have stricken your ability to express concerns in a public forum, and have your life turned upside down.

        The leap from the containment at the beginning of the pandemic to the normalization of government overreach has been nothing short of breathtaking. Unfortunately, the same goes for our institutions -- academia, unions, media and Big Tech.

        We've normalized all kinds of genuinely destructive actions in the name of stopping the spread, such as shutting down schools on a dime, giving unchecked power to teachers unions, and firing people for not getting vaccinated. We've upended our children's mental health, expanded our opioid crisis, mandated things we have no business mandating, and cratered our economy.

        Many at the start lost parents and grandparents in nursing homes, where they were alone and isolated with no one who loved them to hold their hand as they took their last breath.

        Power is a wretched force when in the wrong hands.

        We have had press that have not challenged any of this authority, let alone done any solid investigative work on whether there was validation to go to all these extremes. And we've had a president who has been negligent on the crisis -- his only success on COVID-19 has been to divide the country even more bitterly over the topic.

        Whether you are pro-vaccine and anti-mandate or pro-mandate and pro-vaccine, a Democrat or a Republican, we cannot deny that we've given way too many people way too much power with minimal scrutiny or consequences.

        It is a rot, a stain in our culture, one that cannot be fixed by applying more power with fewer consequences and certainly not with more politics. Instead, the resolve to repair it must come from people individually and within our communities.

        In short, like the resilient little sign on the tree along the trail, we need to call out what is wrong and demand we get back what is rightly ours -- our freedoms and our liberty.

        There must be soul-searching in the coming days and weeks as each inevitable strain of COVID-19 tries to hold on to its existence and spread among us. The questioning of power isn't the equivalent of treason or terrorism. The questioning of power is what we have always done throughout our history.

        Without that spirit and determination, we become just like any other country whose people have bowed to power without questioning the ability to wield that power -- and I am pretty confident none of us want our lives stripped of our freedom and our exceptionalism.      

        Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.



Anonymous said...

CNN? She'll be fired for this

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"CNN" must be a typo - it's ZNN, because I saw them on NCIS.

On a related not, CNN hasn't fired an employee for a sex scandal all year.

Anonymous said...

The immanent take down on Big Tony is near. And with him the rest of the traitors in the Democratic Party…. Including the New York liberal Donald Trump. Yes, I sinned. Donald Trump! This SOB is as guilty as the rest. Ron Desantis and christy Noam for a new day ! The Democrat from Hawaii can come along as Secretary of State.

Anonymous said...

He He He He ...Hey Beavis... hmm he.. They are "perverts for power".. he he...

Hail, Fauci said...

When is Fauci getting his Nobel prize for medicine? I heard that he nominated himself and greased some palms in Norway.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you mouthbreathers couldn't get past the word "CNN". She primarily works for the Washington Examiner, that bastion of conservative bullshit and weekly crackpot theories.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Ms Zito

Anonymous said...

We have reached levels of distrust in leadership and media misinformation that I cannot wrap my mind around.

But, I am not at all shocked that those in power have monetized and profited from the manufactured chaos.

And don't kid yourself. Neither political party will ever have any interest in ending the over-reach.

Without term limits and actual uncorrupted checks and balances, it is far too profitable to be a sleazy career politician to ever see real corrections in my lifetime.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS