Thursday, January 13, 2022



New York (CNNBusiness) -- Grocery store shelves across America are wiped clean, and they're staying empty as stores struggle to quickly restock everyday necessities such as milk, bread, meat, canned soups and cleaning products.

Disgruntled shoppers have unleashed their frustration on social media over the last several days, posting photos on Twitter of bare shelves at Trader Joe's locations, Giant Foods and Publix stores, among many others.

By “disgruntled shoppers” on “social media” I assume they mean the people working the #BareShelvesBiden tag -- which is as obvious a coordinated campaign as it gets. (Sometimes they use foreign grocery shelves to illustrate their point.)

The other day my wife went to the Eastern Market Trader Joe’s and found many of the shelves empty. There was a note explain the situation, pictured below: 

Makes sense. She went to a Whole Foods a mile away and got everything we needed. Also TJ’s was stocked back up the next time she went in.

Temporary shortages during a snowy winter and a freaking pandemic are neither new nor a big deal, and it may seem puzzling at first that operatives are telling Americans who are in absolutely no danger of running out of food or even missing a meal that somewhere in this favored land we’re experiencing Soviet shortages. Wouldn’t they go to their own grocery stores and see the disconnect?

But these days propaganda is often about the Other who are portrayed as suffering or depraved; the message is that you better watch out or else their suffering or depravity will be visited on you. The best example is all those rightwing stories about how crime is out of control in the cities and you can’t walk down the street without getting shot (which I recall was an actual line from one of Trump’s 2016 debate yammerings). Many Americans (and certainly most Republicans) don’t live in cities and have little experience of them, so they may be easily persuaded that urban life is one big prison-yard smorgasbord of violence punctuated by BLM “riots,” and that the evil Democrats who run these hellholes will try to drag you good non-city folk down with them via their drive to “abolish the suburbs.”   

The idea is to portray people who live differently from you as not only deprived but depraved, and thus a threat to your way of life -- and that’s why, the reasoning seamlessly goes, we have to keep them from doing “election fraud,” i.e. voting. 

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