Blogpost # 857      “TOLERANCE,”AN ARROGANT CONCEPT: Redux

Not unlike the positive serendipity, of an amateur fossil hunter successfully, excavating a fully, intact, pre-historic fossil, the unearthing of a singular word, whose referential antonym, is as equally, distasteful as it’s comparative, is, we feel, especially, notable.

 Any thoughtful analysis of the word, “tolerance,” would reveal its intrinsic dynamic to be necessarily, arrogant and bigoted, in every sense. It is thoughtlessly, used, to denote a designated, socially interactive virtue, purportedly, extolling the humanistic trait of acceptance; but any truly thoughtful or metaphysical analysis of the logical import of the noun, will reveal the context of an unwarranted, assumption of a judicial role and the supposed virtue of such authoritative, approval.  However, the metaphysical concept behind mutual acceptance and universal goodwill, would logically, and ethically, seem to exclude the arrogant exercise of self- appropriated, judgmental authority.

The recent horrific, sociopathic attacks upon innocent, transgender Americans provided the impetus for our present reprise of this writing on the subject (“redux”) of “tolerance.” The word, recognizeably, is both presumptuous and intolerantly, bigoted. For example, does the fact, that the plurality, of American citizens, happen to be white, translate into white being the approved, societal, or intrinsic (as distinguished from statistical) norm? Does a member of the plurality of white citizens, as such, enjoy a higher or more acceptable status, due to such computation,  than the arithmetical minority of non-whites? Would such a neurotic and self-serving, assumption (as based upon population numbers, only), vest authority in members of the majority, superior status than others who are not majoritarian? Does numerical advantage, logically, ethically, or morally, authorize whites to create their own, reductionist criteria, for acceptability? Why, in the “land of the free,” should any numerical, minority of human beings, thereby, appropriately, require any “tolerance” or forbearance, from the majority?

In this context, how can the violent, pathological attacks, by, assertively, disturbed, heterosexual, oriented individuals, (the most numerous societal class) upon transgender, American citizens, be apprehended, as anything other than, deranged and criminally pathological. The bigoted perpetrators, perhaps, in vain pursuit of buttressing their fragile feelings of societal acceptance, have no standing as enforcers of the, purported, “normal;” nor, arguendo, would they have, theoretically, any rational, authority or standing, to be “tolerant,” of the minority. No individual possesses the sane as known, authority to, either charitably, accept, nor intolerantly disapprove of, (let alone, terrorize) dissimilar groups of citizens.

Gender identity, as known, is the product of the chemical interplay between hormones and chromosomes, in the developing fetus. It, like skin color, is inarguably, inherited, by natural happenstance, as distinguished from volitional, selection. It requires emphatic repetition, that medical science has uniformly and resoundingly, disproven past theories holding that gender identity is essentially, “binary,” i.e., male and female. Moreover, it is an empirical fact that many newborn infants are medically, diagnosed, as not, exclusively, falling into such two limited and defined categories.

Accordingly, the informed citizen should not find it be culturally, or biologically, remarkable, that some relatively, minor percentage of individuals, exhibit behavior and express their personal gender identity, in a manner, inconsistent with their officially assigned sex, at the time of birth. Perception, of aberrant or defective status, in such cases are erroneous and ignorant and should furnish no sane or rational basis, for social exclusion, or recrimination.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, we would enthusiastically, recommend, the use of the themed, word, “intolerance,” to describe the appropriate, reaction to any deranged, individuals who would choose to perpetrate societal violence.

-p.

Blogpost # 856    SIX BLACKBIRDS ON A POWER LINE

It was thought-provoking, to glance up at the power lines in rural venues, and observe its joint, occupation by six or so, perching, birds, and then, suddenly, to see one of them fly away, only to observe the rest of his group, thereupon, follow suit in the same direction. At a given instance, the perception of the dynamics of the experience, might lend itself to some thoughtful, analogous observations, on empirically, known human behavior and its consequences.

Charles Darwin, in his, “Origin of the Species,” observed that the existence of living organisms is dependent upon their innate ability to adapt to the environment. While he chose not to dwell further on the subject, Darwin did briefly, manage, to discern an analogy, between the successful societal advancement of humankind, and its willing ability to learn and adapt from consistent experience.

As to the six blackbirds on a power line, there appears to exist a noticeable contrast, between the American meme, extolling the uniquely, independent, will of the intelligent and informed, citizen, and the actual empirical reality, which seems to reveal less popular, self- reliance than desirable. We have written, on the subject of the societal epidemic, consisting of the formation of opposing tribes of  “group think,” the latter, based upon, (a) the populist’s, understandable, diffidence, toward  the worth of his personal views, presumably, the consequence of his refraining from efforts toward self- growth and advancement, and (b) the failure to develop a secure, independent, persona (self-image) and resultant, lack of confidence in his own judgment.

Our present theme, however, is specifically limited to a statement of our perception of the ultimate, damage or impact, of the referenced failure to exercise one’s capacity for individual reason, with a manifest emphasis on the popular expression, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

We have often declared that we consider, as the salient concomitant of reason, the developed capacity for freedom and self-determination. Unhappily, the personal, exercise of reason has, apparently, been abandoned by many, contemporary, American citizens, in their self-effacing, cultist thrall to the despicable, Donald Trump.  As a consequence, of his total incapability for the highest office, his aberrant and immoral behavior, together with his (unexplainably), mesmerizing effect on the populist citizenry, during his single, four year term, the Nation was perceived as demoted, from its reputed, iconic, and admirable, status, to an avatar of incapable rule and acute divisiveness.

An inventory of the Trump Administration’s myriad of astounding failures and unlawful, immoral and unconstitutional behavior, we judge, has been sufficiently, accomplished in our past essays. The theme of this writing, is otherwise, namely, the metaphysical impact and atavistically, bizarre, consequences of the Trump sycophants’ apparent, surrender of, individual will and use of reason.  

The many long eras in the advance of humankind’s empirical learning and evolutionary development of human reason, gradually, and beneficially, resulted in the supplanting of belief in natural deities and irrational, atavistic and superstitious agents. Fears of the latter had previously, required the diplomatic intercession of holy men, favored with spiritual access to the Spirits, or rituals, believed to placate their anger and implore their benefits, i.e., good harvests, victory over enemies.

It appears that it was lessons learned from empirical experience, which enabled the Homo sapiens, to develop in rationality, and, thereby, effect a supersession of the need for magic incantations and the supplication of the fearful Spirits.  This existentially, important, stage of development was the direct and proximate result of the exercise of the potential of evolution’s generous gift to humankind of an advanced brain. The latter specifically, significantly, characterized the Homo sapiens far more than his structural development. Were the facility and use of reason, taken away, Mankind, in such event, would merely be another, competing, feral inhabitant of the forest, like the timber wolf and the bear. Relevantly, there would, predictably, be a reprise of atavistic fears of the natural gods, and a return to primal thoughts and superstition.

For some time, we had been amazed and genuinely puzzled, by the publically accepted, right-wing inclination to bizarre conspiracy theories. Under alternative circumstances, avowed belief in such delusional ideations as, government sponsored, hidden, tracking, mini-computers in vaccine, Israel launching rockets at the Earth from outer space and liberal-minded citizens being child abusers and traffickers, would be diagnosable as paranoid schizophrenia and, appropriately, subject to medical intervention. Notwithstanding the foregoing prognostication, many right wing Americans, inclusive of elected government officials, have publically and determinatively, subscribed to such pathological, ideations.   

 The right-wing, Republicans, who chose to venerate Trump and  accept his  concept of “alternate facts” and his subjective distortions of the empirical truth, were, thereby, manifestly, obliged to vulnerably, and unhealthily, abandon or reject personal observations and factual understandings, consistent with their objective observational experience, as the steep (and psychological) price, for their tribal loyalty, and acceptance of the rationally, deprived, unreality of Donald Trump.

Despite our lack of profession expertise, we are taking the liberty by logical analysis, to  presume, that such dedicated and principled suspension or abandonment of reason, analogous to the effects of the disuse of the heart and skeletal muscles, ultimately, leads to their unhealthy atrophy. In like fashion, it is our presumption that the suspension, or regular disuse (or, non- use) of the rational properties of the brain, leads to its degradation and self- control, ultimately, opening the door to atavistic fantasies and fears, as was true of Early Man; again, “if you don’t use it, you lose it. Analogous,() but usually short-term), aberrations are seen in mob behavior, panic reaction, fear and uncontrolled, anger. Unlike that of mob behavior and uncontrolled anger, we wonder whether the normal equilibrium, of the irrational believers in right-wingnut, Mad Hatter conspiracy theories, will, at some time in the future, be capable of reprise.

-p.     

Post # 854  MYOPIA: THE PANDEMIC DU JOUR

The word “myopia,” is known to signify a challenging condition in which visual images focus on the front of the eye’s retina, resulting in an unclear vision of more distant phenomena. This conceit is been utilized, in the present writing to analogously, reference individuals who are intrinsically, unable or unwilling, to understand the logical, or probable, future outcome of their present actions, those who “cannot see the forest for trees.” Human history, it seems, has never been found wanting in examples of disastrous outcomes, fundamentally founded upon this human failing. A contemporary, and in fact, potentially, apocalyptic, example, is the inadequate response to the exigent future threat of global warming.

We, unequivocally, ascribe the etiology of this human defect to the individual’s inability, or failure, to exercise his natural capacity for reason. It is reasoning, itself, that is the means by which rational individuals understand information or conceptualize abstract concepts, such, as (our present, contextual) cause and effect as well as truth and falsehood. We have dedicated many of our diverse essays, fundamentally, to the existentially important, mission of humankinds’ development of reason, for which natural purpose, evolution has afforded him a brain, with potential for of the achievement of wisdom.

Moreover, we have been rationally, reconciled to the view that the salient concomitant of reason is the developed capacity for freedom and self-determination. This eternal principle reflects the ultimate aspiration of an evolving humankind and articulates the context for the present writing. Throughout our many essays, we have extolled the activities of reading, travel, engagement in personal and aesthetic pursuits, as well as responsible societal interaction, as the means to such advancement.

Reasonable minds, with ample justification, might celebrate the positive serendipity of being citizens of the American Nation. As such, they are members and protected participants, in a three- century, old experiment in political science; wherein for the first time, in the societal evolution of humankind, a Nation, “by, and for the People,” was created. History shows that, prior to such experiment, rule was autocratic and tyrannical, by Crown, Emperor or the Established Church. Freedoms and rights, meagre as they were, existed only at the sufferance of the autocrat, or his underlings.

Historically, the head of State was authorized, by the purported, “Devine Right of Kings,” an inculcated myth, propagated by a Country’s prominent social classes (Royal inheritance), conquest, viz., the bloody, mode of warlike ascendance to the throne, relevant to Emperors or, finally, the Established Church (Pope).History in Europe and elsewhere, reveals that under autocratic rule, the concept of individual rights and liberties, was non-existent or else, severely, limited and at the sufferance, of such autocratic leaders, or their designees.

In bright contrast, America’s “Bill of Rights,” guaranteed freedom from interference by the government, with the personal liberty and rights of the citizens of the newly created, Democratic Republic. Notably, the head of state and the representatives of the populace were to now, to be chosen by popular election, and to serve only for designated terms.

In the Trump era, large hordes of individual citizens, in cultish fealty to that orangutan-haired chief of State, were, emphatically, in accord with his disparagement of the integrity of democratic elections, his neurotic denigration of “Truth,” attacks on the responsible media, on education, science, and the signature American mantras of universal equality and National empathy. Such undemocratic and irrational policies, of the former President, still adored by his present acolytes, are indisputably, contrary to the interest of any citizen of our Nation, who has benefited from its assurance of democratic rights and liberties. The Trump sycophants evinced their accord with Trump’s “Big Lie,” as part of his autocratic disparagement of democratic elections, his attack on the media, approval of book banning, criminalizing of homosexuality, bias against designated groups of citizens, including the handicapped, his denigration of education and science and visible lack of moral compass. Consistent with our personal belief that reason is the capacity for freedom and self-determination, we, (perhaps, uncivilly) have descriptively, referred to these Americans as the “underbelly” of the Nation.

We have chosen to descriptively “diagnose” this (unfortunately, sizeable) group of “underbelly” citizenry, as suffering from chronic and crippling cases of acute myopia. It would be obvious, to anyone not so afflicted,  possessing even a rudimentary, understanding the dynamics of “cause and effect,” that success in the undermining of popular elections, the media and public newspapers, freedom of speech, choice of literature, and, in general, our established rights and liberties as Americans, would, ineluctably, apply to the underbelly citizen, as fully as the present mainstream American. (See earlier essay, “Lemmings”). There are sufficient examples in history and, as well, in the contemporary world, to, healthily, focus on the tragic result in the event of the successful, attainment of their aspirations.

-p.   

Post # 855 FUNGIBLE BIGOTRY

America’s political spotlight is brightly, focused on the Georgia Senatorial, run-off election, between the Democrat, Rev. Raphael Warnock, and the Republican, Herschel Walker. The political context is crucially important in that, the outcome will affect the dynamics of the next U.S. Senate.

Aside from the election’s political significance, Donald Trump’s selection of Hershel Walker to run against the incumbent, Senator Warnock, was revelatory of the typical sophomoric intelligence and atavistic tactics of stereotypical bigotry, and personally, productive of frustration and anger. Such unsophisticated and  “bull in a china shop,” tactics, consisting of selecting a black candidate (notably, a famous athlete) to run against the black Georgia incumbent, was another iteration of Trump’s arrogantly, cynical and reductive tactics, and demonstrative of the ignorant, mind-set of the bigot.

The legal lexicon includes a contextually, useful word, i.e. “fungible,” applicable to goods or items which are identical and therefore, easily replaceable. Some examples of fungible items are dollar bills, ears of corn, coal, subway tokens, common shares of stock (in the same corporation), ordinary paper clips, tickets of admission to a particular movie and a myriad of other interchangeable items. It is to be emphatically observed, and an empirically, indisputable fact that each human being is unique and the conceptual antithesis of “fungible.”

It is in the typical, ignorant and reductive inclination of the stereotypic bigot, albeit, without rational or reasonably, experiential basis, to ascribe subjectively, selected, stereotypic traits and behavioral inclinations (usually negative) to those who look different or believe differently from them.  Thus, the selection of a black candidate to run against the black, incumbent, Senator, would seem to other American bigots, a wise, tactical, exercise of the (cesspool level) intelligence of Donald Trump

Bigots subjectively, perceive America’s communities of black people as oversexed, basketball players who eat watermelon and are indolent; Jews are seen by them, to be devious, inscrutable, rich and cunning, homosexuals as aspiring to the conversion of recruits to homosexuality. Liberal intellectuals are perceived by them, to be child- abusers and communists. Vaccination is a deep state plot, in league with big pharma, to make profits on the hapless public. Hispanics, especially, Mexicans, are perceived, as flooding into America, for governmental, “benefits”, and to “steal the jobs of regular, hard-working, Americans. Our former President, in his inimitably, odious manner, and with the faux confidence of a snake oil huckster, described the needy Hispanic immigrants, as “caravans” of “rapists,” and “criminals,” albeit, never having met any of those folks he wrongfully, and ignorantly, slandered.

As declared, no human being, can empirically, or rationally, be understood as “fungible,” viz., equally characterized and mutually, interchangeable, like dollar bills or ears of corn. This inarguable principle is empirically, universal and eternal. Nevertheless, it may be of interest, and within the context and specific circumstances of this writing, to briefly, reflect on the diverse persona of both candidates.   

Pastor Warnock, we understand, is the possessor of two graduate degrees in Divinity and an educated, literate and well-informed, American citizen. He is the present Pastor of the Church in which Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, served, and is an avid supporter of liberal causes, civil rights and democracy. We, candidly, know little else about him, nevertheless, from what we do know, we would perceive him to most resemble the preferred persona of the educated, mainstream American citizen.

Herschel Walker, to our information, by sheer contrast, has traits apprehended by us to be in confirmation of that portion of the Nation, which, unlike Rev. Warnock is anti-intellectual, reductive, violent in behavior and anti-democratic. From reports broadcasted and printed by the responsible media, he has a long record of domestic violence, publically, emphatically, and voluntarily, confirmed, by his son, inclusive of menacing his wife by putting a pistol to her head. He reportedly has paid for a number of abortions, necessitated by his sordid history of marital infidelity. It does not escape notice that his sponsoring, Republican, party has taken an absolute stand against abortion, having seen to it that SCOTUS overturned the fifty-year-old, precedential case of Roe v. Wade.

The character of the semi-literate and physically, violent Walker, evinces a persona that would be favored by those Americans we have, customarily, labeled as the “underbelly.” The character, intellect and persona of Rev. Warnock, would seem, to be the sort, consistently, preferred by mainstream Americans (of all races), to the gross, anti-intellectual and irresponsible character of Walker. The parties, apparently, have little or nothing, noteworthy, in common.

It has eternally, appeared, to be characteristic of the standard bigot, to facilely, harbor, and ultimately, bequeath, tactically selected, ubiquitously, false stereotypes of “others.”  In the context of this consistent, social aberration, bigots resemble each other, by their uniform ignorant and reductive, hatred of “others,” if not to the impossible, extent of being “fungible,” to, at the very least, the attainment of the deplorable status of, stereotypical, “racists.”   

-p.         

Post # 853     HELIOCENTRICA: “Moon Shadows”

In our American lexicon, the mystical word, “Shadow,” has a substantial and ubiquitous, range of expressive meaning, both literal and colloquial. However, in this writing, we will examine the phenomenon in its most common (visual) context i.e., a dark area created where an opaque subject blocks light from it’s source.  In the interest of clarity, the purport of this writing is the expression of our personal, nuanced perception of the stark contrast between Solar and Lunar shadows, as cast by said inhabitants of our solar community.

On a hot, sunny day, a beachgoer may seek temporary relief from the heat and the injurious effects of excessive exposure to the sun’s light rays, by his temporary relocation to a shady spot; perhaps under a leafy tree, behind the shady side of a building or commercial billboard. The sunlight and heat are thereby, blocked and comfortably, replaced by a cooler shade. One may, permissibly, speak of the shade (functionally and aesthetically), as sun shadow, by reference to our definitional first paragraph; however, In this specific instance, there would be little motivation to seek out any discernable aesthetic or remarkable features, respecting the temporary, shady environment since the sole, successfully, accomplished, purpose was the acquisition of shelter.

Let us imagine an unremarkable Sunday evening at about 9:30 P.M., on which a suburban resident drives to a neighbor’s residence to pick up his young daughter, Rachel, following a weekend sleepover with her friend Samantha. It is a cold, dark evening in December, lit only by a small crescent moon. Accordingly, the driver is reliant upon and grateful for his car’s illuminating and efficient headlights. Little or no focused thought, is afforded to the subtle, ambient effect of the extant weak moonshine on the surrounding, hilly and treed, environment.

Empirical experience has taught us, that any meaningful consideration of the characteristics of Moon shadows, as contrasted with those produced by the Sun, is best accomplished in the venue of the countryside. It is there, that such phenomena can be aesthetically, perceived, in nature’s topographic and arboreal setting and without the distracting optical distortions, blocked views and other phenomena, attributable to the metropolis.

In illustration of our thematic purposes, one might elect a late, sunny afternoon in the countryside, at a time when the sun is starting its steady decline from its zenith. We begin to observe the gradual devolution of its incandescence behind sharp rock outcrops, into very dark, well- defined, wells of apparent, deep blackness. These then, seem to reemerge, or spill over, lake like, at the apex of the perimeter of each black well, slowly plodding, or rapidly flooding onward to the flat surface of the level ground. The boundaries of these darkened areas are distinct and visibly, definable, as if described by a drafter of maps. Inside, the shadow wells of dark matter are partly, visible with the aid of a lamp or flashlight. Such sun shadow, itself, appears opaque, and its ebony darkness may, with the willing assistance of a creative imagination, be mistakenly perceived, as solid, dense and impenetrable.

 In obvious, visual contrast, the distinctively subtle, and seemingly, nonassertive, ombre, or shadow, of the Moon, ( subtle, perhaps, because its transmission is merely, reflective, as opposed to self-generative) is pale, amorphous and ethereal in its transmission of gray (sometimes, light blue) amorphous shadows, and thus, conducive in its gothic and, mysterious essence to use in the fine arts, descriptive literature, poetry and artistic photography. Its somewhat, wispy, ethereal and insubstantial, presence ambience renders it suitable for mystical flights of imagination, to superstitious ideation, to creative poetry and to man’s atavistic propensity for gothic imagination. Many of the classic English crime movies are presented  for i effect, in the mysterious environment of fog, a close, but far denser relative of moon shadows.   

Lacking the contrasting, appearance of dark, universal density in appearance of sun shadow, moon shadow routinely, appears, gray and vague in substance and potentially, penetrable, (if one has the courage.) Moon shadow borders, are irregular and undefined, in contrast to the areas of precisely demarked and easily identifiable, dark sun shadow; and are often, depending upon the object of their projection, not easily, discernable and usually appear somewhat, in motion. Moreover, unlike the cooling utility of the sun shadow, the lunar shadow is projected to Planet Earth, maintaining the temperature of the immediately, surrounding environment.

[N.B.]

On the “Pollyannaish,” assumption of a nature-based, analogous phenomenon of an existent (planetary) civic responsibility, is it at all possible that, as residential and dutiful, members of the community of the Solar System of Planets, the dynamic, (heliocentric) recycle of the  vital energy (light) of the sun (producer of the sun shadow), together with the responsible and compliant, offices of its rocky satellite, the moon, (moon shadow),is an apt demonstration to Humankind, of the existential (and “universal”) duty to, eternally, recycle available sources of energy.

-p.

Post # 852  TIME OUT (…for a metaphysical question)

Considering the political turbulence currently, roiling the Nation, it might be useful to take a short, metaphorical, “time out,” to “catch our breath,” and to thoughtfully, consider its present status, the nature of its continuance or, dismally, its possibly altering devolution. Contextually, we intend to pose a fundamental (metaphysical) question of existential significance, on the subject at the concluding portion of this essay.

The Founders of our Nation, living in the empirical context of the 18th Century, feasibly, considered their creation of a democratic republic (by and for the People), a “radical experiment.” After a historically, short period of approximately three and one-half centuries, and notably, in light of its present challenges and acute divisiveness, it would seem useful to use the designated “time out, to weigh the success or failure of the bold experiment.

As referenced in our earlier essays, it was the Founders’ stated expectation that in the newly, established Republic, citizens of divergent opinion, would, in collegiate and responsible manner, debate the contested issues of the day, the results of which would be useful to a Nation, “by and for the People.” In disappointing contrast, citizens, in general, chose to relegate individuals of contrary opinion to the status of bitter opponents, and concocted insular groups of citizens of mutually identical views, in hostile relationships, with other such groups, of diverse opinions.

Differences of view, in the developing issues, such as gun control, abortion rights, immigration, universal equality, governmental assistance to the needy, the teaching of subjects such as slavery and the treatment of indigenous Americans, homosexual rights, acceptability of government regulations on safety and health, global and environmental issues, became includable, among the many; effecting “tribal” separations in social and even familial relationships. Such “tribalism” strained normal social interaction and relationships, and gradually, affected the diminution of the formerly traditional feelings, of National cohesion and good fellowship.

The surprising, and ultimately, fateful, elevation of the incapable and perverse, Donald J. Trump, to the Nation’s Oval Office, seemed to serve as an efficient catalyst for further National divisiveness and, on the International scene, caused doubt and confusion as to the Nation’s historically, revered standing in the World. Trump’s emergence on the public scene, resulted in the eventful awakening of the Nation’s formerly, silent, underbelly (inadequately educated and poorly informed) population. This, abundantly large, formerly, non-participatory, throng of citizens, it seems, who, in addition to succumbing to Trump’s “snake oil,” demagogic promises, somehow perceived in Trump, desirably analogous, unconventional (anti-mainstream) traits. The same also included (autocratic-style) contempt for the existential concept of “truth,” serial mendacity, absence of moral compass, deprecation of education and human advancement, defamation of the responsible media, and consummate bigotry.

These traits, together with Trump’s demonstrated incapability for the august position of Chief Executive were fueled by his innate combination of total ignorance and neurotic egocentrism. Such anti-mainstream traits, it seems, endeared him to said plethora of non-mainstream, discontented, citizens to such an extent that they, apparently, anointed him as their deified, cult, leader. We will not dwell on the unique persona of Trump, having, depleted most of the suitable adjectives in past writings.

The Nation to its civic detriment, became, demonstrably, split, between a burgeoning Trump cult, (which apparently, adopted Trump’s ethos and his right-wing position on the previously described, contested issues), and pledged fealty to him, versus, the contrasting balance of traditional (anti-Trump) America.

Trump’s characteristic serial mendacity, in combination with his express, public disparagement of the existential, standard of “Truth” may have constituted the most societally, damaging, of his many reprehensible behaviors. It should require little argument to observe that truthful communication is quintessential to the organic conduct of societal life. The Nation was bewilderingly introduced to Trump’s bizarre and irresponsible, concept of a personally elective, availability of an alternate, more desirable, reality; a franchise, regularly exercised, by Trump and his large and worshipful cult.

Such irrational practice eventuated the populist-cultist development of delusional, conspiracy theories. The widespread, delusional ideations included bizarre, delusional beliefs such as, liberals are child pornographers and abusers, Israel is shooting rockets down to earth from outer space, Jews control all financial institutions and rule the planet, black people are going to replace white Christian Americans, homosexuality is teachable, immigrants are going to steal American jobs, Covid vaccine contains tiny tracking computers, 9/11 was an American false flag operation, many “Deep State” mythologies, and more than enough delusional ideations, to exhaust any creative, paranoiac.

It is the quintessential and, indeed, definitional, feature of a Democratic Republic, that its leader be selected by its people, as determined by popular election, and that a defeated incumbent, peaceably and dutifully, hand the reins of office over to the winner. For the first time in our Republic’s history, Trump, in autocratic (and neurotic) manner, arbitrarily, refused to concede his election loss to Joseph Biden and to constitutionally and peacefully, turn over the Presidential Office to the winner of the election. The egocentrically, perverse Trump, could not accept defeat, and, in the classic autocratic manner, availed himself of, the stereotypical, despotic, tactic, historians have termed, “The Big Lie;” asserting, without a scintilla of supporting evidence, that the election victory, was “stolen” from him. 

On analysis, of all the delusional ideations, the most, ultimately, egregious and effectively, harmful to our democracy was that neurotically, reflexive, claim by Donald Trump that his loss in his run for a second term as President, was caused by Biden supporters who “stole the election” from him. In addition to the total absence of proof of such preposterous and egotistical charge, several accredited audits confirmed the regularity of the election and certified the accuracy of the final count. Trump’s ego-oriented and completely, preposterous assertion was, existentially, harmful to the integrity and existence of our elective democracy. It is as unaccountably, baffling, as it is harmful to the American Nation and its implicit democracy, that many right-wing Americans, including many right-wingnut congressional representatives and political officials have, irrationally, or, perhaps for tactical purposes, also became vocal and active, “election deniers.”

The American atmosphere, previously, in divisive and vulnerable status, was further, sullied, by the vast number of (deluded and tactical) “election deniers,” most prominent of which are the bigoted, White Christian Militia Groups, who, at Trump’s publicized and seditious bidding, unprecedently, and traitorously, mounted a militarily armed, bloody and lethal insurrection of thousands of Trump deluded, and Trump invited, conspiracy wonks, and their underbelly sycophants, against Washington’s Capitol Building, I/6; the legal date when electors, constitutionally, were to pass the baton to the new President.

In addition to such horrific and unprecedented occurrences, mainstream Americans have noted the many Republican-influenced legislative roadblocks to the votes of America’s communities of color (they voted heavily for Biden), physical threats to liberal legislators, to election officials, to poll watchers and a myriad of defamatory accusations against politicians and citizens of good standing. The Nation has been surprised, shocked and intimidated by the shameful existence and number of Nazi-style physical assaults, threats and tactics performed by erstwhile, peaceable and ostensibly, content citizens, together with the “faux patriotic” Trump supporters, as incited and encouraged by that former, despicable President.

Guns are everywhere, police brutality against black citizens continues virtually unabated, the practice of book censorship and book burning, has been noted, anti-Semitic acts are rampant, and control of women’s own bodies, shockingly, eliminated by the recent decision of our (improperly,) religiously affected, highest court. To any perceptive viewer, the tide appears to be ominously, churning rightward, toward violence (rather than reason), the latter, apparently, constituting the preferred, mode du jour for the determination of contested issues.

The atavistic and primitive nature of today’s citizen discourse was appallingly, demonstrated, a few days preceding the writing of this essay, (in fact, its specific motivation) when the husband of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was grievously, injured (skull fracture) in his home, by a “patriot,” armed with a hammer, with premeditated intention of assassinating the Speaker, herself. This is a very far cry, from the anticipated, collegial debate, among dutiful citizenry, contemplated by our Founders.

We are in total agreement with concerned, mainstream citizens who assert that the underlying and salient issue in the future election, in essence, concerns no less than the continued existence of our precious democracy. However, we are gravely obliged, to consider a more fundamentally, metaphysical question: [Has humankind yet evolved sufficiently, to sustainably, exist in a democracy?

-p.                                                   

 Post # 851 PERPLEXED GPS

There has been a substantial number of official reports and articles, on the subject of mental health, most especially, depressive disorder, notably, affecting a significant number of society’s youth. The consensus, seems, empirically, to ascribe a large percentage of the etiology, to the, still festering, covid pandemic. The latter, for prophylactic purposes, necessitated a draconian proscription against social contact at places of public assembly, including, schools and colleges, thus, effecting a harsh and egregious stunting of young individuals’ natural proclivity to socialize. The additional mandate as to the universal wearing of masks in public, reduced societal recognition, and further altered social behavior.

In an earlier essay, we expressed our consistent, view that the advent and universal use, of the “smartphone” as the exclusive mode of interpersonal conversation, the latter, completely, lacking in humanistic features, such as voice recognition, spontaneity and emotive interaction, amounts to an apt recipe for feelings of loneliness and insecure insularity. It was, and is, our view that it is far more rewarding, and, psychologically, much healthier, for people to actually, speak to each other (personally, or by telephone) in contrast to a non –responsive, handheld, metal, mechanical appliance. It was our view that the use of the smartphone for social interaction, encouraged the feeling of lonely insularity, and constituted a (second) contributing cause to the burgeoning, cases of youthful depression.

The intended theme of this essay, however, is the declaration, for the reader’s thoughtful consideration, a proposed third, fundamental, cause of the reported, unprecedented rise in the occurrence of depression, among young Americans. We, as possible, will essay to minimize our political observations since we have previously, and on several occasions, expressed ourselves on the subject.

Our proposed, “ third” theory of causation, initially, requires reference to the relevant and extremely harmful, impact of our miscreant former President Donald Trump, by his neurotic promotion of gross distortions of accepted reality, remarkably, resulting in the questioning of societal and political norms.

Any cursory inquiry into the subject of the adolescent or, “teen,” years will declare it to be, a difficult and complex, stage of development. It portends the initial awakening to a new and confusing reality; unlike the earliest stages of life, which were less challenging and merely, exemplified by a personal need for food, security and parental love. Adolescence is termed, by psychiatrists and psychologists, the “Sturm and Drang period, (Ger.” Storm and Stress”) to emphasize the substantial discomfort and personal insecurity, experienced during the years of the hard work, and pain, involved in the subject discovery of oneself in rational relation to the world. It is not easy work to, initially, acquire knowledge of one’s personal singularity and perceived, persona, socially, morally, sexually and intellectually, as well as to develop, as vital, to the process, a creditable, consistent and confident, self-image, in dynamic relation to, and interaction with, family and community.

Recalling, as best as possible, the difficult, and sometimes, painfully embarrassing, transitional years of our own adolescence, we are, unhappily, constrained, “ to perceive an even more stressful and bewildering contemporaneous experience.

Like lost hikers, albeit, in the densest of woods, we, at such developmental period, had the assistance of a previously, learned, set of rules and assumptions to be used, metaphorically, as “roadmaps” or, more currently, a driver’s, GPS, to serve as a general, all-purpose guide, or field manual. Ultimate, and difficult choices, had the elective opportunity of following the previously taught and ingrained, parental and societally acceptable GPS or roadside signals, concerning, values of truthfulness, familial and National loyalty, trustworthiness, honesty, personal responsibility and duty, the vital importance of the moral compass, fairness and justice. Such communally adopted standards of action and rectitude were universally, taught, to the young, by responsible parents and relatives, teachers, neighbors and societal representatives, secular and religious. These early ingrained, guidelines and standards,(depending upon the individual, youthful persona), constituted an available and readily accessible, guide, (like a GPS) to the destination of societally approved, thought and behavior.

In recent years, especially since (or because of) the anomalous Presidency of Donald Trump, the developmental difficulties of adolescence have been, significantly, exacerbated, in sync with the startling statistics concerning the rise in youthful depression. Trump’s disparagement of “truth,” in favor of subjective, “alternate facts,” along with his chronic mendacity, his disparagement and abusive treatment of women, attacks on, and violation of, the societal moral compass, and his nationally broadcasted egocentrism and reductive ignorance, skewed the previously, accepted moral character of traditional America, and contrariwise, had the effect of, championing selfish, deceitful and immoral behavior, to the point of clinical sociopathy. Perhaps more shocking and disappointing, is the fact that millions of Americans, especially, those with inadequate education, continue, cult-like, to praise him in a laudatory, manner, irrespective of his pathologic personality and myriad acts of autocratic immorality. [See earlier writings]

When, long ago, during our throes of the difficult adolescent stage, when beset by doubt or personal confusion, we, and others at such time, similarly, involved in the adolescent developmental, stage of life, at minimum, had the early- instilled, lessons from our parents and others, to motivate us in the right direction, like an inner GPS. Regrettably, and directly attributable, to the bizarrely, ubiquitous, unhealthy influence, of the past President on the traditional, societal standards, such helpful, roadmaps or computerized direction finders, has been no longer of present accessibility.

Consequently, the developing young are essentially, left rudderless, abandoned and perplexed, thus, exacerbating the complex, challenge of adolescent adjustment to the multi-faceted and complex reality of the adult world. (“Left upstream without a paddle.”) Such insecurity and consequent frustration are likely involved in the copious reports of incidents of their reported depression.

It may be a chilling and ominous, ratification of the accuracy of our proposed theory, that in the vast number of egregious deadly public shootings, the empirical stereotype of the offender, was, as reported, are young men, approximately, age 18.

-p.   

Post # 851 (poesie) AUTUMNAL EXODUS: Reprise

Moist ethereal breezes intimately whisper
Cooling balm to sunbaked foliage.
Trees, now attired in military raiment,
In styles bespeaking revolutionary riot,
Proclaiming in eye-sparkling manifesto,
The swift advent of seasonal overthrow.
-There’s no time to lose!

Boughs strain heavy with seasonal fruitage.
The bounty, tho’, forsaken by large mammals,
In search for safer havens
Alas, no time for juicy gorging,
Time’s to be spent for seasonal survival.
Smaller ones, storing food, burrowing deep.
Instinct warns, dalliance spells disaster!
-We must not tarry!

Winged creatures depart aloft
Huge flocks with little hesitation,
Escaping to safer geography.
Could one but hear beneath the forest floor,
The excited chatter of woodland critters,
Anxiously nose-wrinkling rodent reconnaissance
-Is there yet time?

Darkening clouds bespeak woodland calamity
Soon, winter gales, storms, sheets of ice,
Snow, that covers safe niches and hide-outs,
Cold that delights in shivering death.
All must forsake the Fall magic.
– And again, we will be ready!

-p.
(Leonard N. Shapiro, Sept. 2018)

Post # 850    THE “MOLLUSK” EFFECT

To declare that the American Nation at present is highly divisive, is to, uselessly, state the obvious. Among the many divisive and contentious issues, are, abortion rights, Trump’s election “Big Lie,” immigration, gun rights, gay marriage, various Church/ State matters and educational curricula relating to the “dark” periods in the Nation’s history, viz., slavery and the wrongful displacement of indigenous Americans. Nevertheless, we have noted a unique phenomenon, concerning the associative configuration of all such contested views, which we have termed, “The Mollusk Effect,” due to our recent perception of its bizarre, bifurcated nature.

The bi-valve mollusk, characterized by two distinctly, separate but identical shells, (valves), attached at a small, bottom hinge can be visualized, as a contextual metaphor, for the empirically, conglomerate nature of apparently, two diverse groups of the American public; the members of each such opposing group, respectively, of common mind, on the various disputed issues.  Said structurally conglomerated, duality of National divisiveness, is such that, notwithstanding the plethora of contested issues, one can, discern another’s individual stance, on any issue, merely, by the awareness of his particular shell.   

For clarification, we would refer to a contrasting, but equally perverse, instance of a voting pattern, castigated by us, in an early essay. The latter, demonstrably, is the obverse of the subject, “mollusk” syndrome, a practice, which we termed, “one issue- voting.” We observed that there are a considerable number of people, who, as informed, would vote for a particular candidate, solely, and myopically, based on his position on their personally, premier, issue, viz., guns, abortion, Israel, capital punishment, or the like. Such mode of voting ignores the professed positions of the candidate on other issues, thus, skewing the resultant vote on those (other) issues, and presumably, distorting the voters’ demonstrated, will.  We, of course, recommended that voters cast their ballots, based upon their appraisal of the totality of the candidate’s platform, so that his acceptability may be properly and fully, considered.  

The “mollusk” syndrome apparently functions with a virtually, opposite (composite) dynamic but like the “one issue,” thoughtless practice, is equally capable of distorting the expressed will of the voters and, effectively, frustrating the foundational purpose of elections.

The “Mollusk Effect,” is exemplified  by voting that is in consistent manner with the others, mutually included, in one of the two ideological halves of the typical clamshell, each of which halves encompasses a separate, competing, conglomeration of identically, shared opinions, on the outstanding issues.

This faulty, and misleading, mode of selecting candidates, by contrast, is not characterized, by a mono-focused, myopic dedication to one selected issue, as criticized, above, but rather, on a thoughtless and neurotic, groupthink or “herd mentality,” acting in neurotic mutual replication, of the others, within their applicable group (“shell”). Moreover, the social expression of such common need for group acceptance is such, that  anyone’s point of view, on any issue, can be accurately, comprehended, merely by the awareness of any one of  his views ( or, those of his shell)  on another albeit, unrelated, issues.

The current state of the Nation’s divisiveness, thus, has morphed into a bifurcated, (i.e., clam- like) state, viz., two competing sections, mutually, evincing fixed political and social opinion, associated, in one or the other half shell. Thus, by illustration, if an individual is against abortion rights, it can be safely, assumed that he opposes liberal policies of immigration. If one opposes reasonable gun regulation, it is, empirically, reasonable to assume that he opposes the teaching of the “dark periods of American history (e.g., slavery, and the displacement of the indigenous Americans). An ardent opponent of censorship and book burning, can confidently, be expected, to favor legalizing abortion.  An individual, who thinks that Trump’s “big lie,” is tactically, contrived would predictably, favor governmental safety regulations and equitable tax reform.  

The identification of the associative dynamics of our proposed, “Mollusk Effect,” does little, if anything, to enhance needed reason or advance morality. Nevertheless, the pragmatic awareness of which half   of the clamshell, with which one may be confronted can save valuable time and possibly, some angst.  

-p.

Blogpost # 849                              “ABIDIN” WITH JOSEPH BIDEN (political editorial)

The relief of return to normalcy, engendered by the election of Joseph (“Joe”) Biden, to the American Presidency, following the bizarre, and shameful, four-year train wreck, of the twice- impeached, Donald J. Trump, was anticipated with celebratory relief, by most mainstream American citizens.

One recalls the admirable and responsible, “take charge,” stance of Biden, regarding the pandemic, immediately following his inauguration; in his forthright and empathic promotion of the advice of the Nation’s medical experts, regarding vaccination, “masking” and mandatory limitations in interactive socialization. Biden’s Presidential encouragement helped prevent considerable infection and saved an untold number of human lives. The same can be contrasted, memorably, with his predecessor’s ignorance and intended, populist-reductionist approval, by the downplaying of the deadly epidemic, together with his bizarre, recommendation of cure by the salubrious ingestion of common household cleaning fluids. Reportedly, a great many of Trump supporters loyally refrained from taking the medically approved vaccine, and, instead, self-administered a popular horse wormer; the ingestion of which, no doubt, added great profits to the relevant veterinary medicine companies while being irrelevant to the virus. The previous reductive ignorance and irresponsibility of Trump caused a great increase in unnecessary infection and consequent mortality.

Prior to our review of the many (additional) accomplishments in the relatively short period, of the Biden Administration to date, we would choose to explain our motivation for writing this political essay. We have taken note of the somewhat, modest standing, in the media-reported polls concerning President Biden. The explanation, universally given is, in reality, entirely and frustratingly, preposterous. The common media attribution of a less than desirable, poll standing of Biden, is inflation (i.e., cost of goods and services). We would withhold specific reference to our response of frustration and disappointment at said uninformed and reductionist understanding. The Nation’s President is as responsible for inflation and consequent higher prices, as a forest ranger is responsible for the planetary danger of global warming.

The empirically accurate causes of the Nation’s current inflation should be evident to any thoughtful citizen who reads a newspaper or attends to the objective news programs. A major causative factor was (and remains) the extended period of the covid-19 pandemic, proximately, responsible for the interruption of the normal supply chain, manufacturing, transportation and distribution of goods. Factories stopped producing and manufacturing inventory changed, as people altered their buying habits, based upon the supply chain shortages. The consequential shortage of goods and means of production and delivery led to the unfavorably higher prices. The causative factors in such a situational problem are unrelated to the performance of any sitting President, in this case, Joseph Biden.

A second, but significant, contributing cause of the current inflation, similarly, and understandably, not within the control of the American President, has been the high cost of assistance to the democratic Nation of Ukraine in its existential resistance to Putin’s unconscionable war.

By contrast, In any fair evaluation of the President, the thoughtful citizen should consider the following, full cornucopia, of legislated benefits, championed and delivered by President Biden for the benefit of the American Nation and its citizens. The “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” contains such an abundance of National, State and citizen benefits, that makes necessary their mere listing, in order to accommodate the short essay form. They are, happily, as follows:  Elimination of unhealthy lead pipes and clean drinking water provisions, high-speed internet services, improved roads and bridges, increase in public transit, improvement in passenger railways, airports, waterways and ports, upgrading power structures, environmental benefits, including procedures regarding the amelioration of global warming, upgrading and increase of electric power stations for the newly developed automobiles. The Biden Administration is also, to be credited, with the Appointment of a capable, Indigenous American, legislator to the Cabinet, as Secretary of The Interior, and has initiated programs to ameliorate the historically, unjust treatment by the Federal Government of America’s First Nations. The Biden Administration has seen to the accomplishment of many other humanistic actions, not the least of which was, the life-enhancing, elimination of student debt.

In any fair and empirically, logical, evaluation of the current President, the undesirable factor, of the current inflation, the existence of which, is completely outside of his purview, should, relevantly, be excluded, as irrelevant, and attention given to the plethora of his many positive accomplishments, concerning matters which, by contrast, are included therein.

-p.