Author: Harry Herget

Obit for #45

  Obit for #45   I’m scrambling to catch up with editorial writers everywhere who’ve done their homework and written an Obit “in waiting”, albeit a template, for America’s 45th President. It’s rare not to do this for every senior member of our community, state or country who has distinguished himself or herself during their lifetimes. Like a good scout, it pays to be prepared. The lead portion of the obit is the most challenging part compelling me to contemplate several.   [Obit-1] The news of #45’s death was received with a vast mix of emotions.  I was first reminded of a 1947 WP article of what Joseph Stalin was supposed to have said: “If one man dies, that’s a tragedy; if millions die, that’s a statistic.” So which is it? Answer: A statistic.   [Obit-2] #45 has passed and we’re left with the task of memorializing his life’s work.  What comes to mind? Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. “Fourscore, minus seven years ago, Fred and Mary Anne Trump brought forth, on this continent, a new child, conceived in consent, and dedicated to the proposition that one man has been created who is equal to no one.” The rest is history.   [Obit-3] Remembering #45. How do I memorialize you? Let me count the ways: As an American and one of your subjects, my memory is rich with words and...

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Future Of Restaurants: The Good, Bad and Ugly Post COVID

Restaurants On The Move Half of all small, independent restaurants will never reopen. This adds up to more than 250,000 small businesses that will shutter for good. I’ve owned restaurants and bars, including a private club, and I’m not exaggerating when I say most independent restaurants operate at the margins; many need scuba gear since they’re perennially under water. Succeeding in the restaurant business is tougher than tough. Chain restaurants are a slightly different story, but many chains will also close for good.  A chain restaurant is one with a minimum of ten outlets; some, as you know, have thousands of locations like McDonalds and Taco Bell, but the vast majority have fewer than twenty-five. I predict one in five will permanently shut, or about 20,000 chain operations within the year.  This applies primarily to the smaller chains. Failures will occur over a one-year period starting with the original shut down date of March, 2020. The majority will fail before October, 2020, then the balance will continue to close until March, 2021. Why so dire? First, all restaurants are financially tenuous from their outset. This is compounded by the difficulty in hiring a reliable, competent staff.  Lack of loyalty, i.e., continuous turnover, is a certainty; a painful and costly fact of life. Add government intervention to the mix, pumping up unemployment benefits along with COVID emergency pay subsidies, and...

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COVID Death March

COVID Death March Yes, we’re at war. The enemy has been described variously as “invisible, lethal, blind to geographic boundaries, sexual distinctions, religions, races and ages.” The enemy is COVID-19. Now that it’s tireless and mobile armies have covered the globe, elevated it to pandemic status, it wasn’t until it’s hegemony took hold in America did this wraithlike monster become politicized. America’s Very Stable Genius branded it a “Democratic Hoax” then minimized it’s threat by repeatedly casting out false assessments such as, “it’s under complete control, “It will soon be at zero cases, “Nothing to worry about, “In April it will magically disappear.” It didn’t take long for COVID 19 to realize a job interview was at work.  And it worked indeed. Having a Field General who could leverage his prodigious powers to spread evil in the most widespread, lethal ways imaginable was an opportunity that could not be ignored.  COVID 19 dubbed the big brain, General Genocide, then sat back and witnessed his evil magic at work.  He feigned limited support at first; deflected attempts at the truth propagated by the “fake” media; blame shamed the Chinese, the Democrats especially Nancy Pelosi; shifted the subject of his shameful failure to respond to all his early COVID warnings to his alleged saving of thousands of lives by partially blocking travel to the US from China; then, perhaps his most...

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Journalistic Triage

Journalistic Triage In emergency medical situations, when the number of patients needing treatment exceeds the technical capacity to deliver said treatment, attending physicians have to assign “degrees of urgency” to each patient so they can effectively manage the demand and supply of care. To assign degrees of urgency and then to tend to the most urgent first is known as “triage.” We have patients who need immediate, lifesaving intervention; others are serious but can wait; those who need little to no care and, finally, those who are so severely ill or injured their survival is unlikely.   For those of you old enough to remember the movie and subsequent TV series, MASH, (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), set during the Korean War, you witnessed Hollywood’s version of wartime triage.  It was close enough to provide a suitable demonstration.   In medicine, triage optimizes the chances of saving the most lives; in effect, it’s the closest mortals come to “playing God”.   As we struggle through our war with COVID-19, you can rest assured that every ER across this country that’s overwhelmed with patients, is exercising triage protocols.   Sheltering at home has given me the opportunity to read and watch 7/24 coverage of COVID-19.  I’ve consumed enough to qualify, if not certify, me to offer print and broadcast editors some advice: “Learn from the healthcare practice of triage and apply...

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A New, New Deal

A New, New Deal   The U. S. government uses acronyms in so broad and pervasive a fashion it’s qualified them as a separate and distinct language. Perhaps the most timely and memorable  acronym of the twentieth century was a signature component of FDR’s “New Deal,” the CCC:  Civilian Conservation Corps.  It existed for nine years, 1933-1942, and served as a voluntary work relief program for unemployed, single men between the ages of 17-28.  It came on the heels of the Great Depression when unemployment was at record highs and morale among single, young men was low. More than three million men participated in the CCC during its tenure, no more than 300,000 at any given time, and all were engaged in a wide variety of physically demanding, outdoor projects.  These included bridge improvements; road, airport and dam construction; erosion and flood control; reforestation, public picnic and camp development; stream improvements, fish stocking, landscaping, lake and pond development.   There were more types of projects and all fit neatly under the broad umbrella of infrastructure improvements.  After nearly a century, infrastructure issues have re-emerged as a national priority. It’s time to resurrect the CCC. It’s time for a New, New Deal.   It’s time to rethink the New Deal of old and repurpose the New, New Deal of today.  We should roll up our sleeves and begin work building...

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