Considering the eternal, unrelenting maelstrom, surging through the entire spectrum of the media, containing disheartening and confusing news accounts, the urgent need of exhausted members of the public for a simple respite or short break is virtually palpable. In such exigent circumstance, we would strongly recommend a healing excursion to “Harmonia.” Harmonia is a province in very close proximity to where you may happen to be at any time, and the trip is exceedingly simple and effortless in every respect. No travel agent reservations, no ticket or passport, nor luggage are ever needed. There are no arrangements for ground transportation, no check-in or seat assignment required.

Travel time is uncommonly short with no consideration necessary as to time zones, and absolutely no jet lag whatsoever. Further, your unassigned seat is eternally available. Prior to embarkation, you will want to have selected a quiet moment in time such that there is little potential for third party interruption or other stimuli. The trip itself is incomparably comfortable with no flight turbulence or any other inconvenience. It is, in fact, to be experienced in your favorite easy chair, the one you preferably use for reading or listening to good music. After a last minute “flight check” of the immediate surroundings, to be assured of continued peace and non-disturbance, you gently and slowly exhale, close your eyes and, as possible, reject all extraneous thoughts. You will, no doubt, note the absence of flight attendants, pilot announcements or proffered magazines.

Once thus comfortably seated, you will be adequately prepared to commence your entry into the environs of Harmonia. On this magical voyage you will have the unprecedented luxury of a choice of either a seaside, woodland or lakeside environment. Not only will you be warmly welcomed at any of those chosen settings, but you will be strongly encouraged to make many other return visits.

Should you elect to remain in Harmonia for any extended period of time at all, it would be helpful to be acquainted with some of that province’s features, it’s very many benefits, and it’s relatively few requirements.  Additionally, you should be aware that many multiple visits will entitle you to the status of citizenship, if desired.

Every individual citizen of Harmonia is mandatorily granted one personal tree, free of charge, supplied by the province operating committee. Your designated tree would be planted at the place of your choice, or in such close proximity to you as possible, to make your visits to it convenient; suitable adjustments would be made by the operating committee should you change your venue. Arborists would be free of charge and always available in case of systemic tree problems.

In the absence of any need for an existing military or an extensive police force in the province, the unexpended capitol which would be otherwise necessary for their maintenance is added to the capital accounts of the province. Under the capable stewardship of the operating committee, said moneys are readily available for the funding of the many required free services for the inhabitants which include,  education at all levels, unlimited and  competent health service, environmental protective services, and   citizens  in need of food, clothing and adequate housing.

With regard to the subject of food, residents are encouraged to occasionally attend communal dinners hosted by citizens of alternating foreign ethnos and cultures, for the benefit of educative and neighborly experience derived from such social interaction, as well as their culinary enjoyment.

The weather is uniformly sunny and mild, and the air is clean the latter, due to the exclusive use of renewable, natural power sources such as sun, wind, hydroelectric force and suitable vegetation. Curiously, there is some suggestion of a faint, sweet floral scent, probably due to the plethora of citizen owned trees.

Libraries, art galleries and institutions of learning are regularly open to admittance and are free of   charge; if desired, credits can be accumulated for regular attendance in order to qualify for membership in the provincial operating committee.

There are very few restrictions on behavior in the province which include, the use of electronic means of conversation in lieu of natural and personal face to face talk, and  the discouragement from use of certain words such as “race, or racial,” “winner, “ loser,” “queer” and a few others, including expletives.

In keeping with our sincere and solicitous interest in the preservation of your emotional health, we would earnestly suggest that upon your return home you, initially, sit quietly for at least 15 minutes before re-entering Trump country.





Blog # 132 ORANGE CRUSH(ed)

We recently commented on the “strange bedfellows” conglomerate of voters who successfully voted Donald Trump into the Presidency. We also reported that pundits and political science “mavins” had uniformly previously described him as completely unfit and totally incompetent to occupy the office since he is known to be ignorant, reductive and utterly lacking in gravitas and acceptable temperament. This glitzy game show host, undoubtedly enjoyed the attention and spotlight of the campaign but was, in truth, shocked and even dismayed,as were many others, by his unexpected victory. It had been reported that the big Orange had been busily constructing defensive rationales for his personally anticipated loss, including “media bias” and “voter fraud.” This was undoubtedly the single instance, in his showy, superficial and boastful life, in which he did not aspire to trounce the competition and be an acclaimed “winner.” But, in William Shakespeare’s words, “he was hoisted on his own petard.”

Since then, one has observed, he effectively has resembled a mortally wounded beast, completely hapless and insecure. This singular situation was strategically recognized as a rare opportunity, by a hungry flock of carrion eaters, who, after circling the wounded animal happily landed. By reason of such unholy and distasteful visitation, Trump was somehow made to feel somewhat propped up and no longer destined to lonely extinction. He instantaneously became a co-dependent of such opportunistic vultures, prominent among which, was his chief advisor and veritable Rasputin, one Steven Bannon. Mr. Bannon, as previously noted, is a recognized, proudly self-described White Supremacist and a diagnosable paranoid. His paranoia consists of a life-long belief in an ultimate Armageddon type conflict between white Christians and Islam. Further, he reasons since Russia is white and Christian, it is destined to be our future ally. This mental aberration may explain the recently attempted paradigm shift in America’s policy towards its perennial enemy, Russia.

Other vultures in the pestilent flock include an EPA Chairman who wants to eliminate that agency, a Secretary of State who is a silent partner with Russia in the oil business, a Secretary of Education who opposes public education, an Attorney General who annually receives the grade of “F” in civil rights by the NAACP, a head of the very sensitive NSA who has, in the space of only three weeks, been forced to resign because of his publically demonstrated treason ( originally, falsely denied by him, then admitted) and, a Secretary of Health who wants to terminate the  ACA and opposes Medicaid.

It may be useful and interesting to highlight the psychological breakdown of the Trump persona resulting from such unexpected election success. We would, initially however, in the interest of a virtue which of late is honored more in the breach than in its observance,” factual accuracy”, disclaim any especial factual knowledge concerning the specific subject. We might be analogized to a window shopper gazing at goods from the sidewalk and judging solely upon ocular perception. Our window is the television screen but, by contrast, we are additionally benefited by sound, most especially the remarkable, usually false, declarations of the President himself.

We presently view Donald Trump as truly scared, completely lost, over his head and in a situational state of dire panic. The only reality previously known to him was in the roles of celebrated host of a daytime game show and shrewd real estate trader. Such roles have suddenly been transmogrified to the Chief Executive in the perceived exotic and alien context of the White House. He has probably never read a federal statute, treaty or an international agreement; he has conceivably, never read the U.S. Constitution.  Everything to him is suddenly strange, confusing and shrouded in psychedelic miasma.  He is truly lost at sea. One may wonder why his wife, the First Lady, is reportedly residing 200 miles from the White House (raising a clamor concerning its substantial expense.) It is our understanding that all First Ladies, starting with Martha Washington resided at and presided over the White House.

Subjects dealt with at the Capital seem to be discussed in an alien language, utilizing exotic vocabulary, to this leader whose development and effective education probably was arrested at an adolescent age. Teenage style, simplistic telephone calls are impulsively made by him to foreign Heads of State without any thought as to their possible symbolic ramifications or to the prior existence of treaties and international understandings. Presidential statements and proclamations are openly transmitted by electronic tweets, some reportedly at 3: AM. [One can picture the man, still wearing his heavy overcoat and red tie, at the wee hours, sending tweets in a frenetic state of sweaty anxiety.]

He seems to effect a neurotic need is to be loved and admired by all Americans, yet he has thoughtlessly and viciously attacked the only two institutions historically recognized as protecting the American people, the media and the Courts.

We perceive the big Orange as completely divorced from his known element, confused and self- conscious. Has anyone seen him laugh?  Smile? He does, indeed, flash his dentures quite often, but if you look closely, they will be accurately revealed,in fact, to be grimaces. He seeks to sustain himself by repeatedly uttering self-initiated personal praise which seems to be unavailing, and appears to us as showing the emotional affect of an abject supplicant  despite his frequent  gestures of thumbs up.  We view his body language, darting eyes and repressed arrogance, as evincing discomfort, fearful insecurity and perhaps even, desolation.

It has been but four weeks and the entire Orange appears to be crushed. What’s next?


Blog # 131 ELECTRIC AVENUE (mixed media)

Blog # 131 ELECTRIC AVENUE (mixed media)

The sworn undertaking of the President, tactically declared throughout his campaign, and which probably led to his success among many voters, was to “drain the swamp” i.e., to rid Washington D.C. of the controlling influence of the billionaires and corporate moguls who have plagued our government. Among other voters, particularly those of minimum education and sophistication, [which we have, with apologies, termed, the “flat earth people”] unspecified promises of a better life, by the orange snake-oil demagogue, seems to have so mesmerized such voters that they were misled into voting against their own vital interests.

Unhappily, the “swamp” was not drained, rather, such tactically stated undertaking was shamefully abandoned in favor of an enlargement of the singularly unhealthy habitat. The President’s selection of cabinet secretaries does so frustratingly illustrate this clear misrepresentation as to be no less than discouraging and depressing. So, because it is the constant aspiration of pliny to maintain the equanimity and good cheer of his readers, this writing will contain an upbeat musical refrain. At the end of each illustration. Pliny  recognizes the talent and authorship of Mr. Eddy Grant in his creation, “Electric Avenue” with apologies for the substitution of one word, so that the reader, may, in the interest of keeping his mood from sinking too far think, or sing out, audibly the following refrain:

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania (orig. “Electric”) Avenue and then we take it higher.  Try it if you care to.

Our first swamp denizen, is Mr. Rex Tillerson, multibillionaire CEO of Exxon-Mobil and good friend of the evil Mr. Putin, appointed to the crucially important role of Secretary of State. Mr. Tillerson will be the first U.S. Secretary of State in our country’s entire history to have no diplomatic or foreign relations experience. The Exxon interests in Russia and Crimea have resulted in making the him, effectively, a partner with Mr. Putin and he seeks to please Russia and enhance Exxon’s profits immensely by the removal of the vital U.S. sanctions regarding Crimea. His friendship with Putin is highly prized by Mr. Steve Bannon, for reasons set forth on the other side of the next refrain. Mr. Tillerson, additionally, is no friend to the middle and lower economic class American, by his opposition Medicare and other programs for the needy.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

Our next inhabitant of the stagnant bayou is Mr. Steven Bannon, appointed by Trump to be his Chief Advisor (and veritable” Rasputin”.) and Chief of Staff. Mr. Bannon is a proudly self- proclaimed White Supremacist and a delusional paranoid. His lifelong delusion is that there will someday be an Armageddon scale war between white Christianity and Islam; Further, he reasons, since Russia is white and Christian, it will be our ally in the coming world conflict. This is truly bizarre, but it does explain Trump’s recent sucking up to the evil Mr. Putin. The other selections of Cabinet Secretaries also show unusual friendships with our perennial enemy, Russia.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

A perfect specimen of a swamp critter is Betsy DeVos, selected to be Secretary of Education. Ms. DeVos, reportedly, knows absolutely nothing about education whatsoever, but “knows enough” to oppose educational assistance to handicapped children, oppose public education and secular education and supports Christian schools for all. She graduated from an all Christian college 100% of whose alumni have publicly stated that she is “completely incompetent” and “unsuited” for the position.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

A real swamp alligator is Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, perversely selected to be the U.S. Attorney General. This office is known to be the ultimate authority on redressing racial prejudice. Sessions, a shining vestigial emblem of past racial prejudice, has been annually awarded the grade of ‘“F” in the area of civil rights by the  NAACP, and was denied a Federal Judgeship  by reason of his  bigotry; There is a report that he supported the KKK until he found out that many of its members smoked pot.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

The selection of Tom Price, as Secretary of Health is unquestionably redolent of the dank swamp. He earnestly seeks to do away with Medicare and the ACA, wants to defund Planned Parenthood and to do away with an Obama program for the distribution of free contraceptives. He opposes same sex marriage. There are various reports of significant wealth obtained by his illegal insider trading in pharma.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

Kellyanne Conway, is to be a chief counsellor to the President. She has been tasked with defending Donald Trump’s sexual misbehavior and may hold the record for the most despised prevaricator on television. She has improperly, shamelessly and illegally hawked Ivana Trump merchandise on television. Pliny has wryly predicted her future establishment of a White House website for the sale of Ivana merchandise.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

The most remarkable swamp designee may be Scott Pruit, as head of the EPA, an agency which, in fact, he has repeatedly sued and wishes to entirely eliminate, this choice is out of Kafka or Lewis Carroll.  If more is needed, he also does not accept the uniform findings of our U.S. scientists on climate change.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

The selection of Mike Flynn, as head of the NSA is equally problematic and troubling.  Mr. Flynn wrongfully and no doubt, illegally, discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian Ambassador while Obama was still in office. Subsequently, it is a proven fact that Russia wrongfully interfered in the U.S’ Election to favor Trump. We are sure Mr. Bannon was pleased but this smells even worse than the swamp. These illegal discussions were adamantly denied by Flynn and Vice President Pence, before Flynn finally, admitted them. It is reported that   Flynn’s military colleagues believe the he regularly, and deliberately, utters false facts. Bannon must be pleased that Flynn is a fan of Putin and not a truthful person Imagine, head of the NSA!!

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

The new Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzdar is no stranger to swampland ecology. He was described by the magazine, American Prospect, as “The very worst appointee for low income workers and for the Labor Movement”. Among other things, he has opposed a federal minimum wage.

Oh we gonna rock onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then we take it higher.

Sonny Purdue, our new Agriculture Secretary, will be our last illustration, but there are others. Mr. Purdue (not the chicken man) is in the fertilizer industry and is expected to champion the product even though he is one of the folks responsible for polluting the local drinking water and turning Lake Erie the color Green. What swamp cleanup was the orange haired snake oil salesman talking about?

Keep singing!





The unexpected ascendance to presidential office of the new Orange executive, an unqualified former game show host, has manifested itself in reactions suitable and appropriate to a veritable planetary catastrophe. An unexplained dark cloud has descended upon Washington, D.C., the origin and stationary property of which has completely baffled the most expert of meteorologists. Additionally, the combined beating of millions of hearts of citizens in dire trepidation has cumulatively produced a roar comparable to a shifting of the planet’s tectonic plates.

Such extreme concern is caused by the enjoyment of the most powerful and historically significant position on the globe, by an individual alarmingly possessing merely the experience and egoistic personality of a former television game show host, and none of the requirements for the office; most especially the knowledge of national and international affairs, nor a sufficient awareness of history and the American way of life and its system of laws. Prior to the election, he was adjudged incompetent for the office in terms of personality and complete lack of gravitas, by pundits and professors of political science. Demographic analysis demonstrates that his snake-oil salesmanship and demogogery was indeed successful in motivating the poorly educated and low information portion of our population to come out to vote, and, moreover to delude them into voting against their own interest.

His initial acts as president evidently betray his confusion as to the distinction between the office of the American presidency, a representative selected by the country to responsibly occupy the office, and a king, selected by Devine Right and responsible to no-one. We have, in earlier writings compared him to a medieval king, evidenced by his demand for a protective wall, his egotistic rule and his arbitrary issuance of edicts (‘Federal Orders”) without counsel or regular process in a complete disregard of the American rule of law. In an earlier writing, we fearfully predicted a modern day “Dark Ages” and our orange Ruler is making the nightmare a daytime reality.

In the international sphere, in a matter of merely three weeks, he has damaged our historically solid relationship with Australia, made thoughtless teenage type telephone calls to confused world leaders, issued irresponsible threats to dangerous countries such as Iran and North Korea and has upset our standing treaties and agreements with mainland China and Taiwan by ignorantly making one of his inane telephone calls to Taiwan, symbolically a threat to Mainland China. He has confused our friendly nations and emboldened our traditional opponents.

On the national scene, he has expressed utter distain for intellectual prowess, including the liberal arts as well as the sciences; despite a virtually unanimous agreement by all scientists that man plays a part in climate change, he steadfastly denies it. The orange menace has even attempted to injure our traditional neighborly sensitivity to others of diverse ethnic persuasion, an admirable trait in our multi-cultural nation. The considerate choice of interactive vocabulary has been disparaged by him as the misdemeanor of “political correctness,” a crime of which he is assuredly innocent.

Behind the curtain, eternally in close proximity and available to our orange-haired Wizard of Oz, sits his supreme advisor and virtual Rasputin, the infamous Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is a proudly self-identified white supremacist. He is also a diagnosable paranoid, eternally believing in a future, Armageddon type war between the white Christian world and Islam; and, by extension, that Russia, our perennial enemy, will be our ally since it is white and Christian. This is extremely bizarre and irrational, but it does serve to explain the recent behavior of our leader “sucking up” recently to the evil Mr. Putin. Those who chose to vote for Trump, effectively elected this delusional Rasputin, President of the United States.

Four years of this will require patient endurance and a call upon our inner resources and resolution for the restoration of the unique and admirable country of which we have traditionally proud. However, we must be tireless American citizens and affirmatively speak out at injustice and inequity to prevent their normalization.




Blog # 129 NEW ORANGE IS THE OLD BLACK (Redux, “Walls”)

Residents of Washington DC have reportedly seen a “stationary black cloud” hovering over the Capitol District. Meteorologists and climate scientists are totally baffled, especially since the very mysterious pall appears to be unrelated to any of the known atmospheric phenomena and has, miraculously, not dissipated for the past three weeks. There have been anecdotal instances of real panic and even some predictions that it is a sign of the coming of the “end of days.” Noted historians opine that there has not been such communal fear since the occurrence of the hellish “Black Plague” in medieval Europe.

In the 14th Century, the notorious “Black Plague” a/k/a “The Black Death” so ravaged Europe that research reveals that upwards of seventy-five million souls died. No efforts, spiritual or temporal, sufficed to limit its horrific progress; no walls, religious incantations not even arbitrary selection and murder of scapegoats sufficed. The plague was never eradicated but it was limited by the enhancement of personal cleanliness and advances in general societal sanitation.

A black plague of markedly different etiology, albeit also dangerous and life-threatening, has asserted itself. Its recorded arrival appeared to be contemporaneous with the ascendance to the world’s most powerful throne, of an orange-haired monarch; one, possessing none of the mandatorily required attributes of governance but rather exhibiting a lethal combination of egotism, reductive ignorance and arbitrariness, redolent of Medieval European tyrants (see: “Walls”). His behavior appears to be comparable to the egotistical Queen of a well- known fairy tale who eternally stares into a mirror, asking “Who is the fairest of them all?” Additionally, consistent with the medieval comparison is his promised construction of a huge protective wall, his total absence of perspective and his petulant temperament.

During his candidacy, political scientists, pundits and informed citizenry alike, diagnosed him as utterly unfit to serve as president, citing ignorance, lack of mature discretion and, above all, unsuitable character and temperament. Consistent with such jointly agreed diagnosis, in his first few days in office he has undeniably confirmed the accuracy of these predictions by his demonstration of reductive and pathetic ignorance to such an extent he that has caused American citizens and as well, residents of foreign countries, great panic conceivably equal to that existing at the time of the black plague.

We are of a mind that this self-deluded, glitzy game show host enjoyed the flashlight publicity of the campaign but, never, in truth, expected to win. Indeed, he had prepared in advance for his anticipated loss by publicly manufacturing fictional excuses such as “media bias” and, even “voter fraud.”  We believe that he was shockingly surprised and completely frightened by his unexpected win.

The confused, possibly rudderless winner of the election, in a state of real panic, now sought someone who had seen the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz” and who was willing to hide behind a curtain and be his private alter ego and tutor. The shrewd and opportunistic, Steve Bannon “miraculously” “appeared out of nowhere” to save the day.

Mr. Bannon is a proudly self-identified White Supremacist whose extreme right-wing credo may be said to be to the right of Catherine the Great of Russia. He has also shown himself to be no less than a paranoid by his avowed belief in a future, Armageddon style, all- out war between White Christianity and Islam and thus, considers our historic enemy, Russia, an ally since it is white and Christian. This is totally incomprehensible but it does explain the bizarre action of our new Orange leader, recently, sucking up to the evil Mr. Putin.

Under the co-dependent wing and tutelage of Bannon, President Trump, without consultation with, and probably without notice to, his cabinet advisors, has irresponsibly issued several draconian and un-American Orders, among many other prohibitions, barring re-entry of members of the Muslim faith, travelling home from seven arbitrarily selected Middle Eastern countries, yet exempting those individuals of Christian faith and, as well, certain Middle Eastern countries. Especially notable is the omission of Saudi Arabia, the homeland of all but one terrorist in the 9/11 event.  It is both precedential and black letter law that this ban is unconstitutional and statutorily illegal. Most vexing is the observation that Middle Eastern countries which do business with the Trump companies appear to be exempt; we urgently need a “blind trust” agreement written in Black and White ink and not in Orange Crush.

The Federal Electors and the ordinary citizens who voted for Trump will have that singularly memorable act enshrined in their personal autobiographies; we hope they will ultimately find some redemption

For the rest of us he has succeeded in making America grate!