Blogpost # 920     THE (ACQUIRED) ART OF HATRED

It may, acceptably, be said that prejudice, against “other” groups of people, as an abstract concept, is not based on reason, or, even actual exposure. We often find it useful to refer to the English philosopher, John Locke, who famously, stated that Man is born with a blank slate, (“tabula rasa”) and that all of his knowledge is acquired by his empirical experience. It may confidently, be said, that the individual mindset for dislike of any group, inarguably, is taught, and reinforced by others, so inclined.

The earliest and most enduring indoctrination in discrimination often is unintended but, nevertheless, is perpetrated by well-intentioned, but insufficiently sensitive, parents and family. In the course of instructing their young child as to his familial and ethnic identity, responsible parents should consciously avoid the impactful and unintended (exclusionary) lesson of the words, “we,” and “they” and, beneficially, in the course of familiarizing the child with his newly acquired, ethnic identity, to do so, in the inclusive context of the existence and acceptability, of other cultures and belief systems. This is the first and, it is submitted, the most crucial (and enduring) prophylactic step against bigotry; the societal importance of which to the body politic, is as vital as the infant’s inoculation against diphtheria. To do otherwise is to permanently, instill in the young mind, the chronic pandemic of ethnocentric preference, or even, hatred.

The perverse and life-distorting lesson of bigotry is an infectious and virulent toxin, perpetuated by its own destructive pathology of pernicious speech and unhealthy atmosphere.  Ambient, hateful or insulting references, socially perpetuate the creation of an atmosphere, redolent with the foul odor of their familiar but perverse acceptability. However, the principles of public morality and human dignity, permit no occasion, whatsoever, for the tolerance of ethnic or, racially, bigoted remarks.

There appears to exist, certain individuals who are, at a minimum, uncomfortably, aware of their feelings who, to avoid negative personal feelings about themselves, when they act or speak on such matters, attempt to construe some (purportedly) justifiable, reason. Yet, there are numerous others, who have long been schooled in the art of social hatred, who, customarily, (and shamelessly) seek the company of others who share in their social pathology.

The baseline principles of human morality and dignity, concededly, would permit no occasion, whatsoever, for the acceptability or tolerance of bigotry, ethnic, racist or sexual. The salient question remains that, since prejudice is learned, can it be unlearned? We would surmise that the success rate in such an endeavor would be less than desirable; however, the principles of common morality, as well as our traditional American (and humanistic) inclinations oblige us to keep trying.

It is our considered view that the proper upbringing of children, (from earliest childhood) in a humanistic, principled, household is the most effective, permanent assurance of future social rectitude. As to others, long soiled by the contaminants of bigotry and hatred, conceivably, the encouragement of multi-racial-ethnic, social interaction (i.e. picnics, dinners, sports attendance) might be of assistance in disabusing the haters of their groundless, predisposed antipathy.



Regular followers of this blog space no doubt, are aware, that we have eternally had a penchant for attempting to solve, purportedly, “unsolvable questions,” typically, of a philosophical or logical nature. To date, our “finest hour,” may, actually, have been enjoyed, long ago, as high school students, in  relating the solution to the age-old conundrum, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” As reported in an earlier essay, we, personally and proudly, revealed the logical answer, viz., that the egg came first; the same being laid by the animal (bird), immediately, preceding the chicken in Evolution’s schedule;  that egg when hatched, eventuated the first chicken. Our success, from the relevant challenge, was, as reported in that earlier essay, two (2) delicious Chunky Bars, but unfortunately, no public recognition. It is especially, frustrating to us that the aphorism of this so-called, insolvable question, (chicken-egg) is still used to signify an issue’s (purported) impossibility of (empirical) resolution.

Over the years, we have been tantalized by the challenge of remote, or exotic, questions, and often frustrated by our inability to attain their explanation. Even the mysterious “black holes,” of outer space, have been identified and explained. We are advised that a “black hole,” is defined and described, as a place where gravity is so intense that even light cannot escape.

In contrast to the latter issue, relating to an exotic question, there are in existence, a myriad of tantalizing questions, relative to many everyday, simple phenomena, respecting which there appears to be no ready, or available, explanation. In point of fact, the utter complexity of the specifically chosen question, prompting this writing,  regarding a familiar item, is misleadingly, disguised, by its apparent, but, nevertheless, essentially, convoluted, simplicity.

In aid of our desire to seek the answer to such labyrinthine question, shortly to be revealed, it would seem prudent to start with the revelation of some well-known, non-complex, facts. The unanswerable question relates to the simple, well-known object, known as the” bagel”.  As commonly known, the bagel is a species of bread roll, shaped by hand into a (hand-size), circular shape, made from yeasted dough, boiled in water and then baked. It is immediately, recognizable by virtue of  its unique, circular configuration (often with a topping, such as sesame seeds, cinnamon, onion, salt, or even, garlic.)

The revelation of the subject issue, as cautioned, predictably, will appear, to be so simple, even, tautological, as to appear comical; however, the reader has our considered, assurance that the same is metaphysically complex and, necessarily, will require a measure of clarification, prior to any attempt at its resolution. We would, respectfully, request that the reader withhold his (predictable) reaction, pending the question’s explanatory, clarification. Any (understandable) conclusion of absurdity, or possible, tautology, will, sadly, miss the true, esoteric and deep labyrinthine mystery, implicit in the challenging issue.

The subject question (kindly, resist any spontaneous, reaction, pending our, explanation) is: “Can, or does, a bagel have a hole in it?” We will undertake to redeem ourselves with the following explanation of the intrinsic rationality and context of the posed question.

Wooden planks, indisputably, are solid objects, manufactured from trees and used most often in the building trades for home construction.  If one were to take a plank of wood and drill a hole in it, the plank, would thereby, have demonstrated its capability to sustain holes. The same would, by extension, demonstrate, that wooden planks, in general, can, indeed, sustain a hole.  The same facility can be experienced and concluded regarding, virtually every other solid object, viz., a torn shirt, cardboard box, footwear (especially, socks), umbrella, rowboat, etc.; virtually, every solid item,  except the troublesome bagel; the latter for reasons,  metaphysical, logical and empirical, to be revealed.

In an attempt to simplify the present, truly, arcane question, we would again point out, if necessary, that a bagel is a baked, circular roll, and thus, by its unique and definitional design, contains a blank (or empty) space, within the confines of such baked, circular dough. What metaphysical wizard can construe the existence, or the manufacture of a hole within its conceded, classic and definitional shape? The empty center, (around which is found, the circular baked dough) does not feature the requisite solid matter, for the construction, or maintenance of what would reasonably qualify as a “hole.”  Stated somewhat differently, the unique, definitional, bagel design, cannot furnish the physical subject matter, requisite to the making, or maintenance of holes. As a matter of elementary physics, an empty void will not sustain the making, or empirical existence of holes, thus, please take note that the bagel, by definition, stereotypically, has a characteristic, empty center, but, no possible hole. [QED.]


Blogpost # 918    JEWEL IN THE CROWN

It would, be accurate to (merely) refer to the Brooklyn Bridge, as a conveyance, constructed, in the mode of an engineering hybrid, combining cable and suspension elements, and spanning New York’s East River, between the Boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, that It opened for bridge traffic May 23, 1883, and, further, that at the time of its opening, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world.

Nevertheless, the statement would be shamefully, insufficient as an adequate or appropriately, respectful, reference to this unique American icon, this veritable (architectural and historical) jewel in the National crown, presently celebrating its one hundred and fortieth birthday. In fact, in our view, there exists no greater nor more articulate, expression of human creativity nor aesthetic beauty and pragmatic accomplishment, to be seen in the contemporary Western world.

Those who, by means of literature and film, may be aware of the early, New York City street scene, are aware of its overcrowded indeed, veritably, claustrophobic, atmosphere.  Streets were so overcrowded with pedestrians, horses and wagons, tradespeople, and pushcarts that pedestrian travel was, by necessity, often effected between rooftops. The ghetto-like, over-crowdedness was unhealthy, as well as physically, confining. Diseases such as the dreaded, tuberculosis, enjoyed the unhealthy windfall of filthy streets, redolent of horse droppings and a myriad of other pernicious sources of infection.

With the opening of this life-changing, bridge, the affected (and infected) New York Boroughs were opened up to travel to the outer reaches of the City and State for healthier air and robust commerce. The new and wondrous conveyance was, especially for the economically, modest residents of New York City, a miraculous means to a less confining and more rewarding life.

European critics and New World naysayers, were, irrefutably, made aware, of the demonstrated, miracle of New World (American) capability, empirically, demonstrated by the Herculean erection of this marvelous suspension bridge, and, that a well-earned and appropriate, respect for the former, English colonies, previously, existentially, threatened by a disastrous Civil War, was, indeed, warranted.

The Bridge, officially certified as a National Historic Landmark, is a strikingly, beautiful edifice, with roadways passing through magnificent portals of gigantic gothic archways, asserting themselves as no less than, appropriately, triumphal. In our view, the Brooklyn Bridge invests the entire East Side of New York City, with the grand and elevated context of a permanent outdoor art and history museum, as well as an everlasting symbol of American ingenuity and courageous accomplishment.



We are confident of the receipt of a satisfactory response, from an obstetrician or a midwife, if inquiry were made as to the medical reason a newborn child,  upon emergence from the womb, is, summarily, slapped on his bottom. Our surmise is that the dynamic practice encourages crying and the consequent, initiative, process of breathing air.  By bright contrast, however, we have no conception, regarding the motivation of the prospective purchaser of an automobile, who, traditionally, kicks its tires.  Nevertheless, we do have a proposed, albeit, fanciful, or symbolic, explanation for this usual, aggressive display of rubber tire terpsichory, which we undertake to reveal at a latter portion of this essay.

It might prove to be an interesting and creative challenge, to the essayist,  to endeavor to press on with the previous comparative between the automobile, viz., an inorganic, mechanic contrivance, and the singularly, organic, sentient life of humankind, the latter’s creator and user.

The likelihood of a shocked response, to such a radical challenge, might be somewhat tempered, by reference to the analogous, functional similarities, appropriately attributed, to hospital care, and, as well, to the automobile repair center. For example, the medical transplant of organs (the furnishing of new catalog auto parts), the surgical repair or replacement of broken or non-functioning limbs, (mechanical repairs and replacement), transfusion, dialysis, the medically, therapeutic, draining of fluids (change of oil, lubricants), and the repair of a flat tire (podiatric services). [We would request the reader’s kind tolerance of  our contextual effort to construe a literary and fanciful, anthropomorphic, analogy of the attributes of man and automobile.]

When a newborn baby has arrived at the family venue, there then begins a non-stop ritual of its constant cleaning, powdering, oiling, bathing, wiping down, and nurturing. Relatives, neighbors and close friends are invited to admire the newly arrived addition to the family, in his luxurious digs, the lavishly furnished baby room, decorated to proudly, showcase and admire the newly arrived, miracle child. Thereafter, the baby is the recipient of constant, royal inspection and treatment, any new pimple or minor scratch receiving the degree of attendance and care, equivalent, in intensity and dedication, to a broadcasted, code blue, regarding a hospital patient, precariously, assigned to intensive care supervision.

The new car owner, after the exercise of extreme caution, and with the utmost of fiduciary care, pilots his new, immaculately shining, baby blue car into his house-adjoining garage. Before summoning his family members to partake of his indescribable joy,  he turns off the engine and gratefully, sits for a few minutes to survey the ambient wonder of his newly acquired, automotive, Valhalla. In short order, and with a joyous shout, calls the family to see the new mechanical member of the household and to go for a short, but, exuberant drive.

It is only a matter of less than two decades, before the previous, pristine, mechanical wonder fades (in interest and appearance), and declines in family importance and efficiency, to the mundane status of a pragmatic necessary contributing but little, yet often, requiring expensive repair. This predictable, bleak future, is a possible, impetus, as above, for the new car, tire kick.

In those comparative years, the new human addition to the family has exponentially increased in size, functionality, reason and ability to communicate. Simultaneous with the slow, but steady decline in appearance of the once beatified, jalopy, by contrast, the human addition to the household has made great strides in his appearance, personal education and mature perception. By the time the family jalopy was surrendered to a used parts vendor, the family child had succeeded in being awarded a PhD. and enjoyed the academic position of assistant professor of fluid mechanics at Stanford University.

One can, with equal (and non-fanciful or allegorical) effect, easily discern the contrast between the lives of those valuable, American Citizens who by dedication to learning, strive towards wisdom and mature perception, with those hordes of jalopy-like citizens seemingly, content to merely, age and rust, without aspiration for personal growth and mature understanding.


Blogpost # 916      RITES OF SPRING*

In our view, of all the noteworthy portals passed through by which one acquires an alternate status or amended perception of reality, graduation from an institute of higher learning, may be the most pivotal. Concededly, such milestone events as marriage, having children and becoming a grandparent are momentous and life-changing; nevertheless, we would resolutely, and, perhaps, radically, maintain that the individual’s transitional, milestone of (college) graduation is, ultimately, the most impactful and foundational. The reader might, generously, elect to reserve any, understandable, skepticism until a later point in this essay.

To be clear, our stated recognition of the great significance, or major dynamic impact, of the event of graduation, is relevant to the subject of university or graduate education. The “graduations” from schools of lower level education are not within the context, nor applicability, of this essay.

This is the perennial season of college graduation, and the joyous event is being universally, replicated in all its academic pomp and ceremony. According to our research, such formal and elaborate ceremonies, including the wearing of the traditionally, appropriate cap and hood, date back to the European 12th Century, and include a formal, academic procession, attired in Middle Ages style, robes and hoods.

The traditional event symbolizes and celebrates the publically, recognized accomplishment, or conclusion of hard work, during stressful years of study, and affords the deserved individual, the opportunity to celebrate the significant accomplishment, together with the others who have, jointly made the similar, successful voyage.

The classic setting of the college graduation, having been, described, sufficient for the thematic, purposes of this writing, it would now seem appropriate, to  express our promised views on the “paramount” significance, to the involved individual and his society, of this perennial “Rites of Spring.”  

To properly evaluate the merit of our views, regarding the singular, importance of college graduation, it would appear to be useful, to, very briefly, examine the landmark event, from each of its points of reference, personal, sociological and political.

For the graduating individual and his family, the event ushers in the beginnings of a gradual realization,  as too his acquisition of an independent, capability to reason maturely, and to maintain confidence in his observations. It marks the conclusion of his perceived, earlier role in life, evincing, dependence, (traditional or empirical) on parental or other sources, for needed guidance in judgmental decision-making. The ceremony of college graduation, universally, and realistically, termed a ”Commencement,” has publically, and ceremoniously, confirmed his newly acquired status as a recognizable adult citizen. From the point of view of development, the landmark ceremony is an affirmation and certification of the production of additional, responsible, members of the American community. From the graduate’s personal perception, his new status is a long-awaited moment of self-affirmation. His familial relatives can enjoy the successful accomplishment of an intended and responsible goal. The Nation and society,  benefits from the graduate’s signature accomplishment and his future value, as a useful citizen.

The prevailing turmoil and divisiveness, presently, roiling the Nation, to the terrifying, extent of rending vulnerable, the Democratic Republic, is empirically, the proximate result of its numerous hordes of inadequately, educated, poorly informed, and easily misled, citizens. To, once more, reprise the wise, and notably, prescient, admonition of Thomas Jefferson: “For a Democratic Republic to succeed, it requires well-educated and well-informed citizens.” As the Nation has traumatically, learned, the most profound and dangerous divide in the American Nation exists, between the educated and well-informed citizens, and those whose education and political-social awareness, are determinatively, lacking.

The satisfactory, productive yield of educated and useful Americans is of existential necessity to the continuance of our Democratic Republic, the sine qua non of its continued existence. The benefits of enlightenment to society, in general, are especially inclusive of, rational and just laws and policies.

The individual citizen’s vital capacity for reason, his accumulated knowledge and maturely, developed perception, are the quintessential requirements for the success of our democratic republic. The award of a college degree is a notable indication of the potential worthiness and usefulness of the citizen, willing to accrue the responsibility of enlightened citizenship.


* Thanks to Igor Stravinsky, for the use of the above title.




In accord with the intended context of this essay, we would request the reader, to momentarily, put aside his natural feelings of dismay and horror, regarding the unjust bloody war of aggression, initiated by Russia’s aggressive, autocratic, President, Volodymir Putin, against the sovereign Nation of Ukraine,(led by its democratically, elected, courageous, President, Volodymir Zelensky.) We would further ask that, during such elective moments of “time out,” he might, metaphysically, observe the fact that, were the subject events portrayed in contemporary literature or theater, it would be observably, analogous, in form and content, to a secular form of classic, medieval morality (or, “Everyman”) play.

The eternally, contending forces, of good and evil, are respectively, represented and evident in the protagonists, viz., Putin (aggressor-sin) and Zelensky (innocent victim-virtue). The moral challenge waged is, eternal and is waged between the two, morally contrasting leaders (protagonists); in this case, mutually, named “Volodymir,” in lieu, perhaps, of the age-old, traditional, “Everyman.” In this context, we would describe Putin’s persona and appearance as unsmiling, ferret-like, menacing, and with the expenditure of little eye contact during an interaction. We would, by contrast, describe, Volodymir Zelensky, the elected President of Ukraine, as oval-faced, light-bearded, warm and amiable.

Putin, the evil and ambitious autocrat and titular President of the globally, immense, Russian Nation, evinces a veritable, Napoleonic desire for power and conquest, and little inclination for empathy. He (sinfully), unlawfully and absent provocation, deploys Russia’s immense military forces to violently and unmercifully, overwhelm and, swallow up the weaker, innocent Nation of Ukraine. Putin is reported to have boasted that it was his expectation to take Kviv in no more than one week, install a personal lackey as President, and put an end to any European Union, NATO or any Western cultural expansion. His avaricious dream was to increase his power, as well as that of the former, fascistic, Soviet Union.

Putin, accurately and pragmatically, described as Russia’s dictator, may also be identified as its richest and most corrupt, oligarch. Following the (predictable), economic, failure of Marx’s “Scientific Socialism” [Communism] in Russia, (a subject, of utility, it appears, only for late evening, coffee house debate) the Russian Nation, by degrees, clumsily, morphed into an entity, politically and economically, controlled by corrupt, billionaire, business oligarchs, under the sovereign authority, of its richest, most powerful and singularly, corrupt, “President,” Putin; the latter, a power-hungry autocrat, and former KGB,  master at manipulating informers and suppressing information.

 As universally, reported in the World and National media, it was the megalomaniac, Putin, alone (and not on behalf of Russia) who desired and implemented the Ukrainian adventure,

Putin has defensively, expressed several spurious reasons, for his declaration of war on Ukraine. Among his publically, declared, (faux) justifications was his tactical (and false) assertion that Ukraine was under Nazi influence” and, thus, posed a continuing, existential threat to peace. Of all his falsely stated “justifications,” this, may constitute the most empirically, and historically, ludicrous. It should require no supporting argument, to declare that Jews, have eternally been the singularly, despised objects of Nazi hatred, pathologically, deemed by them, to be fit only for the WW2 death camps. The falsity of Putin’s assertion of the presence of Ukrainian, Nazi influence, is empirically, revealed by the democratic election to the office of Ukrainian President, (the “virtuous” Volodymir, in our analogy to medieval morality plays) and, additionally, the Nation’s Prime Minister, both popularly, known, to be Jewish. In sad fact, the grandparents of our virtuous, protagonist, were killed in the holocaust. At this point in the writing, we would seek the reader’s indulgence for a brief, but relevant, digression.

The reader may recall several of our earlier writings, based upon our various recollections, as first-generation Americans, residing in the 1930-40’s ambiance of the old-fashioned, Jewish, Brooklyn neighborhood. Our experiences now reveal an interesting and curious phenomenon, relative to certain observations made in the present writing.

In the early days of our Brooklyn childhood, it was not uncommon to hear, in English or Yiddish, observations made by European immigrants, to the effect that the Ukrainians were the most implacable and cruel haters of the Jews; that, as such, Ukrainian military personnel were usefully, and preferentially, assigned to  Jewish Death Camps. It was, indeed, many decades ago, that we had heard narratives, of cruel, anti-Jewish, Ukrainian and Polish abuse. The current situation, as above related, hopefully, may enable the empirical conclusion, that atavistic prejudices can, in time, be eliminated.

Returning to our contextual analogy to the medieval morality play, it is our sincere belief and expectation, that Good will soon triumph over Evil, and that the virtuous, Volodymir, will doubtlessly, prevail.


Blogpost # 914                                       “THE LADY OR THE TIGER*

*[The above title has been temporarily, borrowed from Frank M. Stockton (1882), “The Lady or the Tiger,” a short story in which the protagonist has to hazard a choice between two unmarked doors, one enclosing his love, the other a ferocious, large-toothed, orange Tiger]

It, should not be hyperbolic, to observe that, at present, our Democratic Republic is perilously, divided and existentially, vulnerable. For decades, hotly contested issues such as race relations, guns, abortion, election integrity, immigration, tax and economic disparity, the social status of gay and transgender Americans, resulted in the development of “tribally,” divided, insular groups of “group think” citizens, engaged in virtual, “Cold War,” with similarly configured groups of disparate views. This, notably, was in stark contrast to the prognostications of our optimistic Founders, to the effect that informed citizens of goodwill would constructively, debate the contested issues of the day, with the results, being useful to the governance of a Nation, “by and for the People.” To the contrary, an unanticipated, divisiveness, was to develop, then worsen and, finally, metastasize.

The unfortunate and consequential addition of an effective catalyst to such existent divisiveness was exacerbated by the surprise (and, ultimately, tragic) elevation of an incapable, former second-rate, television game show host and real estate grifter, to the Oval Office. Shortly, thereafter, the historically, perceived, high moral stature of the American Nation, palpably, declined, both internationally, as well as domestically. On the international scene, Trump’s total ignorance of the Nation’s international relationships and treaty agreements lent our traditional allies an unpredictable, “Jack-in-the-Box” perception of its policies; America’s supportive relations with its traditional allies became confusing, while Trump’s developing, love of autocracy, and its signature feature of unlimited power, motivated him to befriend the leaders of the Nation’s historic enemies, Russia, China and North Korea.

The most troubling and vexatious characteristic of Donald Trump appears to be his unique ability to completely alienate certain groups of people, and utterly, captivate others. It is not difficult to comprehend the dynamics of his censure by the mainstream, American citizen. His complete incapability, coupled with the negative, empirical results of his excessive neurotic arrogance, his disrespect and antipathy for learning and advancement, shamelessly, inclusive of medical and scientific research, (as evidenced during the pandemic), his demonstrated, complete lack of moral compass and failure to adhere to tenets of societal morality and acceptable behavior, were ultimately, terrifying, and unpredictable; his neurotic theories, all self-serving, would appear to qualify for the most original of paranoid delusionary constructs.

On the domestic scene, Trumps programmed action to disparage America’s media, his perverse preference for subjectively construed, “alternate facts”) demonstrated his un-American love of autocracy, and is consistent with his amply, demonstrated, lack of moral compass. The reader is doubtlessly  aware of the multitude of serious crimes perpetrated by this bizarre National Leader, inclusive of the payment of bribes to silence call girls with whom he, apparently, had  regular commerce, attempted rigging of the election results by illegal and improper demands to Secretaries of State and otherwise, attempting to sabotage  the (certified as accurate) election results, fomenting an insurrection on the alleged grounds that the election victory was “stolen,” from him, without a scintilla of supporting evidence,( when it was he, himself, who  demonstrated  autocratic chutzpah, in his attempt to alter the voting results (viewed on public television), invited, caused and extolled a bloody insurrection against our Democratic Republic,  expressed his praise and support for the insurrection by the right-wing  Christian White National, fascistic militias and to other citizens, too dense to realize that an (alternate) autocracy would, also, suicidedly,constrict their own freedoms. [See our earlier essay: “Lemmings”). Despite two Congressional impeachments, several, separate, imminent criminal indictments for the most egregious of Federal crimes, including sedition, as well as a host of civil cases now pending against him, including tax fraud, the orange-haired sociopath has publically, and brazenly, declared his intention to run again, for the American Presidency; another Herculean Labor of hubristic chutzpah. Remarkably, the right-wing media continues to publish his disproved lies and delusions regarding the subject of election and his false statements on the subject of social politics.

Trump’s large, cultish, horde of populist underbelly citizenry, no doubt, instinctively, attracted to him by his unorthodox, anti-establishment and errant social behavior, is the mother lode of his politically, pervasive, power. His denigration of truthful facts (“truth”), in favor of subjectively, preferred, “alternate facts, has metastasized into advanced conspiracy ideations, such as, “The Stolen Election,” “The Great Replacement Theory,” ”Pizza Gate” and enough bizarrely, conceived, notions as might bedazzle a casserole cooked with the savory ingredients of Franz Kafka, Louis Carroll and  J.R.R.Tolkien.

It is extremely worrisome that many, non-delusional Republican lawmakers and politicians seem to be inclined to support Trump and his followers, solely for fear of losing the votes of his vast inventory of populistic supporters. Republican politics has, indisputably and regrettably, morphed into the concern for votes from the vast, National inventory of populist, Trump supporters, rather than the responsible concern for constituents and for National issues, political and economic. Our traditional, two-party, political system has effectively, and shamefully, degraded to the singular issue of Trump’s acceptability or non-acceptability. Political and economic issues are the proper, subjects of our two-party system, but, like the proverbial, apple barrel, it has been spoiled by our rotten, Orange-haired, apple.

The existentially, vital route back to the satisfactory choice of the correct door, leading to the continued existence and proper functioning of our democracy,( inclusive of our traditionally, two-party system), is to affirmatively, vote for it. Success will favorably, be rewarded by the beneficial avoidance of the democracy-eating, autocratic tiger.    



Considering the entire cornucopia of errant and bizarre behavior of our twice impeached (and soon to be multiply indicted) 45th President, our understanding has been challenged by the slow and, virtually diffident progress, of the administration in the effectuation of his well-deserved, retribution. We, in tandem with a great many citizens, have disappointingly, observed an apparently, incoherent and dysfunctional administration of plain justice for his plethora of criminal, seditious and undemocratic behaviors.

 We have observed with impatience, the yet, unexplained, dysfunctional, discomfort on the part of the parties, committees and appointed prosecutors, in the prescription of the inarguably, justified, punitive action in his case. Some would argue that the uncommon, hesitation is the result of his unique, situational status as former President. We, emphatically, do not agree. We feel that if the uniquely, assertive and bizarre persona of the accused miscreant were rationally, understandable, less exotically, sui generis, (and bizarrely,, attractive to our populist underbelly) the prosecutorial agency of government, would, by now, have, confidently administered appropriate, punishment. With the reader’s indulgence, we would attempt to explain.

Herman Melville, best known, internationally, for his outstanding classic, American novel, “MOBY DICK’, was the author of a contextually, relevant, short story, “BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER” (1853). Our interpretive understanding of the fictional tale,, provides, in our considered view, an analogous understanding of the thematic, dynamics behind the observable, hesitancy, to date,  to summarily, punish Trump.[ As an  aside, we have eternally recommended good literature as the key to the mature perception and understanding of humankind’s classic, (repetitive), problems and eternally,  confronting issues.]

In the literary work, Melville introduces the reader to a “scrivener” (hand copier of legal, official documents) whose employer directs him to do something, within the regular purview of his job. Bartleby responds, “I prefer not to do so.” The situation is repeated until the employer fires him and asks him to leave the premises.  Bartleby states, yet again, that he prefers not to do so. Bartleby does not leave and, ultimately, the employer, himself, is obliged to move to a different office.

As we perceive it, the purport of the short story (and, indeed, the intended context of this essay) is basic and metaphysical. Organized society, existentially, depends upon the acceptance of relationships, official, as well as non-official, upon certain mutually undertaken, but not necessarily, articulated, assumptions and expectations, upon various and many implicitly, assumed expectations and traditionally, recognized assumptions regarding behavior. Members of society, in addition to the necessary adherence to the “Social Compact” (or “Contract”) maintain fixed and fundamental expectations, regarding the nature and kind of behavioral response to various, presenting, stimuli.

In Melville’s short story, reality is completely, upended. In the expected scheme of things, employees obey the employer’s instructions; Bartleby does not. To further distort reality, he refuses to recognize his firing, and even his employer’s firm instruction to leave the place of business. His refusal to leave, is revolutionary, and experientially, dystopic, leaving the employer no alternative but to, himself, leave the office premises.

In the same sense as Bartelby acted (or failed to act) in accordance with expected, societal, empirical normality, as a matter of personal principle, the bizarre and societally unprecedented behavior and mindset of Donald J. Trump, is analogously, unorthodox and alien to societal normality; by contrast to Bartelby, motivated, not by radical intention, but, apparently, by mental disorientation; lacking any rational compass or philosophy. What U.S. President would proudly, declare on public television, that he could get away with shooting people on Fifth Avenue.

Trump, a truly, unique combination of bizarrely configured, traits is the possessor of a one-off, sui generis, persona; accordingly, our sincerely dedicated, authorities have been, slowly, but with  difficulty, learning the skills to punish such an alien personality who resides in a neurotic, self-centered, singular, bubble.


Blogpost # 912 PORTALS (poesie)

Our quotidian breakfast of morning media
Nourished, but our sadness and lament
The wars, injustice, the human failings
Does rudely, overspill our morning bowl
In sad attendance of the daily drama
Of vile events, once thought, inconceivable.

But one morning, when so sadly, employed
We saw thru the window, three white-tailed deer
Tails slowly wagged, they walked as they nibbled leaves.
Eschewing the drama, we rushed to the entrance door
To view more closely, the welcome tan beauties.

The gentle beasts walked peacefully, and silently
Unconcerned with such human artifice,
Such as war, bias and the National Debt Limit
The sole concern, is more succulent leafs
As they walked on in tripartite peace.

Looking upward, at the trees’ yellow-green primavera
Which, as appeared, seemed to be straining sunward
Like blue-jay hatchlings awaiting mama and food
We also saw blushing red tulips, and white-centered daffodils
All of whom, seemed to say,
Cross the portal, come to the woodlands
See quotidian life as naturally, it was to be.

Leonard N. Shapiro 4/30/23

Blogpost # 911      THE SHELL GAME

[Precis: It would appear that education is the dividing line in American politics. The following essay will reveal our understanding as to how big business, anti-regulation interests induce the inadequately educated, poorly, informed, citizen to vote against their own, personal interest.]

As known, Evolution’s paramount species, Homo sapiens was generously gifted, with a brain of higher quality and more utility than that of other fauna, roaming Planet Earth, thus, affording to him the existential, capability to develop and exercise judgment. Reason, based upon learned, empirical experience, is the ubiquitous and dynamic mechanism with which he suitably, guides his life. However, all too often, actions are performed and decisions taken, not based upon reason, but upon extraneous stimuli (examples: passion, erroneous, or self-serving, influence of others, fixed routine or habit, associations derived from perceived similar, past experience with like stimuli (or similar person).

A diverse, plethora of interests, shrewdly aware of the common inclination of individuals to choose, or be persuaded to, facilely, “short circuit” decisions, for reasons, not founded in reason, will tactically, utilize various socially persuasive devices to influence the targeted individual or group, most impactful of which, may be that of “associative choice.”

Whether the context be commercial, political or personal, it should not take an in-depth analysis, to identify, the Terpsichorean performance, often aimed at the poorly, informed and vulnerable citizen. This dance of deception, subtly, eliciting the desired point of view, or, contextually, the desired political position, (and, hence, the vote) cunningly, utilizes the behavioral phenomenon, made famous by Dr. Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Such dynamic process is the conditioned (i.e., “Pavlovian”) predictably, engineered response, elicited by the repetitive application of previously associated, stimuli. In the most famous of the Russian scientist’s, classic experiments, dogs, mouths hungrily, watered,  at the recalled, repeated association of a ringing bell with being given food.

It is, far beyond the intended scope of this writing, or, indeed, our capacity, to undertake to relate the manifold instances of empirical applications of the ubiquitous, Pavlovian (conditioned) response, so vital in marketing, public relations, politics and human interaction in general.  At present, we are concerned, specifically, with the pernicious and demonstrably successful, impact of that, non-rational, associative technique, on the hordes of citizens, thereby induced to espouse rightward-tilting, dogma.

Such arrogant and tactically, manipulative, practice is indisputably, analogous in virtue, principle and dynamic technique, to the grift, popularly, identified as “Three Card Monte,” or the “Shell Game.” In the latter “games,” the player is the victim of a fool-proof, sleight-of-hand maneuver, consistently overcoming his hapless, confidence. In lieu of the utilized, three playing cards or three walnut-type shells and a pea, the political charlatan, tactically, evokes, by way of reflexive response, the desired, political response from the victim. In lieu of Pavlov’s associative bell sound, certain “buzz-words” have been instilled by repetitive, tactical propaganda, aimed at eliciting the desired “reflexive” (or “associative”) response; from their designated targets; typically, the large horde of ”underbelly,” populist American citizens. Constant bombardment by so-called,  ”News Media,” like the undemocratic, Fox News and a cadre of unprincipled radio commentators, cater to the uninformed populist, spew hatred, false accusations and MAGA’s specialty, “alternate reality,” to a highly, receptive, cohort of ignorant and discontented followers, who are effectively manipulated and tactically, convinced, that the official news reports, heard or read, are tactically false, and that the propagandist broadcaster, by contrast, is, exclusively and responsibly, revealing the authentic and truthful, facts, to his loyal audience. In fairness, the official patent for the promulgated concept, of “alternate facts,” must indisputably, be granted to its ingeniously egocentric creator, Donald J. Trump.

The political concept of the Pavlovian style, “shell game,” universally, features constant, repetitive, (like Pavlov’s bell)  right-wing, media messages, which, consistently, portray false and misleading versions of contemporary events, or purported objectionable inclinations or actions, taken by the demeaned subject, most often, encapsulated in a word, recalling their reality-skewed, often, defamatory, diatribes. In this regard, there appears to be a virtually, unlimited choice of tactical and manipulatively, uttered names and references, which, are, by their programmatic, repetitive association with tactically, chosen, negative or unwholesome references,  words, people, or concepts designed to create the intended, indisposition towards them.  For purposes of illustration, we will cite, and briefly comment on a few, instilled, “knee-jerk,” negative, buzzwords.

 [Word stimulus: “Socialism,” “Socialist”]

At the top of the motivational, or associative, knee-jerk, buzzwords is the word, “socialist.” It is our observation that proposed assistance to the economically, needy or affordable health care as a part of America’s exercise of compassionate capitalism, is predictably, awarded the inculcated, (faux) epithet, “socialist,” or awarded the presumably, obnoxious designation of “Socialism.” This Pavlovian installed negative attribution, to the government’s exercise of needed assistance, is tactically, installed in the mind of the unschooled citizen, despite the raw truth that all Americans, including the manipulative interests, happily avail themselves of its full benefits.

 The traditionally pernicious goal of the perpetrators of this absurd, tactical charge, typically, is the big business sociopathic ideation that profits are more important than the monetary expense of compliance with government regulations, protecting human life and health. The participation of the federal government in disaster control, protection of food, water and medicine, loans and financial assistance to business, apparently, do not enjoy the epithet of socialistic enterprise. As appears, the dreaded scourge of evil socialism only arrives, regarding matters of assistance to, or safety for, the needy citizen.

[Name stimulus: Nancy Pelosi, Hilary Clinton

The cynically, arrogant engineer of reflexive responses can confidently expect the desired result by the mere mention of the name, Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton on right-wing media. Rep. Pelosi, until her recent retirement, the talented, idealistic and much revered, Leader of the House Democrats, was, energetically, demonized by the disgraceful President Trump, making predictable a Pavlovian, visceral response of venal hatred, from any of the auspicious MAGA acolytes upon the mere mention of her name. The subject, conditioned response was especially articulated, by a MAGA madman, psychotically, fracturing her husband’s skull with a hammer.

The tactical mention of the name of the former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, reflexively, evoked the Trump demand, “Lock her up!” from the MAGA cultists. Clinton, a former, Secretary of State, inadvertently, had a few classified documents on her computer server, and upon their discovery, responsibly, cooperated in their removal. No such “Lock him up,” was angrily, demanded when it was revealed that Donald Trump intentionally, and illegally, removed cartons of secret government documents and attempted to refuse to return them.

[Word stimuli: various]

Shamefully and neurotically, it appears that any reference to any term relating to gender, such as “gay,” “transgender” and the like, evokes contempt and hatred from the biased and right-wing dodo, too ignorant to understand that no baby has the personal choice of configuration of genes and hormones. We are, additionally and competently, advised that the newborn child, additionally, has no choice of skin color, nor of the specific ethnos into which he is born.

 References to the term,” immigration” that, responsively, evoke predictable, bias, in some citizens, ironically, and selfishly, omit the inescapable, empirical fact, that our Nation, is entirely, composed of immigrants and their descendants.

In our considered metaphysical and empirical view, that a large population of inadequately educated and poorly informed, citizens, poses an existential danger to the existence of a Democratic Republic; one, conceivably, yet more existentially, hazardous, than the dangers of attempted sedition.