Post # 291 “CODE BLUE”

“Code blue,” is the famous hospital alarm signal that an extreme emergency exists, in which a patient is in cardiac or pulmonary arrest, requiring a team of medical providers to rush to his specific location and immediately commence the performance of life-saving, resuscitative services.

This note is expressive of our fear that our traditionally laudable, democratic republic, is currently in such a critical condition as would, appropriately, warrant a call for a resuscitative code blue broadcasted to all rational and dedicated citizenry.  We have, most recently, been confronted with so extreme a situation that, frighteningly, the coming elections will predictably, either result in a principled affirmation of our uniquely democratic ideals of freedom and equality for all, or, otherwise, signify an unfortunate descent into the dark ages of autocratic rule.

With the [shocking] elevation of Donald J. Trump to the Oval Office, chronically perverse elements of our society, [ unfortunately present in all societies] have suddenly emerged from the shadows and into the American daylight, with requisite confidence to assert their perverse dogma, and to perform their shameful and bloody acts of sociopathic and homicidal madness. Mailed pipe bombs to prominent detractors of Donald Trump, anti-Semitic mass murder, demonization of immigrants (in a country entirely consisting of immigrants and their descendants), shootings of unarmed black youths by bigoted police, degradation and abuse of women, attacks on the free press and other American institutions, and, on a grand and disastrously immense scale, the division of our formerly strong and compatible nation, into insular, hostile camps, resulting in the weakening of our historical national solidarity and strength.

Right wing white “nationalist” hate groups have reveled in, and become heartened by, the suggestive vacuum, created by Trump’s consistent failure to responsibly address such enumerated acts of hatred, practiced by reprehensible bigots. Such shocking and unprecedented failure of responsibility by the President, added to his ignorant, reductive statements, and overt incitements to violence, have been perceived as tacit, if not express, license for action by aberrant, un- American malcontents.

Very disturbing are the actions and ignorant statements of our ignorant and adolescent, chief executive; his encouragement of violence, his mendacity, [ he disparages all inconvenient truth, and regularly uses the Nazi-like technique of the big lie]. Trump recently has publicly announced that he is a “Nationalist.” [Anyone remember the “Nationalist-Socialist Party, the” Nazis”?]

He has described the poor, hungry and bedraggled, mass of Central American families, still approximately, 1000 miles from the Mexican border, walking, in an arduous, biblical-style exodus, from existential horror, as an “invading army”; bringing with it, smallpox and other diseases, and also hiding Middle East terrorists (?).Revelatory of this insane delusion, was Trump’s ordering of U.S. combat troops to the border.

To compound Trump’s evident paranoid schizophrenia, he has stated that the invaders were financed by George Soros, a billionaire, who also happens to be Jewish. This insane assertion, was acted on by one of the madmen, right-wing lunatics, [ among those emerged into the daylight, by the election and behavior of our remarkable President] who gunned down 11 Pennsylvania Jews at prayer; the murder’s concurrent remarks were, as reported, that “all Jews should be killed”. [we have been eternally puzzled by the common, irrational and bigoted conflation, of the contentious issue of immigration, even of brown-skinned folks, and anti-Semitism].

Donald Trump needs to be  reminded of the priceless statement of Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, standing in New York Harbor, to welcome the stranger, “…give to me your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free…,” and then advised to send a friendly welcoming party to warmly  greet our new Central American refugees, instead of a lethal army brigade.

[PLEASE] BE SURE TO VOTE!         -p.

Post # 290   THE UNMISTAKEABLE SMELL OF ROTTING FISH [a pliny editorial]

The long-standing declaration, “a fish rots from the head down,” appears to be unmistakably accurate, and applicable to our present contemptible direction of national stewardship. The plain meaning of the phrase is, that it is the leadership. that is the cause of the problem. It observed veracity, is contemporaneously reaffirmed, among other things, by the many instances of Presidential failure of responsibility, in properly responding to horrendous acts of bigotry [apparently, occurring with increasing frequency during his term in office.] The incidents of hateful shootings of young unarmed blacks by bigoted policemen, mass homicide of innocent schoolchildren, white supremacy demonstrations, overt assaults on women, and most recently, anti- Semitic multiple murder, have not been responded to with any mature and responsible leadership comment, by our President; condemning the pernicious acts and appealing for national peace and unity. Following the recent synagogue killings, he made a very brief statement, recognizing the event, followed by an expansive explanation, to the assembled press, for the present state of his hair. With reference to the conflict at the Charlottesville White Supremacy hate rally, he publicly stated that “both sides have a right to their opinion.” [no, Mr. President, not the Nazi’s.] As  ominously and amply demonstrated by history, an irresponsible vacuum exixting  in such matters, will predictably, be filled by unhealthy toxins introduced to the body politic. We can refer to the 1930’s German Weimar republic, as just one of  theinnumerable examples.

We are obliged to stress the basic, underlying principle, that every legal right, granted by the U.S. Constitution, has limitations; and the responsibility not to be used to harm others. My right to throw a punch, stops just at the tip of your nose. the Constitutional right of assembly, is strictly limited to “peaceful” assembly. The right of free speech does not permit the false and dangerous, shouting of “Fire!” in a crowded theater; nor does it permit, nor, in any way, condone, the President’s too frequent “red meat” statements, made to his vile base supporters that directly, or by pernicious dog whistle message, incite violence.

Acts of illegal homicide of unarmed black youths, by bigoted police, have continued apace, anti-Semitic acts, this year, have more than doubled, while white supremacist gangs operate with shameful impunity. Unconcerned, our Nero-like, neurotic, President Trump, revels in his adolescent, perceived limelight.

This unsuitable fish needs replacement, before its smell makes the entire continent odiferous.



On the assumption that there exists, in our multifaceted American culture, any “truism,” possessing some respectable degree of empirical integrity, it would, inarguably, amount to an observation that the origin and sustenance of all bigotry, is ignorance.

This note concerns the specific subject of gender discrimination, similarly, founded upon ignorance, but in our view, having a different etiology, and manifesting several nuanced features, as compared with  racial, religious and ethnic prejudices. These latter three categories of odious bigotry have been the subject of earlier posts, in which we attributed their felt origin to early childhood instruction, in “we” (our culture) and “they” (other cultures); leading to insularity, and ignorant mythology regarding the “other, and eventually, to hatred and conflict.

The intransigent and unenlightened belief in the existence of a strictly defined dichotomy of gender, would seem to constitute the essential foundation of gender bias. Such erroneous assumption appears to manifest its widespread, consistent and reductive confirmation, at some time subsequent to the parents’ choice of pink or blue color for their toddler’s clothing; even perhaps as early as the time of the stereotypical selection of toys and playthings; consistent with the confirmed assumptions and observations extant at the naming of the newborn.  It should be noted, however, that the traditionally accepted mantra of “dimorphism,” [ two (clearly) distinct iterations of mankind (only)] has recently been scientifically and empirically, debunked, and demonstrably shown to be erroneous and reductive.

As the scientific and medical studies uniformly show, the establishment of the sex of an organism is usually by the inheritance, at the time of fertilization, of certain genes commonly localized on a particular chromosome. This pattern effects the development of the organism by controlling cellular metabolism and stimulating the production of hormones that trigger the development of sexual glands or organs. An excess, or a lack, of hormones, during embryological development, may cause an individual to develop the superficial appearance of one sex, while retaining the genetic constitution of the other. Information concerning the common and natural existence of intra-gender diversity, is readily available.

There is a plethora of authoritative, scientific and medical studies, which demonstrate the plain error in the popular, reductionist, “binary” theory of gender; and clearly demonstrating that there is, in reality, an empirical continuum, or broad spectrum, of variation, between the two classically designated categories. In our [personally required], brief readings on the subject, we came across scientists who claim to identify as much as 25 or 27 (!) different inherited genders. Reason would certainly appear to dictate a societal need for additional recognized categories of gender, as a far preferable alternative to continuing to perpetuate bigoted, and possibly damaging assumptions, about who is like who.

Tragically, as a not uncommon result of such purely reductive and ignorantly biased assumptions, innocent and undeserving lives have been, and are, adversely affected; at the workplace, socially, medically and legally solely by reason of  their nuanced, “costly”  [hormonal] inheritance


Post # 288     PINBALL DEMOCRACY [A pliny essay]

The right of every American citizen to cast an effective vote, is not adequately described as a salient attribute of a republican democracy; it is, in fact, its functional definition. It is only when the traditional, legal and constitutionally protected mandate of “one man, one vote” is an effective reality, that we earn the admirable mantle of a republican democracy.

Of late, we have observed, with great alarm, that such historic description of our democratic nation and its laudable franchise, has been effectively under siege by a metastasizing influence of self-interested, prejudicial and corrosive money interests. The practice of unlimited and unregulated financial donations to the (expensive) campaigns of legislators and government office holders, from a small, but rich and influential, portion of the population, (with the disappointing, and shocking approval of the Supreme Court, in the Citizen’s Union case) has been the “open wound,” permitting the infecting organism to freely enter, thrive and multiply in the body politic.

The fair, utilitarian and democratic system of government, brilliantly innovated by our far-sighted Founding Fathers, has been tactically manipulated by unscrupulous players, whose tactical artifices have been tolerated by sufficient members of our government and legislators, so as make such miscreant and Unamerican practices, part of our contemporarily accepted civic folkways.

Our metaphoric pinball game, in reality, is a traditional feature of a carnival style arcade; points are scored by players’ manipulation of one or two steel balls in such fashion that they tactically strike certain markers and avoid variously located barriers. Wealthy wielders of monied influence, have so gamed our democratic system of government, motivated by profit making or personal prejudice, as to make a veritable travesty of the American democratic system of election, and degrade it to the base level of the manipulative arcade game of pinball.

It may be useful, and illustrative, to outline the techniques, or stratagems, commonly employed in the manipulation of the American voter, and the ultimate vote results:

  • Encouragement of a divisive and destabilizing fragmentation of the population, from national and international sources, on such controversial subjects as gun control, abortion rights, immigration, ethnic and racial prejudice. These topics, admittedly controversial, have been tactically catalyzed by perverse interests, to the degree that the American population has been divisibly separated into two insular, opposing camps, [not necessarily related to any of our established political parties] who vote tribally, in accordance with their group loyalty. This inclination is particularly dangerous, when the tribal support is not doctrinal, but for a demagogic leader. This is clearly, and ominously illustrated, among other examples, by the consistent support of President Trump by the many Christian Evangelical groups, despite his public boasts of purported sexual prowess and personal acts of sexual abuse. Such brand of neurotic etiology of irrational support is truly frightening, and nightmarishly reminiscent of 1930’s Munich, Germany.
  • The cynical and fraudulent practice of “gerrymandering.” Legally, election districts are properly to be divided into residentially representative boundaries, in accordance with the objective findings of the regularly scheduled and constitutional mandated, census. However, experience too often demonstrates the artificial manipulation of the drawn districts, with the unprincipled and undemocratic goal of affecting election outcomes. This pinball maneuver is motivated by a Machiavellian estimation of race and economic class, currently resident in the respective voting districts. The tactically re-drawn maps of voting districts often demonstrate a tortured, psychedelic treatment of geography.
  • Voter interference is cynical, and a diabolical and nefariously sanctioned exercise of local mischief, designed to undemocratically delimit the vote of certain groups who are, in accordance with the pernicious bigotry or political bias of local officialdom, (often as high as the respective Secretary of State, but more frequently exercised by more local pinball officials) likely to vote in their own, as opposed to the official’s, interest. A frustrating miasma of innocuous impediments is strategically created, including the presence, or absence, of a hyphen on a voter’s registration card, or other identification, (albeit not transcribed by the intended voter) or a cynical immigration falsehood uttered to discourage and turn away essentially unsophisticated voters, who are anticipated to cast their votes in opposition to the wishes of the officially empowered pinball wizards.
  • The intentional dissemination of falsity, an esthetic art created and tactically curated by our singular, Commander-in-Chief, under the brand name, “false facts.” President Trump, who delights in his fascistic attacks on the responsible and accurate media, is exclusively credited, and will be historically enshrined, as the creator of the Olympic sport of false- fact dissemination [ for which he will get the gold medal, the silver being shared by certain news commentators, popular to Trump and his perverse merry band, referred to as “his base.”] The art of dissemination of false facts is also practiced by miscreants, internationally and locally, in media such as face book and other electronic programs, as well as certain right-wing newspapers. No one has, to date, recommended an ethical field manual, of any kind, for the sport of franchise pinball.
  • The single- issue voter is not a pinball wizard, or even a pinball player. He is merely a passive spectator of the arcade game, who casts his vote on the sole subject of his concern; whether it be abortion rights, gun control, the environment or immigration. His game, consists of voting for the candidate who shares his personal view on a specific issue on which he is mono -focused. By ignoring the balance of his selected candidate’s platform, such voters distort the communicated message of the election results; and may unwittingly be casting votes which are, in fact, in opposition to their own interest.

Various other iterations exist, other than the pernicious sport of pinball, evidencing misuse of the valuable public franchise, such as biased voting on racial, geographic or religious criteria. These disgraceful instances, together with the actions of the obnoxious and undemocratic pinball aficionados, make the sincere, self-interested and truly honest American vote, unimaginably valuable to the nation, and to the honest, right thinking American citizen. The cynical pinball players and misusers of the voting franchise can certainly be defeated, by a greater number of participatory votes of our responsibly true American citizens.

Keep the faith! [ and vote]



It would appear to be both salutary and useful, amid any extended course of activity, to take a brief break, a restful and contemplative breather, in the search for perspective, and perhaps, as well, the motivation of the actor, and the effect upon the recipient of the activity. Thus, after publication of no less than 286 blogposts (inclusive of poetry), it seems appropriate to consider the purpose and nature of our activity, and to contemplate the possible (intended) effect on the reader, vis-à-vis the respective scope and purpose of this unique form of expression, first commenced approximately two years ago.

To read a novel, as compared with other forms of writing, is to visit with its author for a relatively extensive time. A skilled author of the good novel has the opportunity and print space to examine, by means of created characters and plot action, the eternal and universal human issues, played out within his manufactured situational context. He has the franchise to express his views on life and destiny, by means of the actions of his characters in their confrontation with the classic issues of life; the reader consequently, becomes subtlety, but, effectively, introduced to the persona of the author. The well written short story, much smaller in scope and print space, can be similarly described, but is portrayed on a much- abbreviated literary stage.

The essay, article or column, affords to its reader the author’s point of view, often in some depth, regarding his individually selected subject, or issue of interest. The advantage of this species of writing is in its specialization as to the subject matter treated; or as applicable, in the exposition of author’s individualized views. For this reason, articles by authors with known capabilities or recognized experience, will appear in magazines, scholarly journals or other broadly disseminated media. Such writing has great value, its utility,  discerned from the nuanced treatment of the selected subject.

If a permitted metaphor be the formal dinner, the metaphoric novel would be the entree, the essay or article, the preliminary or first course, and the blogpost, the small, tasty, appetizer or tapas. Blogposts are relatively short, informal statements on various individual subjects. There, apparently, are several diverse types of blogs including, public, private, commercial, political and public service blogs.

Our blog,, is a private (dare we, with modesty, say, “boutique?”) blog disseminated to and read, currently, by less than 1000 followers. It is digitally sent pursuant to an address list, and noted, with a terse, applicable comment, on Facebook. Approximately 200 posts have to date, been printed in small, soft cover attractive volumes; the third volume, “Reflections 111” to be printed and distributed shortly. Of course, all are free of charge; we are completely a non-commercial activity. Our avowed purpose is to encourage literacy, self-growth and self -fulfillment., as well as a natural, secular morality.

The blogpost’s primary feature is that it enables the writer to write on an unlimited array of subjects, none with the detailed depth of the article or essay but allowing to the writer the freedom to express felt sentiments on any and all subjects. This 286th post is one of approximately 275 unrelated subjects (excluding poetry). Regrettably, we do feature a [ limited] number of political posts (much against our founding intention), which we rationalize, as made necessary, by our present unusual governmental situation {we simply could not commit the sin of complete silence].

Like the function of the metaphoric appetizer, above, it is our purpose to increase the appetite for civic discourse and civic amity, to promote a true renaissance in interest in literature, art and the humanities; which are the firm building blocks of a good citizenry, and a strong, moral and compassionate society and nation. The need for the improvement, most evident in contemporary times, academically, morally and socially, is vital, as well as multifaceted and diverse; the franchise afforded by the (unfortunately) necessary reminders of our common humanity, is best expressed in short flexible, blogpost form.

We would like to thank our readers, and will earnestly continue to aspire to the production of acceptably written and readable posts.



When we were high school students, mercilessly sentenced to the constitutionally prohibited, “cruel and unusual” punishment, of “intermediate algebra,” ultimate relief, when stymied by an assigned problem, was obtained by surreptitiously sneaking a look in the back of the textbook for the correct answer. Virtually all physical and empirical questions and problems, similarly, have readily accessible source references to consult for relief. Questions regarding physical subjects such as weights and measures, lighting, chemical composition, electrical current, geographical location, highways and routes, literature and authors, history and the environment, just to make mention of some, are referentially and easily answered. It is reassuring to know that there are texts, treatises and other resources to satisfy the need for answers, almost as accessible as peeking in the back of an algebra text.

Standard, empirically proven, factual answers to questions, enable us to communicate effectively, to work, to successfully build infrastructure, to practice law and medicine, to engage in societal activities, to find our way; in short, to perform virtually every reasonable task, as may be desired. Mutually shared and reliably accurate solutions to problems, additionally, furnish a universally accepted baseline and a comforting sense of shared reality.

However, we vigorously protest the accuracy and value of the aphorism, (as we do, all aphorisms) which artlessly states: “For every question, there is answer.” As we have observed in an earlier post,” THE COOLER SIDE OF THE PILLOW,” not every question has an answer, and not every problem has a solution.

No sensible person could, or should, expect human behavior, generally, to be explainable or predictable by reference to a field manual or text. This is so, because most human behaviors are motivated by various and individualized emotional considerations and nuanced perception.  There are, in any event, societal norms, red lines, expressing the limits of unorthodox behavior and remedies, expressed socially, medically and legally, as needed. Such unorthodox behavior, in any event is  explainable, socially or medically, and so, is not includible in our selected categories of “unanswerable questions.”

In the chapter of Lewis Carroll’s, “Alice in Wonderland,” devoted to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the Mad Hatter poses a riddle to Alice, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”  When Alice gives up and requests the answer, the Mad Hatter replies: “I have no idea.”

We are as frustrated and exasperated as poor Alice, at the absence of answers to many questions, with the crucial difference that our unanswerable questions are non-fiction and tragic.

In the 1930’s, the population of Germany was well educated, cultured and living in a democratic State  (Weimar Republic). What caused it as nation, to completely succumb to the influence of a demagogue; a poorly educated housepainter, one, Adolph Schikkelgruber, (“Hitler”) a madman and sadistic wholesale perpetrator of genocide, with delusional dreams of world domination?

What could possibly be the explanation for the persistence, in the 21st Century, of the bloody conflict between the Sunni and Shia Muslims, concerning a 7th Century contested issue, as to the mode of succession to the Prophet Mohammad (viz., by familial succession or vote of the faithful)?

What was the possible basis for the Tutsi- Hutu genocidal wars, between peoples of essentially similar ethnos, culture and appearance, who spoke the identical two languages? (more than eight hundred thousand Tutsi’s were genocidally murdered).

How was it possible, that an ignorant, adolescent and egotistical, former television game show host, is elevated to the office of the President of the United States, the most powerful and influential country on the planet, and the leader of the free world? He had been universally determined by knowledgeable experts, to be entirely unfit and unsuitable for the position. Since elevation to the Oval Office, he has proven, by his overconfident and ignorant impulsiveness to be a complete embarrassment, nationally and internationally, and a literal laughing stock at the United Nations. He has proven himself to be a bigot, a public abuser of women, an enemy of the free press and the media in general. He has made friends with our historic enemies, especially autocratic governments, and has made enemies of our long- standing allies and friends, including Canada. His cruel immigration policy has separated young children from parents and destroyed very many families.

An additional, unanswerable question, considering Trump’s demonstrated behavior, [which also includes, incidentally, utter disrespect for the truth, and illegal profiteering from public office] is, why he, nevertheless, maintains substantial [“tribal”] public support? This would be bizarre and puzzling, even to a Lewis Carroll. How does one account for his uniform support by Christian Evangelicals, despite his flamboyant public boasting about his alleged sexual prowess and  admitted, profane abuse of women.

With reference to the particular imponderable dilemma, listed immediately above, there may be no available answer; but there assuredly is an available and relevant response. Bearing in mind the world-shattering nightmare of 1930’s Munich, the responsible American citizen must vote, and vote responsibly. The solution may be, after all, almost as easy as peeking in the back of the Intermediate Algebra textbook; it is revealed by visiting our respective place of election, on November 6.



Post # 285    AN ELDER AMERICAN’S LAMENT [A pliny essay]

In an earlier blogpost (“IS IT SOUP YET?”), we declared that growing older, contrary to popular belief, is not a “disease,” but to the contrary, has many implicit benefits. To be sure, one’s physical body does begin to underperform, and occasional physical discomfort is experienced [based on long time use]; however, assuming relatively decent health, it is a happy and rewarding time. As previously observed, one is no longer beset with the perennial anxieties and stresses of earlier life, such as youthful insecure identity, inexperienced interactions with the opposite sex, school grades, selection of occupation; and later, courtship and marriage, child rearing, money matters and a host of others. An opportunity, at last, to be oneself,  to knowledgeably and maturely take inventory of one’s internal resources, and understand oneself in relation to society, are among the many unsung benefits of old age. As the earlier post additionally observed, one then accrues the available leisure time to pursue long- deferred interests, perhaps, travel, art, literature, a hobby, gardening, or others.


This essay expresses a profound lament entirely unrelated to the subject of aging; indeed, on that subject, our feelings, as indicated, are of the satisfaction of realized fulfillment of our knowledge of self, and a comfortable sense of mature perspective on the world, and on life in general. The intended purpose of the condensed reprise of the earlier post, above, [ regarding the unsung benefits of aging], is to avoid a possible (incorrect) perception that this lamentation represents, in reality, a projection of the unhappiness at growing old. Our profound lament, instead is based upon the current state of our nation, and our nostalgic recollection of better times. The diverse aspects of its degradation, are disappointingly, so numerous as to be best expressed in selective, analytical fashion.



The Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS), the flagship of our Judiciary Branch of government, and the final arbiter of constitutional issues,in the past, justifiably enjoyed, an image of profound respect from the bench and bar, and as well from the informed American public. This has dramatically changed.

To preserve America’s “Separation of Powers” (Executive, Legislative, Judicial), there has historically existed the unalterable (adjectival) requirement, that no case may be accepted by SCOTUS for determination, which contains a political issue either directly, or by indirect effect. For this purpose, a proceeding seeking a “Writ of Certiorari” is initially required, certifying the complete absence of political subject matter in the case. Thus, we were shocked and confused when the undeniably political cases of BUSH v. GORE, and CITIZENS UNITED, were accepted and adjudicated by SCOTUS. Worse, the decision in the latter case, perniciously legalized corporate donation of unlimited funds by corporations to elections.


The purported basis, was that a corporation is a” person” and therefore, has the unlimited right of free speech. This ruling was truly bizarre, and its effect, anti-democratic. Indeed, every beginning law school freshmen knows that a corporation is only a fictional construct, affording to the entrepreneur, the safety of limited liability; and expressly not a natural “person”. These decisions demonstrate that the formerly revered and politically neutral, SCOTUS has, unexplainably, degraded into a political institution. The flood of money into our traditional democratic system, designed to be one man, one vote, had eternally been somewhat eroded by money; the Citizens United decision of SCOTUS, enhanced the flood damage to full tsunami status, and in (lamented) reality, diminished the significance of the individual (citizen’s) vote.



The optimistic founders of our democratic republic, were of the assumption that an informed and literate citizenry, would avail itself of the franchise of free speech, to engage in the responsible practice of socially constructive debate, regarding contested issues as they arose. The outcomes, as intended, would be useful to the responsive government in its guidance and policy making. Thus, they expected that the new experiment in nationhood would function as intended, a government for, and by, the people.


Debates, were active occurrences in our country for some time; contested subjects included, abolition v. slavery, excise taxes on commercial products, tobacco and alcohol use, currency standards, evolution, military conscription and land and water use. The Lincoln-Douglas debates concerning the metal standard for our currency,  [gold or silver] was among the most famous. Our generation can easily remember inter and intra-school debates and the popular existence of debating societies, which publicly, and informatively, litigated the contested issues of the day.

We sorely lament the tragic death of (the formerly prevailing) civic amity, in which  citizens of diverse opinions would debate issues while remaining friendly neighbors. Regrettably, for some considerable time, people of identical views, seem to have banded together in insular groups of people of identical opinion, each  group, evincing, by words and action, disrespect and antipathy for other like groups, with disparate opinions. Issues such as regulation of firearms, woman’s right to abortion, immigration policy, legalization of marijuana, and government obligation to assist the needy, have completely polarized and split the nation. Tribal loyalty, and not rational consideration of the issues now, too often, determine the voting choice of many citizens, neurotically needing, it would appear, the sense of identity and belonging, reinforced by voting and acting identically, with other members of their group. Such vote is typically based on a single issue, and in ignorance of the balance of the favored candidate’s platform. This harmful practice distorts the intended result and the purpose of the elective process, which was to function as a democratic expression of the public will. An evident, and entirely mind-boggling example of irrational tribal voting, is manifested by the consistent support by Christian Evangelicals, of Donald Trump, who routinely boasts, on about his immoral sexual escapades in the public media.



We sincerely lament the incalculable loss to humanity associated with the tragic substitution of mechanical electronic messaging, for natural and expressive human conversation.

It requires no supporting argument to maintain that human progress from the lone, self-dependent cave man, to more modern, mutually interdependent, subsisting society, is essentially attributable to man’s facility of communicative speech. Communicated inter-dependence in developed skills, for purposes of joint defense, food gathering, and other matters of human survival and societal development, were made possible by man’s vital capability of  interactive spoken communication.

In addition to the expression of existential needs, speech has been the humanizing exchange that permits an interactive society of individuals to benefit from the empirical experience of others, to communicate events and happenings, good and bad, and, inarguably of the greatest importance, to make possible, normal life in society. Down through the ages, the pleasure of recognition of a familiar voice, the spontaneous exchange of thoughts and observations, the facility to express personal feelings, joy, empathy, encouragement and when needed, consolation, cemented a vital bond between communicating human beings. Personal interaction serves as a perpetual reminder that we do not exist alone, but can mutually exchange ideas or derive personally expressed support and understanding.


Among the most valuable benefits one accrues from societal living, is the luxury of enjoying the experience of personal interaction with others, by face to face conversation, telephone and, when truly personal and nuanced expression is desired, by letter. Yet, more recently, apparently ushered in, concomitantly, with the many advances in computer science, was an exponential rise in the use of small, hand-held computerized devices designed for use in lieu of personalized conversation. Certainly, computers have very positive utility in an uncountable number of functions and efficient applications; but not in substitution for natural conversation. Gone is the pleasure and comfort of hearing the familiar voice, its tone and nuance furnishing recognizable assurance. Gone is the desired reaction, the spontaneous and timely response, gone are the emotional tones evidencing, happiness, surprise, doubt, affection and the intended level of emphasis. Gone are the natural sounds of reassurance, encouragement, empathy, and when desperately needed, consolation. These valuable communicated responsive reactions have been replaced by lighted screen images of cold, data-like text. This is extremely lamentable, and, necessarily, results in a context of impersonality and separation, in lieu of personal exchange. Don’t we all read enough computer data? Human beings need and are entitled to authentic human interaction, and not merely the transmission of electronic symbols. Many members of our young generation will have absolutely no memory or conception, of the warmth and beneficial reassurance derived from real, as compared with, “virtual” experience.



We have observed, to our great chagrin, a popular decline in participation in matters of educational and cultural import, and unhappily, a corresponding increase in predilection for superficial and ephemeral diversion. It is existentially necessary to bear in mind that the most valuable and vital resource of any nation, is not its mineral water and natural resources, nor even its geography; it is undeniably, its people. As illustration, we have, in the past, cited the example of 20th century Germany; relatively small in geography, but possessed of a highly educated, skilled and mobilizable population. By reason of those vital attributes in its population, it was able to come [too!] close to the conquest of the entire globe.


The construct, or idea of a nation state, is, in reality, a legal, political and geographic conceit; it is successive populations that furnish its history, character and identity.  As the illustration cited above, of 20th century Germany gives testimony, it is adequate education and cultural depth that are the ultimate determinants of a nation’s quality, strength and endurance.


In this existential context we have discerned an alarming growth of disrespect for academics, and the liberal arts, inclusive of literature, art and the humanities. These are subjects which lead to the enhancement of human understanding and perspective, and the personal advancement of the individual citizen, and, derivatively, his nation. Reading good literature, is enjoyable entertainment, but more to the point, it furnishes to the reader, wisdom and understanding; it enhances his perspective as to life’s classic human challenges, and the universal attempts at their solution. The citizen’s individual participation in the humanities, (and the arts and sciences) pays double dividends, producing an enhanced and self- fulfilling life for the individual, and as well, a valuable citizen for the nation.


Only a general populous, shamelessly and ignorantly content to manifest complete ingratitude toward evolution for its most generous gift to man-  a brain with magnificent capabilities- can enjoy television’s inane afternoon talk programs and game shows, trite soap operas, wastefully play computer games, and elect to cast its vote for Donald J. Trump.