Blogpost # 462 ATTIC STORAGE

We are encouraged by examined history, literature and our personal, empirical, experience, to conclude, that there exists in mankind, various problematic proclivities, never critically evaluated, and seldom considered, but privately, put away “in storage” in his internal attic (unconscious?).  Included among these stored items, would be, as expected, hurtful, traumatic, and disappointing memories; but, also, inclinations which may be irrational but, stubbornly, enduring. Stated alternately, the personal assurance of a positive self- image is, eternally, of paramount importance, to man’s self- perceived identity and personal sense of worth, thus, indefensible, or unpopular, negative, inclinations, may be privately laid away or secreted, in his darkened attic.

Among such atavistic and retrogressive, inclinations, is a fear of, or antipathy to, “outsiders” or strangers. This pandemic neurosis, may help, somewhat, to explain the erratic objection, to immigration, by certain people, in a Nation, composed entirely of immigrants and their progeny. It is fear and insecurity, somewhere, locked away, perhaps more profound, than the popularly ascribed, “xenophobia”, that seeks to prevent immigrants from fleeing from the danger, or poverty, of a foreign country, to the safety and normality of a family life, in the U.S.A.

It disappointingly, often appears that after a generation or two, following their immigration to the United States, and adjusting and settling in, to a new and better life, many people oppose relief to others, suffering from their previous plight.  As shamefully and disappointingly expressed, “How soon they forget.”

We might be possibly inclined, as are many, to surmise, that patriotic, loving and steadfast protection of country, is involved, but we do not agree. Xenophobia, we are convinced, is the ostensible symptom, like fever, but the pathology resides, upstairs, in a pile of basic, psychological and infantile dust, in man’s dark, human attic. Immigration has seldom been easy, and has, often, been shamefully at odds, with the world famous, Statue of Liberty, welcoming the tired, poor, downtrodden and endangered immigrants, as expressed by the poetic words, of Emma Lazarus.

Federal Statutes, not very long ago, forbid the immigration of all Chinese, and other Asian peoples. Our saintly and revered, President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, yielding to populist anti-Semitic sentiment, refused entry of hundreds of Refugee Jews, returning them to Hitler’s Death Camps. Today, our autocratic President, Donald Trump, has defamatorily described, all Mexican and Central American people, yearning for a safer and better, family life in America, as “criminals and rapists.” He has restrained immigration, a right, expressly provided in our Federal Statutes, and has incredibly, and evilly, chosen to break up immigrant families, and, nightmarishly, put the separated, young children, in wire cages, on the American border.

We do not diagnose these policies, nor their, respective, “populist” support, as xenophobia; it is latent, hatred and ignorant fear of the “other” (prejudice), residing, in the attics, of, both, sub-rosa, or publically acknowledged, un-American bigots.

For those, unfamiliar with the “Dust Bowl” tragedy, in the 1930’s in America’s Central Great Plains, we would, earnestly, suggest the reading of George Steinbeck’s great novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.” The classic, historic novel, set in the 1930’s, America’s Great Depression years, dealt with an historically representative family, migrating from the horrific and deadly, Oklahoma Dust Bowl, to a better life in California. The suffering along the way, is moving; but more to the point, of this writing, is the unfriendly reception, upon arrival, by Californians, fellow Americans, of these desperate migrants, derogatively, called “Oakies.” The novel is a portrayal of actual reality, an historical work, and not a fanciful creation of the author, as confirmed by any study of the period.

One could not rationally, relegate the selfish and offensive treatment of the Oklahoma migrants, refugees from unprecedented, mortal danger, by the more fortunately resident, Californians, to xenophobia; all the involved people were unquestionably, American.

The cause is long packed away in the mental storage attics of those, who, instinctively, oppose the admission of the “other.” Is it fear of the stranger (in French, the word for foreigner, is “etranger”)?, symbolic self-loathing (remembering themselves in an analogously situated condition)? Basic, “we, they,” reductionist, or tribal bigotry? unsympathetic selfishness? insecure fear of change? Bigotry, plain and simple?

We would recommend, for the who selfishly, or, fearfully, oppose the charitable and empathic, practice of immigration, to brave the dust and detritus of an audit, of their personal attic to discover.

-p.

Blogpost # 461    RX FOR HUMANITY

We have often been diagnosed [with ample justification], as suffering from the chronic pathology of optimism, which we would prefer expressed, as “idealistic imagination.” The following writing, was created during one of our recurrent bouts, of that malady.

We have, tirelessly, maintained, that the recognition of the universal and eternal replication, of mankind’s classic issues, as portrayed in great literature and the arts (see for example, the previous mini-essay, “Hamlet in Iran”), is contemporary mankind’s available reservoir of wisdom and mature perspective. The great American writer, William Faulkner, is known to have written: “The past is not dead. It is not even past.”

The idealistic and imaginative question, we would raise is: if history eternally, repeats itself, and history is perforce made by man’s behaviors and action, is it empirically possible, to eliminate the eternal existence of tragedy, by a knowledgeable, and dedicated, alteration, where needed, of man’s faulty perspective, and thereby, his behavior? Put another way, does the historical existence of the classically analogous, recurring issues, a mandatory predicate for humanity? Or is there something better? Is tragedy and suffering, baked, by some evolutionary phenomena, into the human persona? We think not, but we are, after all, confessed, pathological optimists.

Recent, spectacular, and endlessly promising, advances and discoveries, have been made, in the scientific study of the human genome, in the prediction and [hopefully, soon] scientific amendment, of the undesirable features of targeted genes, thereby averting the illness, therein, chemically dictated.

Could there exist, in analogous fashion, a non-scientific, empirical possibility, that a useful protocol, or method of analysis, can be developed, to indicate objectively, an individual’s potential inclination, towards wrongful, excessive and other, anti-social behavior.  If so, might not the therapeutic disciplines of medicine and/or psychology, be utilized, as preventative avenues of reference, regarding such miscreant behavior, for the mutual benefit of the relevant individual, and of society?

Down through the ages, man has unsuccessfully attempted, by means of various primitive conceits, and accepted folklore, to predict the character and potential behavior of human beings. In the Elizabethan age, we have Shakespeare’s concerned, statement in Julius Caesar, “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.” The 18Th and 19th Century, saw the theory of “Phrenology,” the analysis of individual’s persona and capabilities, by observing the bumps on their head, later, travesties took place, such as the Salem Witch Trials, the evil practice of burning of old, and haggard, looking women, as “witches”; the 19th Century, featured the popular theories of Lombroso, viz., the prediction of criminality, by the discernment of “atavistic” (Stone Age) traits, in an individual’s appearance.

The foregoing instances of futile attempts, to predict the inclinations of man, were, predictably debunked. However, we would choose to raise a compelling question, as to the possible facility, of using modern and rational methods of medical and psychological science, to identify and prevent, the existence of an inclination for potential, anti-social behavior? Is it possible that an experienced, capability of the discernment of empirically relevant, nuanced characteristics, in participating individuals, to be societally and personally useful, in this endeavor? At a minimum, it would seem, at least, worthwhile to consider such possibility, and, positively, engage in such novel, targeted programs.

Prescribed sessions of regular psychological visits, (“check-ups”) especially in the developmental stage of younger people, similar to regular doctor and dentist examinations, could, prove valuable to the life of the participating individual and to his society. Routine inquiries, regarding developmental issues, phobias, insecurity, fears, disappointments and frustrations, anger and impulse management, sexual and gender issues, abuse, undue shyness or assertion, may prove beneficial in furnishing early solutions to many unspoken problems. With respect to adults, any of the areas, cited above, as relevant, might be explored. Additional adult subjects, such as perception of failure, perseverations concerning social, political, personal injustice, inclinations and “innate,” prejudices, social and financial issues, disability, aging, and other compelling personal issues, explicit or unconsciously feared, might be productively discussed and explored.

Such programs of (at a minimum) annual, personal check-ups, psychological as well as medical, could prove to be of vital importance to the quality of life of the participant; and, in terms of the possible avoidance, of mass shootings, assaults and other, anti-social behaviors, of existential importance, to society and its members. Thoughtfully construed, implementing legal requirements, as necessary, would not amount to, an “invasion of liberty,” at least, no more than required school attendance (at certain ages), taxes, registration of automobiles, and other routine, citizenship duties; all part and parcel, of each individual’s “Social Contract.

-p.

Post # 460      HAMLET, IN IRAN

Tragic events, recently appearing in the media, can well be seen as another confirmation, of our ever-present message, that great, classical literature and art, eternally, depict mankind’s universal challenges. We have declared that this enlightened realization, is what makes great art, meaningful and referentially useful, and have consistently, recommended the reading of great literature, and participation in the arts, as mankind’s best route to acquiring wisdom and mature perspective.

The recent shooting down of a Ukrainian (Boeing, Airliner), killing all 179 passengers, [mostly Iranian] is the latest example of the historically tragic, atavistic, and useless aspiration for revenge. The previous, tactical, American killing, of a highly placed Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, reportedly, was the motivation for the downing of the plane, mistakenly, thought to be American. The fact that many of the airline passengers, of the aircraft, destroyed by such military reprisal, were Iranian, not American, is ironic, as well as tragic; were it a play, it would be within the canon of a “revenge tragedy.”

However, the intended theme of this writing, is the ethical, and eternal dilemma, of the temporal desire for revenge, and its ultimate and complete, uselessness.

In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the issue of revenge, is central to the plot, but as we, ourselves, read and interpret the bard’s meaning, is dealt with, dismissively.  The play, with which admirers of Shakespeare, are certainly familiar, examines the subject, and as we interpret it, subtly demonstrates, that revenge, is nothing short of, existentially, futile and useless.

It will be remembered, that the plot of Hamlet, is centered around Hamlet’s desire to exact revenge for the murder of his father, the late King of Denmark, by Claudius, the pretender to the throne, as demanded, by the ghost of his father, the murdered King,

The play, as a Shakespearean tragedy, predictably, ends badly, but, to the point of our theme, not before the famous, and, to us, meaningful, graveyard scene [“alas, poor Yorick, etc.”]. In the scene, the skull of a familiar of Hamlet’s childhood, is held up and the deceased, nostalgically and painfully, mourned and remembered.

As we perceive Shakespeare’s [electively inserted] graveyard scene, which expressly, articulates, mankind’s, virtually, imminent, mortality, one is invited to see the existential futility, of revenge, and, it’s pursuit, as a waste of precious, days, in the time-limited franchise of mankind’s life. We are of the considered opinion, that Shakespeare may be suggesting, that the ethical dilemma, posed by the wasteful, and often useless, desire for revenge, is subordinate, to our obligatory need to live life, while we still can.

According to the media reports, revenge was the obvious and admitted motive, for the intentional, downing of the erroneously chosen, [Ukrainian] Airliner, and the consequent, tragic deaths of its many innocent passengers. It was inarguably and unjustifiably, a tragic and meaningless, waste of many innocent lives, and, unfortunately, yet another cogent instance, of history repeating literature, repeating history.

-p.

 

 

 

Post # 459   OF CARROTS AND SELFIES (redux)

We willingly confess to an irresistible inclination to dwell on the vital formation and referential utility, of a candid, self- identity and image. As we perceive it, and have written, one’s felt self- image, is the result of a cumulative recollection of his past actions, particularly, his responses to external stimuli, favorable or, otherwise, his established capabilities and his personal perceptions. This may be what Socrates meant, when he famously taught, “Know thyself.”

We have often made the declaration, that every major judgmental determination, such as, the question of “morality,” is arrived at internally. Accordingly, we have written that the attempted instruction of the latter virtue, using the popular practice of external rewards and punishments, (religious or secular) is useless and potentially, harmful; it teaches the wrong lessons, viz., those of stealth and selfish motivation, instead of the valuable and enduring standard, of self-respecting, judicious, choice.

We would take the liberty to cite one more, among the many cogent, illustrations of the dynamics, of internal judgment. As can be readily and empirically demonstrated, the true essence of “personal success,” is an internally generated, sense of self-fulfillment, and not some publicly demonstrated, symbolic, accumulation of treasure.

The proper jurisdiction and venue, where such internal determinations, are forensically litigated and decided, is within the Courtroom premises of one’s own introspective reason and perception. It may be noted that, there are no statutes, in such consequential environment, authorizing the right of appeal; although, an impulsive, or unduly harsh, personal self-determination, is often capable of amelioration, or thoughtful amendment.

As a caveat, we do not dismiss or downgrade, iny any way, the indispensable function of overt appearance or demonstrated persona, especially, regarding essential, societal interpersonal communication. Conversation, itself, would not be possible, as a practical matter, without the mutually, recognizable identity, and familiar frame of reference, of the engaged parties.  In this writing, however, we are concerned, specifically, with the private, intrapersonal audit of the thoughtful individual, rather than his publicly displayed, appearance.

We have one more caveat, for purposes of clarity of intended meaning. The general practice of taking photographs, of ourselves, or with friends or family, of babies, children, events, places visited, pets, sunrises, and other subjects of interest, for future recollection, is certainly an approved, one. Depicted, memories of people and, of reminiscent events, are valuable, for many reasons, not the least of which, is a recorded, sense of continuity of life, and the nature, and history, of our personal relationships. Such phenomena, additionally, assist us in our perceptions of our evolving and changing reality, and our successive adjustments to reality. We, on the other hand, are concerned about the often observed, apparently incessant, drive to take selfie, after selfie, presumably, in the vain attempt, to produce a photo of oneself, which ever more closely, comports with the photographer’s fantasy about him, or herself, [usually inspired by, and modeled upon, unrealistic, criteria, observed in the media].

Even the kindest and most patient of readers, may by now, be [justifiably] puzzled. How is the subject of the futile, multiple recording of one’s appearance, in the vain search, to satisfy a selected fantasy, at all, related, to the subject of “carrots?’ The latter, an orange colored, root vegetable, has admittedly, been paired, by us, with the word, “selfies,”  in the title of this note. The salient reason, is that while the carrot plant evinces a nice green display in the garden, its real intrinsic value and exceptional beauty, is under the visible surface.

This mini-essay, has been denoted above, as a “redux,” because we have previously dealt with the identical theme, in a slightly different way. In the earlier writing, “Fred Rogers and Selfies,” we recalled an especially, meaningful installment of his wonderful and emotionally educative, children’s show. In the subject installment, Mr. Rogers, and his entire studio of children, sang to, and with, a young boy, confined to a wheelchair and evidencing the sad and dynamic activity of cerebral palsy: “It is you I like, not the clothes you wear, or the way you do your hair, but, it’s you…” This, insightful lesson, about true intrinsic worth, taught to the children in the studio, and those of the television audience, is a lifelong lesson for everyone, young or elderly.

We were, again motivated, to write on this subject, (“redux”) following a, disappointing, witness, from a park bench, [ while awaiting the rare advent, of an on time arrival, of the inglorious M-10 bus] of a young, rather attractive, woman, completely self- engrossed, and oblivious of her surroundings, taking and rejecting, selfie, after selfie, with, and without, the aid, of a “selfie stick.” She, we assume, was vainly, seeking a photo, which would comport with some personal, private fantasy, about herself  As we recall, when the bus finally arrived, she was still peering, intensely, at her “smart” phone.

If carrots had the ability and propensity to instruct, that intelligent vegetable, (please verify, with the esteemed, “Bugs Bunny”) would teach the lesson, that its own true value and beauty, are unseen, and exist below the ground, and that, analogously, in man, true beauty and value, eternally and universally, reside, below his visable surface.

p.

Post #458  MENAGE A TROIS

Since the nineteenth Century, the American political scene has been dominated by two major political parties, and, perforce, has accurately been designated, as a two party system of government. In a two party system, the party holding a majority of the electoral votes, is referred to as the “majority”, or “governing party”, while the other, is the “minority party,” or the” opposition”.

It would appear to us, that a democratic, two party system, is preferable to the multi-party (usually) Parliamentary system, as being more representative of the individual voter, viz., more democratic.  It has historically been the case that, in the multi-party, parliamentary system, in order to form a (legal quorum for) a ruling government, a combination of (divergent) parties is, usually required, thus giving more voice to the voters of a minority party (added by statutory necessity) than is democratically warranted. This concern is obviously, non -existent, in a two party system, where “winner takes all.” The successful election of one party, in a two party system, such as ours, thus, completely and democratically, signifies the expressed selection of one candidate and his avowed platform of intentions, over the other.

The system and tradition of two advertised candidates, affords to the voting public, a clear, known and predictable choice, between the persona and political stance of the respective candidates, and their intended programs. Under a system of, “one man, one vote,” governmental policy, thus, is democratically designated, by the prevailing choice and expression of the people.

We have noted, with great dismay and concern, the recent rise, in this country, of a new, unforeseen and perilous form of “populism.”  As known, the essence of populism is a belief which appeals to those ordinary people, who feel that they, and their interests, are disregarded, in favor of an established elite. It seems to us, that, in the U.S., such a perception, is not generally maintained, relative to the subject of economics, since there is a plentitude of opportunity, for such expression, within the traditionally, accepted platforms, of the Democratic Party. Populism, instead, appears ,rather to be, a “tribal” feeling of joint insecurity and, a felt presumption, of the haughty disapproval and dismissal, of their interests, by the better educated and more sophisticated citizenry (“the elite”).

Some of these, self-conscious, “populists” would, if they voted at all, might, in a different frame of mind, go Democratic or Republican; such populism, in general, having no ties to any one economic or political theory or another. It may well be, that many of such feelings of disrespect, are self-generated, or subjectively perceived, whereas, others may, indeed, be based on empirical experience.

Nevertheless, such perceptions, whether real, or insecurely imagined, do, in fact, exist, and appear readily exploitable by demagogues and other “snake oil salesmen,” who falsely and tactically, portray the false impression of intimate identification with their plight, and appeal to such perceived insecurity, for political or other purposes.

Donald J. Trump, a former, mediocre, television host, of an inane television game show, nevertheless, proved his acumen, as such a perverse, missionary of misleading propaganda, to these, less sophisticated, sensitive and, presumed, deprecated, people. One recalls, the tactical, populist representations, of the purported claim of superiority, and brazen, widespread scorn, directed at the common man, allegedly charged to the fictional, “coastal liberals.”

It is essential for the Democratic campaign, to recognize such dynamics and the motivation, of these millions of voters; based on their perception, of being dismissed in significance, by the portionof the nation, termed, the “elites,” (meaning more educated, and favored). They are not described by, or members of, a particular political party. The National disaster of the Trump election, was not, to our understanding, a clear victory of his Republican Party, as such; functionally, it was, in large part, a victory, based upon the additional  supplement, of amorphous populism, viz., not political science but, rather, sociology. Such segment of the National community, can be, functionally, likened to the influence and dynamics, of an additional, or “third” party.

This is, the essential reason, for the Democratic Party, to change its, present, errant, emphasis, on beating Donald Trump as its primary goal. It must wisely alter such poorly conceived, emphasis, which will predictably, help Trump, by rallying the extant tribalism, and accentuating the basic, misguided, message of the populist, voters.

The Democratic Party’s emphasis should, more effectively, be on the traditional platforms that made that party great: fair labor practices, including, working conditions and adequate wages and benefits, health care, regulations protecting the citizen, the consumer and the environment, equal rights for all, prison reform, banking and credit reforms, protection of voter’s rights, a sensible program of gun regulation, old age and retirement benefits, a vigorous infrastructure program, water purification and forestry preservation, a more equitable tax policy, relief to the needy and disabled, lobbying reforms, tuition assistance to students, support for  cultural, arts and education programs, efforts to ameliorate climate deterioration, non-political judicial selection, efforts to eliminate illiteracy, regulation of the pharmacy industry, regulations protecting the purity of drinking water, food and the safety of medicines, elimination of capital punishment, improvements in educational assistance to the States, and many other vital and needed issues.

To deemphasize the above traditional Democratic positions, in favor of the criterion, articulated, viz., the perceived ability to defeat Trump, is to exalt the importance of Trump (which would greatly please his egoistic and neurotic, persona), but far worse, it would invigorate, the extant, tribal, instinct, of that unpredictable, “third party,” the populists, and their defensive, delusions. It would also, foolishly, ignore the very platforms, that built, and won elections for the Democratic Party.

-p.

 Post # 457   A LETTER TO THE U.S. CONSUMER COMPLAINT SERVICE

United States Federal Government
Department of Citizen Complaints
Capital Office Building,
Washington, D.C
Gentlemen:

It is with appropriate gratitude, that we acknowledge having the good fortune, among the entire, world-wide population of human inhabitants, to have been be born, and to reside in this country, with assured benefits of liberty, as prescribed by the Nation’s Founding Fathers, and as guaranteed by its Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Founders’ declarations concerning universal equality of all citizens, sagely and properly, eliminated the centuries-old, European system of privileged birth, and its unfortunate consequence of privileged classes. We especially appreciate the constitutional assurance, proscribing governmental interference with the right of every citizen (in principle) to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Since childhood, we were assured that these rights were, inviolate, eternal and enshrined; virtually, secular icons, to be, equally hallowed by all Americans. We learned to be proud of our country of birth, and in its, unfailing, moral rectitude. We were, in our younger years, however, not made aware of the ugly National blemish of inequality of race and gender. The Nation, we have happily, noted, has, recognizably made considerable progress, in this disappointing and unjust area, but, yet, cannot, claim, complete accomplishment, of its promised, universal equality of rights and freedom from bias.

We were taught, as schoolchildren, the American, semi-religious dogma, called “Manifest Destiny,” pursuant to which it was the prescribed, and inherent, duty of our Nation to expand its territories to the Pacific Ocean. We were never, informed, however, about the consequential Governmental program of removal and killing of innocent, Native Americans, and the destruction of their ancient culture, in effecting that xenophobic destiny.

Decades later, we were advised that the Indochinese War (Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos) was, imperatively, necessary in order to stop the formation of a dangerous Communist bloc, with Red China. The war lasted about 20 years, killed thousands of Americans and their allies, and an untold number of Asians, and tore our country apart, perhaps, irretrievably. After the war, Secretary, Robert McNamara, one of the war’s original promoters, and architects, expressly admitted, in his subsequently, published book, that the bloody war had, been an ignorant mistake; that, there was never a realistic threat of the feared, “United Communist Bloc;” in that, China, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia and Laos, have historically, been, mutual enemies. [ Query, why did it take, Harvard’s McNamara, et al.so long to discover the error? The war lasted 20 years]

Americans were always justifiably proud, that every citizen had the inalienable right to vote. Nonetheless, one observes, hypocritical travesties, such, as poll taxes, voter blocking, deletion and interference, and the wide-spread, undemocratic practice of gerrymandering, persist, to date. Would you also reconcile, the fundamental democratic guaranty, of one, man, one vote, with the continued maintenance of the Electoral College?

The Constitutional principles of Separation, of Church and State, were always earnestly maintained, by the Founding Fathers to be a fundamental guaranty of liberty, yet, we still suffer from religiously motivated, government proscriptions of the woman’s choice of abortion, have foolishly, meddled in the vital subject of contraception, and discouraged sex education in schools.

We were taught about the Separation of Powers, [Executive, Legislative and Judicial], functionally, and, in addition, the ability, of one branch of government, to prevent, the abuse of power by another branch.  (“Checks and Balances”).  At present it seems to be an impotent dynamic, as amply demonstrated our current President, and his illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of unauthorized powers.

Our Nation received the assurance, since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that America was to afford to the lower and middle classes, new and needed social programs, and the amelioration of want, by empathic benefits, included in a new American concept, of a compassionate Capitalism. Yet, the present government, in Washington, has permitted moneyed interests to exercise their influence, in eliminating, or reducing them (welfare, food stamps, unemployment and sick benefits, regulations of safety in the workplace, purity of food and water, fair housing and other like programs).

The Constitution, as is known, expressly, forbids cruel and unusual punishments, yet, America still tolerates, in too many jurisdictions, officially approved, killing of convicted individuals; euphemistically, called, “Capital (as in decapitation) Punishment.”

We have, publicly and accurately, represented ourselves as a Nation of immigrants, and their descendants, with an eternally open door, to welcome the poor and endangered, immigrant, as enshrined in our Statue of Liberty. Nevertheless, particularly, in the past few years, contrary to our history, Laws, our pretensions to decency, the government has permitted false and defamatory representations of fugitives and other immigrants, with brown skin, as undesirable, criminals, and has taken steps to block their immigration, as well as, mistreated them and separated their families.

We have acknowledged that the most valuable natural resource, of a Nation, is the quality and sophistication of its population, but have not been responsive to the need for assistance, to students, in the financing of higher education; resulting in substantial, life-long indebtedness of its graduates. Additionally, the government does not support, the cultural growth and improvement of its citizenry, by its denial of financial support to the Arts and Sciences.

The Courts, by their decisions, have permitted the misreading of the Second Amendment, to permit the free commerce and ownership of guns. A, objective plain reading of the same, especially with knowledge of the history of its time, clearly indicates, that, in order to induce the several States to (surrender much of their respective sovereignty) to an established federal government, their (the State’s) right to maintain an armed militia. would be preserved. The cynically intentional and tactical, misreading has earned miscreant members, of the gun lobby, multiple millions of dollars in profit; it is also the cause of an untold number of innocent deaths.

We continue to hope, together with, as well, we assume, of other loyal and believing, citizens, nevertheless, is that these past issues will be addressed and corrected, and not be shielded, or avoided by hypocritical and misleading euphemism. Our aspiration is and that the avowed, and traditionally laudable, image and promise of America, would continue in its progress toward the elimination of injustice, extremes in inequality, unfettered individual freedoms. We would, significantly, hope, as well, for a return to rational governance by leaders who are just, capable and sufficiently knowledgeable.

Until the foregoing is accomplished, would you please be kind enough to afford us some guidance on what to teach our young children.

Respectfully,

Pliny

Post #456 (fiction #5)   THE THREE BROTHERS*

If by some chance, you happen to drive through the small hamlet of Cheeseville, located in South Oregano County, Nevada, please be sure to stop at the Pizzeria, on Main Street, owned and operated by the Mozzarella brothers, Vince, Angelo and Bradford, (the latter, eldest, and third brother, from a previous marriage of their mother, Mrs. Angelina Mozzarella). Please be sure to ask for Bradford, or Vince, and say hello, and see how things are going. The three brothers are the owners and operators of the “Goomba Pizza Parlor, Ltd.” a well- known, successful business establishment, exclusively patronized, by self-styled pizza aficionados, throughout the entire, Oregano County.

You might ask Brad or Vince, whatever became of the Wolf Bakery, and Mr. B. Wolf, its vicious and loathsome proprietor. The last we heard, Wolf, who decided to incorporate pizza into his muffin business, had applied to the Superior Court of Oregano County, for an Order of eviction, against Goomba Pizza Parlor, Ltd., and, additionally, for a judgment for punitive damages, against the three proprietors.

To bring the reader up to date, the relevant facts are as follows. Wolf, a carnivorous and aggressive personality, had, conspired to, and by some sleight of hand, succeeded in, procuring the lease to the premises of the pizza parlor, and thereafter, as, tactically planned, in his drive to force the brothers out, raised the rent to an impossible amount. It seems that Wolf’s muffin business was in steep decline, and he lusted for the pizza parlor, which, in addition to being very profitable, was in vogue throughout the entire County. He also entertained an unreasonable hatred, against the three brothers, for many other reasons, besides business, among which was, jealousy over the desirably, close interactive relationship between the brothers (including the half-brother), who spent most of their working hours, happily, singing. When the brothers learned of certain unsuccessful attempts, by their new landlord to injure their business, they added to his irritation, a confident lack of concern, in face of the vicious (and, so far, unsuccessful) attempts by the, cunning, landlord to destroy their business.

What they wisely, did was to continue to pay rent, at the previous agreed rate (as opposed to the tactically, impossible rate, imposed by the new landlord, Mr. Wolf), which, in accordance with, the Landlord and Tenant Division of the State Supreme Court, Mr. Wolf learned, to his dismay, denied to a landlord, [ who imposed a penalty rent on his lease abiding tenants] the right of summary dispossess, for non-payment of rent. The landlord angrily, and tight-fisted, threatened further legal action.

The second attempt by Mr. Wolf, consisted of an attempt to falsely advise the public, that the pizza company, Goomba Pizza, Ltd., included, amounts of sawdust, in their pizza crust, to save money. This second attempt, slandering the product of the three brothers, was laughed at, by the highly satisfied customers, who were well aware of the method of preparation of the product, and immediately recognized the falsity, as well as the evil motivation of the slanderer.

The third (and, apparently, the final) attempt, was the costly engagement of a local attorney, with local political connections, to obtain a Court Order of Eviction and Damages, against the brothers, for withholding his right, as landlord, to possession, based upon the grounds of inadequate (but, regular) rent payments. This proceeding was brought by, Order to Show Cause, in the Superior Court of Oregano County, itself, [as opposed to proceeding in the Landlord and Tenant Division]. The case was still pending, when last we heard, and such was the reason we requested that the traveler, referred to in the first paragraph, speak to Vince or Brad; to obtain a report on the outcome of the third attempt, of the landlord, Mr. Wolf, to recover the building premises and oust the three entrepreneurs.

As it happens, just before the publishing of this writing, we received a text message, which, (happily) read: “The application of the Landlord, for possession of the premises, and for punitive damages was denied, due to the Applicant’s evident, deceitful action. It   was further ordered, by the Court, that, the three tenants are granted damages in the amount of $…….. against the Landlord, Mr. Wolf by reason of the latter’s illegal and inequitable business practices.

The three partners were happy and celebrated, in their usual, musical mode.

-p.

* We, emphatically deny, any and all, similarity between the foregoing narrative, and the children’s story, “The Three Little Pigs.”