Post # 400 MARKETING GOVERNANCE

It might aid in the restoration of some much- needed rational perspective, to set aside, for the moment, the three-ring circus, or, media soap- opera, of daily national politics, to examine the fundamental tenets of proper governance of a democratic republic. The populist dynamics, of personality, age, forensic skill and physical appearance, are, simply put, irrelevant and harmful distractions, from the rational criteria, applicable to the selection of a candidate for the American Presidency. What may be lost, in the misleading fog of partisan litigation, is the voter’s apt consideration, of the definition and purpose of the office to which the contending parties aspire, enabling the vital determination as to whether an aspirant for the office, appears to possess the relevant personal characteristics for its fulfilment.

In essential principle, the holder of our highest office, must possess the characteristics of an adequate educational background, sufficient wisdom, moral principle, and adherence to the rules of law and the American concept of fair justice; as well as have the important qualities of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, and a responsiveness, to the legally expressed will of the nation.

It is apparent that we are currently under the despotic “rule” of a chief executive, who may be accurately depicted as, ignorant, arbitrary, unjust, inadequate in governance and policy making, prejudiced, flamboyantly immoral, unengaged with and non-responsive to the public will, corrupt and intentionally abusive of the powers of the office. Proper governance can be restored only, by supplanting this unprecedented source of national embarrassment, with a suitable successor; one that exemplifies the relevant and essential characteristics, as above enumerated.

Consistent with the history and founding purpose of our Democratic Republic, the office of the highest executive is properly, and historically, to be vested in a legitimate leader, who is an able and just governor of the Nation; a “President,” as opposed to a” Ruler.” Our responsibility and mandatory duty, at this time, is to select (and elect) a just and capable leader. The sense of this writing, is to comment on such selection.

It is not the everyday citizen, who possesses the gravitas and desire, together with the opportunity, to run for the office of President. The election, of course, being national, the candidate must be one that is generally recognizable by the American public. The purpose of a Presidential campaign, is to further familiarize the nation of voters, with the person, character and political leaning of the would-be President. This enterprise requires a huge political investment of people, money and logistics. It is usual, therefore, for a candidate for the Presidency, to be selected from experienced and well-known national office holders. But, what, after all, are the criteria, for the proper selection of such an individual?

Suitability for governance, aside from such requirements of popular familiarity and financial means, is essentially identical to our standard of worth, regarding the American citizen. From its inception, this blogspace has been largely dedicated, to the advancement of mankind, by the development and exercise, of his ability to reason; an ability nurtured by reading, involvement in the arts, humanities and sciences. Mankind has, over the ages, by means of such pursuits, appropriately expressed its gratitude to Evolution, for gifting homo sapiens with an advanced brain, and the consequent potential for knowledge and the attainment of mature perspective. The initial, and prime criterion, then, for a capable Presidential candidate (identical to that for a valuable citizen) is knowledge and intelligence. The disturbing absence of these prime vital qualities, is readily discernable in the present, incapable, office holder.

We would maintain that the balance of the necessary criteria for Presidential candidacy, are identical to the qualities of a good parent, mature judgment, fairness, moral compass, and purposeful direction. The successful government (management) of a family, would, without fail, evince these qualities. The President should be an avatar to those who aspire to be good citizens and respected members of society, and, as well, be seen as a respected national leader by other world nations.  The quality of celebrity, or showmanship, are the least desirable features in the selection of an acceptable leader, as clearly illustrated by the despicable actions and behavior of the presently sitting President.

In previous writing, we have expressed our displeasure and concern, at the existence of such a large number of Democratic aspirants for nomination. As they are all from the same party, it may be assumed that they espouse somewhat similar platforms (the differences discerned, to date, are only those that seem to differ in detail and in the nuanced manner of their articulation). As stated, this reduces the necessity for choice, to irrelevant, populist type criteria, voice, general appearance, feistiness, aggressive proclivities and other misleading and irrelevant qualities, similar to those which, sadly, led to Trump’s success.

A proper choice for candidate, would be one who possesses appropriate criteria for Chief Executive, wisdom, education, experience, law abidance, transparency, receptiveness, fairness and equity; rather than one that daily puts on a “dog and pony show,” as diversion, for a bored and apathetic, television audience.

-p.

Post # 399     A LONG TIME AGO, IN BROOKLYN

From time to time, images of our remote, early childhood recur, unexpectedly, in our consciousness, in cinematically clear recollection, as if projected upon a movie screen of contemporary consciousness. Many poignant recollections of long ago, then seem vividly colorful and almost palpable.

The venue of our early childhood, evinced an ambiance of Eastern European Ashkenazi, immigrants, indigent, but, happily relieved, to feel safe, and free, at last, of their former tenuous residence, including the recurring threat of community pogroms.

Most lived in modest apartment houses, spoke some halting English, but primarily, Yiddish, in addition to what we now identify as “Yinglish,” a heavily accented mélange of Yiddish and patois English. As an illustration: when there was an especially cool draft, in the residential apartment, someone would utter, “Farmach der vinder.” Farmach, in German and Yiddish, legitimately, is “close”; “der vinder” is an illegimate corruption of the English word, “window.” (the Yiddish word is “fenster”) Another colorful example of less than Elizabethan eloquence, was the request, “Spill me in a glass water” or, acceptably, “Give me a glass of water.” This was the circumstance of the times’ ambient lingua franca.

It was a community of poor, hard- working, heavily accented, European immigrants who lived in a sub-society, in which folks knew each other, by name, occupation and previous European background. Gossip and worry were the two main media of exchange; no one was ever comfortably secure, in his knowledge that, as a Jew, living (again) in what was perceived as a Christian country, was he ultimately, safe.

In our childhood years, we heard news of the initial frightening successes, of Adolf Hitler and the Axis; those of suitable age went off to fight in World War II. Our parents, coming from, what can only be described, as lives of regular trauma from, White Russia, (now, “Belarus”) and (Lithuania, now, “Vilnius”), were not unique, in their practice of prudently stocking up on canned foods, against the fear of, the all too familiar possibility, of wartime food shortage.

Our parents had emigrated, separately, to America, each having left behind a tenuous existence, marked by fear, bitter cold and extreme poverty. Our mother came over with a sister, leaving behind relatives and parents; our father, sixteen years old, was obliged to escape from the Soviet draft (knowing that Jewish soldiers were, predictably, sent to serve in Siberia, and were not expected to return.) It was learned, subsequently, that the Jewish inhabitants of our father’s town, of all ages, who remained, were lined up by the Lithuanians (not the Nazi’s) and heartlessly, mowed down, with an old Czech machine gun.

Each adult member of the Brooklyn Community in which we lived, during those days, had left behind a life that enjoyed sufficient dramatic potential, to be an apt subject for a dark novel by Tolstoy; but in the company of other previously traumatized new Americans, went about their modest lives, asking for little in the way of diversion (except an occasional neighborhood movie, or a rather tiring excursion to Rockaway Beach), only too glad to be alive, and hopefully, currently employed.

Their limited facility in spoken English, usually underwent significant improvement, as a consequence of their children’s attendance at school. Academic dedication and excellence were strictly demanded, of children, by all parents, and as a consequence, many of the immigrant children became successful, some, even world renowned. Children were well cared for, and cherished, responsibly, as offspring; however, most of these formerly traumatized parents, while quite concerned with the survival, physical health and education of their young, were unfamiliar with the concept of comforting nurturance and emotional oversight. These children would have to go it alone, through their own maturing stages, without the assisted counselling of their, virtually, PTSD impacted parents. Many children became strong, self-sustaining personalities, because of it, but by no means, all.

The incident to which we would refer, occurred in a specific interaction, between us and our father, during the early period of the Second World War. News, in those days, was, of course transmitted by radio, and reported in newspapers. We were in the company of our father, when the radio newscaster excitedly announced, a bold threat by Adolph Hitler. At the time, Germany had been raining down a virtual hell on London, by means of its newly developed, V-2 Rockets. The newscaster’s announcement was that Hitler had just proclaimed his intention to target such V-2 Rockets, to hit the East Coast of the United States. Our reaction, understandably, was spontaneous, fear and alarm. For a great many years, we had been startled and confused, at our father’s, differing reaction, amounting to a sardonic, responsive laughter at the receipt of such news. Was it, we guessed, perhaps possible, that he was expressing, by such laughter, confident doubt, as to the practical feasibility of Hitler’s ambitious, lethal threat? In any event, we were, for a considerable time, puzzled at our father’s apparently bizarre response to the reported, ominous threat.

It was a great many years after that incident, and at a time, considerably after the unexpected and sudden death of our father; and, notably, consistent with the further development of our mature circumspection and empathy, that we were able to attain an understanding of the significance of our late father’s sardonic laughter. It was not an expression of doubtful derision, concerning Hitler’s bold statement of impassioned and hateful intention; indeed, it was far from any kind of humorous reaction, at all. Rather, as we came to understand it, it was, in reality, an ironic, perhaps, ultimately, frustrated, outcry, to the effect that, regardless of all my (our) sacrifices and (foolhardy) hope, we are, under any and all circumstances, eternally destined to experience existential danger.

There are tears and a bit of shame with each recollection.

-p.

Post # 398  SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY (Editorial)

One has only to consult the American newsreels, movies, Broadway shows and radio broadcasts of the 20th Century, to observe, an accurate, public demonstration of America, as a model of rectitude, and, effectively, a moral avatar, to the World. An exception, however, to its perceived virtue, was its unfortunate struggles in the area of civil rights, and recognition of full equality for its black citizens. The latter, as known, has been in the process of difficult, but steady, progress toward resolution, as have its other atavistic prejudices.

America was to the World, and itself, a public picture of an ideal National community, as cinematically portrayed and exemplified by, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland (Wizard of Oz), Gene Kelley, The Lone Ranger, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper;  one of strong and determined men, manifestly dedicated to justice, and women a symbolizing virtuous, chaste femininity and principled and dedicated motherhood.

Our nation, in the 19th Century, despite its two World Wars and a sporadically, uncertain economy, nevertheless, dedicatedly, pursued a steady route of democratic advancement. Laws and regulations were promulgated seeking improved working conditions, pure drinking water, healthy foods and medicines, as well as improved housing for the poor. As expected, in any Democratic Republic, there has existed contested issues, regarding policy, National and International; but the unquestioned shared premise, that the differing parties, desired the good of the nation, meant a vibrant and secure nation. As a result of its dedication and hard work, America was the victor in the two World Wars, representing the historic victory of freedom over oppression. Since the time of its victory in the Second World War, America has been recognized as the symbol and champion of freedom and World justice.

Due to its intrinsic promise of equality of opportunity, the Nation  continued to prosper. Its policy of compassionate capitalism, has, morally improved the living conditions of working class families, and has resulted in labor peace, in addition to commercial success. Accordingly, America has always been a desirable safe harbor for oppressed immigrants, and the land of opportunity for many others, who have emigrated to share in, and become part of, an enterprising nation, itself,  composed of immigrants and their progeny.

Until barely three years ago, with the shocking, retrogressive and unfortunate ascendency of Donald J. Trump, to the Oval Office, our Nation, albeit, not quite perfect, had been regarded, by the other Nations of the World, as a symbol of admirable democracy and fair republican rule. However, the Nation’s standing, at present, and its contemporaneous perception by other countries, friends and foes, alike, is that of a Nation, without consistent principle, or policy, and a complete moral enigma.

The despicable, Mr. Trump, is a frightening and disheartening symbol and an accurate representative, of a previously undisclosed presence, in our country, of a great many individuals, who can only be described as its “underbelly.” Moreover, and terrifyingly, the great number of such dark creatures who had been  powerless, because they were diverse and anonymous, now have Mr. Trump and his sycophants, as a centrally identifiable and unifying leader. Trump claims that he is a “uniter” while his opponents, see him as a “divider. It is our view, that Trump has earned gold medals in both functions; a uniter, of our nation’s vermin, and a divider of the dedicated American citizen. Until the advent of Trump, the various members of the underbelly of our nation, were separate, sub rosa and powerless; since Trump has become their nucleus and symbolic leader, they are a congealed conglomerate of hateful and lethal, un-American racists; effectively, and incredibly, a Presidentially approved, armed and lethal cult of modern-day Nazi’s. Their acts of intentional, mass homicide, recently, are so frequent, that, reportedly, many newspapers have moved the accounts of such, horrendous events, from the first, to the third page. The reader may well ask, where have all of these gun- toting, sordid, degenerates, suddenly, come from?  The answer is, that they have been eternally ensconced within our communities; but until Trump, independent, unknown and virtually impotent.

We have, all these years, unknowingly, been sleeping with the enemy. This situation is in metaphor, akin, to taking a pleasant walk in the beautiful countryside, and casually turning over a flat rock. The beetles, worms, maggots and the filthy mold, we would observe, were always there; and best left under the rock.

Please vote responsibly.

-p.

Post # 397  OUR THEORY: TRANSMUTATION

In the immediately preceding post, (#396) we endeavored to demonstrate, that the purported citizen’s “right to own a gun” is neither granted, nor even mentioned, in the U.S. Constitution. This is so, despite the tactically, distorted misreading of the Second Amendment, by the cynical and irresponsible profit- making, gun lobby. Aside from occasional sports, hunting and target shooting, we were perplexed, until just now, concerning the motivation for the widely expressed desire for ownership of such death- dealing instruments. A knife, for example, can be used for cutting string or slicing cheese, for hobby crafts, such as whittling or model making, for sharpening pencils, cooking, for cutting vegetables and fruit, and so many other peaceful uses; a gun can only be used to kill.

In this modest essay, we intend to specifically refer to the troublesome question, dealing with the underlying reason, for normally socialized American citizens, to elect to own a death-dealing weapon. After some considerable thought, we believe that we have arrived at an original, and valid, answer.  We should express the reservation, however, that this writing, and our proposed theory, are based, upon our own subjective perception and consequent deduction, rather than on any formal study or authoritative source.

Initially, we do not find it contemporaneously relevant, or useful, to consider the proposed, American period of the gun- toting, wild west, as an acceptable or satisfactory explanatory antecedent. So much time has elapsed, and such exponential technological and societal change has taken place over the last two centuries, as to, effectively, relegate the period of The Lone Ranger, or the movie characters portrayed by Clint Eastwood, to the historic past. Carrying a gun when our country was new and lawless, is distantly irrelevant.

We are told that, while the United States contains only 5% of the world population, it harbors 42% of the world’s privately owned guns. We have personally observed, that the belief in the undisturbed freedom of gun ownership, and non-intervention or regulation, by government, has become a subject of quasi- religious fervor, among gun owners. Convenient myths have been perpetuated by the gun lobby, particularly, the NRA, that Americans have the natural right to own guns; which right, they tactically, and falsely, claim, is inalienable, like the right to free speech and the ownership of private property. We have, previously, shown this to be false, and would like, in this writing, to examine the perceived need, by certain citizens, for a gun.

The emotionally articulated basis, is, eternally, the protection of the gun owner and his family. This neurotic perception of being under daily threat, may well evince, in some instances, a psychological dynamic, possibly ranging from basic neurotic insecurity, sense of power, or Freudian potency, through classic paranoia. The large sub-society of ardent gun owners, have created an insular interest group, which, mutually, shares a fear of “the other.” This, unfortunate state of affairs, is perpetuated by their insular, fraternal interaction, stoked by a bigoted President, and favored by the various white supremacy adherents. (There are, reportedly, 310, 000,000 privately owned guns in the United States.) Reportedly, the objective facts are, that guns are very rarely needed, or ever used for self- defense, but are responsible for many suicides, murder and home accidents. This is a very far cry from the asserted virtues of protection and safety.

Following the expenditure of some serious thought on the subject, we have developed our own, nuanced opinion, regarding the question of motivation, for gun ownership, posed by this writing, inclusive of the prevailing fear and threat “felt” by gun owners. It is our general perception, from the media, that many passionate gun advocates, are significantly inclusive of people who publicly espouse (or privately harbor), bigoted feelings, toward Americans with brown or black skin color. It would seem that it is the latter groups of people, that are feared, (albeit, such fear is unsupported by empirical fact). We have concluded, that the gun owner’s sense of danger is dynamically and clinically, a mental projection, a “transmutation,” and a product of his own prejudicial feelings. Ardent gun owners have manufactured their own unsupported context of threat and danger, by the dynamics of the transmutation of their irrational prejudice, and hatred, into the neurotic suggestion, that guns are existentially necessary to protect themselves (from their own neurotically imagined, self- manufactured, sense of threat.)

-p

Post # 396   THE HOMICIDAL PRETENSE

We can think of no more perversely false yet, popularly successful, item of propaganda than the bold assertion that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, grants to every American citizen, the personal right to own a gun. We are dismayed to observe that some of those who have vociferously stated their opposition to unregulated ownership of these death dealing instruments, appear to tacitly accede to the possibility that the Second Amendment is, conceivably, a statement of the right of the individual citizen to own guns; it is not.

It is our assumption, that many members of the gun lobby, are aware that the general assertion is untrue, but for self-serving reasons of political power and profit, cynically claim otherwise.   The fraudulent propaganda program of the NRA, has additionally and irresponsibly, been extended to a demonstration of faux outrage, at the mere suggestion of reasonable gun regulation.

We would discourage the ceding of any veracity, whatsoever, to the false propaganda, disseminated daily, by the gun lobby [whom, we charge with, effectively, being accessories in the many mass shootings of late]. Its false and irresponsible assertion of a purported right, of all American citizens, to own deadly weapons, is an intentionally deceitful misreading of the meaning, historical context and genuine intention of the Second Amendment. To reiterate, it is our belief, that such publicized, tactical misreading of the Second Amendment and the mendacity of the gun lobby, is an intentional (and sadly, successful) deception, strategically, practiced upon the public.

Anyone who takes the modest time required, to cursorily, review the American history at the time of the addition of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, will be made especially aware, of the falsity of the gun lobby’s “snake-oil,” widely disseminated, version of the truthful history and the Amendment’s content and purpose. We choose, in our recitation of the accurate history and purpose, of said Amendment, to refer to the explanation of the learned, Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens:

“The Second Amendment was adopted out of the specific concern, that a standing National Army might pose a threat to the security of the separate States” and so, permitted the maintenance by each State, of an “armed Militia” (the “People,”) to be independent and separate from the Federal Army.

Any tactically strained morphing of the essence and accurate intention of the Second Amendment, into an outlandish declaration of the right of all citizens to own weapons is, demonstrably and empirically, false. The subject of the individual citizen, was entirely irrelevant to the Amendment. In truth, there is a total absence of any constitutional language, whatsoever, (fairly and rationally read), to the effect that “citizens” have any right to possess armaments.

It would not be useful, here, to attempt to enumerate the plethora of horrific mass shootings, in parks, schools, churches, synagogues, parking lots and other bloody venues, at which innocent people were gunned down (a great many, being young children), by deranged people, intoxicated with the existential properties of guns. These murderous incidents have been so frequent, that one well known media personality has remarked: “such reports have gone from the front page of newspapers, to the third.”

As stated, we find it especially frustrating, that, the truth that there is no constitutional right to own weapons, by virtue of the Second Amendment, is, conceivably, understood by all contending sides of the controversy, as any literate person can easily discover. Yet, the gun lobby’s propaganda, is so successful, that many anti-gun citizens seem to tolerate the intentional misreading and misapprehension of the Amendment and, by necessity, are relegated to offer other (usually meritorious) objections to the general ownership of such death-dealing instruments.  One such cogent argument is the absence of any necessity, in any event, for a civilian to own automatic weapons which are truly, instruments of mass destruction and overkill. It would be absurd for people who would seek to rationalize their improper ownership of such wholesale death dealing weapons, as self-protection. The possession of such weapons can only be the delight of a paranoid fantasy, in the excited nocturnal, dreams of a psychopath.

The gun lobby, and its sycophants, not unlike the big industrial polluters of the atmosphere, who unmistakably, and psychopathically, appear to value short term profits, above human life.

In our empirical experience, it is the law abiding citizen who is truly in need of protection, from the imminent danger of gun owners, who (have been induced to) believe that they are constitutionally entitled to, and required to own, death dealing weapons, for their personal protection.

-p.

Post # 395  PERENNIAL BUGBEARS (Redux)

Those who are regular readers of this blogpost, may be familiar with our personal fascination with words; especially, those that are seldom used in modernity, and are legitimate antiques of past forensic expression. Many are colorful, nostalgic and, when relevant, irresistible; especially when they have the attributes to be forensically expressive. One such valuable antique is the word, “bugbear” which some lexicographers would attribute, as meaning “a source of obsessive fear and loathing.” This note is another attempted swipe at the purported epithet of the word “socialism,” often used by ignorant, or, tactical politicians and citizens, as a veritable “bugbear” in an attempt to denigrate certain Democratic aspirants for the Presidential candidacy.

“Socialism,” simply is a politico-economic theory, which favors the belief in governmental ownership of all of the Nation’s industry and commerce. It is believed by many to be an offshoot of Communism, or Marxism, which goes further and eliminates the need for government. We would, confidently defy, any, tactically cynical or ignorant, user of the term, to identify any Democratic candidate who believes in governmental ownership and control of all industry and commerce as a better alternative to capitalism, the private ownership of industry and business by citizen entrepreneurs.

It is an empirical fact that all responsible, moral and empathic government programs, to aid the needy, assist the disabled, furnish retirement benefits, afford unemployment and disability relief, furnish health services, conduct an efficient mail system, protect the health of citizens regarding clean water, food and safe medicine, provide disaster relief, civil safety, and innumerable other such salubrious programs, are all Congressionally approved, governmental programs. The intended conceit, and political terminology, for the foregoing is, “compassionate capitalism.” The extension of relief programs by the American Government, is evidence of the empathically moral side of Capitalism, and a major reason why it continues to flourish and have adherents. Society, in the absence such assistance and services, would be a reprise of the cruel exercise of the laissez-faire (natural law) philosophical policies of early English industrial revolution of free enterprise (Adam Smith) leading to human squalor and tragedy, existing in Victorian London’s East Side, as brilliantly and shockingly revealed in the novels of Charles Dickens.

There is not a hint of ownership in America’s governmental programs, and the suggestion of “socialism” is tactical, false and pernicious propaganda.

It is an undisputable, and publically evident fact, that all those who use the word “socialist” as a tactical bugbear, “dog whistle” epithet, or who aspire to be aficionados of that political-economic theory, are all nonetheless, willing and grateful participants in, and recipients of, benefits of, many all of the foregoing programs. The recently promised extension of such assistance, to the area of college tuition or health insurance, for the further economic relief of many of our citizens, are suitable to, and well within, the tenets of compassionate capitalism.

Candidates who (perhaps, naively) self- identify as Democratic-Socialists, thereby proclaiming their moral intention, to further ease the plight of our society’s lower economic class, and to champion a fairer distribution of wealth, are, admirably, seeking a more just and equitable Nation, and certainly not one, that is opposed to the Free Enterprise System. [The cynical manipulation of the poorly educated, flat- earth, people is, discernably again, in full swing.]

-p.