Post # 439 DIRECTIONAL DYSLEXIA

This writing, constitutes the second, of a two mini-essay series; the previous writing, the first, being the immediately preceding one, # 438, “The Certified Check.” We had, over the year, earnestly attempted to refrain from comment on the politics of the current President, and his sycophants, but recently felt duty bound, to publish these two notes.

There would seem to be little utility in a repetition of the details, concerning the disgraceful and incompetent performance of Donald J. Trump, as Chief Executive; his adolescent-neurotic-egocentric persona, his reductionist ignorance, systemic mendacity, bigotry and illegal profiteering. If detailed elucidation is desired, we would recommend a reference to the immediately preceding writing.

As we proceed, closer to the next Presidential election, it is hoped (perhaps, optimistically) that the true American persona, its values, traditional goals, stewardship and moral code, will be restored by a new, dedicated American President; one, capable of repair of the Nation’s, embarrassingly skewed reputation, caused by the leadership of the current President. It seems to us, that every informed and rational American would be desirous of the succession of the present Head of State, by a more capable and admirable leader. The theme, and ardent purpose of this writing, is to suggest, that the Democratic Party, is going about satisfying that aspiration, in the wrong way, by an unwise and foolish route, one, that, conceivably, might even, be in aid of the unimaginable possibility of a re-election of this flawed and immoral individual. The intended destination is, of course, desirable but the route, tragically erroneous.

It is our observation, that many of our political pundits, have pursued the desired defeat of Trump, and the election, of a desirable Chief Executive, by a sadly mistaken route, and that the self-proclaimed, “experts,” are suffering from a diagnosable case of, directional dyslexia, [chronic bad sense of direction]. The subject is existentially, far more important than the popularized case of “Wrong Way Corrigan,” a pilot, who mistakenly flew back to Ireland, rather than, as expected, to the point of his original departure, Long Beach, California. But, we feel that the most prominent, historical example of directional dyslexia, was that of Christopher Columbus (of reprehensible memory), who was commissioned by the lunatic, Royal couple, Ferdinand and Isabella, of Spain in 1492, to discover a direct water route to the Indies. Columbus, with the assistance of ample navigators of note, and the daily, fervent prayers of many, accompanying and on- board, devout, priests, ended up in Haiti, West Indies.

We have a great and uncomfortable concern with the “savants” and the “gurus” in the Democratic Party, (justifiably) desirous of the replacement, of this disagreeable and truly dangerous president, but, erroneously, flying the Corrigan route, or re-sailing the route of Columbus, by their uniform, public recommendation, that the criterion for the selection of a candidate is a “candidate that can beat Trump.” This is, in fact, the worst possible standard (or route) for the selection of the Democratic Candidate; it is foolhardy, contrary to reason, and cannot withstand the most elemental of critiques.  For purposes of analytical clarity, we will separate the two categories of such blatant error, and, thereafter, offer our proposed route to the desired destination:

  • Trump’s ignorance, immoral behavior and dishonesty is adequately known by every American. Do the democratic pundits and advisors appraise the American population, at a level so low, that Trump’s incompetence, ignorance and immorality are not sufficiently recognized by them, as adequate reasons for his replacement? Since it does not require especial insight, for the voting public to be aware of his unfitness and acts of immorality, why is it, then, considered a major challenge to defeat him?
  • The ill -advised standard, “Someone who can defeat Trump,” is not only, a clear expression of an insulting appraisal, and lack of respect for the American voter, but, as well, gives to Trump a tactical advantage, regarding his stubborn, reductive, tribal supporters. In general, It is a foolish and blind approach to an existentially important problem, in a divisive, poorly informed and reductionist population. Further, it also keeps Trump, (happily, for him) in the spotlight, a neurotically necessary matter, for that egotistic monomaniac; but, worst of all, egregiously concentrates the historical importance of an American election, on him, personally.

Trump is, by no means, the prominently featured issue, as erroneously portrayed; America is!

Our, clear-eyed, rational solution, is to select an (attractive) Presidential Nominee, one, most importantly, who supports the traditional issues and basic principles, that built the modern Democratic party, including: Equal rights, fair employment, wage and labor policy, safe working conditions, gender equality (including the right of every woman to govern her own body), regulations assuring the safety and health of food, medicine, and  drinking water, concern for the environment, recognition of planetary climate problems and ameliorative programs, reasonable gun control, infrastructure improvement programs, assurances as to separation of Church and State, reasonable and compassionate immigration policy, criminal policy review, and other such societally, and individually, beneficial programs. These are among the desired needs of the American people, and constitute, legitimate reasons for Candidate support.

The alternative is to convert the most salient and invaluable feature, of our Republican Democracy, the popular vote, into a cheap game show, a subject which our despicable President understands, and, one in which, he may have, some limited proficiency.

-p.

ADDENDUM: Because of our overwhelming concern on this subject, we will elect to throw all considerations of modesty to the winds, and request the reader to consider the sharing of this mini-essay with others.

Post # 438  THE CERTIFIED CHECK

It is earnestly recommended, that one view the evident, “three-ring circus,” constituting the Congressional Inquiry, [into the question of the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump], from the sole, relevant standpoint of American Civics and Constitutional Law, rather than irrelevant and irresponsible partisan politics.

CHECKS AND BALANCES:

It is common knowledge, that the Founders’ express intention was to create Republican Democracy, consisting of three separate branches of Government, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. This conceit, known as “The Separation of Powers,” was expressly intended to avoid the dangerous and impractical situation, where total political power over the new Republic, was concentrated in the hands of one group, or individual. As additional precaution, each branch, when warranted, was granted, the constitutional right, to restrain (“check”) the acts of the other.

James Madison, expressed the prevailing view of the forward-looking, Founders, by stating that the Separation of Powers provision is intended to prevent any individual or group, from the abuse of power. It is to be [relevant to this writing], noted that precedential decisions and applicable standards, of the U.S. Supreme Court, in cases of alleged infringement [of the Separation of Powers Clause], by the Executive branch, have been considerably stricter, as compared to the other two branches. The ultimate check, appears to be, Section 4 of, Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which grants to Congress, the authority to impeach and remove the President, and (certain other, enumerated officials) upon a determination that he has “engaged in treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” This impactful act, we have termed, “The Certified Check.”

BACKGROUND, PRESIDENTIAL PERSONA, DONALD J. TRUMP:

As a legally irrelevant, but, clearly contextual, background statement, the presently pending impeachment inquiry and proceeding, against, President Donald J. Trump, relates to an unique individual, occupying the office of the  Presidency, who has chosen to, disloyally and intimately, befriend the traditional enemies of America, and avidly, woo their autocratic and despotic heads of State, [especially, Putin of Russia], while, contemporaneously, making  enemies of America’s traditional Allies, including NATO; who has greatly, and wrongfully, enriched himself and family, by the substantial, egregious, misuse of his office as President, forbidden under the Emolument Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits President from (shamefully)  profiting from the Office of President; who, regularly and undemocratically, attacks America’s Free  Press, and other media, while personally exhibiting his regular, daily campaign of mendacity, (“fake news”) ; who has disparaged education and learning and  has acted on a consistent basis, detrimental to the interests of the Nation, including withdrawal from the Paris Accords, disparaging the existential subject of climate change and its consequent damage to our planet; who has wink- encouraged bigotry, and violence; who has, incapably performed acts of incomparable ignorance and inconsistency, causing confusion among International World Leaders and great embarrassment, and decline in esteem to the Nation; who has publicly committed acts of personal immorality of every stripe, including  fraudulent cover-ups of multiple, known assignations with prostitutes, and who has, generally demonstrated a complete, and intentional, boastful disregard, of all normal standards of societal morality and decency.

THE IMPEACHMENT GROUNDS:

The grounds wisely and tactically selected by Congress, for their current proceeding,  [among potentially, others, including the collusion with  Russia (Putin) for his treasonous,  assistance in his election ( ref.: Mueller Report), lying to Congress and the authorities, multiple violations of the Emolument, Clause, of the Constitution, by wrongfully and unconstitutionally, using the Office of President to greatly enrich himself]  amount to horrendous acts of immorality and duplicity, specific felonies, enumerated in the Impeachment Clause, namely, bribery, as, as well as extortion. This malevolent scenario commences with the unusually intimate relationship between Trump and Russia’s cunning head mobster, Vladimir Putin. It should be especially observed, at this point, that all U.S. Intelligence Agencies, have uniformly found that Russia interfered with our past election, in aid of Trump’s unexpected victory.

It is our, responsibly considered, opinion that the ultimate charge of “Treason,” would be applicable and appropriately imposed, based on Trump’s proven collusion with Putin [ termed by some, as the “Bromance”], which was ongoing, as shown by the facts, set forth below, upon which the present charges against him, are based. It appears to us that the wily and conniving Putin, has played Trump, the ego-centric adolescent, like a flute.

Those, familiar with current events, know that Putin’s Russia, illegally annexed a sizeable portion of Ukraine and has been violating international law, and morality, by waging an aggressive and brutal war against that country.  In their recent election, it appears that the Ukrainian voters, frustrated with endemic corruption in Ukraine, elected a young neophyte, non-politician, a young television comedian, Volodmyr Zelensky, to its Presidency. The election of an honest Head of State, together with the ongoing program of new tank killing armament, supplied by the U.S., gave hope to the Ukrainian people for honest governance; while the efficient anti-tank weapons (Javelins) would furnish protection against the aggressive Russians.

 

The newly elected, young, President of Ukraine, needed a White House meeting with the American President to, symbolically, reinforce his credentials as the recognized and legitimate leader, of Ukraine, and ostensible, U.S. support, for its ally, Ukraine. As an additional, existential matter, Ukraine in its present peril, desperately needed the continuance of the U.S. supply of the potent, tank killing Javelin armaments, to stave off Putin’s illegal and violent aggression.

 

The impeachment grounds selected, were Trump’s craven acts of extortion and bribery, in advising the new Ukrainian Leader, communicated personally, and with accomplices, that he will not grant him the politically needed, White House meeting, nor continue the supply of existential, Javelin Armaments, unless Ukraine publically announces, (falsely) the start of a corruption investigation against Hunter Biden, the son of his anticipated competitor for President, Joe Biden. This improper, demanded condition, [ “quid pro quo”] was, inarguably, an act of immoral and illegal extortion and bribery, both, inarguably, impeachable offenses under the Constitution. As the facts were revealed by sworn testimony, it was an announcement alone, to the effect that there would be an investigation, that was desired by this crooked President. This appears to us to be modus operando procured by him, regarding Hilary Clinton, in his previous win. Remember this despicable individual, and his minions, shouting “lock her up?” All this to the delight of, (and conceivably, as suggested by) Vladimir Putin.

 

Trump’s repeated prevarications (one of his few accomplished skills) in denying that he committed the horrendous, cruel and impeachable crime of extortion-bribery, is fruitless.  He has himself, ignorantly made relevant, useful, admissions, as have those of his co-conspirators, who have been law abiding enough to respond to Congressional subpoena. Ambassador Sondland, originally, part of the conspiracy to extort, changed his sworn recollection of the incident, and testified as to the identities of all the parties who were the operative criminals and executors of his felonious and disgraceful plan (termed the “drug deal”) for the illegal shake-down of President Zelensky; regarding the necessary White House recognition of for his election, and the continuance of supply of the desperately needed, Javelin Missiles. The threat of no meeting or missiles, absent such false announcement, (quid pro quo) is raw, criminal and psychopathic extortion; presumably, with the approval, and possibly planned by Russia’s Putin. Two named members of Trump’s cabinet, plus Trump’s mayor-turned disgraceful shyster-operative, Rudy Giuliani, referred to as the “hand grenade,” who was chief, among the parties who undertook the implementation of the deal.

 

It will be remembered, that unassailably honest, dedicatedly patriotic, non- partisan Federal officials, including, the knowledgeable, witnesses, Marie Ivanovich, Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Vindman, as well as other non-assailable, non-partisan, fact witnesses, personally testified to this Trump, criminal shakedown; and further, to his wrongful cooperation in the Russian propaganda falsehood, that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that meddled in the Trump election victory. It seems to be further proof of Trump’s disloyalty to his own country, that he, despite the findings of the Moeller Commission, is a present promoter of the extensive Putin conspiracy, to falsely portray that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

 

That Trump is properly impeached, and removed from office is, ineluctably, warranted; the single, worrisome, consideration, is an extremely partisan Senate, who, constitutionally, is to conduct the trial on these egregious impeachment charges (indictment). Recent statements and events, reveal the truly shameful possibility, that many Senators will put less material, party loyalty, above their Constitutional responsibility to the Nation and to their personal legacy.

 

-p.

Post # 437 ARMISTICE DAY IN BROOKLYN

Blogpost # 434, “Savors of the Past,” contained some nostalgic observations of the savory cuisine, and its singular redolence, of the 1940’s Brooklyn, Ashkenazic, immigrants. In it, we declared that such post, constituted the final installment in the multi-installment, series, dedicated to that specific ethnicity. Fortunately, a scholarly follower of this blogpost, himself, also a first generation American, noted, that we had omitted to comment on the reaction of such people, to the historic occasion of the Allied defeat of the Axis Powers, and the consequent end of World War 2, in 1945. We are profoundly grateful for this useful and necessary, critique, and dedicate this writing to the fulfillment of such omission.

Those old enough to remember, as well as students of that odious period, know, that the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, and some smaller Nations, the “Allies,” were engaged in brutal and existential warfare, with the “Axis Powers,” principally, Germany, Japan and Italy.  The Axis Enemies, in the course of their psychopathic desire for world domination, killed millions of peaceful inhabitants in both hemispheres. The principle dedication, and major interest, of Germany, in this terrible war, the complete obliteration of the Jewish people, resulted in the murder of more than one-half of all Jews then resident in Europe.  The historic accounts of the program to eliminate the Jews, place the extent of their homicide, in death camps and elswhere, in excess of six million, justifying the appalling title, “the Holocaust.”

Americans celebrated the Armistice with great joy and a sense of existential relief, not the least of which, was our Nation’s population of Jewish Americans, specifically inclusive, of our chosen and described, immigrant population (escapees, from historic repression, pogroms and the genocidal war conducted by Adolph Hitler).  The defeat of Hitler, and the Axis, was, no doubt, gratefully perceived by them, as one more instance of the uncountable, historic divine deliverances.

This fortuitous survival, was,however, the mutual survival of all democratic nations, populated by Jew and Gentile, alike. Existential fear of survival, relief, and then, gratitude, quickly came to be realized and understood (by our immigrant population), to be events, not celebrated this time alone, by the vulnerable Jewish ethnos, but inclusively, by all Americans.

We will venture the considered opinion, that this epochal circumstance, and such unprecedented realization, was happily perceived, by many, as constituting, a long awaited determination, that the “Wandering Jew,” after so many centuries of hostile exodus, had found a home. The 1940’s Brooklyn immigrants, of which we write, and other like communities, saw a future, as accepted members of, and participants in, this most recently adopted Country, The United States of America.

The entire free world celebrated the glorious victory of the Allies, and the end of the War, joyous celebrations erupted all over America; Times Square was inundated with people, New Orleans took on the atmosphere and look of a Mardi Gras, but to our understanding, the modest, private celebration of our subject immigrants, and thousands like them, were as replete with tears, as with celebratory exuberance.  Since the 4th Century, the age of Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire, Hebrews were universally vulnerable to prosecution, everywhere, as “foreigners,” “outsiders,” “heretics,” or worse, and suffered from brutal prosecution, murder, privation and homelessness. The Brooklyn immigrants, of whom we have written, had, understandably, continued,in the 20th Century, internally, to maintain the persona of victims of official and private prosecution. Their emigration to America was an attempt to, at long last, secure a normal and peaceful life; yet, a timeless history of prosecution, as “outsiders,” manifested  visibly that they are, eternally, a vulnerable population with no safe harbor; thus, their unfortunate, and timeless designation as “The Wandering Jew.”

As observed in earlier writings, based on their history, many of the subject immigrants had continued to suffer their lifelong and persistent, feelings of insecurity, in the land of America. We have stated that this sense of historic vulnerability, which, in relation to the Great War, was visibly, shared, with others, and then, happily eliminated, in 1945, evinced an epiphany for them. This time, they, in common with others, are celebrating, mutually, the end of a shared suffering, ineluctably, leading to a uniquely comforting, and previously unknown, sense of acceptance, by those others.

The residents of the neighborhood, surrounding the few blocks of houses, in which our immigrants resided, announced, that they are convening a “block party,” to which everyone was invited. Most invitees brought their ethnic food, loud music was broadcast from radios, people met and happily interacted, sharing the happiness of the recent declaration of World Peace, and each other’s friendship, as fellow Americans and neighbors, and not as members of particular nationalities.

We begged our Mother for the $2.00 admission fee, and after consultation with our Father, she went to the emergency cash purse, extracted the fee, and joined us, with Dad, for a truly “American celebration. The warm, and neighborly interaction between all attendees, was more than celebratory; it was deeply, and profoundly, healing, and may well have been, the happiest recollected moment in our young life.

-p.

Post # 436   TURKEY, MARSHMALLOWS AND IMMIGRATION

On the 4th Thursday of each November, by Law, and perennial tradition, Americans pay tribute to the fall harvest, and give thanks for the exceptionally good fortune of being Americans, living in the land of plenty, and possessing an inalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The special day, Thanksgiving, is celebrated with family feasting (usually on Turkey, and elective accessories), plus parades and T.V. football. Traditional accompaniments to the holiday feast do vary, but predictably include, gravy, baked sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Inventive food preparation, has varied the traditional sliced cranberry jell, with diced cranberry, mixed with other ingredients, such as coconut, raisins, nuts and orange bits. A common variation to the mandatory (baked or honey roasted) sweet potatoes, is a baked casserole of mashed sweet potato and marshmallows. It seems that the addition of the marshmallow, enhances the willingness of the young children, in attendance, to eat the healthy, sweet potatoes.

Thanksgiving, is a major greeting card holiday, and an especial day of profitable gratitude, for greeting card companies like the Hallmark Company. Holiday myths and folklore, of questionable verisimilitude, constitute the usual subjects portrayed on these holiday greetings. The cards, all seem to, in one version, or another, depict, Pilgrims and Native Americans, sitting down to a joint meal of roasted turkey, corn on the cobb and sweet potatoes (the latter, sans marshmallows), eternally in a beautiful out of doors setting.

The intention of this mini-essay, is not to reiterate the falsity of the “Hallmark” version of the Holiday. Most literate people are familiar with the virtual, holocaust, committed by the U.S. government, against the Native Americans, and their indigenous culture, in by the propagandist claptrap, known as “Manifest Destiny.” Pursuant to such sanctimonious and immorally, self-interested meme, it was believed that the Christian God, had granted to the European Settlers, the right to expand to the West Coast, and “missionize” (kill and displace) the indigenous Indian Tribes, who occupied and resided on land, outlined on the map, as the United States. The settlers determined, in their own interest, and, irrespective of North American history, that the valuable land and natural resources, were Biblically intended for the European settler, and not the “savages.”  It is assumed, that the average American citizen, is at least, somewhat aware, that Hallmark history, is not Natural History, but, it does sell greeting cards. We repeat, this writing is not intended to be an unnecessary sermon, on idealized American History.

Nor is it intended to detract from the traditional holiday occasion, for family and friends, to socialize and be thankful for the benefit of being an American, with, in most cases, adequate food and shelter, and in all cases, legal rights to live, speak and act, as desired, with the sole proviso that no one is hurt thereby. Family assemblies and family interaction, vital features of societal and independent infrastructure, can be rare, but, are unmistakably, invaluable.

The subject of immigration to the United States, seems to be a hotly contested one. Many individuals, prefer to discount the essentially existential meaning, of Emma Lazarus’ beautiful, and philosophical poetry, inscribed on America’s welcome beacon, the iconic and symbolic, Statue of Liberty. It has often necessary to remind people, that America is a Nation, composed entirely of immigrants and their progeny. Yet, it is too common, that two or three generations, after their own families emigrated to this county, many Americans have, selfishly, chosen to espouse anti-immigrant positions; how soon they forget!

A cogent thought presented itself to us this year, derived from a combination of the American Myth of Thanksgiving, and the hotly contested, issue of immigration, which may have some resonance, for detractors of immigration. Extending the scope of the above observation, “How soon they forget, is this, ponderable thought: Were not all of the European settlers, “immigrants” to America, and the Native Americans, the then, undisputed, residents? It is, further deserving of mention, that contemporaneous, applicants for admission, come to our shores, unarmed, and with families, seeking a decent life, and not with muskets, cannons and, ethnocentric, and, self-serving, missionary zeal.

A place should, eternally, be set, at the bountiful, American table, with Turkey, cranberry sauce and baked sweet potatoes with marshmallow, for all new immigrants who seek a better life. This is the historic American Dream and the moral, American way; ask Hallmark!

-p.

Post # 435     A COMIC BOOK OF ARROGANT SCOUNDRELS

Washington D.C. has continued its rapid, and relentless, deterioration, from the level of shamefully embarrassing, to that of sordid and degenerate. The current scene has become virtually indescribable, except, possibly, in the genre of a cheap comic book, or tasteless movie. The “revered” leaders of the current government, and many elected representatives, have so immorally and irresponsibly comported themselves, that its description in normal reportage, would necessarily, be far less adequate, than in the suggested genre, of a pedestrian comic strip. Such style might, indeed, be the appropriate medium, to portray the psychedelic mélange of the irrational whirlpool, continuously roiling, at the Potomac.

Rudy Giuliani, purported “America’s Mayor,” (so honored, for, the serendipitous event, of being the Mayor of New York on 9/12), has flashed his showy, “Cheshire Cat,” toothy, grin, just once too often, for us to remain adherent to our, resolved silence, regarding the depiction of the “Comic Book World,” of contemporary Washington. In that arrogant, aesthetically, off-putting, grin, Rudy, a “Joker” look-alike, seems to be egotistically crowing, over some delusional notion, that he, alone, possesses the singular capability [despite the plethora of incontrovertible and demonstrable, evidence of Presidential guilt], to hoodwink the Nation into a pretension of his client’s [Trump’s] rectitude. His irrational presumption and unbounded feeling of self- confidence are, no doubt, neurotically, assured, by a questionable history of personal enrichment, in the domestic and international, public relations scene.

The American citizen, who resides in the real world, is obliged to confront an unprecedented, caricaturist-evil, President, together with the support of a loyal confederation, of iconic comic book villains, made up of profit- seeking sycophants and a sizable number of cynically, political, U.S. Senators. This malevolent gang is inclusive, incredibly, of Trump’s own, appointed, U.S. Attorney General, [The Penguin?”] and the distortedly grinning Giuliani, [“The “Joker”]; the latter, noticeably, ecstatic in his assumption of the role of consigliore, to such gang of comic strip bad guys, in the bizarre, Washington, D.C. Batman Movie.

In the formulaic movie, the Dark Knight, Batman, predictably triumphs, Gotham City is, once more, saved, and Bruce Wayne, re-emerges, from his Super-Hero, alter- ego, to timidly, flirt with Vicki Vale. The disgracefully tragic and extremely perilous problems, presently extant in America, in reality, as markedly contrasted with the comic book, Municipality of “Gotham,” are not so, predictably, solved.

It seems to us that, in the world of reality, the American Nation’s, detour to success, is to be found in the contrasting difference, between the overall rapport, of the citizens of the fictional, Gotham, and the extent of the divisive character, of our nonfictional Nation. In the fictional world of Gotham, the, observably, united population, together with the aid of a seemingly, hapless, but well intentioned, Police Chief, and of course, Batman, himself, set about to, mutually, defeat the evil presented by The Joker, The Penguin, or any of the other fanciful villains.  In the non-fictional world, we are generously supplied, with real life villains, most especially, our contemporary President and his entourage, but, to the point, not in the desirable context of the unity of a population, dedicated to the elimination the evil-doer and the reestablishment of rectitude.

The plain evidence of wrongdoing, on the part of our Orange Evil-Doer, has already been publicly proven, and empirically demonstrated, by multiple credible witnesses, substantial items of admissible evidence, and actual admissions by the wrongdoer, himself, as well as his evil henchmen. Indeed, there has been a veritable, redundancy of consistent evidence, testimonial, real and circumstantial, to clearly prove [in unnecessary and consistent multiplicity], the actual guilt and wrongful actions of the accused President. Why then, does the Nation still continue under the insufferable and intolerable rule, of this egotistic and malevolent, Nero?

Movie-goers, as well as those, avid and “erudite” readers, of the comic book, are, also, unified, and of one mind, in the defeat of the colorful villain du jour, and the establishment of peace and justice in Gotham. This is brought about, by the intercession of the uber-human, Batman, often, with the assistance of his youthful, confederate, “Robin.”

In reality, life in America, does not evince a people with a comparable unity of purpose, largely because there is no unity of perception and commonality, among a people, divided by extreme differences in education and knowledge, by inherited or “tribal” preconceptions, by religious dogma, by old and tired, aphoristic and  reductive thinking, by bigotry, (overt or subtle),  self-interested perceptions, by reductive assumptions on issues of progress and enlightenment, and, perhaps, above all, by the paranoid supposition that “the people” are subjugated to the power of the “elite” (a neurotic, self-conscious, perception of university educated Americans), or some, East-West Coast, cabal of declared, uber-menschen.

Such reductionist, over-sensitized American citizens, have given our unscrupulous Chief Executive, a free pass or” carte blanche”, to violate every rule of propriety, provision of law, and even the modest criteria of human decency. This is due to their neurotic perception that, he is “one of them”, and at battle with the elites, and those who would, if permitted, impose standards by which they would be publicly ridiculed and critically exposed. By Trump’s unashamed ignorance and bigotry, he gives such flat-earth, insufficiently educated reductionists, cover, recognition and raison d’etre.

Tribal cohesiveness, evincing support for Trump, is also found in various cohorts with their own, nefarious, agenda, such as, anti-regulation industrialists, who have elevated the priority of profit, above that of the health of human beings and the planet, the Evangelical Christians, in the face of Trump’s boasts of sexual immorality, for their own imaginary and irrational motivations, and white nationalists and anti-immigration people, who suffer “night sweats,” contemplating the increasing coloration of America.

Educated and informed American citizens, in the averred context, of a Nation, of “one man, one vote”, abide such cynical self-interest and reductive ignorance, at their own personal, and that of their Nation’s, peril. Perhaps we should summon the assistance of Batman and Robin.

-p.

Post # 434     A SAVORING OF THE PAST

In some past mini-essays, we indulged ourselves in a nostalgic time excursion to the 1940’s, in East New York, Brooklyn, to revisit the lifestyle and atmosphere, of that era, then largely populated, by recently arrived, Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, (accurately put, “refugees”) from Eastern Europe. Our writings attempted to convey a brief, but, essentially, accurate and colorful, picture of these new Americans, recently transplanted from the Old World Russia and Poland, (Czar Alexander had just had outlawed Serfdom), to a new and exotic venue, with an unknown language, illuminated and powered by electric, featuring street cars, (“trolleys”), traffic signals, radios, movies, telephones, steam heated apartments, running hot and cold water, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, just to mention, a partial list of their astounding discoveries.

In past writings, we attempted to convey, their systemic fear and insecurity, historically accumulated, from Europe’s universal history of atrocities and pogroms, practiced against Jews, and were, eternally grateful, but still psychologically, and empirically, hesitant, to celebrate at last, a new and unfamiliar, perception of safety, and general acceptance in a new land.

We, in such prior writings, made reference to their premature, but sincere, attempts to quickly, Americanize, by their brave, but unsuccessful attempts to install the English language, in place of their Yiddish, resulting in a comical, but charmingly compelling, hybrid, we can permissibly call, “Yinglish.” We also referred to the young boys’ Street patois, to the arcane metamorphosis of their street names, the latter, often a mélange of their new American name, with their traditional Yiddish one, to the neighborhood “Olympic games,” the outdoor sport of marbles, to the less than luxurious lifestyle, in the aged Brooklyn apartment houses, to Trolley cars, to Ebbet’s Field, then, home of the American heroes, the Brooklyn Dodgers, to their cooperative and patriotic collection of metal, in aid of the war effort, and to other selected recollections deemed necessary, to re-create some sense of the unique, now, long extinct, amphitheater of this warm, iconic immigrant experience.

Sometime subsequent to the most recent installment, on the subject, which was intended to be the final return to the period, we realized, with great dismay, that a virtual world of significant cultural experience and ambiance, was thoughtlessly omitted: food; particularly, the redolence and savory atmosphere of the traditional immigrant kitchen, and additionally, the existence of the outdoor traditional food vendors. We are literally, mortified at the realization we, who purported to paint a portrait of these exotic, newly arrived American citizens, were remiss, in this most colorful and uniquely nostalgic subject. The subject of food, in this context, and milieu, is truly a mammoth, but an existentially, necessary undertaking. We will, (in addition to, again, humbly begging the reader’s apology, for our previous irresponsible omission) try, and, nevertheless, to be brief.

Even in the humblest, poorest and dankest apartments, where paint on the walls may have been chipping, the plumbing, commencing the slow but, determined, path of ancient rust, and the linoleum on the floor showing fatigue, the kitchen was, without question, the secular, Holy of Holy’s; and the person who (authoritatively) did the cooking, was its presiding High Priest. The eldest female, in this respect, was the Alpha (or should we say, Aleph) “male,” and, as in the case of a Pride of Lions in the Serengeti, suffered no vain challenge. Discord sometimes was a possibility, if there were two sisters of mature age, in the family group. But usually, Mama or Grandma, was the uncontested, revered and absolute, tribal monarch of the kitchen. The cooking was performed in the traditional Eastern European genre, and the selection of menu, the Biblical Rules of Kashrut, old Eastern European folkways, and limited financial resources.

We will refrain from the recitation of the traditional meals, relevant to ethnic or religious holidays, the demanding standards of the cook, in generally, buying food for the house, involving intricate negotiations with food vendors, and the entire outmoded procedure in mixing and matching food, and its preparation, (in order to comply with ancient rules of dietary compliance). The latter, would require a writing, comparable, in size and detail, to the (OED), Old English Oxford Dictionary. However, the Aleph female, possessed the knowledge, tactics and learned expertise, akin an old Algonquin Witchdoctor, in their strict observance.

It can be said, with empirical authenticity, that this genre of cuisine was uniquely such, that all of the basic menu items, prepared, can legally and aesthetically qualify, for the contemporary designation of “comfort food.”

The kitchen was redolent, all day, and often at night, with delectable food aromas. Since the choices of menu were somewhat limited, by law and custom, often, in many households, people ate similar dishes. We remember, occasions when returning home, from school, or from a friend, noticing that the entire block of tenements, (old, multiple residences) had the pleasant ambiance of roast chicken, and soup. It would not be a practical possibility to describe the wide array of foods, except to make the following few generalizations. Dishes made with chicken, lamb or fish, were usually enjoyable; beef or steak dishes, due to the process, felt required by dietary law for their preparation, were (mandatorily) eatable, but, often, taste-challenged.

The culinary enterprise, in which these traditional cooks, truly excelled, was in their unforgettable soups. It is our unsupported supposition, that in the “Old Country” the availability of protein was limited, and, when obtained, had to go a long way; that soups, containing what limited quantities of meat or chicken, was available, were universally prepared and developed, over time, into a true specialty. Mushroom and Barley Soup, Chicken Soup with dumplings, Cabbage Borscht (sweet and sour), served hot, with, or without meat, Hot beet Borscht with meat, or Cold Beet Borscht with sour cream (dairy), Potato Soups of various kinds, Vegetable Soups, Lentil or bean based Soups, and others were superb, but, sadly, are contemporaneously unavailable. Dark Russian Bread, was always a welcome addition, to any soup, and legitimized, as well as complemented, the meal.  Certain dishes were unique and absolutely marvelous, respecting which, decades of vain attempts to replicate, have been appalling; these include: gefilte fish (blended varieties of fish, eaten cold in its natural fish gel), chopped liver pate (chicken livers, sautéed, with onion and small dose of hard- boiled egg), chicken soup with dumplings, few can now, to our experience, properly replicate the dumplings (“knadlech”), and many succulent others. As stated, these dishes were sensually productive of memorable smells, which were distinctive, mouth- watering and, unfortunately, often, enduring; some children came to class, noticeably bearing the spicy redolence of Mama’s most current, “piece de resistance.”

Before we leave our kitchen, it is a mandatory obligation, to aver, that food was not simply sustenance, nor, merely, a sensually, enjoyable experience, it was, for these people, a primary, cultural, albeit inarticulate, social interaction. Well cooked, difficult to prepare, specialties, indicated the respect and familial affection for the guest, or, perhaps the important circumstance of an ethnic holiday. Social conversation, as such, was conducted before the meal, and, after the dessert and tea.  The communal act of eating, itself, constituted the conversation, accompanied by respectful, approving sighs, or other, overt articulations of dining pleasure. Mama, the eternally confident, chef, would never deign to respond to such [unnecessarily] expressed approbation, no doubt, because, she knew that excellence was necessarily implicit, in her aesthetic cooking. Regardless of the financial circumstances of the family, meals, consisting of foods that were generally desirable, and, also, affordable, were always prepared with familial expertise, and rarely disappointing.

We would not have offered a complete representative snapshot of the subject scenario, were we to omit the element of neighborhood food vendors, located, in the streets and neighborhood. Nearby, there was an area, consisting of approximately three city blocks of food markets, truly reminiscent of an Arabic Souk, with several small stores containing, baked breads, smoked fish, cheeses, delicatessen, vegetables and condiments, in front of which, on the sidewalks, were large barrels containing pickled herrings, sour pickles, sour tomatoes, and sauerkraut, plus push carts, containing fresh vegetables and dry fruits. It was a memorable experience, to see the herring vendor, reach a bare arm into his huge cold barrel, and extract a fat herring, from the cold brine, for display and sale to an eternally knowledgeable and demanding purchaser. The purchased herring would then be wrapped in (a Jewish language) newspaper, and then bagged for the customer. We were never able to solve the intriguing question, as to why the herring seller, without fail, wrapped each purchased herring in the newspaper on an angle, and not parallel to the newspaper page.

Nor were the streets and avenues, in the neighborhood, free from the ambience of food. In season, hot chestnuts, baked potato knishes, cooked, salted chick peas (“arbis”), baked sweet potato, or in warm weather, Mello Rolls (sideway ice cream rolls) eaten on a rectangular topped cone, and Charlotte Ruisses (light, filigreed cardboard wrapped, small cakes, topped with whip cream and a red cherry, were among the popular items. Frozen, fruit flavored, ices, were desirable, in season, but was an item, culturally, and exclusively, reserved for sale by neighborhood, Italian immigrants.

It is no less than truly remarkable, despite the realization that this recreated scenario, was substantially more than one-half century ago, that any salty, crunch of a good sour pickle, the exotic taste of a salted fat herring appetizer, or the the majestic taste of authentic mushroom and barley soup, like the known dynamics of hypnotic suggestion, returns us to the entire, savory, and colorful panorama, of these loving, lovable and admirable new Americans.

-p.

Post # 433    MARIJUANA, BIGOTRY’S HANDMAIDEN (Editorial)

In an, earlier writing, we expressed our profound objection to the criminalization of [the distribution and use of] cannabis (marijuana). Our main point was, to the effect that, in a Nation, where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, was inherent, and inaliable, such prohibition was invalid and unconstitutinal, unless some basis, founded in the safety or health of society, were the justification. Previous explanations, such as, it is a “gateway drug” to more serious indulgences, in harder drugs and the possibility of addiction,  have all been, empirically, debunked. Any health argument, is certainly belied by the legal use and sale of tobacco products, which have been officially proven, to be dangerous to health, and, demonstrably, lethal. We declared, that we have never  smoked anything, and have no desire to do so; but do have an objection to all unwarranted limitations on liberty.

We persisted in our frustrating search for the rationalization and historic foundation for the criminalization of cannabis, and actually succeede,d in ascertaining the answer. The historic and legal (purported) justification was profoundly shocking, and morally reprehensible. Prior to our current recommendations, we would like to recite such shameful history, as discovered.

In the early 1900’s, following the termination of the Mexican War, apparently, there was a substantial influx of Mexicans, into the United States, most particularly, to Southern States, like Texas and Louisiana. The incoming Mexicans, naturally, brought with them, their National language, culture and customs. One custom was the use of cannabis, for medical reasons, and for relaxation. The denigration of marijuana use was part of the populist denigration of the Mexican immigrant (as appears to be eternally, the case). The prohibition of use of the substance, was, in reality, an excuse, to “control,” and deport, newly arrived Mexicans.

San Francisco, perniciously, created such a law, to “control” the large, sudden, immigration of Chinese people. It provided the spurious and obnoxious grounds to detain, search and prosecute the immigrant, found, in possession, or using opium.

The prohibition of marijuana, became a popular rationale, for the control of the population, especially immigrants, placing them, by such strategy, under the watchful and legal eye of the authorities. Congressional Acts were attempted to ameliorate the situation, in 1931, and thereafter, but were unsuccessful, or repealed. In 1970, The Controlled Substances Law, was passed, making all “drug” use criminal. Efforts to downgrade cannabis, listed with the hard drugs like heroin and opium, were defeated by the Nixon Administration.

It is the (unverified) opinion, of this blogpost, that marijuana criminalization was also a useful (and, improper) stratagem for the prosecution, by authorities, of protesters against the Viet Nam War, and also, for similarly improper methods of control, or prosecution of selected individuals,  pubicly protesting for Civil Rights.

Beto O’Rourke, one of the contenders for the Democratic Party’s Presidential Nomination, has observed, that there are no less than2.3 million of our fellow Americans behind bars, (the largest prison population, on the planet) and that many have been incarcerated for drug crimes, including, the mere possession of marijuana, at a time when more than one-half of the States have legalized or decriminalized it.

If we are a Nation guided by the basic principles of law and justice for all, it appears that it is about time that the unfounded laws criminalizing marijuana be repealed; and that all non-violent people, incarcerated, solely on “marijuana offenses”, be immediately, freed, (perhaps with an overdue apology). -p.