Blog #128 THE SORCERER AND THE APPRENTICE

We have no principled objection to the current interest in the research into one’s ethnic or national ancestry, provided the findings are in demonstration of broad ethnic ancestry shared with many others. The universal recognition of man’s commonality and brotherhood should be the positive goal.

We have stated in past writings that we universally acquire our specific sub-culture, folkways, and belief systems, merely by the random accident of our birth and that well- intentioned lessons in “we” and “they” is the fundamental root of bigotry and conflict; that we rather need to teach an “us.”

Based upon current developments, we feel inclined to suggest, that at least for the present, it might be useful to emphasize residence over identified ancient ethnic origin. We are all Americans, ex., not Muslim Americans, African Americans nor Hispanic Americans. In view of the present, unfortunate climate, it would be preferable to dwell on our common domicile, and not on ethnic diversity.

In earlier writings, we had, sincerely resolved to restrict our themes to non-political ones, aging, self-realization, climate change, happiness, intellectual and artistic endeavor, family sociology, love, ambition and perhaps, one-hundred other subjects. However, troubling current events, have eroded our previously held idealistic resolve, resulting in writings such as “agent Orange,” “Lamentations,” “A Light in January,” and “Walls.” We have chosen this course to avoid the despised “sin of silence” unfortunately prevalent during the pendency of the Jewish Holocaust.

The newly anointed monarch, who uniformly enjoyed the apt diagnosis, by every knowledgeable pundit and informed citizen, of being completely unfit for office, has let himself be surrounded by advisors of non-American stripe, as being, anti- immigration, anti-education, anti-women, anti-health services and other needed assistance to the poor, anti-science, xenophobic reductionists, each with an anti-social philosophical ( and un -American) agenda, poised to destroy everything admirable about our country. The perverse advisor-in-chief, and Trump’s insane Rasputin, Steven Bannon, is a proud, self-identified White Supremacist who, we are advised, in his delusional stupor, seeks greater ties with our traditional opponent, Russia, because he perversely believes that Russia, a white country, is a future ally in a world struggle against ethnic Muslims; we all have observed our obedient Orange Leader sucking up to the Machiavellian Putin.

The ignorant and confused King Donald, in a matter of mere days has, under the influence of this perverse mentor, succeeded in confusing all of Europe, strained our historic defensive treaty with NATO, stirred up Mainland China, confused the Republic of Taiwan, destroyed our important economic relationship with our neighbor,  Mexico, has confused the U.N. and most member nations, has ignored the scientific warnings regarding climate change, has instead encouraged the oil and coal industries, has violated the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, has refused to produce his tax returns or remove his many conflicts of interest, has hired  family members to officiate in the  White House as if it were one of his New Jersey  casinos.

Most egregiously, he has proven that a simple ink pen can be a veritable weapon of mass destruction by issuing irresponsible and un-American Executive Orders, preventing people of seven arbitrarily selected Middle East Countries, from returning to their own American homes. It is vexing to note that, by immoral contrast, all countries with which the Trump Companies do business were omitted from the harsh exclusionary Orders; including Saudi Arabia which supplied all but one of the 9/11 terrorists.

The unfolding nightmares (worse than the “Freddy” and “Jason” nightmares of horror films) appear to be an ingredient of a new “dark ages” as predicted in our prior writings, encompassing medieval walls, militarism, royal privilege, arbitrary decrees, and the like.

We certainly approve of advice to stay in touch with your legislator to try to mitigate the continuing devastation brought on by this Apprentice President under the tutelage of his evil sorcerer.

In addition, and perhaps more importantly and effective, might be to make every reasonable effort to assist, and be ardent neighbors and friends to those affected by these draconian decrees and un -American treatment of our fellow brothers and sisters. We cannot permit this incompetent and his draconian puppet -master, the Sorcerer, to cast a foul, fascist spell on us or any of our fellow Americans, regardless of ethnic description.

-p.

Blog #127 WALLS

In a state of heightened excitement, the sergeant of the castle night watch sounded the royal alarm. He then dutifully reported to his captain, “Forsooth, we are this night under siege!” The Orange King, so suddenly roused from his usual deep inebriate slumber, exclaimed “Zounds!” Then, when advised of events, ordered, “Sirrah, uncover the moat, raise the drawbridge, make ready the catapult and the hot oil urns, send the long bowmen to the ramparts.”

His Serene Majesty was advised by his new intelligence minister that on this occasion, the invading hoards were not the dreaded Huns, nor the feared Vandals nor even the merciless Visigoths; it was an invasion by the tan-skinned agriculture workers who are exerting pressure to breach the close. To which the Orange Monarch confidently replied, “We shall smite them full-sore.”

It appears that, prominently among his promises of infrastructure development projects, the newly elected President, during his campaign, envisioned the construction of a “huge” barrier wall across the southern underbelly of our country as the proffered solution to the “immigration problem.” The wall would serve to deny incursion by those who, without proper paperwork, would inveigle themselves “bigly” into the United States under the pretense of seeking a better life for themselves and their family when, as he has famously stated, their true intention is to rape and commit crime.

One can confidently assume that the new sovereign has not interrupted a, moment of his privileged life to take in any world history. His reductionist solution to immigration issues can be satisfying only to the populist hoards that elected him. It would take but a short excursion into world history to observe that not one, of even the most celebrated and redoubtable walls, ever served their exclusionary purpose. The long historical list includes Hadrian’s Wall (Britain), The Great Wall of China (Ming Dynasty), The Walls of Jericho (Old Testament), and, more recently, The Maginot Line (French) and the Berlin Wall. The new President is sorely behind the times and clearly impractical. If a wall were, in theory, appropriate and necessary (which it most certainly is not) the modern state of electrical science would provide a better solution than old stones and mortar.

It is no less than shocking to any rudimentary moral analysis that our new chief executive, his many sycophants, and principal supporters, appear to lack any capacity for self-conscious awareness of, and compassion for, those other human beings who lead far less fortunate lives than theirs. Countless others barely subsist, lacking adequate food, health care, shelter, and other basic needs. When reminded of these unpleasant facts, so many then resort to self-righteous rationalization or look to diversion.

A wall of exclusion from concern for others is a mental construction and is engineered by those who find it convenient and comfortable to do so. In defense of Marie Antoinette, who famously stated: “If the people have no bread, let them eat cake,” it is an historic fact that she was completely oblivious of the life of the common people.  The people to whom we now refer, by contrast, are indeed, fully aware of the ever- present plight of the needy.

The real wall, dear reader, consists of an elective mental barrier protectively and insensitively constructed around the consciousness by those who choose to exclude reality when it appears disturbing and to ignore calls for help, or at the very least, empathy.     -p.

Blog #126 CITIZEN WOMAN

We are of sufficient years to recall the 1940’s and the Second World War when America was suddenly attacked. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as part of our country’s defense effort, mobilized all industry, on a more than overtime basis, to meet the potential needs of the war. Factories were directed to operate twenty- four hours daily and labor was truly overburdened. It was indeed, his spouse, Eleanor Roosevelt who was responsible for, and credited with, the establishment of a new compassionate policy toward workers. This determined humane posture on the part of women has been eternally observed and recorded and has been pictorially described as “an iron fist in a velvet glove.”

This is by no means a recently discovered phenomenon. As far back as Fifth Century Greece, the venerable Grecian playwright, Aristophanes, in his classic play, “Lysistrata” enshrined this feature for all time. In the play the women of Athens and Sparta, then at war with each other, (the Peloponnesian Wars) assembled and organized a complete sexual strike to continue until the two states made peace.

Women’s organization and demonstrations have been a regular feature in our country’s development and a decided catalyst for its improvement; war protests, protests for civil and women’s rights, for voting rights, against capital punishment, spousal abuse, gun control, are among the most notable examples. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton and Margaret Sanger are but a small sampling of the many world-class female luminaries who led and thereafter symbolized great causes. Our sisters, when not standing up for our rights, are our mothers, spouses, siblings, nurses and doctors, teachers, social workers friends and fellow citizens.

This historic insistence on equal justice was eloquently and resoundingly made on the very day following the inauguration of the new President; his avowed intention to curb women’s rights and their access to health services, to practice draconian immigration policies, his determined denial of man’s role in climate change, planned elimination of assistance to the needy, opposition to gun control and his bigotry, ignited women’s traditional call to protest.

These televised, completely peaceful public demonstrations and marches took place in Washington, Chicago, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and many more cities in the United States, as well as internationally, notably, London, Paris, and Berlin. It was a statement of righteous opposition to injustice and cruelty as well as to bigotry and reductive ignorance.

These multitudes of public spirited and dedicated American women, postponed life for a day to peacefully, but eloquently, demonstrate their opposition; they travelled and made necessary arrangements at their own expense, marched and showed, by their personal witness, that injustice and unequal treatment are against our American DNA and will not be tolerated.

BRAVO to our American sisters!

 

-p.

Blog #125 TRUE LOVE AND BULBS

A caution, dear reader, brace yourself. In less than three weeks, the perennial tsunami, occurring each February 14, will predictably reassert itself in its traditional turbulent surge. The only real fans of the unfortunate weather will be the usual suspects, the greeting card companies, chocolate manufacturers, the florists, the retail jewelry businesses, the pajama industry, and the novelty sales folk. The expected tide of Valentine’s day, judging by previous experience, will inundate all property, human population and certainly, human reason. Among other events, the advertising industry will publish a hurricane of messages, in great part featuring fictional, photo-shopped, seemingly amorous couples alongside assorted merchandise for sale.

Since (mercifully) this holiday has a short half-life, one day, the need for effective sales propaganda, on the part of relevant businesses, becomes urgent. Great profit is tactically earned by assorted companies who presumptuously believe that there is a real, tacit (and commercial) need to supplement the interaction of couples in love. Greeting card companies are especially guilty of this convenient understanding and hire world famous love poets to create doggerel, consisting of inane expressions of love and fidelity, on behalf of thousands of unseen consumers.

The most reprehensible of all the Valentine’s Day features is the trite symbol, the red valentine “heart,” an outmoded and retro configuration that appears, without relief, on all holiday’s products, greeting cards, stuffed toys and candy boxes. This symbol is imprinted on all items for sale and, unfortunately as well, upon the human mind by” Manchurian candidate” type propaganda.

Various research people, who apparently have no more pressing fields of inquiry for the targeting of their PHD acumen, have reported that the subject symbol is derived from an incorrect understanding by, (no less than) Galen and Aristotle who believed that the human heart possesses only three chambers. [It may be noted that Aristotle and Dr. Galen, were nevertheless, correct on a great many other subjects].

This unfortunate and lazy representation of the heart, maintains the very proportional degree of accuracy as a wood duck, in appearance, bears to a moose. Admittedly, it has, over the many years, been thrust upon, and accepted by the consuming public as appropriate and timely.

In accurate fact, the human heart is shaped like a pear and is the approximate size of a man’s fist. This life-or death chest muscle is tasked with the job of circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body. It has no time, or inclination, apparently, for holiday Hallmark propaganda, as the source of love, courage, strength, resolve or kindness. The statement “He has a good heart” should be relegated solely to a positive conclusion by a cardiologist, and not a positive comment on generosity. We are only concerned with cardiologists and not “cardeologists.” How about a positive comment on his generosity, like, “He has good kidneys.”

It is inarguable that all human thought and emotion are exclusively functions of the brain and not the traditionally romanticized heart muscle. Admittedly, it would be impractical to, artistically, create a brain-shaped cartoon object to serve as an artificial symbol for the holiday.

We, however, unlike certain political organizations, believe in repeal and immediate replacement. The obsolete valentine heart representation is best replaced by a better artificial symbol of love, the unique and wonderful tulip bulb. Certainly, the outline of the traditional bulb is simple to replicate, artistically. More importantly, it has always been a reliable symbol of future growth and predictable great beauty. From the modern conception of mature and healthy love, it is independent and self-sustaining, having within itself a systemic and sufficient source of nourishment as well as the natural ability and inclination to grow and achieve its innate potential.

The tulip, itself, in the Middle Ages was thought to be magical; there are records of its individual sale for the modern equivalent of several thousand dollars. The tulip bulb is a natural, philosophical and true symbolic representation of romantic love. If you offer one to him/her and it is refused, we suggest that you look elsewhere!

ADDENDUM:

Why should it be necessary to dedicate a one day event in which to express one’s love; and to do so by t gifts of holiday nonsense. Love is experienced and recognized every day and, where it is real, is expressed in tender looks and genuine private, personal acts.  Valentine’s day is unfortunately best comparable to free turkey dinners given on thanksgiving morning to the hungry to satisfy the giver; hunger is year- round and the hungry need more than gratuitous symbolism.

 

-p.

 

Blog # 124 (poesie) MATCHING SUITCASES: An Adieu to the Chief

 

Dormant luggage, sleepily restored
To re-wakened, “snap-happy” utility.
The fellow commuters in all life’s change,
Commissioned again, as was before.
Familiar relics of past adieus, and
Reliable witnesses to the past, will share
Future history and nascent dreams
What has been and soon will be.

But soothing every gyre of change
Are golden tidings of your past
Rich gifts for us and those to come,
A royal reverie of blessed reign.
-p.

Blog # 123 A FACTUAL PERCEPTION OF A FECKLESS WINNER

We have become anxiously mindful of the inception of a pernicious and insidious disease, which had its debut apparently, in tandem with the early appearance, as candidate, of the new President-Elect. The   diagnostic presenting symptoms appear to be the simultaneous appearance of supremely confident declarations and their abysmal lack of factual basis; further, we have it on reliable sources that the new disease has lost no time in already metastasizing into an advanced stage of “fake news.”

In the interest of avoiding further infection, and instead, with the goal of promoting a salutary atmosphere, we have a disclaimer to assert as to the substantive content of the present writing: [ The analysis and proffered explanation for the results of the recent election is based, in larger part, upon our informed and attentive perception of the relevant events, and in smaller part on recorded fact.] This will serve as assurance that we have no intention of being a participant in the etiology of this unfortunate and newly discovered disease.

It seems indisputable that the outcome of the subject election was truly surprising, if not actually shocking, to just about everyone. Indeed, the prevailing party, himself, consistent with his character and   celebrated, ever mono-focused goal, “winning”, had been publicly engaged in the creative manufacture of excuses for his own anticipated loss, including bogus claims of “media influence” and even, “voter fraud.”

A prodigious amount of time and energy is being expended in speculative possible explanation for this highly unexpected outcome. We too, in this note, would venture to join the cacophony of voices constituting this chorus; subject to the above disclaimer.  It will be observed that this comment, in part, is a redux and an expansion of our recent writing, “The Chosen.”

The subject election did not appear to be the familiar numerical contest between democrat and republican, or liberal versus conservative and may effectively be best described with the employment of a metaphor drawn from the discipline of physical geology.

In the realm of physical geology, there is a fundamental and elemental difference between a “rock,” a solid fragment, essentially consistent in content, and a “conglomerate,” a solid fragment consisting of a heterogeneous assortment of rocks and other materials. To exploit the metaphor, this election was not the more common competition between rocks (identified political partys or distinct ideological groups) but rather, between conglomerates (of heterogenous composition). It might be illuminating and useful to comment on the prevailing conglomerate.

We have noted, over the years, that there is a significant percentage of the population that traditionally does not vote, conceivably, because they maintain a feeling of alienation from the country’s mainstream   and voting would seem to be a meaningless waste of effort. This category of American is composed largely of persons of low information and little education; unsophisticated citizens (at times referred to by us as “flat earth people”) who are the most vulnerable to a demagogue’s unspecified promises of happiness and relief from their inarticulate state of misery (See: “The Chosen”).  In the recent election, such unfortunate people, who are most in need and deserving of government assistance, were mesmerized sufficiently to vote against it.

Another significant component of the winning conglomerate, were folks of every stripe who are, “single issue” people. The successful candidate was, tactically, “all things to all people” and this cohort, as usual, chose to voted based upon a perception that the prevailing candidate agreed with them on such subjects as, opposing gun control, health care, women’s right to choose, Israel, immigration, or climate science. These mono-focused people vote with “horse blinders” and irrationally ignore all other vital issues. Significantly, they and countless others ignored the all-important and very relevant issue of the candidate’s suitability for office.

A heterogenous bloc of voters, including many of the currently unemployed and the “working poor,” voted for the successful candidate because they felt that they had received little help from the “do nothing” government and the Congress. This was manifestly unjust since it is generally understood that Congress (by its public admission) tactically blocked most of President Obama’s initiatives .Additionally, a large percentage of these people, in concert with the identified people of low information, were somehow convinced, by the wily and skillful demagogue, to support a tax policy in which the rate of taxes, essential to the financing of the nation’s operations, would be lowered on the billionaire class, which has the money, and raised in the case of middle and lower economic classes, that don’t.

Support was also discerned from a (hopefully, small) cohort of white supremacists and others who traditionally espouse an exclusively all -white, Christian nation and who seemed to perceive, in the many bigoted statements of the successful candidate, a wink and a go ahead nod to their perverse cause.

The “profit motive” is also seen as an ingredient of the victorious support conglomerate. The oil and coal energy people and those of other industries, including their respective stockholders, who care less about the planet and the health of its inhabitants, than about eliminating (public interest) regulation, saw opportunities for profits in the new context of an unprincipled businessman- turned- President.

Our system of democracy is based upon the necessary premise that the well-informed, literate citizen will interact with others and then cast an informed ballot in accordance with an understanding of his, and the nation’s, best interest. In consideration of the present circumstances, our enlightened citizens may jointly need to demand of government a (mandatory) incentive system of remedial adult education and tutorial programs, where deemed needed, to radically redefine the conception of success and celebrity greatness to models which provide profound and valuable contributions to American society.

 

-p.

 

 

Blog# 122 THE ENLIGHTENED CITIZEN’S SURVIVAL MANUAL

For a very great number of good citizens it was the “worst of days;” having been “blind-sided “with an event of tectonic resonance, or of that of a South Seas tsunami or a domestic Pearl Harbor. The unexpected triumph of reductive ignorance and reality show superficiality, devastatingly triumphing over any possibility of securing for the next four years, a capable and rational national governance.

We have previously commented on the causes and empirical effects of this unprecedented event, and, in the face of the possible risk of being judged presumptuous, have responsibly chosen to offer certain suggestions and principles in aid of the promotion of successful, healthy coping and the survival of the perplexed.

We have, perhaps too frequently, referred to the admonition of Thomas Jefferson, to the effect that to be successful, a democracy requires an informed and literate citizenry. By contrast, the results of the recent presidential election appear to evidence a poorly informed population with substantial challenges to its literacy; nevertheless, with the proper strategic behavior, an ardent American citizen can successfully endure and possibly even, mitigate. the extent of the event’s impact.

Patient and optimistic endurance have always been a positive feature of our American nation’s traditional hallmark; literature, the arts, and sciences will assuredly endure and will always continue to provide the fuel for the development of good citizens and successful community.

On a positive note, it is historical fact that over the generations we have been progressing (steadily but slowly) along a dedicated route to the further improvement of our society; in achieving the experienced reality of justice for all, in continued advancements in medicine and science as well as the appreciation of the humanities and the arts and the general enhancement of life. Our progress is demonstrable, our institutions intact and, for most of us, our commendable aspirations conspicuously undeterred.

Because of the current disgraceful and nihilistic degradation of factual accuracy, in favor of populist rhetoric, and the recent unhealthy and dangerous birth of a Frankenstein of “false news,” which seem to accompany this newly elected leader, we would respectfully suggest the following principles with the awareness that they will entail, but be worthy of, some reasonable additional effort:

  • Fact checking. This important responsibility has traditionally been entrusted to other people, employed in performing this essential task, and, above all, trustworthy and objective. In the new context, we need to perform this responsible task ourselves, by referring to other previously reliable sources of information, by discussions with knowledgeable others, and where needed, some personal research into authoritative sources. Important “facts” should always be sufficiently vetted and discussed with other enlightened citizens.
  • After responsibly vetting the information, take the opportunity to confidently deliberate by yourself (and not rely on others) to reach a personal conclusion. In the changed atmosphere, one cannot responsibly solely rely upon the possibly erroneous or interested conclusion of others.
  • Debate the important issues with fervor, but based only on vetted facts, and with responsible, enlightened associates, the emphasis to be the good of the nation and its citizens. Effort is to be expended to maintain cordial and amicable relations between all parties, regardless of divergent points of view. When a conclusion has been reached, it should be communicated to others, as relevant, from the level of local legislator or official and higher and energetically follow up.
  • On a personal basis, be an energetic advocate for others, even when your own interests are not involved, when there appears to be unfair or illegal treatment by the authorities; we need to look out for each other now more than ever before.
  • Keep the faith and retain your sense of humor; with positive hope and a little extra effort, we will survive the present situation, knowing that reason and right thinking will again prevail.

-p.