s Blogpost # 845                                       MILITANT IGNORANCE

We have always noted that ignorance and fear have been the conjoined twins of bigotry, both features being quintessential to such anti-societal depravity. In a recent essay, “Barbarians at the Gate,” we lamented reductionism and pseudo- fantasy, in lieu of preferable, enlightened reason and empiricism, practiced by many of the Nation’s citizenry. It is among such specific population that the atavistic, perception of extant mortal threat by the mere perception of difference, notably in external appearance, underlies the mutually, harmful and exclusionary response. As previously observed, the omission, of a substantial part of our Nation, to seek requisite enlightenment, has historically, led to the failure of personal advancement and the consequential, persistence of primitive ignorance.

The Nation has, concernedly, experienced a notable rise of right-wing affiliated groups, such as the White Christian Nationalists; the latter, a part of a pernicious and substantial, network of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-black groups, seeking to transform the democratic context of the American Nation. The 1/6 insurrection has frighteningly, revealed how close the 2020 election came to be violently, overturned. Additionally, SCOTUS, has, unprecedently and improperly, become political, and has irresponsibly, lurched to the right. In so doing, it has stricken down the Constitutional right of abortion, issued right-wing, inspired, decisions on immigration, environmental regulations and issues concerning the separation of church and State. These, improper, SCOTUS (because, political, and responsive to private interest) decisions may be seen as a part of a wide cultural, religious and political philosophy based upon a flawed, “Christian” reading of American history, avidly, subscribed to by the aforesaid, White Christian Militia groups.

The Founders of our Nation, who were non-religionists (Deists) or complete atheists, clearly, expressed their uniform intention, that the new Nation be secular, and not suffer an established or preferred religion; as it, presently, does not. It was Madison, who, in drafting the U.S. Constitution, stated, “If we put “God” in the Constitution, it leaves man out.” Thus, the word, “God,” is nowhere to be found in the United States Constitution, nor was this Nation, intentionally, created to be anything other than a secular State. What, indeed, was, relevantly and significantly, provided, in the Constitution, was the express provision, famously, known as the “Establishment Clause,” “Congress shall make no law, respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Founders, bearing in mind the misery and injustice of the long history of European established religions, wisely, wanted none of it.

It is undeniably, clear that this Nation was, emphatically, created, by its Founders, to be secular, and not, as the fervently, ignorant, Christian White Supremacists, would like to maintain, viz., a “Christian Nation,” nor anything other than sociologically, and religiously, secular. So much for the word “Christian” in the Militia’s Title.

Regarding the other motivational word in the despicable and undemocratic organization’s proud title, “White,” (viz., “Christian White Supremacists), the words, “Christian White,” in their militant militia’s name, is likewise, nonsensical. Upon the assumption that the apocryphal Jesus, actually existed, as he is portrayed in the “Holy Book,” it is similarly, incontrovertible, that the religiously, revered Savior was not “white;” being born  in the Middle East, it would, empirically, follow that he was light or dark, brown colored skinned, but certainly, not “White.”  Moreover, being born to a Hebrew mother, he would, ineluctably, be ethnically, Jewish. So much for militant, “antisemitism.”

Should some half- literate person, by chance, happen to suggest, that the widely publicized, title, “White Christian Nationalists,” is, ignorant and brainless jabberwocky, we might find ourselves in mutual agreement.

-p.

Post# 844      APHORISTIC CALAMITY

[PROLOGUE: While seated at the front portion of a NYC bus, trying, as best as possible, to tune out the absolutely, inane conversation of two riders, standing above, we, visibly, grimaced as we heard the recitation of the single, most egregious of all the tiresome aphorisms. The following essay is an attempt to rationalize and assuage our feelings of revulsion.]

We, as loyal devotees of John Locke’s empiricist theory of experiential learning and acquired reason, as the singular source of Mankind’s acquisition of knowledge, have consistently, denigrated, pre-fabricated formulae, purporting to be universal guides for appropriate or effective, behavior, known as “aphorisms.”  Our objections are primarily, based on the universal and eternal demonstration that the individual does best when he thinks for himself. Stated otherwise, reliance on inflexible, pithy statements of inherited, purported, wisdom is an irrational and reductionist choice; it is the lazy and erroneous, surrender of the use of individual reason.

Aphoristic advice is by its nature, erroneous and misleading, as being too general and not tailored to the nuance of the individual experience. Many frankly, are just plain idiotic or else, directly the obverse of other aphoristic expressions of pseudo-wisdom. Example, “The early bird catches the worm,” may amount to universal advice leading, to impulsivity. Some matters, by their nature, require adequate thought and deliberation. Aphorisms require little personal thought, and, as stated, often are gibberish, “wisely,” and confusedly, prescribing, inconsistent or opposite behavior. Example, “The early bird catches the worm,” or, “He who hesitates is lost” would seem to universally, advise immediacy of action and avoidance of hesitation.  Conversely, the admonitions, “Look before you leap,” and “Good things happen to those who wait,” appears to, universally advise prudent hesitation. The contextual point is that reliance upon such recommendations is hazardous. There are no fixed recipes for appropriate behavior, which, in truth, pragmatically and empirically, depend upon individual perception, almost as much as the situational setting and relevant facts. There are, as well, traditional trivia that, completely, defy all mortal understanding, such as, “Handsome is, as handsome does.” (What?) It may well be that aphorisms are, effectively, hazardous to human health, like “hazmats.”

Unless an individual counts himself as one of the rare, reincarnations of the cunningly, tactical and immoral, Niccolo Machiavelli, it would appear that the most repugnant, aphorism, and one, ultimately, deserving of the greatest censure, is “The end justifies the means.” The clear meaning of this drivel is that a good outcome (or the intention to bring it about) excuses any wrongful acts, committed to attain it. [This overheard, baleful expression of pseudo-wisdom was the stimulus for our above, introductory, reaction on the bus and, emotionally, provided the inspiration, for this essay.]

It should be incontrovertible, that the determination of an act’s morality depends upon the nature and quality of the act, itself, and not upon its outcome, the latter, often being unpredictable. An immoral or anti-social act, retains its quality as objectionable, even if it, subsequently, (possibly for unintended, reasons), does result in a positive outcome.

Moreover, there does not seem to be a universal consensus, concerning the many, divergent perceptions of the nature of a “good outcome.” The so-called, and clearly erroneous, “ends justify the means,” ignorantly and reductively presupposes, that in our diverse and polarized, Nation, there is universal, agreement as to the determination of “good” outcomes. This portion of the subject aphoristic statement is the most sophomoric, and reductive; and demonstrative of the uselessness and, indeed, the rank stupidity of the institutional utility of all “well worn” aphorisms.

The most societally egregious and troublesome issue, concerning this antique chestnut, is yet to be stated. How does society judge or punish wrongdoing, allegedly, performed, by a miscreant, who tactically and falsely, alleges the intention for a positive outcome or good purpose? Any criminal on apprehension by the authorities can indulge in the “chutzpah,” to allege that his motive in performing the serious felony, was with the intention to bring about a good, or societally positive, outcome.

As eternally demonstrated by history, not only does a good outcome ever justify bad means, but further,  history teaches that bad means, eternally, lead to bad outcomes; violent means lead to violent outcomes, unjust means lead, inevitably, to unjust results. Violent revolutions, ineluctably, have led to violent outcomes, like those, which took place in the France, Chinese and Russian revolutions, which, predictably, resulted in violent outcomes. It might empirically be noted, that the means shape the ends.

We would dare to go further. Our view is that there is little moral distinction between “means” and intended “ends.” In fact, it is our personal observation, that, not only does the nature of the means, define the moral nature of the ends, but, from an empirical, perspective, the means, effectively, are the ends.

-p.      

Post # 843  BIG TROUBLE IN A SMALL POCKET

Longtime followers of this blogspace, whether, or not in agreement with our view on the subject, are familiar with our eternal, principled opposition to the use of smartphones and ordinary cell phones, as the primary, or exclusive, vehicle for interactive communication (conversation). Ubiquitously, useful for many purposes, the smartphone, nevertheless, has been, for many people (especially, the young), the exclusive resource for conversation. We have long been greatly concerned with the effects of its universal use, supplanting natural, face-to-face and telephone conversation, with the mutual transmission of impersonal digital signals to another’s hand-held small, lighted screen.

It has been our concern, in essence, that the regular assurances of self-affirmance, the observed and recognizable, personal nuance, and the ability to spontaneously and satisfactorily express emphasis and emotion, ought not to have been, foolishly surrendered in exchange for cold, impersonal, digital transmission, often, transmitted and not read until some various time. We have eternally been concerned, lest the relative impersonality and loss of a mutually, recognizable, voice and personality, would, in time, result in feelings of loneliness and personal insularity. As an empirical, fact, no doubt, many members of the younger generation would have precious little, if any, recollection of the rewarding experiences of face-to-face or telephonic social interaction. We would venture to presume, analytically, that the younger generation, as contrasted with their elders, having little or no recollection of, or benefit from, the salubrious practice of natural, personal conversation, logically, would be the most profoundly impacted.

We are of the view, at this point in this essay, that a reprise of our stated views on advanced cell phones and computers in general, would be timely and contextually, useful. While we recognize and laude, the benefits of the ubiquitously, convenient use of computers in improving the quality of life, and the advancement of humankind, we have had serious apprehensions, concerning the exclusive use of digital electronics as an alternative to natural spoken interaction. The impersonality and the loss of the comforting security of familiar, recognizable voices, as well as the benefit of spontaneity, we feel, is an “Orwellian” hindrance, to healthy, interactive communication and personality development.

We sincerely regret to say that our anticipated reservations and fears have been confirmed. Recent research indicates that excessive smartphone use is associated with difficulties in cognitive-emotional regularity, impulsivity, general impairment in cognitive functionality, low self-esteem, shyness and an addiction to social networking. Reportedly, 86% of Americans expend considerable time, constantly checking their devices.

The younger generation, which utilizes the “Smart Phone,” exclusively, as its primary means of social communication, is, as previously stated, the most vulnerable to suffer from uncomfortable feelings of singular insularity and loneliness, by such loss of vitally, desired and needed ratification of one’s identified, self-image in socialization with peers. Those personal, long-held concerns, unhappily, have recently, been found, to be far more than justified. Many researchers, we note, now, draw a direct line between the use of smartphones and social media, and a recent, sudden spike in mental health disorders in children over ten years old. They have reported soaring rates of depression and anxiety and a rather dramatic increase in emergency room visits for childhood psychiatric crises. As reported, suicide rates among adolescents, have horrifically, increased by 53% in twenty years. Organizations from the CDC to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Surgeon General’s Office, all agree that we are in the throes of a veritable, mental health crisis, especially, for young people, ages 10 and older.

There is an evident and incontrovertible, emergent need for programs of educative counseling, on the subject of inter-societal communication. Such programs should include, to the extent reasonably possible, a salutary effort, at the renewed restoration of natural, humanistic, conversation and the diminution of social interaction, by means of computerized, handphones, most especially, and crucially, related to the young.

-p.

Post # 842 HUMAN INFRASTRUCTURE

The Biden Administration is deserving of the highest kudos for its recent passage of substantial legislation, targeted to the amelioration of inflation, the provision of needed National physical infrastructure, and, as well, the amelioration of many existing, National and personal problems.

Included in the laudatory legislation, are specific provisions, forgiving a portion of the substantial tuition indebtedness of students of higher education. From a truly fundamental point of view, we value the student relief, the most salubrious of the many legislated benefits.

It is our view that many of the predictable, right-wing detractors are politically motivated and are pandering to the ignorant, or, if sincere, are totally lacking in National perspective and hopelessly, short-sighted. It may be accurately observed, that substantial sums of governmental monies have awarded, as assistance, to many commercial and agricultural enterprises, which, somehow, did not elicit such outcries of unfairness or political partiality, Agricultural, scientific and pharmaceutical research subsidies, substantial banking and finance company bailouts, and needed disaster relief are just a few of the many such examples.

Not surprisingly, many of the right-wing detractors of tuition assistance are, themselves,( hypocritical) beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s largesse, in the forgiveness of private debt; such as the two, vocally, odious, anti-democratic and reductively bigoted, Congresspersons, Marjorie Taylor Greene (reportedly, $183,000) and Matt .6f5, (reportedly, $482,000). Moreover, we would presume that any reasonably competent audit of the financial affairs of Members of Congress, Senators and Congressmen, (not to mention the plethora of high governmental officials), would reveal financial “goodies” for a great many, who, concededly, find themselves in far more desirable financial circumstances, than the lower and middle class, beneficiaries of the Biden Administration’s grant of needed student relief.

 However, our principal theme is not the subject of hypocritical, financial injustice, but rather, the vital benefit to our Nation, by the salubrious policy of Governmental financial assistance to American students, in their acquisition of higher education. Such empathic assistance, amounts, necessarily, to a wise and existentially, valuable, investment in our Nation’s “human infrastructure,” viz., the assurance of citizen capability and, as necessary, the Nation’s military defense.

On the latter subject, we would offer, as illustration, the heroic victory of the small, newly authorized, and poorly supplied, Nation of Israel in 1948, against the English, militarily trained and supplied, Arab Legions. As another, cogent, illustration, we would, once more, reference Germany, in the first third of the 20th Century; the most industrialized and militarily, formidable of America’s three Axis enemies, in the Second World War. Germany, a relatively small to medium size country, came, frighteningly, close to its pernicious goal, of World conquest, due to the quality of its literate and mobilized population; the availability of the latter qualities, being, a Nation’s most valuable, natural, resource.

More recently, we experienced a confirmation of the stated principle that, the most impactful, of all its natural resources, is not a Nation’s possession of fuel, water, steel, or its geographic location, but its people. Contemporary proof of this declared principle is provided the by magnificent defensive response by the Nation of Ukraine, to giant Russia’s unprovoked attack. It is, to us, highly conceivable, that the literate, united and mobilized Ukraine will indeed, prevail, over its giant, and well-equipped, aggressor. Neither the acquisitive lust of the autocratic, Putin, his country’s enormous population, its great oil reserves and other natural resources, in totality, are equal, to the qualitative love of country and sophisticated nature of the citizens of the much smaller, attacked Nation.

Currently, a vast number of serious internal problems, including an existential threat to democracy, itself, besetting the American Nation are, in large part, the result of its vast horde of inadequately, educated and poorly informed citizens. (See: # 839 “Barbarians at the Gate”). As previously, declared, such state of affairs, existentially, hampers democracy viz., government rule by, and for, the people. Historically, America’s population of such citizens has proved, incapable and unmotivated, to render meaningful contributions to the advancement and defense, nor, the very existence of our Democratic Republic. This portion of the population has been proven to be vulnerable to “snake oil” demagogues (like Donald Trump), and to such (his) autocratic style, readily accepting of his disparagement of factual truth, and acceptance of propaganda and bogus conspiratorial ideations. To repeat, this dangerous and shocking state of affairs, unfortunately, is our Democratic Republic’s, politically, dire and sociologically, threatening, conundrum du jour.

Such present, imminent, threat to democracy, posed by our population of inadequately educated and poorly informed (“underbelly,”) populist, supporters of a Trump autocracy, can only be, effectively, confronted by the encouragement of a (more) numerous population of enlightened, citizens.

The Biden Administration’s financial relief accorded to tuition indebted students, is an assistance to, and makes pragmatically, possible, the continuance and furtherance of higher education and, thereby, the strengthening of the Nation’s all-important, human infrastructure, resulting in the advancement and strengthening of the Nation, and, crucially the vital preservation of its democracy.

-p.           

Post # 841 ORANGE TEFLON

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT:

[For purposes of context, we have, unconventionally, chosen to initially, pose a question, which, in essence, is significant, but, nevertheless, supplemental to the primary theme, of our writing. In the main, this essay will principally seek to highlight and question the seemingly, eternal immunity from criminal prosecution of the miscreant, Donald J. Trump. Yet, in the manner, as indicated, we would first refer to the U.S. Constitution’s bizarre and irresponsible failure, to prescribe necessary personal criteria for qualification, for the unique role and attributable, august power, of the American Presidency.

The Constitutionally, prescribed criteria for the Office of the President of the United States of America, despite the Office’s unparalleled power and history-making significance, are simply and reductively, three: 1) at least 35 years of age, (2) natural born citizen, and (3) United States residence for 14 years. An applicant for mundane employment as a salesperson or bank clerk requires far more significant, personal criteria to qualify. This bizarrely, irresponsible neglect, permits an ignorant, psychotic, charlatan, like Donald J. Trump, to qualify for the Highest Office in the World; to the immense glee and celebration of the Nation’s populist underbelly, (See prior blog, “Barbarians at the Gate) and to the present, consequent, existential threat to democracy. The venerable and scholarly white-wigged Founders, it seems, were learned political philosophers but lousy recruiters.]

CHEMISTRY:

Teflon is a thermoplastic polymer characterized by its slippery surface and resistant to attack by virtually all chemicals. It was developed in the 1930s and is contemporaneously, advertised and sold, being known for its non-stick food properties for manufactured fry pans and other cookware.

ANTHROPOLOGY:

“Orange Teflon,” is our nuanced designation for the former President’s exotic and uncanny ability to repel retribution despite his considerable plethora of serious crimes. It is bizarre and especially disconcerting to note that many of his criminal acts have been as clearly, and publicly, witnessed as his orangutan-hued hair. Nevertheless, like the properties of Teflon coating, Trump has, somehow, given them all the slip, rather than being stained with the adherent residue of deserved criminal charges, and suffering appropriate retribution.

It would appear that the serial prevaricator, Donald J. Trump did make, at least, one true statement, during his many years in the public spotlight. Trump delusionally, and egocentrically, boasted, before millions of television viewers, “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.” As shocking and non- presidential as was the despicable assertion, it bizarrely, and conceivably, may have been the only, apparently, accurate statement that Trump has made, in decades. The wide number and array of Trump’s serious felonies and instances of, inarguably, criminal behavior, much of which has been, actual, witnessed on public television, have not resulted in his criminal punishment; giving the lie to the constant, popularly recited mantra, that, in America,” no man is above the law.”

An average American citizen, ignoring a traffic ticket, given for the mundane and thoughtless act of passing a red light, would, expectedly, be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both. With reference to our former, twice-impeached, President,  whose irrefutably, serious crimes, including, but not limited to: treason, purloining secret, classified, government, documents, incitement and support of a seditious and violent insurrection against the American Government, election tampering and coercion, numerous, deceitful violations of the Emolument Clause of the Constitution, bribery,(to avoid public exposure, as a frequenter of prostitutes), decades of serious tax fraud, corporate and individual, lying to official governmental agencies, frequent incitement of the public, to physical violence at rallies, extortion, adultery, sexual abuse, criminal negligence, during the covid pandemic, the latter, leading to thousands of unnecessary and tragic deaths, nevertheless, unconcernedly distributes, red MAGA hats and displaying, to his cult supporters, his public, “thumbs up” expression of unmitigated success.

It can only be the possession and utilization of the naturally, repellant properties of the chemical, orange Teflon, that can enable a one-term, twice impeached, shameless, perpetrator of multiple felonies and all manner of miscreant behavior, to pathologically, feel enabled, to, shamelessly and confidently, announce to his loyal and despicable, cultish acolytes, his supremely, confident intention to run, once more, for the Office of the President of the United States.

We are aware of no time in our Nation’s history, when the universally eternal, American mantra, “No man is above the law,” has been so frequently articulated and so evidently, disproven.  

-p.

Post # 840  CHROMOSOMAL ROULETTE 

 Humankind’s proverbial and eternally, faithful stork, in the performance of the duties of an avian UPS, to be candid, has no especial knowledge nor the slightest interest, in the cultural, racial, religious or sexual proclivities of his invaluable cargo. His sole concern is the maintenance of a secure grip, with his sharp talons, on the large white diaper, containing the assigned merchandise. It is to be creditably, recognized, that he requires no “GPS app.” to flawlessly, determine the precise location of the intended recipient.  There is no delivery charge, irrespective of location, and more significantly, regardless of the respective, descriptive adjective, describing the subject of the delivery.

In our earlier essays on the pernicious existence of religious bigotry, we have used this folkloric image,  in aid of our forensic assertion, that one’s culture, race and religion are, inarguably, not dependent, upon choice, but rather, on the happenstance of birth. A similar, explanatory image is of utility with respect to the arcane issue of a child’s, later realized, gender preference.

As a factual reminder, the X and Y-chromosomes (“the Sex Chromosomes”) are determinative of the biological sex of the individual. Females inherit an X chromosome from the father, for an XX, genotype, while males inherit a Y chromosome from their father, thus obtaining n XY genotype (a mother, it seems, can only pass on an X chromosome.) Despite our admitted lack of professional expertise, we would confidently, declare that differences in sexual orientation are, in general, but not completely, the result of such chromosomal inheritance; the exceptions to this generally applicable rule, as advised, are real, but not to date, sufficiently understood.

While most people in the World appear to persist in the belief that sex differences are simply binary, modern advances in biological science indicate the existence of a large spectrum of variation existing in the general classification of “male” and “female.” The science of biology has been building a more nuanced view of sex however, a significant portion of our reductionist society has yet to catch up.

Certain of our citizens, shamefully and ignorantly, exhibit hurtful sanctions and impose constraints against others, whose personal choice of gender identity, is at variance with the determination, officially made at birth. Acts of abuse are apparently, due to the latter’s, judgmental, reductionist and biased perception of gender dynamics. For those castigated, anecdotal experiences can vary, between, insulting and hurtful exclusion, to the extreme experience of being a victim of the detestable and psychotic activity of “gay bashing.” The latter responses appear to be responsive, to reductively, perceived, overt characteristics, which, just as, in the case of race and culture, are, in fact, involuntarily, determined, (by the accident of birth), are analogously, involuntary destined (in this case,  chemically and physically during gestation).

Homosexuality, inarguably, is not a mental disease and the clinical conduct of futile and ineffective mental therapy, called “Reparative” or “Conversion Therapy” for LGBTQ people, would seem to indicate a lack of sophistication, concerning their etiology and character. As an additional matter, we have chosen not to comment, on the subject of, the range of irrational, reductive religious practices, ritually and atavistically, aimed at converting the hapless “gay” person, to an unquestioning, devotee of the apocryphal, “Adam and Eve” stereotype.

We might, however, recommend, an extensive course of psychiatric therapy, for those, (often right-wing bigots), who choose the ugly path of hurtful, public criticism, or practice tortious and wrongful action, toward fellow American citizens of ambiguous sexual gender. These neurotically aggressive, responses may be founded, simply, on their own profound ignorance; or conceivably, on their personally troubling, and fearful, lack of compelling assurance, as to their own, appropriate, placement on the non-binary, sexual continuum.

-p.

Post # 839   BARBARIANS AT THE GATE


In various essays, we have quoted, as relevant, declarations of Thomas Jefferson, such as: “The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate” and  ”A proper functioning democracy depends upon an informed electorate.” In view of today’s political and social climate and context, we are presently, inclined to view such Jeffersonian declarations, as constituting an admonition or an express challenge. Our modest readings in modern history have convinced us that President Jefferson’s statements were prescient, and that, empirically, the existence of large numbers of inadequately educated and poorly informed citizens, such as exists in the American Nation, poses existential danger to the existence of our Democratic Republic.

The title of this essay, “Barbarians at the Gate,” bears reference to ancient Rome’s warnings of attack on its City, by the Ottomans, Goths or other warlike hordes that arrived at the walls of that ancient city, to lay siege and destroy the Roman Empire. We are, unhappily, obliged to observe that America’s homegrown, mega horde of barbarians, amount to the inadequately educated, poorly informed, ”underbelly;” now under the sway of the despicable, would-be-autocratic, dictator for life, Donald J. Trump.

Ominously, said individuals have made clear, that they reject democracy, in favor of his unlimited, autocratic rule. To be specific, Trump has consistently, shown himself to be distrustful of the democratic institution of the citizen vote, has defamed the established, and responsible, media, has denigrated objective truth as well as science and education, opposes universal equality and is a promoter of bigotry, opposes free trade and international cooperation, and is, noncompassionately, anti-immigration. Such immoral, undemocratic and autocratic traits as are, unanimously, deplored by every mainstream believer in democracy, and civil rectitude, and, by contrast, lauded, by the described “underbelly.”

Trump’s uncanny ability to maintain cultish loyalty, and to incite such individuals to the performance of acts of criminality, to the extreme extent of violent insurrection, seems to us, to be buttressed by his discerned, unlimited power to escape punishment for his own multiple illegal actions; such as the secretive, and feloniously illegal and improper, purloining of governmental classified and secret documents, his express, telephonic attempts at coercion, (viewed on television) of certain Secretaries of State, to unlawfully urge them to alter their State’s official voting tabulations, his serial mendacity and actual traitorous behavior. The despicably bold actions of his acolytes, may, conceivably, be founded on their confident belief in his apparent, unlimited, ability to escape punitive consequences for his plethora of horrendously, illegal actions, as well as their consequent, quasi-religious, belief that he is in possession of the unique power to impose his magical will on reality.

We would reprise a prior, predictive admonition, as stated in our earlier writing “Lemmings”) that any (unthinkable) success, by such “underbelly,” in their zealous aspiration for a Trump-like autocracy, would, inclusively, have, negative effects on such (suicidal, unthinking) Trump supporters as well as on their more democracy-loving,  liberal opponents. Autocracy has been, eternally, associated with severe limitations on personal liberty and rights, the application of which has empirically, been, no less than universal.

A salient and eternally relevant consideration, apparently, lacking in apprehension,(in addition to a universe of additional matters) of “would-be autocrats,” such as our egotistical and ignorant, Orange Nero, is that a sufficient amount of moral pragmatism is existentially, necessary, to the conduct of societal order and the survival of civilization, as we know it. 

-p.

Post # 838 THE HEAVY CURTAIN (poesie)

Take heart, be your latest hap,
The descent of that abominate curtain
Bringing long, gray days, bereft of gladness
An unwelcome, metamorphosis,
From reposing pleasure, to unsettling fear
And of confident capability, to
Misgivings and useless inaptitude.
In a trice, do such vile curtains fall
On hapless targets, obliged to barter
Erstwhile perception and joie de vivre
For amorphous doubt and unseen danger
That heavy, dark and musty curtain
Will bring to any hapless soul
Amorphous fear of exotic peril
A shade- darkening of persona’s nuance
Annulment of hope and dreams of enterprise
It ‘cumbers creative potential, and
Quarantines prior confidence, and
Erstwhile assurance of self-image
Wreaks destruction on natural spontaneity
And snare- hobbles interactive sociability.
It is painful injury, sans prior incident
Arbitrarily imposed, lacking tenable cause
A sudden insult to the human chemistry
Awarded alike, to the admirable and perverse.

But, do keep faith, ere long, the vile curtain lifts
A neon-lemon moon and diamond-sparkling stars,
Will proclaim renewed warmth and reincarnated joy.

Leonard N. Shapiro – Kingston, N.Y. 9/12/22

Post # 837   NIL SINE MAGNO LABORE

Despite the double impact of Covid-19 and of the Company’s eternally, incapable management, the HOURWAY COMPANY, LLC, located in the City of Sharp Bedsprings, Iowa, still might truthfully, boast that it remains the third largest manufacturer and distributor of doorknobs and doorstops in the Mid-Western United States. Since the advent of the Covid pandemic, the solicitous management acceded to the protective policy, by which its sales, advertising and general staff (including bookkeeping) were permitted to work from their respective homes “virtually,” by television. It did specify, however, that, during working hours, all employees, mandatorily, were to wear, his and her, brown and yellow, woolen company stocking hats, to preserve and maintain the sense of company élan, loyalty and communality.

Every two years, on May 1, without fail, the HOURWAY Company, traditionally, hosted a biennial, Company outdoor picnic for its management and workers, with the single and joyless, exception of the particular year in which the Company’s keyhole design and manufacturing branch went into insolvency. Many especially devout employees, at such time, responsively, chose to attend at their respective houses of worship to pay their sincere last respects to that, sadly failed enterprise.

This year, the company and its employees were enthusiastically, looking forward to May 1 and the traditional company picnic, despite the tenacious persistence of the infectious, Covid virus; however, it mandated that each participant, attending and taking part in the company festivities, do so, virtually, in the same manner as their regular rendition of services, being especially mindful, for the purpose of the maintenance of appropriate spirit, to wear the Company woolen hat.

The Company, generously, arranged for a suitable, outdoor grassy field for the occasion, on which, all computer cameras, as desired, might be focused, to enjoy the various activities, especially, the Company engaged in musical entertainment. Included in such entertainment was the accomplished accordionist and Company bookkeeper, Mr. Salvatore (“Sal”) Hepatica, and his girlfriend of twenty-two years, the highly skilled, baroque, violinist, Ms. Conception (“Connie”) Pizzicato, the latter to be accompanied, by alto harmonica, played by young, buck-toothed and precocious,  Dewitt Hourway, Jr., the Owner’s, corpulent and heavily acne’d, teen-age nephew.

Unfortunately, on the appointed day of the Company’s virtual picnic, rain fell hard on the special events field and Sal had an untimely attack of his chronic gout. Ms. Pizzicato, playing solo, did her best to replicate, a somewhat, identifiable version of Vivaldi, but the heavy rain interfered with her bowing, and the music sounded like a concomitance of religious dirge and military march (if that can be aurally, envisioned). The only redeeming musical entertainment seemed to be the alto harmonica version of “Old Folks at Home,” energetically, and dutifully, delivered, (but, under the meteorological circumstances, hard to hear) by the indomitable, and circumstantially, frenetic, Dewitt Hourway.

There, unfortunately, were two employee injuries, identically caused, by slipping, while, running, impatiently and carelessly, during the course of the Official picnic between the location of their T.V. screen and their respective, slippery tile bathrooms. Accordingly, calls were resolved to be, timely, made to the Company Lawyer, Mr. Larry Whiplash, to inquire whether, under the circumstances, viz., the injuries taking place, (virtually), during the Official Company Picnic, a claim might be made under Iowa’s Workman’s Compensation Law. The lawyer’s stereotypical response was, “I’ll get back to you.”

A few days following the Company event, every employee was given as a treasured memento of the successful event, a company manufactured, doorknob and a commemorative, gold colored doorstop, containing his, and the Company’s name, and the date of the event.

  –p.

Post # 838      A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE

Our usual inclination for unrestricted, casual musing, somehow led us to a novel, all-encompassing and ubiquitously, applicable, conceit. Our Planet contains a fundamental, unchanging and metaphysical source of natural energy, demonstrable, not alone in its gravity, shifting of its tectonic plates, electricity, and meteorology, but indeed, in an entire, “obligatory,” panoply of earthly, dynamic phenomena. The same is inclusive of evolution and life itself, as well as the formulaic, growth and decline, of its fauna and flora. [general comment: If all of humankind’s research and exploration to date, have provided somewhat less, than full and all-encompassing, explanations for these eternally present, phenomena, they have done so, at least sufficiently, to rationally dispel atavistic beliefs in superstitious, and non-empirical, causation.]

We would venture to say, that, by dint of evolution’s development of a unique, advanced and sentient, being, viz., Homo sapiens, there, was implicitly, created, a measure of derivative, analogy between, Man’s recognition and acceptance of his planet’s immutable, phenomena, on the one hand, and on the other, his analogous, recognition of an eternal and existential, obligation, to, likewise, abide by certain fixed, immutable principles, relative to all humankind, desirous of living in society.  

Humankind, by its beneficially, permanent election, to live in society, voluntarily and necessarily, assumed the existential obligation of living in accordance with societal, mutually, accepted principles; the latter, as stated, a metaphysical requirement, as fixed and non-negotiable, as the planetary, phenomena, of tides and gravity. If any thematic difference should exist between the two comparatives, it is, fundamentally, in their nuanced etiology, i.e., the difference between, accruing such obligation by empirical and pragmatic necessity, as distinguished from the analogous, but naturally created, planetary concomitance, of eternally, inflexible and unalterable, dynamic phenomena.

“Principles,” as such, may permissibly, be defined as fundamental truths, which function as individual guides for belief, and behavior. They are society’s “GPS,” reliably and enduringly, directing the individual member of society along the correct orbit to the traditionally, established and agreed standards of acceptable action. Societally standardized, established principles, themselves, are the empirical result of the cumulative, anecdotal life experience of its members, within the realm of that society.

The mainstream individual, based, on the course of his life experiences, gradually accrue a consistent self-identity, a self-image, founded upon his perceptive recollection of personal experiences; notably, his past responses to life’s varied stimuli. Based upon this developed, self-image, he gradually construes, and thereafter maintains, stable and acceptable principles, consistent therewith, enabling the rational evaluation of his own views and behavior, as well as those of others. Possessing moral principles entails situating ones compass’ due “North,” sited on a perceived good self-image and an assured sense of confirming rectitude. The latter is inclusive of personal behavior, to the extent of its being in harmony with the acceptance of established and consistent societal principles. Should certain of his society’s principles, be altered or eliminated, the compliant citizen responsively, amends or eliminates them, in response. Illustrations of the latter observation, are noted, in the cases of the Statutory, elimination of the prohibition against selling and drinking alcoholic beverages and, as well, the wise retirement of the cumbersome, unfair and religiously, biased “Sunday Blue Laws.”

The thematic point is that those, inner-directed individuals, whose developed and secure self-image have the required capability to evaluate their own thoughts and actions, within the context of their personally established, inner sense of rectitude, i.e., principle. Others, not so constituted may be relegated to the dependent and vulnerable position of reliance upon others, (“outer-directed”).

The etiology of the insufficiently socialized, persona may be associated with a voluntary or situationally, casual approach to liberal education and the consequent lack of introspective inclination towards self-examination, and insight, relative, as well, to other members of his society. His perception of life and of its critically, nuanced issues is, but, a shallow one, if at all, existent. His dependence on those others, who seem to appear, confidently knowledgeable (who, in reality, may be feigning such knowledge) is his default. His failure to develop his own self-image, consistently adhering to personally developed, guiding, principles, makes him vulnerable to demagoguery or, dependence in “group think.”

This lack of ability or, alternatively, the disinclination, to live in accordance with personalized, stable and consonant principles, provides an arable field for the development of the “cult,” and of delusional conspiracy mongers. It renders credible and attractive the accepted notions and diatribes of sly, “snake oil salesmen,” in sync with their ignorant, horde of compliant, acolytes; in lieu of efforts to exercise reason or to develop independent thought. Principles of rectitude, morality and good government, are witlessly, abandoned, or, conceivably, deemed to be nonexistent, on the part of such useless, and often, dangerous, “populist” citizens. For such individuals, reliance upon a tactically convincing charlatan, is facile and convenient, compared to the strenuous effort expended in the employment of an underdeveloped, and accordingly, unused, personal exercise of reason.

To date, there has existed, yet another, immutable, and frustrating, comparative; in addition to the stated, obligation on the part of the Planet, to exist with other phenomena, and the permanent charge on humankind living in society, to eternally, live in conformity with established, principle. It is the existential necessity of a democracy, such as ours, to maintain a population of educated and informed citizens, living, indeed, in accordance with established, principle, on one hand, and, on the other, the continued, absence of the requisite ability of society, to date, to do so.

-p.