It is, indisputably, prudent and responsible, to require applicants for employment, regarding prestigious corporate positions or even those of lesser executive significance, like sales jobs at Walmart, or burger-flippers at McDonald’s, to initially submit to a job interview. Potential employers are understandably entitled,  [as a responsible matter, obliged], to seek to ascertain the character and the full background experience of the applicant, in order to assess his suitability for the relevant position.

It will be remembered, by many, that in the previous Republican nominating “debates,” the viewing public was presented with multiple, [“memorable”] applicants who, with the possible exception of two, revealed themselves to be, shamefully, below any reasonable or minimal standard, for the revered and historic position of the American Presidency.

We were disappointed, but perhaps, not truly surprised, that neither of the two apparently qualified candidates were selected for party nomination; instead, in our view, the least qualified and most characterologically flawed, was the successful  nominee. It may be that his “snake oil salesman’s” grandiose pitch for the economic improvement of the nation (albeit without any general plan, whatsoever, for its accomplishment) that did it.

Donald Trump’s surprising win was arguably due to: (1) an historically low regular voter turn -out, and (2) an unprecedentedly large vote by the usually non-voting, low information portion of the population, who, apparently, were  mesmerized by Trump’s unsupported demagogic “rosy” representations, (3)  both, in combination with certain nuanced features of the archaic Electoral College system.

Immediately following formal installation to office, Trump revealed himself to be an adolescent, attention-seeking conglomerate of complete ignorance and baseless confidence, arrogantly lacking moral compass or minimal grace. We have previously recounted his many acts of demonstrable ignorance, his domestic immorality and poor judgment, his daily mendacity and irresponsibly impulsive behavior. Trump’s poor judgment, here and abroad, and his outlandish behavior, have been directly  responsible for an evident and marked, loss of respect for the American Presidency.

Internationally, Trump’s ignorant reductionist behavior has debased our historic allies and frustrated our treaty agreements and the firm commitments between us and our allies, while “cozying up to our historic enemies and their autocratic leaders.  His knowledge of recent history and strategic relationships is minuscule, and stubbornly compatible with his personal penchant for reductionist analysis. He refuses to take counsel from available, knowledgeable sources, and so, has effected a dizzying array of manifestly unwise and, ultimately, dangerous, personal decisions. The counsel of Cabinet Members and  military advisers are all, egotistically, ignored in favor of Trump’s ego- driven, reductionist and transactional approach to problems, national and international; regarding which, as stated, he has little understanding or background. Because they are so significant and perilous, we list them, here under:

(1) Withdrawal of all U.S, troops from Syria. This will cause a vacuum, predictably to be filled with returning fighters, calling themselves the” Islamic State.” Additionally, the U.S. withdrawal will complicate the relative influence and inter-relationships of Russia, Turkey, Kurdistan and Israel and leave the Middle East openly vulnerable to pernicious influences.

(2) We have been advised that the U.S. is going to withdraw all of its  troops from South Korea, which, predictably, will affect the shaky relations between it and North Korea.

(3) Trump has, singlehandedly,  damaged our relations with NATO, a post World War II treaty organization, absolutely vital to the maintenance of world peace.

(4) Trump has damaged our historically friendly relationships such as  Canada and Australia, and courted historic enemies like Russia and North Korea.

It is understood, that this listing  of Trump’s most egregious, impulsive and impetuous international acts, were either, performed stubbornly, against expert advise, or (no doubt, more frequently) done without consulting the available experts. This helps to explain the many White House resignations,of late, including, no less than, the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Trump’s utter contempt for experts, we suggest, may have deep pathological underpinnings.

The enumerated international stresses, as well as the plethora of disgraceful and illegal acts of  shameful domestic misbehavior,enumerated in earlier posts, of a President of the United States. would not exist if acceptable Presidential candidates been nominated.

It strains credulity to its extreme, to contemplate a reality in which  applicants for employment as a baby sitter, hamburger flipper at McDonald’s or a shoe salesman, are required to be initially interviewed and approved, prior to consideration for employment, but not applicants for the job of President of the United States.

We are optimistically confident, that American ingenuity is capable of devising a non-partisan or bi-partisan board  (ex. past presidents, academics) to serve as disinterested interviewers.


Post #314 Some Words From The Wise

It appears to us, that that a long awaited, but unarguably, inevitable, general consensus has been attained, to the effect that the current Presidential Administration has declined to the level of a sad parody of that institution’s historically respected past; and constitutes, by its erratic behavior in office, a manifest rebuke to our Founding Fathers’ express declarations and confident expectations.

It would not seem useful, to (again) recount the plethora of  ignorant, harmful and  embarrassing acts of incompetence, and the utterly shameful performance, professionally and personally, of our current President, an adolescent, former television game show host and real estate grifter; we have already a done so in previous posts, and confidently perceive, that they have by now, noticeably, earned the status of popular, legend. The disturbing question, for  the concerned citizen is, “What shall we do now?”

Stella Adler, a member of an internationally renowned acting family, and  founder of an iconic Actor’s Academy,  statement, relevant to our thematic question, “You only fail to learn, if you do not learn from failing,”  may, consistent with our steady, and still undiminished exercise of  innate optimism, be employed to see these “Dark Ages” of  the Trump Administration, an out of control,  Presidential three-ring circus, as a useful, albeit painful, learning experience.

Thomas Jefferson’s admonition, ” For a democracy to succeed, you need an educated and informed citizenry” often quoted by us, continues to be eternally relevant and constructive.

It is a matter of statistical public record, that the Presidential election of  2016, resulting in the surprising elevation of Donald J. Trump to the Oval Office, witnessed a total vote of little more than 50% of all eligible voters. This was inclusive of an unprecedented number of low information  people who traditionally, do not vote. The latter group, who unpredictably, did choose to vote, in he 2016 election, were citizens of such description who, disappointed with their disadvantaged lives, responded to a tactical  program of demagogic, false, “snake oil” promises of a Valhalla, financed by big business interests; who value deregulation and consequently, increased profits, above the health of their fellow citizens, and as well, the planet. The effective combination of large voting numbers of such uninformed people, together with the abysmally low voter turnout of regular voters, seemed to win the day for the unpredicted and unsuitable, candidate, Trump. The ensuing results are [sad and embarrassing, as well as, dangerous, current] history.

The lessons taught by this failure taking part in  our Democratic process, need merely to  be noted and relevantly addressed, to attain the needed solutions and prevent a recurrence of the problem.

The  statements of Edmund Burke, 18th Century Member of the British Parliament and noted political philosopher, best known for his famous admonition, “those who forget history are likely to repeat it.” [relevant, as well to our subject[  seem especially apt, on the subject of the Trump election. and democratic elections, in general, ” Those who know  virtuous liberty, cannot see it  disguised by incapable leaders on the sole authority of their mouth,”

We have chosen to see a shiny bright “light in the tunnel,” from the salutary results of the recent mid-term elections, and are determined to assume that such positive impetus will continue. Furthermore, full and informed, citizen participation in the elective process, has now, no doubt, been awarded its deserved level of  impactful respect, based upon the experience of the past Presidential election,  [especially, by those who have nourished their lives with wisdom, developed from the precious, and enjoyably, enriching, resource of reading good literature].




Post # 313 A PROSE REDUX OF POST 312

Based upon certain interested comments on the previous post, which was a metaphysical poem, [#312], “White, The Remorseless Color”, it may conceivably, be of use to revisit its  language and intended poetic conceit. “Metaphysics,” has as its primary meaning, the fundamental nature of reality, as between  mind and matter, substance and perceptive attribution. The adjective, “Remorseless,” of course, signifies lack of guilt or regret.

We have been schooled in the notion that “white” is a legitimate color, in fact. that white, itself, is a combination (“holy marriage”) of all colors. We accept that principle on the faith of scientists who declare that they can sustain that precept  by empirical evidence.

There appears to be a universal inclination of all modern homo- sapiens to associate the subject of emotions or significant feelings, as well as the subjective character of certain events, responsible for such feelings or emotions,  with the metaphor of color.

Thus, as illustrations, “I am feeling blue,” ” I was blue in the face,”  “She was green with envy,” He proved to be yellow on the battlefield,” His anger was white hot,” “He was feeling, in  the pink,” “He was in a blue funk,”  and, “recycling is a green activity.”

It appears, then, that “white” as a fusion of all of the colors of Earth’ s palette, and that individual colors, of that palette are metaphorically symbolic for certain associated feelings and events, “white,” as the universal conglomerate of all colors, may be considered a useless adjectival indicator of anything of importance, except snow and, perhaps, clean bed sheets.




Post # 312 (poesie)    WHITE, THE REMORSELESS COLOR

We are taught that white is a legitimate color,
Indeed, the holy marriage of all the earthly colors.
It seems to be a veritable symbol of everything,
And, therefore, empirically, a symbol of nothing.

Perhaps, early appearing to a suckling infant,
An irrefutable signature of life and nurturance
In the hospital, white, is a sure sign of care and cure-
Yet in the Japanese folkway, white means death,
Attend any Japanese funeral, or theatrical tragedy.

Writers see the white page as a new beginning, and
White bridal dresses signify purity and hope, while,
White picket fences demonstrate a family’s insularity,
And “white -wash,” generally, refers to unjust leniency.
It seems to be that only “white” shrouds cover homicides.

White snowfalls disguise the country scenery,
Covering up rocks and crevices, while, at the white season,
Grieving mourners are sadly reminded of recent losses.
White can, at whim, evoke scenic beauty or painful remorse, its
Evanescent power to evoke the eternal cornucopia of emotion.


[Leonard N. Shapiro, December 2018]



Post # 311 VIRTUE’S SONG

This blog space, throughout its brief posting history, has emphasized the profound phenomenon of our life-long (intimately, private) conversation with ourselves, which,  ultimately, results in an all-important, private internal portrait, of who we truly are.

The existence of such matters as, love, dislike, pride, shame, feelings of capability, or incapability, for example, are essentially, (if not fully) internal. Legitimate feelings of success are truly the product of an internal determination of self-fulfillment and self-realization; as opposed to an audit of accumulated  assets, or the adulation of the crowd.

We have often written of an ongoing and  life-long  intimate conversation within ourselves, [often articulated through emotional feelings, or reactions], responsive to events, which provides, among other things, the background for the determination of our judgments and our opinions.

At some point in the course of one’s developing maturity and life experience, he is able to  attain a relatively confident and fixed understanding, or personal perception, of his self- identity; a subjective decision, which, productively or not, accounts for his independent exercise of judgment and, generally, his associations. One’s characteristic identity and persona is affected, as well, by his interactions with members of his own community; the extent of such influence, of course, is dependent upon the individual’s relative degree of independence, or inclination to conformity. Fundamentally, we are of necessity, ethically and contractually, ( The “Social Compact”) bound to the accepted standards of morality of the society in which we live, and interact.

It is inarguable, that the sum total of one’s perception of past experiences, provides  the accumulated building materials of his developing “do it yourself” self-image, and personal sense of identity. Such vital, experiential, development is the determinant, of our choices of social relationships, political opinions, field of endeavor and, of the most crucial significance, our avowed behavioral  principles and moral choices.

We have consistently and strenuously maintained, that a positive self- image and a developed sense of moral  responsibility are the only truly reliable source of  sound and predictable morality. The consistently effective. actuating dynamic, governing our moral choices, is reliably the moral prerogative dictated by our personal self image. The purported motivation of  a system of rewards and punishments, whether religious, or secular, is a distraction from, and possibly, a discouragement of, intrinsic  morality; it is behaving well for a lollipop  or for an orchestra seat in heaven; additionally, shall we consider acts (good good or bad), that are done privately, or, alone in the dark?

We conclude with a illustrative, fictional, anecdote:

Let us suppose, that, in a moment of confusion, I steal your new, shiny and expensive fountain pen. To continue the fiction, let us further, believe that a couple of hours after the theft, I have such intense feelings of guilt and remorse, that I, tearfully, return the pen to you, in a state of misery and in an abject and sincere manner, express my heartfelt apologies and feelings of tearful remorse to you.

You, being a sensitive, empathetic and generous person, state, ” I forgive you completely; and,” Let’s pretend it never happened.” But I, myself, cannot forget the wrongful act although  I have secured your complete forgiveness; I have still to deal with the agonizing, personal thought, “What kind of person can I, in truth be, to have stolen the pen in the first place?”

True and lasting morality, like most important human phenomena, are internally generated, experienced and evaluated, and not  practiced in anticipation of future rewards or consequences.




It may, suddenly, strike one as a startling, although, actually not premature, realization that year 2018 is presently approaching its denouement. The eternal and inexorable, drip, drip, drip, of the faucet of  empirical time persists, independently, and in disregard of the varied cornucopia of annual events, whether celebratory or tragic.

The timeless, apparently identical, human persona, is perpetually and classically  confronted by the eternal issues, regardless of temporal context, social or technological advance. [Please note:We have, therefore, as a means of acquiring useful, mature perspective, emphatically recommended the reading of good literature, which is consistently demonstrative of the analogous human condition appearing in every age, similarly confronted by identical issues.]

On each  January 1, we ritually celebrate the passage of the previous year, and the arrival of a replacement, with  hopeful vistas of improvement, perhaps, in relationships, business, weight control, and other matters of personal  aspiration. We do so, despite the persistence of warfare in the world, natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, forest fires, and virtually, the entire world-wide theater of individual and societal events. We continue to witness greed and astronomically increasing profit-making of the few, and the hunger and dire need of the many. We have, more recently, experienced the phenomenon of an unfortunate “tribal” division in our nation; the existence of insular groups of  citizens sharing mutual agreement on contested issues, in anti-social relationship, with other like groups of disparate opinion (rather than the useful conduct of amicable and responsible debate, foreseen  and encouraged, by our Founding Fathers).

We  have, on a yearly basis, sadly witnessed in the media, mass shootings of innocent people, acts of national and international terror, crime and reactive criminal punishment, and by contrast, within the diverse human panorama, positive developments such as advances in medical science and the resultant increase in good health and longevity, developments in the general sciences, including computer science; we have seen  acts of admirable heroism, advances in civil rights and, very importantly, advances in general knowledge.

However, this past year, singularly and unprecedentedly, witnessed the opening of a veritable “Pandora’s Box” of  nightmarish and unspeakable horrors, directly resulting from America’s shocking elevation to the Oval Office, as stated, of an  ignorant , egotistic, and incapable, former television game- show host and real estate gonif.  It is  our understanding and belief that his surprising win, was enabled by the mass voting of a usually non- voting portion of the population, consisting of low-information, flat earth people, who were tactically energized by demagogic, snake-oil promises of Valhalla, financed by special, monied, anti-regulation interests, that cynically value profit above human and planetary health.

We have not, in our life-time, been witness to a comparable loss of face suffered by our nation, both, within our own country, and internationally, the proximate and indisputable cause of which, is the dishonorable persona, and entirely abject incapability, of the current American President.

Despite any and all egotistic fantasies about himself, our esteemed President has been obliged, defensively, to articulate a daily and steady stream of observable mendacity, [probably, for him, an innate skill]  and to disparage the ethical institution  of truth, in order to rearrange his personal perception of the “Tower of Babel”artless disgrace, which has defined his Presidency, and  his selected Administration. It is, undoubtedly for this reason, that he has emulated certain of his autocratic friends in attacking the responsible media for printing “false news.”

Among the rare instances in which Mr. Trump has been clear, are his positions against immigration ‘[ in a nation composed 100% by immigrants and  their progeny],  denial of the need for climate control, as demanded by the world’s accredited scientists, regulation of guns [in the face of  innumerable instances of mass and individual homicide], affordable health care for all Americans, rights of, and protection for, women, elimination of bigotry and racial prejudice, reform of our prison-industrial complex, regulations to assure the cleanliness of drinking water and food, and government assistance to the poor and needy. But we could go on.

We are fortunate, in this country, to have criminal laws which, apply to everyone, including the President. We did not attempt to recount the many serious offenses, Constitutional, Federal and State, regarding which, it would appear, to us, Mr. Trump is guilty; instead, we confidently, choose to trust in the investigative proceedings of the efficient and law abiding special counsel, who has been diligently investigating the acts of this “Mad Hatter” President. From our vantage point, findings of guilt are certainly to be expected, beginning with the violation of the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution, up to Treason.

The faucet eternally, and inexorably, drips on.



As if the daily barrage of bizarre and disgraceful acts of miscreant behavior, of the Trump three-ring circus, weren’t  disheartening enough, we have been exquisitely disturbed and acutely concerned, about certain sycophants in the Trump corner, who preoccupy themselves with the sophistic, and completely merit- less argument, relating to the proven misdeeds of President Trump, to the effect that are not “criminal” and therefore, not sanction-able. This argument reveals an atavistic, and truly reprehensible, disregard of the basic understanding, fundamental design and indeed, the existence, of the primal and existential institution of all homo sapiens– society.

There is an implicit agreement among members of society, to cooperate for the mutual benefit of all. The “Social Contract” theory of Rousseau, and other [of his] contemporary thinkers, recited the willing surrender to society, by the individual, of certain natural rights, in contractual exchange for the multiple benefits of living with others of that society,   i.e.,safety and joint security, food production, sense of belonging and identification, skills, mutual participation in joint enterprises, socialization and a great many other features, far preferable to living alone and being preoccupied with survival on a constant basis.

There is, accordingly, in all societal relationships, in addition to interdependence, societal interaction and security, the socially understood and unspoken [contractual] obligation, to comport oneself and behave in a manner, generally approved  and morally expected, by one’s society. Such basic moral demands and expectations are customarily the product of empirical wisdom, developed over the ages,  and are existentially necessary to societal continuance and advancement. Acceptance of the ample cornucopia of benefits derived from living in society, while privately entertaining a selfish disregard of its foundational ethic, is morally reprehensible.

The very existence of the Penal Law and its various enforcement arms, , are indications  of the  failure of societal  customs and traditions, at times, to regulate human behavior. The use of police and the Criminal Law amount to. disappointingly, last ditch efforts to control  wrongdoing.

The irresponsible, sophistical, and contrived defense on behalf of Trump, viz., that to date, he has not been formally charged with a criminal offense is contrived and vacuous. The President of the United States has been publicly demonstrated to be guilty of repeated, gross and intentional repudiation of any and all established societal norms and moral strictures; hardly an historic tribute to the Oval Office and the American people. To us it is, now morally, if not legally, sufficient, in view of its continuous, arrogant  and imperious repetitions to, constitute “wrongful ….”misdemeanors” under the U.S. Constitution.




The lavish “send-off,” in honor of deceased past President, George H.W. Bush, (“Bush Sr.”) was appropriately within the traditional context of funereal expectations, regarding a leader of our Republic. To our point, it also served as a memory of the persona and professional style of this deceased President, which was affirmatively consistent with historic expectations regarding the visibly, world-wide office, of the  American Presidency.

The style and poise, of the wielder of such implicit power, effectively serves as a significant catalyst in the effective execution of the American role in a consequential theatrical presentation, where, not only the nation, but the entire world, occupies good orchestra seats.  The exemplified expectations  relating to the office of the American Presidency, were visibly and consequentially satisfied, during the term of office of the late Bush, Sr.,  and notably well, in the  recent two terms of office, of President Barack H. Obama.

We feel it appropriate, in this note dedicated to the demonstration of visible “grace” in high political office, to make mention, [albeit,of a non-President] of the recently deceased,  Senator from the State of Arizona, John McCain. Senator McCain was an absolute avatar of grace and dignified service, and an exemplary proponent of rectitude and justice.

We had ventured the optimistic hope, perhaps prematurely, that the re-election of President Obama, was a noteworthy, positive indicator that, in the insular context of interaction between citizens of disparate beliefs, there would be a diminution in  mutual  antipathy, and an acceptance of the rational phenomenon that differences of opinion, can easily and naturally be, consistent with friendship. Such dreams of civic amity had already become virtually nightmarish.

Instead, we shockingly witnessed the elevation to the Oval Room, of an ignorant, egotistic, former T.V.  game show host, and real estate grifter, lacking any modicum of grace, but, to the contrary, serving as a living explanatory definition of the epithet, “a bull in a china shop”; in fact, we feel that Donald J. Trump carries an [oral] china shop with him, wherever  he happens to go, nationally or  internationally.

More devastating than the constant embarrassment caused by Trump’s evident lack of capacity, or understanding of the role of  President, is his regular mendacity, his inconsistent impulsivity, egocentric behavior and express bigotry. These have had polarizing effects on our nation, exacerbating already  existing differences, and creating still  further insular division. Distressing and truly frightening, is his policy of waging all- out war on the basic virtue and existential necessity, of [the standard of] truth, itself; while, in autocratic style, attacking the responsible media. For the first time in remembered history, Trump has caused the perception of the  revered institution of the American Presidency, to be transmogriphied into a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.”

Consistent with our eternal optimism, we remain hopeful that the three public, shining examples of human grace,  exemplified by the Presidential  term of Office of  decedent, Bush, Sr., recently reviewed in detail, through the many media outlets, the exemplary service, and unruffled dignity and grace, of President Barack Obama, and the dignified grace of the late Senator John McCain, will be the templates for future governmental service.

At the very minimum, it us hoped that these three exemplars of mature character, will, at the very least, serve the purpose of denying the possibility of  normalized perception as to of the many disreputable features of the era of Donald Trump; which are lacking in any empirically rational claim to “grace.”







Post # 308 THE LEVELER

This week, America and the world, witnessed a lavish funereal tribute, as  historically and traditionally appropriate, regarding the decease of a past President of the United States. The deceased President, George H.W. Bush, ( Bush “Sr,”) will be especially remembered for his  dedicated service to the nation, having, in his younger years, distinguished himself by his recognized, heroic military record , and thereafter, service as head of the C.I.A., prior to his term of office. as President of the United States.

The decorous and truly royal style of the dress- uniformed, military  pomp and ceremony, appeared to rival even the royal splendor of an English Monarchical passing. The death, in addition to the natural grief caused to the family of the deceased President, is, intrinsically, a national event, hence the appropriateness of the extensive and dramatic ceremony.  It needs remembering that the event celebrated the past public  life of the deceased President, as well as a satisfied  historical precedent. The event was a ceremonial “Shiva” for the benefit of all persons affected, in one fashion or another, in the American public, and, of course, much more importantly, recognized the private grief of his familial  survivors.

In a nation which has legally and philosophically, dedicated itself to the reality of the established principle, first declared by our founders, that “all men are created equal” [equal at birth, i.e., no class distinctions] it unarguably follows, that all men are equal in  death. The permanent and irreversible departure of a recognized and familiar presence in one’s life scene, is not only tragic, but truly disorienting; full adjustment, if  possible, is eventual and requires a difficult flexible adjustment to reality.

In the usual situation, the decease of a loved one, is accorded the ceremonial trappings, customary to the religious or ethnic tradition, into which he was [fortuitously] born. In the case of all deceased private citizens, the pomp and ceremony, applicable to a Presidential funeral service, is not expected, necessary or appropriate. The publicly delivered eulogy concerning the deceased, in addition to acknowledging the fact of his death,  will traditionally recount, to the attending mourners, as factually applicable, his positive acts and reverenced accomplishments attained during his lifetime.

It is heart- braking, in this note, on the sad, subject of mortality  to include and embrace, the virtually countless, unidentified, or unaffiliated deaths, interred, without the benefit of ritual or ceremony,  by the City of New York, at a site called “Hunt’s” island; in some literature, venues of this sort are referred to as “Potter’s” Field. Whoever these unmourned,  non-celebrated remains  of homo sapiens, may have been, we are obliged to acknowledge that they, at one time, enjoyed the  identical nature-given spark which affords life and animation to all of humanity, from a publicly reverenced, deceased American President, to the unacknowledged and unceremonious remains of an unidentified pauper.