One of the odd side effects of an event such as Ferguson and the gigantic media black hole that attracts all the possible coverage in US media is the opportunity that it creates for people to act on issues totally unrelated.

This was evidenced last month when the shoot down of the Malaysian airliner taking place at the same time as Israel’s offensive against Hamas kept the media coverage divided to the point where Israel was able to act almost for a week before Hamas’ ability to play the international media effectively. The temporary nullification of Hamas’ media allies was, in my opinion a vital part in Israel’s success in Operation Protective Edge.

With the US media totally distracted by the unrest in Ferguson, a story that is directly in the cable networks wheelhouse those who wish to act on other issues have their best chance to do so, consider:

1. Gaza:

In Gaza the latest ceasefire is about to expire. With Ferguson in full swing Hamas will once again be unable to pay their media card effectively.

This means if Israel wants to take punitive action against Hamas this is the week to do it. If there are any loose ends that have to be taken care of or dramatic moves to make, Israel can do it and be assured that the US media will not be in a position to counter them.

2. Ukraine:

Vlad Putin Ukrainian plans are in real trouble. First of all the Ukrainians elected to fight his proxy army rather than fold and if that wasn’t bad enough after months of tough fighting the Ukrainians are on the verge of victory against the Russian backed “rebels”.

Putin has no good options. He can either continue to try and reinforce and resupply those forces, he can leave them to fend for themselves or he can deploy the army at the border in an open invasion.

The first has been effectively counted by the Ukrainians, the second risks a backlash in Russia proper as Putin’s own propaganda has portrayed his actions as an attempt to safeguard innocent ethnic Russians and the third not only crosses a vital line but escalates the situation to a level possibility beyond his control.

However thanks to the distraction of the US there is one other option open. Putin could choose to make a limited incursion led by massive airpower. If he deployed his air assets he might be in a position to crush Ukraine’s air force and pummel their supply lines long enough to reverse the course of the war. Putin could even choose after a week to back off and get credit for “restraint” after his tactical objectives are achieved.

By the time the US media starts noticing the entire course of the war could change.

3. Iraq

Of the three locations this is the one where the destruction of the US media offers options for both ISIS and America.

ISIS’ faces two problems their victory threatened to undermine Barack Obama’s narrative on Iraq and even worse the plight of the Yazidis captured on video created the image of an American president indifferent to mass slaughter on innocents. This forced America to act.

With America now distracted the Good news for ISIS is they have several options to take advantage of this situation: They can take the opportunity to redeploy to positions that are defensible and consolidate their gains, they can choose to finish crushing and slaughtering the Christians and Yazidis acting proactively while America’s gaze is elsewhere, or they can make moves on the Mosul Dam under the assumption that even destroying the dam will not knock Ferguson off the front pages in America.

The Bad news for ISIS is the distraction of the US media also frees America and the west’s hands to some degree. With the country focused elsewhere the President could choose to escalate the bombing of ISIS positions to degrees far beyond the current small attacks. US special forces can coordinating with the Kurds go on the offensive on the ground to retake areas. In fact if Ferguson goes on long enough the President might be able to quietly reinforce forces deployed in Iraq to a point where they might be able to make a difference without this base giving the issue enough notice.

Of course these are the big things, plenty of small things from onerous regulations, to investigation dumps to, Obamacare changes might also take place at this time, but the window for game changing action in all of those areas above is open now, the only question is will anybody choose to climb through it?

As Fausta will be away on a personal matter today let me take the time to inform you that Mike Salter Talk show host on AM 760 San Diego will be my guest this week on DaTechGuy on DaRadio to talk the events of the week.

And if in the all Ferguson all the time coverage you missed William Hoge & Aaron Worthing talking the Kimberlin Case on DaTechGuy on DaRadio you can catch it either Tomorrow or Friday on the 405 media at noon or if you dont’ want to wait just click here.

One more Fyi on Saturday Sept 6th AND Saturday Sept 13th I’ll be broadcasting live from Leominster MA at the natural discount shop 614 North Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453. Come on by and say hello.

For us the Jews are Scripture’s living words, because they remind us of what Our Lord suffered. They are not to be persecuted, killed, or even put to flight.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Today is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Doctor of the Church and the Patron Saint of Fitchburg Mass.

While Bernard is noted for his work as an abbot and as a Doctor of the church he like the much better known modern saint Maximilian Kolbe spoke out against attack against Jews in what would someday be Germany:

a fanatical French monk named Radulphe was apparently inspiring massacres of Jews in the Rhineland, Cologne, Mainz, Worms, and Speyer, with Radulphe claiming Jews were not contributing financially to the rescue of the Holy Land. The archbishop of Cologne and the archbishop of Mainz were vehemently opposed to these attacks and asked Bernard to denounce them. This he did, but when the campaign continued, Bernard traveled from Flanders to Germany to deal with the problems in person. He then found Radulphe in Mainz and was able to silence him, returning him to his monastery

Given the open anti-Semitism we’ve seen in Europe and the cowardice in confronting it I’d say it is most fitting on the feast of St. Bernard to remember his words and actions in combating this evil.  May we on his feast day follow that example with the same zeal and courage.

Michael Corleone: What is the point of confessing if I do not repent?
Cardinal Lamberto: I hear you are a practical man. What have you got to lose, eh?

Godfather 3  1990

 

As the Police, Black Panthers, National Guard, Governor, President, Activists, Black Leaders et/al have failed to bring peace and calm to Ferguson might I suggest we go in a different direction to end the violence, namely prayer and the intercession vocation of the relevant Saints:

For Police this prayer invoking St. Michael the Archangel their patron (via Catholic Supply):

Saint Michael, heaven’s glorious commissioner of police,
who once so neatly and successfully cleared God’s premises
of all its undesirables, look with kindly and professional
eyes on your earthly force.

Give us cool heads, stout hearts, and uncanny flair for
investigation and wise judgement.

Make us the terror of burglars, the friend of children and
law-abiding citizens, kind to strangers, polite to bores,
strict with law-breakers and impervious to temptations.

You know, Saint Michael, from your own experiences
with the devil that the police officer’s lot on earth is not
always a happy one; but your sense of duty that so
pleased God, your hard knocks that so surprised the
devil, and your angelic self-control give us inspiration.

And when we lay down our night sticks, enroll us in your
heavenly force, where we will be as proud to guard the
throne of God as we have been to guard the city of all
the people. Amen.

For African-American protesters these prayers invoking their patron St. Benedict the Moor via Sunday thoughts:

O God, by whose grace your servant Benedict the Moor, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

and  (via the Franciscan Saints calendar)

O God, who didst enrich St. Benedict, Thy confessor, with heavenly gifts, and didst permit him to be distinguished in the Church through miraculous signs and virtues, grant us, we beseech Thee, that through his merits and intercession we may receive Thy benefits. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Finally for the lawyers who are representing all sides as well as those who may prosecute and defend the case St. Thomas More: (Via about.com)

Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints:

Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.

Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God’s first. Amen.

While thanks to the sin of pride it is always the instinct of man to act without thought of God one of the best ways of handling any crisis is to  invoke God before you undertake to tackle it either through direct prayer, or the intercession of  Mary or a relevant patron saint.

I submit and suggest that a few days of these prayers will do a world of good to all concerned.

To those who scoff at such an idea let me ask the practical question:  Given nothing else has brought peace, what have you got to lose?

…things continue to crash and burn in a figurative sense:

A Boston fish company and one of the biggest seafood suppliers to Market Basket cut ties with the supermarket chain Monday. The fish company’s chief executive cited “one strategic blunder after another” as the reason and said the move would continue until former corporate employees return to work.

This should be no surprise to anyone who has been following this from day one and the fish guys are not alone

Paul Hatz of Watertown Greek specialty food company Extra Virgin Foods—said he was overpaid, to a much smaller degree, by more than $3,000. But the firings played a bigger role than payment issues in his decision to cut ties, Hatz said, because some of those employees were the people he had been closely working with since he began selling to Market Basket in 2011.

“When they threw out everybody I worked with, I decided I didn’t want to do business with them,” he said.

Hatz said he does about $2 million in sales to Market Basket each year.

Three other vendors spoke to Boston.com Monday and Tuesday, but did not want to publicly identify their companies because they are still doing business with Market Basket. Between the three of them, they said they have been overpaid by more than $250,000.

Now the first thought of people might be, what’s the problem we have extra dough? but it messes up the books and speaks to the incompetence of the new management team.

Meanwhile a name familiar to me has spoken up as well:

I really don’t think there’s any other viable buyer for the company,” DiGeronimo said about Hannaford’s reported bid. “It’s clear [Arthur T.’s] got the vision given what he’s done with the company these past four years. If you’ve got the food business in your blood it’s all you want. And for Arthur T., this is his life. Who would want to take the risk of buying a company with a workforce committed to another leader?”

I remember victory market, and the DiGeronimo brothers and Victory Markets. They ran a good supermarket and before Market Basket came to town it was where we shopped. There were several in Fitchburg all of which were closed once Hannafords took over and he absolutely gets what is going on:

It’s that loyalty that’s been the driving force in the Market Basket dispute. And it goes way back. The former Victory CEO saw it first hand when his stores were competing against Market Basket.

“We were always able to attract good help from other companies,” DiGeronimo said. “Name a company and we could get them. Except one. We were never able to get a Market Basket employee to jump ship.”

and has seen it first hand

Three years later when my dad died he was the only grocer in the entire industry that called me. And he made a generous donation to St. Anne’s Church in my father’s name. So, all those stories about the little things he does — they’re true.

People dont’ forget a kindness, and if a former CEO is impressed by a fellow millionaire showing kindness unsolicited, how much more will a guy with a mortgage a car payment working 9-5 for $10 n hour?

And that more than any other reason is why a month later the stores are as one person put it: “an introvert’s paradise” and the store of choice for the Anthropophobia victum near you.