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.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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