Post # 624   THE REMAINS OF THE DAY

Now that the ephemeral distraction of the Thanksgiving Holiday has come and quickly gone, one might reasonably inquire, with what remains are the grateful celebrants left?  There is no quandary, whatsoever, concerning the ample, sumptuous remains of the celebratory meal. We have learned from long positive experience, that if a meal has been excellent, its leftovers will predictably, present further delectable enjoyment. However, the holiday celebrant’s resumption of the prior awareness of the less than delectable issues roiling the Nation is not a positive or encouraging experience.  

The frustrating realization, that the current constituent panel of the Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS], has unconstitutionally morphed, and descended to a politically partisan branch of government and, accordingly, is expected, this term, to undermine or overturn, decades of historical precedent  established by Roe v. Wade, as lobbied by the Republican right, that an unhinged serial felon, with substantial populist support, is bizarrely, once more seeking election as President, that such populist thugs have recently engaged in a bloody and mortal insurrection against the Washington Capitol Building, at the latter’s  bidding,  based upon his officially  passed legislation, which, are designed to limit the votes of people of color [by sheer contrast, a factually true interference with the vote], that “anti-vaxers” argue for the absolute freedom of the body from governmental  interference  [despite the danger of infection spread], that such staunch defenders of body liberty, are, shamefully, the opponents of a woman’s right to a needed abortion, the intimidating interference by such people with the National sentiment, regarding gun regulation  [responsible for a plethora of school and church shootings] and the many ignorant and delusional, paranoiac conspiracy advocates, who unfailingly, have delusions of universal governmental cover-up.

The tasty Thanksgiving remains, or leftovers, do share an item of commonality with the Thanksgiving Day remains, that phenomenon being one of predictable consistency; the pre-Holiday, distasteful political and social phenomena, remain equally as ugly and reprehensible, as before.

-p.            

Post # 623     TURKEY DAY REVISITED

We have little sympathy for companies like The Hallmark Card Company and their fellow “cardeologists,” nor with the entities that perennially produce traditional, pictorial calendars. These enterprises, reasonably, should have expected, that one day, their claptrap version of the “First Thanksgiving,” was fiction, like the Legend of “Sleepy Hollow” [the “Headless Horseman”], and would be revealed as the mere product of tiresome, National deceit, or Pollyannaish inspired imagination.

The main efforts of the standard American education system, to blindfold its students from the Nation’s dark periods, such as the malevolent enslavement of black human beings, and the greedy decimation of its indigenous peoples and their ancient culture, could, conceivably, last only so long,  before it was, ultimately, uncovered, by a  Nation benefited by so large a number of literate and inquisitive citizens. Accurate history thus, eventually wends its weary way through the dense fog created by imperious censors of historical experience and those autocratic managers of human knowledge, to reveal its truth. Self-serving propaganda conceits such as “Manifest Destiny,” and of an evangelical obligation to “save” the “savage peoples” by converting them to Christianity, are shameful matters, permanently, included in our National Historical Archives.

In the Hallmark Card Company version of the annual, November 24 holiday, representatives of the First Nations, amply portrayed in feathers and Indian regalia, and the new Colonials, in 16th Century, Quaker-like costume, are portrayed, celebrating their mutual friendship sitting along a large rectangular table, visibly and meaningfully, loaded,  with New World eatables, such as corn and squash, and of course, cranberry and wild turkey; dining and participating in the context of a warm, neighborly and amicable interaction. The foregoing depiction contains as little truth, as the doggerel printed on the inside of the greeting cards, manifests any poetic characteristics.

We recently read a scholarly essay, recounting the above revelations and referring to such adverse contemporary matters as, the Covid-19  pandemic, the boondoggle of the Trump Presidency, the perilous rise of White Christian Supremacy groups, the National divisiveness, global warming and the general disinterest in the environment, the immigration crises, the multiple tragedies caused by gun-toting psychopaths, the persistence of Jim Crow mentality, especially, among Municipal Police, the economic disparities, the conspiracy freaks, the insurrection at the Capitol Building and the threats implicit in computer fraud. The essayist questioned whether there was anything for which to give thanks on the Holiday.

The pessimistic essayist might also have, in such context, referred to the present international turmoil, including the perpetual war and famine in the Southern Sahara, the aggressive posture of Russia toward Belarus and Ukraine, the tensions with Iran, the pervasive corruption of Central America and the ensuing refugee crises, the tensions between China and Taiwan, the saber-rattling of North Korea, the political riots in Myanmar, our disastrous 20-year adventure in Afghanistan, and countless more subjects of far less than celebratory nature around the World.

Yet, looking around our well-populated Thanksgiving dinner table, we were, nonetheless, especially thankful, irrespective of the plethora of less than fortunate, contemporary problems, domestic and international. We were thankful for being citizens of the U.S., despite its present imperfections, the World’s freest and safest domicile. We were especially thankful for life, itself, and reasonably good health [even in a time of pandemics], for the love and bonhomie interactively, exchanged between the loving celebrants, and for the momentary reprise of realization of the eternally valuable celebration of good friends and family.

-p.          

Post # 622   THE PRIMAL SACRAMENT

Of all its admirable and unique revelations, Mankind may never attain the ultimate comprehension of the transcendental dynamics of the “life force” itself. What is the energy source of the implanted seed or spermatozoon that affects and governs its progressive development and maturity? What is the nature of the specialized and tenuous spark of life and its too often-unexpected extinction? What fuel powered the evolutionary process and the empirical course of its mutational progress?  Such are deep and conceivably, unanswerable mysteries, ignored, or alternatively, simply accepted, like the “given,” in a geometry problem. In the latter mathematical discipline, the demonstrated solution is attained by the process of orderly and deductive reasoning from the general mathematical proposition as presented; but what is the primal source of that presented proposition [“the given]? The comforting attribution of non-rational or superstitious [ex., religious] explanations, to these profoundly ultimate questions are, in our view, useless and merely, facile admissions of the absence of such knowledge.

In view of the fact that Mankind merely may initiate [switch on] the human life process, but remains thoughtlessly ignorant as to the basic or primal source of the dynamics of the ensuing process, any punitive termination of its mature end product at the very least, is ignorantly presumptuous, or, at worst, maliciously, counter-anthropological. Such acts, albeit, empirically sanctioned by legal fiat, remain, nevertheless, acts of shameful anthropological trespass. In sum, humankind’s attempt to disturb dynamics that it does not understand is disgracefully immoral, as well as, hubristically offensive.

We briefly list below, the popular, valid arguments against “retributive State punishment” for intentional murder, known as “Capital Punishment.” We wholeheartedly, and without reservation, endorse them all; however, as intended by the specific theme of this essay, would additionally declare that the death penalty is far more profoundly, errant. The practice amounts to a blatant violation of man’s overriding and primal sacrament to Nature, implicitly given, in moral and contractual exchange, for the special gifts afforded to him, to preserve and enhance the quality of his life.

It is noteworthy that there can be no ultimately persuasive religious argument against capital punishment, since it is inarguable that, historically, in Western society capital punishment had its inception and support in Judeo-Christian Biblical Law.

The popular, cogent arguments against capital punishment as summarized include:

  • It is imposed arbitrarily; racial prejudice playing a major role
  • It is final and irreversible, so that mistakes cannot be rectified
  • It has not proved to have its intended deterrent impact
  • It is wastefully and enormously expensive
  • It is often procedurally unreliable, causing horrendous suffering
  • It prevents the opportunity of rehabilitation
  • It is “cruel and unusual punishment”,  specifically prohibited by the U.S. Constitution
  • Long waiting times prior to execution, are excessively cruel and inhuman
  • The “eye for an eye,” rationalization is cruel and atavistic
  • It has been abolished in every advanced Nation, except Japan and the United

It is our considered view that in addition to the foregoing popular and meritorious criticisms of capital punishment, a more profound and fundamental offense exists in the implementation by the State of the death penalty, albeit, relative to the most heinous psychopath. Common-Law precedent and legislated Statutes, prohibiting and criminalizing the intentional taking of human life, are appropriately, founded on the universal acceptance of the precious and irreplaceable sanctity of human life. Yet, it should be is notable that many members of the race of humankind, whose moral perception has evolved sufficiently, feel the identically indistinguishable, cosmological guilt, applicable to the existence of the State death penalty, as an equal trespass against Nature and our eternally evolving species.

-p.

Post # 621      GHOSTS OF WEIMAR

We remain fearful that the mainstream American citizen has perilously and irresponsibly, allowed to himself, a state of comfortable complacency, in the face of a potentially clear, predictable and possibly, imminent tragedy; one, consisting of the unimaginable and tragic destruction of our Democratic Republic and his cherished, American way of life.  He does so, by unwittingly, ignoring the current configuration of the identical presenting pathological symptoms, which, in the 1930s, resulted in Hitler’s destruction of the democratic, Weimar Republic. Ellie Wiesel declared that the opposite of love is not hate; it is, in fact, disinterest. By political analogy, the insidious ally of a country’s slow march to autocracy and fascism is citizen complacency.

 It is our considered view that there were two salient, phenomena, responsible for the tragic death of the Weimar Republic. The first was the demonic persona of Adolph Hitler, an incapable failure in life, with neurotic pretentions to greatness, supported by a neurotically delusional egocentrism, an insatiable lust for power, the absence of normal perception and the tactical skills of a demagogue. His was not a love of country, nor an adhesion to any particular political or economic ideal; it was simply a deranged, insane, passionate love of himself. The second element was the eternally unfathomable operation of a discontented human nature, inclusive of its mundane complacency and its unpredictable tendency to shifts in tribal sentiment.  

The persona and inclinations of Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump are strikingly and ominously identical. Despite their known devastatingly, horrendous impact upon mankind in maturity, they have each been described as failures in their early life; Hitler as a third-rate painter, Trump as a real estate grifter, an accumulator of bankruptcy petitions and as an inconspicuous host of a poorly rated, glitzy television game show. They both are reputed to be inadequate conversationalists on every subject except themselves; each, identically, possessing an overweening sense of self-love and an immense [neurotic] and entirely unsupported sense of personal greatness.

They are identically known as draft dodgers, as abusers of females, as derogators of learning and education, as racial and ethnic bigots, as completely lacking in empathy or minimal regard for others, both regular purveyors of “alternate facts,” as an alternative to empirical truth and both ruthlessly power hungry at all costs. In their respective assaults upon reality and the facts, they each launched spirited public attacks upon the free press and media outlets. Trump, like Hitler, is a staunch opponent of immigration and a promoter of xenophobia.

We simply have no rational explanation for the phenomenon of attraction of so many members of the public, [largely, but not exclusively, of the lower economic class,] for egocentric, ignorant, demagogic demons such as Hitler and Trump. It seems to be a weakness in the persona of the modern Homo sapiens, to revere the false and showy imperial presence of a convincingly majestic orator, promising snake oil remedies for universal problems. The reverence for Trump by so large a portion of the American voter -ship, seems hard to rationally, comprehend. He, like Hitler, possesses none of the traits normally lauded by society, capability, candor, honesty, faith, morality, intelligence, apathy, dignity, observance of societal mores and dignity. Neither Hitler nor Trump can honestly accorded credit for any of these characteristics; yet they seem to have an attraction for the discontented, particular the portion of society that we have termed the “underbelly.”

Trump’s summons to his people for action on January 6, based on his self-serving fantasy of a stolen election, was not truly identical to Hitler’s lies about the burning of the Reichstag but sufficed to have fed the conspiracy mongers’ insatiable thirst,   for the revelation of sub-rosa fraud and responsively led to the major insurrection at the Washington Capitol Building. Despite two shameful impeachments in his four- year term of office and the reality of his awaiting criminal indictment for serious Federal and State felonies, Trump is imperiously, seeking restoration to the Oval office. This would-be autocrat seems to be relying upon the propensity of his cultish supporters to push him over the top, together with the help of many sycophantic State Legislatures, which publicly, and intentionally, are legislating tactics, which are interfering with the American vote; amounting to, unlike Trump’s tactically false claim, a non-fictional, undemocratic manipulation.

It is of existential importance that the Nation realize that the horrific problem of the Weimar Republic was not that the Nazis were inhuman, but that they were, in fact, human; like Trump and his supporters who must, unequivocally, be seen as a clear and present danger to the continuance, of our democratic Nation.

-p.      

Post # 690       THE FAUX SAVANT

In the cast of the populist circus, functionally misnamed, “Fox News,” the part of the reluctant, put upon, intellectual is played by a grumpy middle-aged man, Tucker Carlson. Tucker, impervious to the concept of hubris, and like the apocryphal, Oracle at Delphi, renders Deity-inspired wisdom to such supplicants as loyally invoke it.

Simply out of idle curiosity, we decided to attend at his Delphic Greek Temple situated atop the amorphous clouds of Fox News,” by watching it on the appropriate, television channel. Initially, we would refer to his revealed persona and style of unholy pontification, prior to the revelation of the substance of his invaluable, and irrefutable revelations, then heard by us. Carlson’s face seems to reveal the attitude of profound injustice that he be unfairly taxed with the singular responsibility to simplify and explain things to the lesser gifted television viewer. While one is confident that he did not read at Oxford, he nevertheless effects that stereotypical exterior, viz., retro hairstyle and sports jacket (looks like tweed), and far too often wears a sardonic and patronizing smile of condescension. Our take on T.C., who, in populist reality, is an ardent supporter of another great and reliably wise Oracle, Donald J. Trump, and that he is as candidly an intellectual, as the Wizard of Oz was an effective Sorcerer. Tucker is known by many legitimate newscasters as an exaggerator, a prevaricator and a mere dilettante, in the misleading and false trappings of a sophisticated guide to empirical wisdom.

By example, Carlson is known to be a down player or denier of climate change, despite the universal agreement of its existence by world’s recognized climatologists and scientists, an avid supporter of the former incapable, immoral and shockingly ignorant, President, Donald  Trump [ rated, “his highest-profile proponent] and of Trump’s Wall separating U.S. and Mexico, a Member of the Dan White Society, named after the killer of the Mayor of San Francisco Mayor, George Moscone and of Harvey Milk, a propagandist as to the lack of severity of Covid-19, apologist for the January 6, 202l insurrection, an opponent of immigration, and has, generally, been described as a racial bigot, anti-feminist, a follower of “White Grievance” politics, and practitioner of delusional conspiracy theories.

Carlson, in his petulant-pedantic manner, speaks, as the inaugurated, scholastic authority of Fox News [News ?] to its audience, largely composed of the mal-informed underbelly of the Nation, in an effort to “explain” the causes for our Nation’s problems.

During that single observance, made out of idle curiosity, mentioned above, we observed a typical example of the Tucker emphatic screed; this time, on the purported cause of the contemporary high prices and possibly ensuing danger of inflation. In sum, he imperiously and confidently placed all the responsibility [as expected] on the Biden Administration. Apparently, Biden is destroying the entire American economy by furnishing [modest] monetary relief to needy and hungry families. “It is entirely the fault of Biden!” We were satisfied on this one occasion that we had serendipitously occasioned on a stereotypical example of a prime Tucker Carlson [Trumpist] Oracular revelation. Did no one notify T.C. of the Pandemic?

It appears that most accredited economic experts did not consult the Carlson Delphic Oracle, and, authoritatively instead, attribute today’s high prices and threat of inflation to the Covid pandemic. As usual, despite his arrogant patrician delivery, Tucker Carlson, as usual, was not only, incorrect, but faithfully and obnoxiously, spewing right-wing Trumpian alternate facts.

As to the specific, empirical reasons for the present Covid-caused, high prices are, strained shipping routes around the globe, restricted supply lines, lockdowns,  pent-up revenues caused by the pandemic, the closing of a great many factories and businesses, the latter, resulting in less availability of products, the pent-up price demand, and the consequent price increase; the latter, one hopes, will find itself in the slow process of normalization.

Tucker should take notice, and honestly acknowledge the empirical fact that the length, as well as the severity, and the numbers of mortalities of Covid, were significantly exacerbated by Trump’s public downplaying of its importance and his interference with the prophylactic measures professionally recommended [masking, distancing, and vaccination].

Mr. Carlson, in his characteristic pseudo-intellectual style of Trump sycophant, no doubt, privately realizes that the Covid-19 epidemic, in truth, is the guilty perpetrator of the concerning price increases and not Joseph Biden [ Trump’s opponent]. Snake oil salesman, grifters and propagandists come in all conceivable costumes, from populist garb, like overalls, religious robes or tweed jackets; their similarity resides in their propensity for shameful and potentially dangerous misrepresentation.

-p.

.  

Post# 689 IN ONE ERA AND OUT THE OTHER

Those of us old enough to make an accurate, recollected comparison of the character of our Nation, during the period 1940’s to that of the Nation in 2016, would find it challenging to discern the empirical identity. Not unlike the contrast, expressed by Charles Dickens, in the opening words of his classic novel, ”Tale of Two Cities,” [referring to 18th Century, Paris and London,] “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For the purpose of conveying empirical authenticity, we have elected to recount such analogous theme, as recalled from the perspective of our personal life.


In a much earlier series of essays, we endeavored to portray our lives as young offspring of Eastern European immigrants in the 1940-50’s Brooklyn. We were also inclusive of other ambient immigrants likewise engaged in valiant attempts to learn a strange language, adjust to new folkways, and establish, the intended, safer, and better life, for themselves, and notably, for their future American children. We described the old brick apartment houses, the mix of exotic cooking smells, the streetlamps, the electric-powered trolley cars, the food stands and pushcarts, and the still extant, clip-clopping, horse-driven wagons. We especially highlighted those ardent efforts of rag-tag poor, insecure, survivors of European nightmarish oppression, poverty, and weekly pogroms, to convincingly morph into American citizens; at which they ultimately succeeded in nuanced and dedicated fashion. However, above and beyond the foregoing aspirations, their uniformly essential preoccupation, was to see their future children educated and materially successful.
As growing children, we sometimes overheard whispered Yiddish conversations, between our parents and others, about their arduous lives in the “old country” and, thus, early on, acquired feelings of gratitude and good fortune, at having been born a citizen of the United State.


During the war years, we listened to the regular, uplifting “Fireside Chats” delivered by a much admired and beloved President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and, despite our parents’ accented speech, began to identify ourselves as American citizens. Together with relatives who served in the military, we participated in the war effort; by, devoting many after-school periods to the search and collection of discarded rubber, metal, and electrical objects, in aid of the war effort. As bona- fide Americans, we proudly participated in the neighborhood block parties, celebrating America’s great victory and the end of the war. If there, conceivably, existed a positive feature of war, it would be the internal citizen unity confirmed in an innocent participant Nation.


During this first, of the two comparative periods, we noted the persistent love of Country, despite the divisive and troubling McCarthy hearings and the hellish, twenty-year, Viet Nam War. We observed that the the Nation, continued to demonstrate a universal respect for the Constitution, the Law, and American mainstream morality. Newspapers flourished and the media grew exponentially. As a general matter, respect for the government and for legal edict, abided. For children, media Superheroes were created, whose mission was the defense of justice, moral rectitude and loyalty to our exemplary, red, white, and blue Nation.


Unfortunately, however, the progress of Civil Rights, most especially race relations, continued to plague the Country [and most especially, the victims], but some progress, was being [slowly] made; a Federal Civil Rights Law was passed during the term of President Lyndon B. Johnson, notwithstanding which, unfortunately, despicably bigoted feelings seemed to persist among many atavistic citizens.
We would notably emphasize, that, during this era, aside from all other considerations, the traditional existence of the Democratic Republic was universally, assumed to be eternal and not subject to threat.


In succeeding decades, militant positions on hotly contested issues seemed to cause American society to become manifestly divisive. The issues included a woman’s right to abortion, gay rights, gun control, and the persistence of racial and gender inequality. As first-generation, Americans we innately favored equality of rights, [except for gun ownership], and voted and debated, accordingly. What we disappointingly observed, was that, rather than freely debating the issues in good fellowship, a great many citizens formed insular groups of identical opinion, overtly hostile to other like groups of differing views. This development was shocking to those of us who were schooled in the Nation’s freedom of speech; here, it bizarrely appeared to us, speech was not assaulted by autocratic leadership, as in the U.S.S.R. but by citizens.


Our second thematically contrasted era, [circa. 2016] seem to waste little time in evincing its contrasting, singular and bizarrely non-traditional, character; personified and catalyzed by the ignominious, incompetent, and shockingly immoral Presidency of Donald J. Trump. During the single four-year term of Trump, the Nation saw the disparagement of science, education, the media, especially newspapers, a dystopic and disgraceful attack on factual reality and knowledge, by Trump’s serial mendacity, his demonstrated disparagement of the moral standard of “truth,” in favor of a new “alternate reality”, his neurotic egocentrism, pitifully aggravated by his fundamental ignorance. Many thousands of citizens died because of his thoughtlessly ignorant dismissal of an epidemic watch entity [because it was created by Obama] and thereafter, his ignorant denial of the seriousness of Covid-9, which, to date, still ravages and kills a great many inhabitants of our planet.


Trump’s colossal ignorance, his disparagement of education, science, environmental concern, planetary warming, human advancement, mainstream morality, and his winking encouragement of bigoted and dangerous White Christian Supremacy groups, was loudly applauded by that portion of our population termed, “The Underbelly,” which played a material part in his election and his continuing support.
It appeared to us that a dark and ominous cloud had suddenly descended upon our lifetime worship of America, the last hope of the oppressed and the only safe shelter for the world’s vulnerable. But the worrisome and disappointing nature of our beloved America was to get even worse, following the loss of the Presidential Election by Trump after one term of office [ featuring two disgraceful impeachments].


Trump’s usual serial mendacity was exceeded by his refusal to publicly acknowledge his evident loss to Joseph Biden, asserting instead, his neurotic and unsupported, claim of fraudulent election; in unprecedented rejection of the historically, democratic, policy of peacefully stepping aside for the elected successor. Trump persists in this autocratic style, “Big Lie,” to date, despite the ratification of the election procedure and its ultimate count by several certified audit agencies.
Idealistically dedicated to truth, we were non-plussed, not only by the mendacity of the errant, former president, but in the further observation of Trump’s countless believers of his unsupported and disproven assertion. We were further confused by the plethora of paranoid conspiracy adherents, among his sycophantic cult, viz., government tracking mini-computers in Covid vaccine, rockets shot down to Earth from Outer Space by Israel, the suitability of veterinary horse wormer to avoid Covid, the bi-coastal, liberal conspiracies to traffic children for sex, and so many other delusional beliefs [in addition to the “Big Lie”], as to profoundly, disturb our early- installed, optimistic expectations of societal rationality.


We were devastated when the Trump “underbelly,” [notably, including America’s Christian White Supremacy Groups] saw fit to mount a violent and deadly insurrection against Washington’s Capitol Building. We have also read about threats, defamation, and physical violence, on the part of members of the large Trumpism underbelly, hatefully and illegally perpetrated against Members of Congress and School Boards, local Officials, and others, who maintain views perceived to be in opposition to theirs.


It is impossible, in meaningful words, to describe the reactive, subtle, and unconsciously motivated, chill of instantaneous, recollection, of the many horrific accounts, haltingly related by our immigrant parents of life under autocratic and fascist rule.


We simply must do better.
-p.

Post # 688                                                       THE AMERICAN LAUNDROMAT

With coins jiggling in his left jacket pocket, Selwin carries a large bag containing his accumulated soiled articles of clothing to the neighborhood laundromat. Upon  arrival, and after the selection of an availably empty one, he rudely stuffs the contents of the laundry bag through its open door, adds detergent, closes the door, and inserts coins in the top slot to start its circular motion, the familiar start of the cleansing cycle, ultimately to result in Selwin’s clean clothes.

Were it analogously possible, to launder away certain soiled moments of our history and perhaps, selective, personal life experiences, things would, be far less challenging and more personally comfortable. Sadly, the review of history, like the sight of unlaundered clothes, reveals certain enduring stains,  which, by reason of their material significance, do not wash out or fade, but persist. However, while such stains may appear unattractive upon  examination, such persistence may usefully, serve as a reminder, to prevent further staining and insure better outcomes.

The English word, “History,” apparently, had its origin in the Greek word, “historia,” meaning an inquiry for the purpose of knowledge, gained from the past. The common expression, “Mankind must know it’s history, so that he will not repeat the same mistakes” has merit. However, in our view, it should be empirically read:  the practice of knowing history is potentially wise, and educative, if not entirely effective. History demonstrates that Nations, at times, seem to exhibit xenophobic aspirations and hatred of other Nations, despite the plethora of tragic historical results. The intention and hope subtly hidden, in said expression, we feel, is that Nations and their people have the capacity of improving their life, from the available wisdom which can be acquired by studying history.

An additionally, important pragmatic service of a valid historical record is to enunciate the traditional identification of a Nation, and its citizens, relative to the shared context of their joint National past, and, as possible, its declared aspirations. Since the policies and future of a democratically responsive Nation, definitionally depends upon the expressed majority will of its voting citizens, its past, good and not so good, must be evident, to serve as their judgmental guide. Lessons learned from history, provide an experiential point of reference from which to continue a Nation’s progress.

Despite recorded History’s critical accusations, viz., “History is written by the dominant society,” and “History is recorded by the victors,” nevertheless, there exists a universal consensus concerning the occurrence of significant past events, viz., The American Revolutionary War, The Black Plague, The Russian and French Revolutions, Two World Wars,  The Napoleon, Genghis Khan and Alexandrian Conquests, The Great Depression of the 1930’s, American Enslavement of Black People, the eviction of First Americans from their ancestral lands, the development of penicillin and vaccines, the American voyage to the Moon.

History, by its intrinsic nature and by obligatory admission, is purely factual, as opposed to arbitrary or creative, nor is it, like the persistent stains on Selwin’s laundry, as above, is it [selectively] erasable. The events in our American History, good and bad, assuredly, took place. Just as we properly acknowledge our victories in the two World Wars, landing a man on the Moon, victories over autocracy, advances in Science and the Arts, we are morally obliged to accept our regrettable moral sins, including the shameful enslavement of black people and the wrongful eviction of the First Nations from their ancestral homes.

Our schoolbooks evince a programmatic policy of erasing the stains of America’s past by their deletion or distorted treatment. The many decades of immoral enslavement of black human beings were deleted from our “rosy” history; the theft of the Indigenous People’s land and the damage to their [“savage”] culture being traditionally described in patriotic and dutiful moral  mandates,  our “Manifest Destiny” [to expand to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.]

The deletion or false reframing of history is a traditional tactical tool of autocratic governance, and not that of Democratic Republics. The current efforts to truthfully fill in the deleted blanks of the unsavory periods in our Nation’s history, do not alter the empirically, existing  reality, and are a candid and truthful, presentation to students of our past. The movement, foolishly called, “Critical Race Theory,” [in opposition to the teaching of such deleted history] does not seek to add a new subject, but to candidly and educationally, fill in the selectively, deleted blanks in our taught curriculum.

History is the enlightening revelation and retelling of the factually experienced past. It is a sacrosanct  record of man’s life and experiences. Those who would seek edit or censor past reality, are either autocratic regimes, for false propaganda purposes, or else, self-appointed, arrogant censors whose “well meaning” stupidity would eliminate the credibility, value and consequently, the function, educative and otherwise, of the  ancient [since Herodotus] practice of recording Mankind’s past.

It is instructive and useful to observe that the individuals who oppose the educational inclusion of the wrongfully deleted portions of  American History, also, critically, seek to limit the Constitutional voting franchise of black and brown American citizens, oppose immigration and reform of the Criminal System.

The misleadingly objectional tactical term, “Critical Race Theory,”  [ Theory?]  should be neutrally and descriptively, replaced by an academically, historical title, like “The Period of Agrarian Slavery,” or “The Pre-Civil War Period,” or “American History 16th thru 19th Centuries,” and candidly and universally recognized and taught to our future citizens.

It is obvious that we cannot validly, or effectively, change previously existing History; what can, and should be beneficially changed, is our future.

-p.

Post # 687 KEYBOARD WARRIORS

Followers of this blogspace, doubtlessly, are familiar with our long-standing antipathy to the use of cell phones for the purpose of personal communication. We have consistently maintained that the practice of transmission and receipt of data-like symbols on a small lighted screen, is a scant substitute, for spoken conversation. Our feelings are based upon the implicit loss of subjective phenomena that make for social intimacy, such as voice recognition of the speaker’s personal nuance, the timely relevance of questions and answers, the comforting realization of mutual contact, and the spontaneous exchange of unplanned remarks. In essence, it has been our view that the precious reassurance of continuity of relationship, and the spontaneous flow of momentarily expressed thought, are tragically sacrificed on the ephemeral altar of digital speed. Our prime concern, again, is centered on the loss of the many vital benefits of personal interaction by reason of their substitution by these facile and attractive devices.

It is apparent to us that our often expressed, views on this subject, are not shared by society at large, as empirically demonstrated by the prevailing use of cell phone conversation. In our view, the Nation and the World have foolhardily, persisted in their election of speed and robotic efficiency, over irreplaceable humanism. We fear that humanity is so besotted with the easy press of keyboards, as to entirely fail to consider the potential, societally dystopic, ultimate outcome of such witless lifestyle. Mechanical encounters present roadblocks to mankind’s natural affirming identification with other human beings. This is a consequence of their empirical derivation of needed personal contact and the exchange of expressive and reactive emotions; such as empathy, the pleasure of jointly accomplished problem solving, meaningful conveyance of feelings and perhaps most impactfully, individualized spontaneity.

The admitted futility of our concerns has been evident and irrefutably demonstrated by an ongoing stream of new robotic capabilities, enthusiastically sought, utilized, and immediately incorporated into our increasing, contemporaneous, and frighteningly impersonal, culture of automation. With reference to our automobiles, alone, there presently exist, route directional robotics, an automatic parking robotic, robotic emergency braking, and hands-free driving. At home, in addition to his ubiquitous “smartphones,” mankind utilizes “echo technologies” to operate our robotic vacuum cleaners, locate and play selected music,  lock, and unlock doors, provide household security,  cook our meals, calculate, and pay our taxes, deposit checks, pay our debts and taxes,  monitor our health and room temperature, raise and lower garage doors, make coffee, bake bread, perform necessary calculations, and take photos. It might be more legally appropriate to have a new residential apartment lease, fully, and appropriately, executed by both, the tenant, and his computer service, as cotenant.

There is to us, a measure of risible irony, when one considers the widespread preference for labor-saving computer-driven items, purposed to free the resident householder from physical labor, in order that he or she, can go to the local gym for some much-needed vigorous exercise.

In their military application, computer-driven functions are no less than nightmarish. Unmanned drones, i.e., robotic airplanes, and  computer driven rockets, lend ultimate, mechanical precision to the anonymous practice of homicidal warfare. The specter of unmanned, drones dropping bombs and raining hellfire on towns and cities seems pathologically suitable, as themes for traumatizing nightmares. Bloody warfare has now been relegated to killer-efficient computerized, keyboard warriors.

It has been our view, that the potential for creative ingenuity, given to man by evolution, and necessary for his successful survival and societal advancement, has been inappropriately, and immorally misapplied. It has been witlessly utilized to proceed in  diametrically reverse direction and an ultimately disastrous course, leading to an extensive robotization and the consequent elimination of expression of mankind’s sensitivities, social awareness, and shared interactive life and worldview.   

When we were children, crime movies stereotypically portrayed, an initial prolonged and extensive search for the responsible criminal, the solution, the exciting  chase, then physical combat, and, finally, h apprehension. Today, the assigned detective, upon being notified of the crime, does not, as traditionally, rush out to his car, or immediately pick up his desk phone; he opens his laptop and feverishly begins to type on the keyboard. Like the deployed military, the stereotype of the modern detective is not the cinematic, tough guy, but a super-keyboard warrior. As a show of societal consistency, the current stereotype of the bank robber has kept timely pace; in lieu of a John Dillinger with mask and gun, robbing a bank, the modern movie industry presents us with a skinny, goateed geek, armed with his ubiquitously menacing computer; the concluding chase is keyboard warrior against keyboard warrior.

-p.                                                                                                                      


 [HJC1]mu

Post # 686   ANSWERS AND QUESTIONS

[BACKGROUND]:

Undisputedly, the singularly marvelous, and most captivating product of Natural Evolution, as extolled in our past writings, is the human brain. Its potentiated use has beneficially resulted in the empirical elevation of homo sapiens from a lonely, precarious, and minimal existence in prehistoric times, to a contrasting peaceful, interactive, and interdependent life in society.  Formerly, the basic drive to survive and multiply in a harsh, dark, and precarious setting, existentially, required his independent, constant awareness and the alert use of his ability to learn and reason. Later, in society, he learned to live and work with others, to stay warm, fed, sheltered from the elements, and safe from predators, both animal, and human.

As recorded in anthropological history, mankind’s advanced progress to living in society, mandatorily included the learning of a common language which enabled the comforting presence of and desired communication with other humans. Living in society afforded a great many existential benefits, such as the joint search for food and water, group living, and mutual protection. Learned skills were shared, and societal roles and a style of government were pragmatically construed.

The gradual, but eventual, advancement from a “subsistence” to that of a “surplus” society, portended trade with others, travel, improved roads, exchange of diverse folkways and language, mutually recognized trade laws, common weights and measures, mutually acceptable currency and a diminution of insular provincialism, the growth of towns and cities, the study of the arts and sciences, development of universities, and crucially, thereafter, progress toward enlightenment and objective perception. The latter meant the transformation of the horrendous, aptly named, “Medieval Dark Ages,” with its signature superstition, horror, and cruel repression, to the more rational and acceptable, “Age of Enlightenment,” which dynamic process, endures today in eternal if gradual continuance.

We sincerely apologize, for the foregoing, rather simplified, ”blitzkrieg” treatment of the extensively long and complicated, major stages of the societal development of Mankind, but were of the view that some recitation of continuity, however, simplified and generalized, would be useful to the context of our present theme: The pragmatic wisdom of Mankind’s unquenchable passion for the “ultimate answers.”  

[QUESTIONS and ANSWERS]:

There seems to have eternally existed, the accepted and unquestioned assumption, that a discernable answer exists for every conceivable question. This universally accepted, yet arguably, unwarranted, assumption may conceivably be explained upon man’s virtually uncountable plethora of marvelous advancements, as summarized above, and, no doubt, convincingly ratified by the contemporary exponential growth of ubiquitously useful computerized innovations.

As a matter of immutable principle, we accord absolutely no merit, whatsoever, to any proposed, non-rational solutions to problems, as exemplified by the diverse beliefs of early human societies nor, as well atavistically, in the modern age,  by a great many contemporary thinkers. For us, and for the purposes of this essay, there, for example, is no Ancient Sun God, just the ancient Sun. The latter has, indeed, been subject to a great deal of empiric, scientific study; many things are known about the Sun, yet many things are not. Our query here is how much [more] about the Sun, as a pragmatic or scholastic matter, is knowable, and how much, rationally, and usefully, do we would need to know.

To be clear, we are affirmative believers in active and free inquiry, scientific and otherwise, and do not  undervalue or question the utility, importance, and satisfaction of knowing the answers to presenting  scholarly questions. Indeed, we acknowledge that it is the latter inclination, doubtlessly, that has led to our modern society, our scientific advances in physical science and  the arts, psychology, medicine, knowledge of the planet, and its environment; indeed, every discipline, admittedly inclusive of the academic impetus for knowledge for its own sake. We are simply positing the cogent possibility that there are areas of inquiry that man cannot know.

individuals have often been inclined to find satisfaction in entirely bogus answers, in the realm of non-rational or superstitious beliefs. In empirical fact, lightning is caused by static electricity [ask Ben Franklin], the Ocean tides are affected by the pull of the moon, gravity is responsible for Isaac Newton’s falling apple and many other similarly recognized phenomena. However, gravity’s source is unknown, and, we assume, will continue to remain so. Is it necessary or, more to our point, possible, to know the explanations for all ultimate phenomena? We do have great confidence, however, that Newton’s proverbial apple did not fall due to the will of some revered, Macintosh or hallowed, Macoun Deity.

Is it not logically, empirically, and perhaps, modestly, acceptable, to presume that the remarkable potential of the brain, evolved in homo sapiens is not altogether, without limit; just as his eyesight, limbs and organs have tolerable limits? Is it at all possible, that Mankind, because of its overweening pride in its many substantial advancements, has become besotted with himself, and believes in the necessity and his capability to understand everything? Getting off conveniently and effortlessly, by ascribing unknown or unknowable phenomena to religious dogma or folkloric myth, candidly, is egocentric and an avoidance of our present, thematically modest and rationally proposed supposition, as to the empirical limitations of the human brain.

-p.

Post # 685   THRU THE FUNHOUSE MIRROR

The “fun house mirror,” a device often encountered at carnivals, is intended for the viewer’s comic amusement by the reflection of his grossly distorted and altered image. This amusing, but startling, phenomenon, we understand, is accomplished by the presentation of a curved mirror in lieu of a normal flat one. Following a brief peek at the subtly curved mirror, a private feeling of relief is often sought, as one, furtively, looks away in horror, seeking needed momentary restoration and relieved reassurance of reality, from that bizarre image of oneself, previously appearing in the mirror.  

By stark contrast, a decidedly non- amusing phenomenon in our times, is the pernicious practice of intentional transmission of fallacious and distorted portrayals of factual reality. This pathology is chronic in selective media outlets, notably, certain identified television news channels. False and misleading misstatements are typically communicated for tactically political purposes but are also employed in other sundry contexts, viz., merchandising and contested public issues.

Broadcast misstatements, those that are intentionally misleading, as well as those that are simply inaccurate, disturbingly, become the foundation of abundant misguided public opinion and errant understanding. This dynamic is markedly effective with inadequately educated, poorly informed citizens and, unlike the casual amusement of a funhouse mirror, is productive of undesirable, often potentially dangerous, outcomes, most cogent in the conduct of a representative democracy.

The fun house mirror, appropriately functional and acceptable for brief elective moments of carnival amusement, is not only useless but predictably dangerous, in any other application. Men, advisedly, would not choose to use it to guide their morning shave, nor would women find it of utility in their application of eyeliner; in such cases, the mirror’s skewed and misleading distortions would, lead respectively, to bloody and bizarrely, unintended outcomes.

On many occasions, we have made reference to the wise and prescient admonition of Thomas Jefferson, viz., that, for a democracy to be successful, it must have educated and informed citizens. The pragmatic veracity of Jefferson’s concerned admonition has at various times in America’s relatively short history been situationally confirmed, but, inarguably, was never more germane than at the present.

Elected leaders in a representative democracy, are knowledgeably charged, among their undertaken duties, with the political responsibility to be guided by the will of the governed, as expressed by means of their democratic voting franchise. To  be ultimately useful and democratically successful, such expression of will should reflect the voters’ deliberative understanding of the specific facts in issue, as determined by their own empirical, [non-distorted] life experience [ref. John Locke].  In the natural world, with the singular exception of carnivals, there is no place or utility for fun house distortion.

We would refer to the phenomenon of trustworthy and non-distorted language, in further support of our underlying theme [ viz., the existential importance, to the functioning of society, of the communication of truthful and empirically accurate information]. Society vitally depends upon the utility of a shared and understandable language, as instructively portrayed in the apocryphal tale of the discombobulated building project of the “Tower of Babel,” and as metaphysically exists, in the context of the quintessential existence of a shared empirical reality.

Donald J. Trump cannot deservedly be granted the official patent on falsified statements of reality, nor, indeed, on the articulation of distorted, or non-existent facts. History, however, as a consolation prize, might, predictably, award him an honorable mention, for the unprecedented four years of disgraceful descent of the White House to the level of a town carnival; employing a quality of demonstrated precision and acumen, comparable to those of the horrific images reflected from a fun house mirror. In response to a friend, who once stated that Trump epitomized the proverbial, “Bull in a China Shop,” we responded: “He carries the entire China Shop with him, wherever he goes.”

During his short term of office, Trump wasted little time in the construction of a carnival-level context in the Oval Office, including, symbolically, the installation, in that venerable Office, of a huge, personal-use, fun house mirror, potentially capable of unprecedented and unlimited distortion far more outlandish and skewed than some carnival patron’s contorted image; one, totally bereft of any semblance of utility, moral conscience, or rational thought.

Donald Trump, by virtue of his signature array of multi- sociopathic skills, succeeded in his uniquely atavistic, ignorant, and immoral style, in irresponsibly attacking the existential concepts of “truth” and  empirical fact, scientific achievement, and societal morality; and, as shamelessly concomitant, the American aspiration for universal equality. During his single and [singular] term, blemished with two impeachments, in addition to his general grifting of the government treasury in his multiple violations of the Constitutional Emolument Clause, he spent many of his rare non-golfing hours, with MacDonald’s hamburger and M&M’s in hand, focused on his private, consulting, fun house mirror; as empirically evidenced by his bizarre and inappropriate public statements and innumerably witless Presidential acts.

America’s own underbelly population of inadequately schooled, flat-earth, eternally malcontented citizens, from the start, instinctively, noted in President Trump, many signature traits with which they might identify. Not the least among the latter, was his demonstrated, ignorant tendency to ascribe to a distorted fun house mirror, perception of reality. His bizarre views and overt exclusive preference for subjectively desirable facts over objective and empirical truth, his disparagement of the responsible media, and, surreally, the existential importance of the societal institution of “truth” itself, was well-received, by them. It was Trump’s delusional thoughts that were catalytically responsible for their delusional fabrication of paranoid-style conspiracies, including “dark government” plans of conspiratorial control of citizens, covert insertion of tracking devices in Covid vaccine, sub-rosa plots by “elite coastal liberals,” rockets being launched to earth from outer space by Israel, and so many other bizarre paranoid delusions as would be capable of filling a psychiatrist’s wide bookshelf.

The most dangerous and threatening of their delusional constructs to our Republican Democracy was [and still is] his followers’ belief in Trump’s egotistic and neurotic fabrication, his success in the election was “stolen” from him by Biden. This unsupported funhouse mirror-grade distortion was readily adopted by the conspiracy-prone underbelly, and, as well many Trumpist, toady Republicans, both in and out of Congress. The reality that the Biden win was officially certified, as to accuracy and bona fides, by several authoritative audits, seemed ignored or irrelevant to their cultish, fun house mirror distortion. Consequently, in response to Donald Trump’s outlandish and seditious invitation and the zealous support, and participation of his acolytes, the underbelly, [notably inclusive of the White Christian Nationalist gangs], launched the now historically infamous, violent, mob insurrection at the Capital Building, killing and permanently maiming several Capitol Police Offices and destroying valuable historic artifacts. By far, however, the greatest danger was the assault upon democracy by the reality- distorted “patriots.”

The Republican Party’s false, strategic assertion that the election was stolen [justified, alone, by Trump’s personal funhouse mirror,] seems to have “legs,” and been consistently articulated as the [skewed and distorted] rationale for many un-American, Trumper cult initiatives to legislatively limit the vote of black and brown American citizens; who in large part, voted Democratic. In addition to  the false and passionate assertion by Republicans of the “stolen election,” [ having objectively been proven to be without factual basis] the Republican Party remains ignorantly hypocritical and shameless regarding their own publicly avowed, intentional programmatic actions to fix future elections; the Trumpian dysfunctional funhouse mirror rules again.

Right- thinking Americans, have now, unsettlingly, realized that Trump’s assault upon truth, together with said cynically hypocritical attempts to fix the vote, are malignant, and eventually lethal to the continuance of our democracy. Accordingly, there must be an appropriate response, to such danger, by a huge vote of right-thinking, American citizens, and, as well, the imposition of suitable punishment as a meaningful deterrent to any future mob peril to our Democratic Republic.   

    -p.