During this singularly anomalous period of Mad Hatter Presidency, when it has eerily become necessary to distinguish true facts from false, is it appropriate to persist in telling our children that America is the world’s avatar of liberty, equality and justice, in the face of its errant history of injustice and inequality? It is a regrettable and disheartening fact that our Nation has not been, and is not now, certifiably, equal and just.

America’s past decades of kidnapping black people, for sale as slaves, [including the breaking up of families] for lifetimes spent in unpaid back-breaking labor and experiencing arbitrary cruelty (but approved by Government and the King James Bible) clearly, is not consistent with its prideful avowal of liberty and equality. Despite relatively recent government attempts at attaining reasonable (publicly demanded) equality and justice, through Statute and Court precedent, chronic prejudicial treatment, of black Americans, still persists. In our view, as expressed in earlier essays, this etiology, is founded in early childhood teachings of human differentiation which may morph into a chronic cultural pathology of hatred, for “others.”

In an early essay, “THE DIRTIEST WORD,” we radically chose to request the elimination of the word, “race” from the contemporary American lexicon. The word, itself, is virtually useless, as determined by any valid scientific or anthropological criteria, and from an empirical viewpoint, invariably leads to mischief. There is no rational reason to (reductively) believe that arbitrarily identified groups of people possess different behavioral traits corresponding to their physical appearance; ignorantly and self-serving, based on the alleged superiority of one group over another. History has shown that it is at its most reprehensible and dangerous level when such reductive disapproval of a misapprehended group is practiced by another group that happens to be in power. America, the avowed land of liberty and equality, while eternally dreading and attempting to atone, for the recurrent nightmare of its past slavery, has nevertheless, afforded a viable home to such offenders.

Despite the democratic provisions of our Constitution, and clarifying Statutes, the perverse cultural pathology of bigotry persists in the Nation, often metastasizing into areas of the body politic, such as jobs, housing, pay, promotion, relief from natural disasters and in diverse other contexts.

Happily, contemporaneous public sentiment does seem oriented towards fairness and equality for all Americans, regardless of color, belief or ethnos, and social equity, and the subject has become front and center in American discourse. Nonetheless, too many individuals still appear to prefer the retention of their pernicious bigoted attitudes. This may be due, conceivably, to reasons of personal insecurity, and the consequent need to derive some measure of needed pride in their perception of physical differences from an identified and culturally degraded group, or possibly, the need for tribal acceptance by other bigots or simply, just plain down-home, flat earth ignorance.

By far, the most personally disturbing examples and objectively, the most reprehensible demonstration of prejudice, has all too often been demonstrated, by our societal police officers. Felonious police, shielded, uniformed,  visibly authorized and, armed, by their respective municipal governments, have been witnessed, (where video or television cameras have been available) cruelly, intentionally and wantonly, shooting, and usually killing, unarmed black Americans. Numerous acts of unjustified homicidal bigotry, witnessed on film, presumably, are but a portion of like, but unrecorded, police criminality.

The casual shooting of unarmed, apparently innocent, unarmed black American citizens, by white police has become a regular, truly revolting ingredient of daily television news.  It is to be borne in mind that such intentional and bigoted acts of criminal homicide are being wantonly practiced by uniformed municipal police, cloaked in an identifying uniform and accessories, ominously enabling them to fraudulently and visibly purport to represent, the sentiment of the (dominant) societal establishment.

In two cases, a gun was not used. In one, a police officer hatefully squeezed down on the neck of an unarmed, accused black man with his flexed knee, for a full nine minutes, despite pleas of inability to breathe and anguished crying for his mother; all in the presence of several white police officers. In another such homicide, it was a white officer’s illegal chokehold that killed the black, unarmed person, ignoring his weakening statements on numerous occasions, also in the presence of other white policemen, that he could not breathe. The many other dozens of homicidal cruelty, uniformly include unarmed Americans, visually determined to be guilty of the premeditated and intentional crime of being black. A small list of illustrative examples is, Amadu Diallo (shot 40 times in his own doorway), Breonna Taylor (shot in her apartment while relaxing on her couch), David Jacobs, George Floyd, Michael Ramos, Michael Ellis, Atatiana Jeffries, El Fitzgerald and sad to say, additional dozens of instances of such police acts of criminal homicide of black human beings.  It is a horrifically unacceptable fact that, as reported, there were only a mere 12 days of this partial year 2020, in which an unarmed black American did not die from a bigoted police killing. It would appear that not even the added trauma of the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed the pace of such cruel police incidents of bigoted hatred and murder.

The police are given the franchise to carry guns, to be available when, in the course of carrying out their undertaken duty to protect societal peace, their lives are threatened. Bigoted policemen have, under the misleading guise of uniform and badge are themselves, committing the most serious of crimes delineated in the Penal Law, intentional homicide.

We find it incredible that such a visibly apparent, lethal police practice has been permitted to continue by a just society. At the very least, these murderous cops must be dismissed and barred from constabulary service anywhere in the Nation. Additionally, societal justice and closure for the grieving families of the victims, require that the miscreants be charged and tried for intentional homicide or murder. Such an appropriate disposition might serve as a deterrent to others, who would falsely use the costume and trappings of a policeman, to enable and mask their hateful intentions towards minorities.

A solution to such repulsive acts of racial abuse would obviously and reasonably call for realistic and effective procedures, targeted to prevent their repetition. The shameful persistence of racial hatred, of human beings with dark skin, most especially, by certain members of the police, is existentially unacceptable and profoundly defeats every avowed moral principle of American life.

Generally speaking, there may factually exist, diverse reasons behind the desire of an individual to be a part of a neighborhood, quasi-military force, and permissibly carry a pistol, club, handcuffs, and other instruments of restraint.  We hope that we will be forgiven for our general assumption that the desire to have a job, patrolling the streets, scouting for wrongdoers, and carrying a loaded, weapon, may not necessarily be societally mainstream.

It is our firm view, that any person who wishes to receive the franchise for such a lifestyle, should initially be interviewed and examined by a competent, outside (viz., not police-related) professional (psychologist) and submit to written examination(s) for the analysis and determination of his suitability for this particular lifestyle and job; to be repeated periodically, for the same purpose. Trained professionals may be enabled to ferret out the potential for (aggressive) bigotry, paranoia, and other traits that may indicate an inclination for unsuitably antisocial, bigoted, and potentially lethal behavior.






Post # 534              FREEZE FRAME (It’s about time)

Time, as conceptualized and esoterically depicted by Albert Einstein and knowledgeable physicists, is admittedly, far beyond our understanding. We are, however, content with our own, personal understanding of time, as the measurable period during which an action, process or incident exists or continues.

Time, as we know it, is ubiquitous and enjoys a great many empirical categories. As illustration, there are selected time to rise, time to eat, time to go to school or work, break time, vacation time, start and finish times. There is time to speak up, time to respond, appropriate time, time to consider others, time to rise up; time to for an egg to boil, time to defrost lasagna, time to repair a tire, time for travel, and endless more applications of the concept.

There are many easily available and accurate measurements of objective, or scientific time, such as length of daylight, hourglasses and most common, by far, clocks and wristwatches. Few issues are possible, relative to the universal measurement and determination of objective time. In the present writing, however, we are concerned with what we would label, “subjective time”, the individual’s nuanced perception of the passage of time, or its duration, during eventful experiences, or as we prefer to call it, “felt time.”

Notably distinct from objective, or clocked time, the subjective perception of time, viz., felt time, itself, varies with the empirical nature of the particular event and the reactive nuance of the involved person. Who is it, that can deem comparable, two hours of anxious waiting for the clinical diagnosis of a seriously ill child, or, the painful experience of two hours of toothache, with two hours of pleasant dining or such time spent socializing with old friends. We would confidently declare, that, as a practical matter, one’s felt time is far more (personally) eventful than its measurable duration in minutes and hours.

The advent of the current pandemic has effected a veritable sea change in our subjective perception of (felt) time. The mandated prophylactic strictures against interpersonal contact have resulted in a wide-spread practice of “shelter in place” or quarantine. The resultant constraint, most markedly in personal interaction, has had an adverse and novel effect on normal society.

Individuals who have, for decades, accommodated themselves, outside the home, to a busy schedule of working or running a business, have been obliged to draw on their store of personal inner resources to seek acceptable, outlets to occupy their time during confinement. Common activities have included, reading, writing, painting, needlepoint, playing musical instruments, listening to concerts on radio or an electronic device, performing needed repairs to one’s residence, puzzle solving, movies (Roku) and pursuing former interests or hobbies, now made possible with the (virus avoiding) leisure time.  An altered scheduling of fixed daily routines has necessarily evolved for engaging in such home activities, pending a medically approved vaccine or a natural cessation of the infectious virus.

We find that such new daily routines, while serviceable in filling time, have proven to present a certain unfavorable behavioral syndrome, manifesting an inability to distinguish one day from another. Our homebound days, filled with identical, routine pastimes and selected home activities, soon become virtually indistinct, one from the other. We have often been obliged to consult our google calendar in order to apprehend the day. Recently, we were flabbergasted to discover that it is now, late August; we would have easily believed that it was late June. Time (felt time) runs on very quickly and elusively, by reason of the daily residential similarity implicit in quarantined life.

We confess that we have a regrettable and disturbing concern, proximately caused by the stay at home aspect of quarantine. To the extent that our concept of subjective or felt time has validity, we are fearful that, as yet an additional consequence of the pandemic, we seem to be aging at a faster rate.








The universally accepted procedure regarding disputes in interpretation, or intended application, of legal Statutes, has eternally been an objective inquiry and consideration of its historical background at the time of the creation of the disputed law and thereby to achieve comprehension of its accurate meaning and intended application.

The roiling issue concerning the asserted right to the ownership and of use of firearms may hold second place in the National array of emotionally hot, tribal warfare, only to the bizarre issue of whether a woman can make decisions concerning her own body, and, if perceived necessary by her, to legally abort her own fetus. It is, apparently, no strange coincidence that adherents of the mantra of the personal franchise to own a weapon, proven capable of mass destruction and tragedy, would also oppose such personal right to choose abortion, both, nonetheless, within the popularly misleading, inconsistent and tactical meme of “right to life.”

The NRA and citizens emotionally in thrall to the purported right to own such death dealing instruments, seem to rely exclusively, upon their subjective and self-serving reading of the language of Art.2 of the U.S. Constitution, asserting that it affords the citizen the right to own a firearm. Such interpretation has been disputed by those who wish to outlaw the ownership of firearms, the latter, spurred on by the plethora of mass homicide (most often by automatic weaponry, designed for use in combat by the military) and individual acts of cold-blooded murder.  The loss of life, bodily maiming and heartbreak enabled by this misprision of Article 2 has been horrific and tragic.

Whatever may be the underlying personal motivation behind the unnatural desire to own an article, purposed only to maim or kill, may indeed vary, psychologically viz., paranoia, xenophobia, racial bigotry or perhaps, sexual impotence. Nevertheless, all such individuals seek safe harbor under an intentional and tactical misprision of the meaning and intent of the Founding Fathers, by means of their self-serving, reductive misinterpretation of the relevant Constitutional provision.

This fervent (and lethal) dispute is effectively capable of mutual resolution, provided that the parties, specifically, the “gun toting patriots,” are willing to exercise their brain, generously donated to them by Darwinian evolution. This can be accomplished by the application of the accepted rational and objective procedure, referred to in the opening paragraph; namely, when the meaning and intent of a law is in irreconcilable dispute, the resolution lies in the reference to its intent, as revealed in its historical background.

Should any of the reductionist proponents of their misprision of Article 2, choose to defer polishing their ardently loved weapons and self-serving, misinformed arguments, and do only a cursory reading of the historical context and issues extant at the time of the drafting of the subject Article, its true meaning and application will become evident. We have doubts, however, that many of the proponents of gun rights, which seems to have morphed to a quasi-religious credo, will risk committing right-wing tribal heresy.

In any event, a simple reading of the history and context, contemporaneous to the authorship of the critical clause in the Second Article, clearly and unmistakably will supply the resolution of the issue, if gun lovers are willing recognize its rational truth.

History recounts that at the time of the drafting of the relevant clause of Art.2, there was much heated contention between the “Federalists” who wanted to unite into a single Nation, under a common central government, and the “Separatists,” who demanded State sovereignty and opposed the concept of a federal (central) government. The relevant clause was the result of a final settlement of the hard fought dispute. Such final settlement amounted to the mutual agreement to a central government, with a federal standing army, but as well, the maintenance of the integrity of the several States, by a Constitutional grant of the right of the respective States (“the People”) to maintain separate standing State militias, which had the right to bear arms.

With our heartfelt sympathy for the Nation’s gunslingers, the irrefutable historical fact is that the topic of individual rights was never discussed and is completely irrelevant.

It would be a welcome and merciful relief, if some of the ardent proponents of the legal ownership of these instruments of death and profound loss, would consent to briefly and objectively consult the relevant history and bring about an end to the impassioned, long-standing debate, caused by the uninformed (or intentional) lethal misprision of America’s peace-loving Constitution.




We have a pleasant recollection of observing an attractive older couple, at a wedding celebration, dancing gracefully and in an evidently intimate and loving manner. The romantic scene afforded us pleasure, based upon our perception that the dancing two-some was reflecting many decades of true marital love. They were well dressed, smiling and demonstrably sharing an intimate and happy moment.

Our initial feelings of warmth and pleasure at this congenial sight, very soon degraded into those of annoyance and dismay, when a young woman, standing nearby and observing the elderly couple gracefully dancing, uttered a tasteless and insipid remark, “How cute, this is adorable,” as if an elderly dancing couple were outside the recognized mainstream of normal behavior or experience.

The narcissistic inability and unwillingness, of many younger members of society, to comprehend themselves as other than youthful and physically fit, to acknowledge the natural stages of life, and their short-sighted inability to see elder members of society, as appropriately normal and commonplace, we have labeled, “youthful ethnocentricity.”

Reportedly, by the year 2030, the number of Americans, 65 years of age and older, is projected to exceed 71.5 million, 10 million of which will be age 85 and older. In our recent writing, “MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEPTH” (#529), we observed the eternal trade-off between youth and virility, and aging’s gradual physical decline, but as accompanying its acquisition of wisdom and mature perception. The earlier mini-essay dealt with the maintenance of one’s positive self-image and esteem at such latter period of life and recommended the mature acceptance of its predictable reality; andsuggested the personal construing of personal and periodically, adjustable criteria for the attainment of realistic and acceptable expectations.

As can be discerned from the language of its opening paragraph, the present writing concerns the subject of the perception of aging and the elderly, by the younger members of society. It can logically be said that the older citizen is empirically familiar with the context of the life of the younger members of society, but, understandably, the context and lifestyle of the elderly, is yet unknown to the (usually disinterested) younger member. We will state, in fairness, that there are many intelligent and foresighted younger people who do possess an appropriate perception of life in the later years, having acquired the same by pragmatic reason, from literature or from experience with an older relative or acquaintance; but this is far from the prevailing rule.

It is a sad and disappointing observation that the elder or infirm citizen is, effectively invisible to the youthful generation, who instead, generally value proficiency in sports and feats of physical prowess. This short-sightedness is less evident in the younger person who a maintains an admiration for physical prowess, but also reads and aspires to acquire knowledge and mature perception. The latter class of younger person is included among those who understand that many of the elderly are wise and discerning and have derived empirically, a valuable perception of the world.

The revered scholar and philosopher, John Locke, famously stated, that man is born with a “tabula rasa,” (a clean slate) so that all knowledge and information is acquired, (solely) by experience. It follows that many of the wise and experienced older members of society can boast a substantial and wide-spread accumulation or mental repository of knowledge and a mature and useful understanding of the world.  It may be observed that America’s wise and admirable Founding Fathers, inarguably, were not teen agers.

The thoughtful and perceptive elder has, over time, developed, useful understanding and an awareness of life’s eternal human issues and vicissitudes; and has construed useful approaches and empirically practical or just solutions, derived from personal, or third party experience or, perhaps, great literature.

By colorful analogy to viticulture, the best and most valuable wines are those which have sufficiently aged. In the intellectually gifted homo sapiens, time and experience lends immeasurable value to knowledge and persona. These eternal riches are irreplaceably valuable and far above the popular and ephemeral features of physical capability and are to be universally recognized and reverenced by all.



We continue to experience frustration and disbelief at the persistent and unremitting use (misuse) of the term, “socialist,” or “socialism,” as political epithets, for programs of governmental empathy and assistance, by the uninformed partisans who, by in large, are needful of, and regular beneficiaries of such social programs.

In a much earlier writing, “American Socialism,” we reviewed the earliest days of Capitalism, referred to the horrific hardships of the working poor, as existed at the early days of the Industrial Revolution (as related by Charles Dickens and many other reformers).  Adam Smith’s economic-scientific theories of the operation of, “ laissez-faire,” left manufacture, labor and economic matters, in the control of “Natural Law,” and free of any interference from the King (Government).

Unregulated Capitalism led to popular unremitting and unspeakable hardship, hunger and privation, for the lives of the working lower class. Many years of privation, sickness and early decease, passed before Parliament saw fit to eschew Natural Law and initiate legislation to regulate the cruelties necessitated by unregulated free enterprise (capitalism) and legislatively mitigate the harshness of the lives of the working poor.

In America, it was not until the 20th Century Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, that concern for the suffering of the working class was recognized, as an economic, practical and moral priority. FDR entered into a contract with America, providing programs of governmental empathy and assistance, with especial emphasis on the working poor. Such recognized and undertaken responsibility and provision of sorely needed programs, were not thought of as socialistic but were morally required adjustments, to the humanistic operation of capitalistic enterprise, contemporaneously and accurately, referred to as, “Compassionate Capitalism.”

Consequently, a plethora of wise and protective programs was passed by the Roosevelt Congress, and subsequent Legislatures, providing for the safety and well- being of the American citizen including, but not limited to: regulations of working conditions, including safety and working hours and minimum wage provisions, social security and survivor’s insurance, disability benefits, air, water safety, drug and food regulation, health insurance programs, anti-discrimination and equal pay statutes, graduated rates of taxation, safety regulations for air, highway and rail transportation, and a great many other governmental programs of assistance and protective regulation.

These programs have proven to be universally salubrious, and an assurance to the enlightened and appreciative American citizen, that he is not, forgotten and left out in the cold, by an uncaring and irresponsible government. It is our understanding and belief, that our citizens have universally, been appreciative beneficiaries of these expressions of governmental undertaking of responsibility. Until recently, even the most ignorant recipient of these acts compassionate capitalism has not been derisive of it, nor, reductively, attempted to impugn the hand that feeds him.

Despite their willing acceptance and enjoyment of governmental benefits, we continue to agonize over the tribally, thoughtless, and unappreciative, misuse of the terms “Socialism” and “Socialist,” as intended epithets, regarding certain political candidates, and their platforms, apparently, because they promise delivery of universally needed programs and economically called for adjustments, by government.  The factual unawareness and ingratitude of such ignorant and self-defeating inconsistency, is as incredible as the election, by these people, of Donald Trump.

Let us briefly, yet once more, ad nauseasm, define the meaning and concept of the term “Socialism.” Simply put, “Socialism” is merely a theory of economics and government, in which the government owns and controls all industry and business. People are paid in accordance with their “contribution.” [diametrically opposed to Communism, in which there is no government, but rule by the “proletariat.” The State owns everything and people are paid in accordance with their “need.” Communism seeks the violent overthrow of government, which is opposed by Socialism.] The respective adherents to the two disparate theories are hated enemies].

We can confidently and unreservedly state that there exists no known candidate for public office, who believes in government ownership and control of industry and business, viz., socialism; an irrefutable fact known to every American, of every stripe.

In our earlier mini-essay, entitled, “American Socialism,” we attempted to demonstrate that programs of compassionate capitalism are far from socialistic, and argued that the same preserve capitalism by their empathic public assistance.

It is our view that Sen. Bernie Sanders, the most compassionate and moral reformist, Presidential candidate, made the fatal mistake of labeling himself as, “Democratic-Socialist”; too many of our undereducated population were probably hesitant concerning the label. The designation “Democrat- Reformist,” would have publically meant the same as compassionate capitalist, and not afford to ignorant and tactical opponents, a paper tiger to attack.





The 19th Century architects of our Constitutional government romantically referred to as “America’s Founding Fathers,” designed three separate and independent organs of our body politic, executive, legislative and judicial, legally described as, the “Separation of Powers.” The continuous status of a legitimate and authentic Constitutional Republic, was assured by making each component of this triumvirate, independent of the others but, nevertheless, affording to each such independent body, the jurisdiction to restrain another for actions in excess of, or inconsistent with, the Constitution (“Checks and Balances”).  Nevertheless, the Judicial Branch, headed by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was designated the final arbiter of legal issues permissibly brought before it, and hence, the ultimate guardian of the established system of governance and the acknowledged rights of American citizens.

For centuries, SCOTUS was looked upon with great pride and reverence as the executor and trustee of the democratic provisions, enshrined in the Constitution and bequeathed to the new Nation, by its idealistic creators. Its rulings, as designed, protected citizen rights against potential infringement by government, and in relevant cases, against the tyranny of the democratic vote. As our culture rationally evolved, the concept of equality, appropriately, became applicable to all, slavery was considered a shameful nightmare of American history and our Nation, became a comparative showcase to older, established Nations; empirically demonstrating that liberty and democracy for all, was possible. This was the case, at least, until the past two decades.

The popular general reverence for SCOTUS, (with a few exceptions) especially by students of jurisprudence and law was virtually religious. Especially memorable, and iconic scholars often populated the high bench, such as John Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter. However, in our view, the most salient example of great wisdom, fairness and juristic acumen, was Benjamin N. Cardozo (term, 1932-1938). What truly established Justice Cardozo, as our incomparable favorite among all the fine justices who sat on SCOTUS, were two factors. In addition to his outstanding juristic acumen, was the literary brilliance, expressed in his wise legal opinions, in the exalted and aesthetic level of Emerson and Edmund Burke, and, importantly, his foresighted view that the interpretation of written law, specifically, the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, should evolve and adjust with the times (“Sociological theory of Jurisprudence”). The chosen language of the Constitution, is, observably, general, thus inviting contemporary interpretation. We have noted that, in matters of interpretation, those who worship “original intention,” predictably, have some personal ax to grind advocating anachronistic societal views, relevant to the times when rich gentry wore white powdered wigs.

Unhappily, our former reverence for the SCOTUS (analogous to our disenchantment with the Presidency of Donald J. Trump) has materially declined, as recounted in previous writings.

The “Separation of Powers” construct, as enshrined in our Constitution, mandates separate functions for each of the three branches of government. This legal design is no less than the underlying foundation supporting our constitutional architecture. The legislature passes laws, the President exercises executive authority, the judicial system adjudicates disputes. This design, together with the mutual right of “checks and balances,” ensures the proper administration of our Democratic Republic, as designed and practiced; at least, until recently.

To assure such fundamental separation, SCOTUS has historically required a procedure known as the “Motion for Certiorari,” as a mandatory and preliminary step to the acceptance of cases by SCOTUS, for consideration. In that procedure, desirous appellants must demonstrate, the appropriate significance of their case, and crucially, make a determinative showing, that their case is not political, to the very degree that there can be no indirect effect of any possible determination upon any political issue. It has been “black letter law,” that any perceived political effect of the case will absolutely, and without exception, result in a denial of acceptance for by SCOTUS.

That is, until twenty years ago.

The BUSH v. GORE case, (2000), dealt exclusively with a dispute as to the correct count of political ballots, and inarguably was a political case. It was in unprecedented and erroneous fashion, accepted, and a President determined (Bush) as winner, by SCOTUS. Can anyone rationally argue that said case was non-political? What happened to bypass centuries of consistent legal precedent?

The CITIZENS UNITED case, (2010), witnessed an even worse abdication of the statutory certiorari principle, purposed, as stated, in mandating an unmovable roadblock to cases which had a political resonance to any degree. In fact, the issue involved the limitation in amount of political (?) campaign contributions by corporations. The decision, in our opinion, ranked in disrepute only second, compared to the shameful, DRED SCOTT decision (in which Justice Taney, ruled that a black runaway slave, was agricultural property, rightfully restored to its owner; soon, thereafter, [mercifully] overturned.)

The CITIZENS case is particularly despicable, not only for its destruction of the basic architecture of Separation of Powers but for its ultimate destruction of representative democracy. Its determination was, that a corporation is a “person,” and as such, is not subject to limitation in monetary political contribution, under an individual’s First Amendment right of free speech. This was the shameless result of a (Republican) majority of the bench, effectively advantaging the wealthy, self-interested, mega- profit-making intentions of big corporations over individual voters, and thereby, destructive of the individuals’ right to an impactful vote and constitutes a democratic travesty.

In addition to existential damage to our Democratic Republic, for which, history demonstrates the great extent of paid sacrifice, the decision is inarguably motivated by political considerations, and the expressed reasoning (for a Court which once saw a Cardozo or a Holmes) is sophistic and less than sophomoric.

Every freshman in law school knows that a “corporation” is merely a fictional entity and not a real person, (originally created by Parliament, in the days of Elizabethan England, and debtor’s prisons) to avoid personal liability for business debts, and to encourage entry into commerce by entrepreneurs. Today, a business enterprise that complies with simple State filing and tax procedures, as a fictional person, may operate in its corporate name, like “Coca Cola Co.” or “Macy’s,” enter into contracts, sue and be sued in that corporate name; but the registered corporation, certainly, is not an extant “person,” living and breathing, with Constitutional rights. One can reasonably assume that, if law school freshmen and most businessmen know it, SCOTUS, certainly does.

These frustrating and disappointing outcomes, show an evident and unconstitutional decline of The United States Supreme Court, from an avatar of assured democracy to a disappointing entity, with the majority (Republican) of SCOTUS, governed by political influence. One hopes that the coming election will reverse the current (Trump) atmosphere, and return our Nation to its traditionally democratic existence, as the showcase of democracy. We at have a constructive suggestion.

We, unanimously, enthusiastically, and in the spirit of Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, wish to be the very first (unsolicited) to nominate Hon. Barack H. Obama, as the next available Justice of United States Supreme Court.






Experienced, able sailors responsibly appraise the presenting variables before raising anchor and setting out to sea. Usual considerations include forecasted weather, sea turbulence, scheduled tides, wind and, critically important, the depth of water along the elected route (the latter, often determined by the perusal of “depth charts”) in order to avert the hazards of unseen areas of shallow, potentially dangerous shoals.

By analogy, prudent pedestrians, of all ages, will mind the physical features of their peripatetic route, the distance to their desired destination, take especial note of the weather, surface conditions (wet, icy, bumpy) and are wary of hazards such as major pavement breaks, fallen trees and other visible impediments

Ordinary pedestrian cautions have universal application and are routinely observed with no need for any especial deliberation. It is the plethora of cautionary mandates relative to aging and less agile individuals, (viz., their subjective reaction to them, as impacting personally felt, self -image and esteem) which is the prime concern of this writing.

As we sail through our lifetimes, whatever advantages are garnered in the acquisition of understanding and maturity, in the confidence accrued in one’s accuracy in perception, and whatever level of reason is attained, are, nevertheless, counterbalanced by nature’s inevitable and natural lowering of age’s restraining anchor. This writing is concerned with universally occurring bodily aging and the noted response of previously capable people, to such disabling phenomenon.

We have empirically discerned a variable responsive difference, in degree and kind, in sync with the nuanced persona of individuals, with especial (but not exclusive) reference to the male gender. Men whose esteem and self-image are bound up closely with their physical and sporting prowess will observably mourn such decline in strength and stamina more profoundly, than those who are additionally capable of deriving pleasure from more sedentary pastimes, like reading and hobbies or such non-athletic challenges as painting, musical performance or writing.

Regardless of the etiology and disparate extent of angst, brought about by such natural life changes, the quality of life (not to mention, safety) can best be achieved by a mature and philosophical acceptance of this universal phenomenon, assisted, we submit, by the following life-navigational considerations, salutary for the avoidance of possible emotional descent into the undesirable human shoals of self- despair and frustration.

Since physical decline is inarguably, inevitable and universal, living an acceptably extended life would seem to require that such eternal phenomenon be seen and felt as a fair and worthwhile price, to be paid for its continuance. One might say that the price of admission to the voyage to longevity, is satisfied by an expensive medium of exchange, in the form of such decline in physical or sensory prowess. It is the ultimate realization and acceptance of this eternally perpetual trade-off that is the existential and spiritual balm for aching muscles, and joints, attributable to the process of aging. Such realization is not only therapeutic but functionally, in addition, an expression of gratitude for the fortuitous continuance of life’s singular voyage.

With such reasoning in mind, next in order, is the establishment of individually applicable and rational physical performance criteria, as an antidote to the possibility of reactions of disappointment or dismay, necessitated by such continuing loss of strength and agility. A personal, empirical range of performance measured by one’s changing physical capability, adjusted as he ages, is essential to the rational acceptance of aging’s gradually imposed physical decline. Comparisons made with one’s physical capability at an earlier period of his own life, or with others, should be perceived as irrelevant and counterproductive. It is the mature acceptance of one’s nuanced and empirically demonstrated physical capabilities, and their empirical adjustment as aging progresses, that lends the admirable virtue of dignified acceptance and rational understanding to a smooth and satisfying sail in life’s voyage.

Another unfortunate (and serious) concomitant to aging, is the disconcerting development or exacerbation, of health problems and/or physical disability. Such situations require significantly more effort in their philosophical acceptance and accommodation. The development of limitations or discomfort, in non-lethal occurrences, may, however, be somewhat assuaged by contrasting the same with comparative possibilities, accompanied by worse, or even, life-threatening conditions.

The optimum perspective of the wise and philosophical person, regarding limitations in physical function, however, caused, appears to be one of essential gratitude for those functions which he is, indeed, capable of performance; is a healthier alternative to an exclusive regret for those he cannot. It is the generous franchise of life, itself, that is to be eternally prized.

The maintenance of a sufficiently balanced and in-depth perspective, with such emphasis on gratitude for being a recipient of the singularly valuable franchise of life, above all other considerations will, predictably, be rewarded by a life voyage, featured by clear sailing and the prudent avoidance of many potential deep emotional shoals.







The dynamics of human life would appear to be an eternal procession of selected choices, widely ranging from the facile bedtime decision to turn the pillow to the cooler side for comfort, to the existential decision, to be or not to be. It is volitional decision making, as contrasted with autonomic functions (ex., breathing, digesting, eliminating) and Pavlovian (pre-programmed) responses to stimuli, that is the present object of concern.

Elie Wiesel, whom we, at plinyblog, have elected to call, the lyrical, “Greek chorus” of the horrific, non-fictional tragedy, known as “The Holocaust,” knowledgeably said: “Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” We will return to the subject of this vital, empirical observation, following a general, less esoteric discussion on “choice.”

The exercise of the universal franchise of choice in most mundane matters, such as morning and evening routines, observably, are merely matters of acquired habitual behavior, evolved routine choices, depending upon the practical circumstances of family or house-mates, regarding bedtime, work schedules or merely, happenstance. Such schedules, which include, matters such as, brushing teeth, shaving or applying facial make-up, ordinarily morph into consistent, semi-mindless habits or routines, disturbed only by nuanced circumstances. By major contrast, the reasoned and conscious exercise of volitional choice is never as facile as, sleepily, turning the pillow to its cooler side or routine behavior.

The principled right to universal free choice is assured by specific delineation in our Constitution and system of laws. The declared equal entitlement of all citizens to the exercise of their personal rights of action, as described in the Bill of Rights, is limited only by societal considerations of health and safety, and non-infringement of the rights of others. The exercise of the individual’s specific choices, is more complex, residing in his personally nuanced motivation, underlying such assured rights.

It is to be borne in mind that, predictably, there are psychological and factual considerations affecting the exercise of volition. Factors which would affect or impinge upon that exercise may consist of, parental upbringing, race, economic status, education, cultural and religious teachings, societal factors, intelligence and capabilities, mental health, health or disability, bodily (brain) chemistry, and perhaps above all, past experience, actual or perceived. It is elemental to assume that man’s choices are affected by such modulating factors, and that free choice, (“free will”) in addition, encapsulates such freedom in the context of the similar rights and choices of similarly entitled others.

Individual liberty is affected, as well, by practical considerations of family and national duty, events (like Covid-19), personal relationships, nuanced perception and the influence of others.  Assertive or timid personalities may differ in (choice) reaction to stimuli, but, living in society requires uniform acceptance of its approved code of morality and of the identical rights of others. Any government, person or group, which discriminates against or limits the natural or granted rights of the individual, is never morally or legally acceptable since, among other considerations, it unjustly interferes with the exercise of universal free will and individual life choices; such restraint is un-American and morally and legally, forbidden.

In the case of unjust practices, such as bigotry, personal or institutional, it is legal and relevantly appropriate, for American citizens, pursuant to the written provisions of the U.S, Constitution, to peacefully and legally exercise their legal choice to protest, such as in the “Black lives Matter” movement. For decades, law-abiding and morally inspired, American citizens have anxiously witnessed a steady, fearful, militarization and arming of municipal police departments, and in the criminal and Nazi-style mode, police acts of homicide practiced, criminally and in a Nazi-style mode, against unarmed, peaceful American citizens, motivated by the sole neurotic basis of their skin color. The realization that the police, are perceived to represent the establishment and the will of society in such cases is disturbing.

It is inconceivable to realize that rational American citizens, will tolerate or celebrate a Nation in which fellow Americans who happen to be born with darker colored skin, are treated in an inhuman manner, similar to the Jews in Europe; as well as, earlier in our history, by our government, with respect to our continent’s peaceful Native Americans. Sad to say, the deadly pathology of racist bigotry (among a plenitude of miscreant behavior) appears to be a feature of the repulsive persona of the current President of the United States; a Nation fundamentally dedicated to the moral principle of liberty and the equality for all.

The responsible choice of Americans is to, at long last, rid the Nation of the immoral and repulsive phenomenon of bigotry. Thousands of responsible, law-abiding Americans, of every color ethnos and circumstance, have appropriately joined in the huge public and peaceful demonstrations, against institutional prejudice, including, particularly, immoral black homicide. They are acting appropriately and as good and responsibly moral citizens in availing themselves of their Constitutional right to peaceably, protest prejudice and unequal treatment.

Elie Wiesel, (if he were alive) would join us in the applause of and earnest support for, those true and dedicated citizens who love our country enough to come out and protest against the systemic prejudice, practiced against black and brown fellow Americans, (“Black Lives Matter”) and in favor of the enshrined principle of equality, on which our Nation was fundamentally established.

Our egotistic and un-American President, in keeping with his perverse totalitarian inclinations, has, in autocratic fashion, chosen to illegally and shamefully, send armed soldiers to confront those patriotic, and admirable protesting citizens. He must be voted out of office if we are to have a return to the eternal promise of a principled and traditional America.


Blog # 527 DISMAL  CAROUSEL poesie (“Wuka-Wuka”)* [Redux]

Suffer no fear of tropical storms,
They do relent, rebalance, reset.
Have no fear in the long, black night
It’s only day without the day.
But do dread, the awful sound of wuka-wuka!

Do not fear the mighty blow,
All wind dies down before too long.
There is no fear for heat and cold,
It all just moderates in time.
But beware the wuka- wuka sound!

You mustn’t fear black smoke too much,
Firemen are surely on the way.
Nor panic from excessive speed,
Reduce will follow shortly on.
But, so much fear in wuka-wuka! wuka wuka !

Never fear a try at love,
Yet another may do the trick.
Do not fear to fail at goals,
New starts will show before too long.
Only wuka-wuka sounds are dire!

Do not fear the surgeon’s knife,
The goal’s to free you from disease.
Never fear the longest road,
The end’s in sight before too long.
But you must escape the wuka sound!

You must avoid the dread carousel,
Grim wheel that turns, just gyres and turns
No music here, all wooden gears,
That speak in fearsome wuka sounds.
Do fear those clacking wuka sounds.

Foul beasts are seen to stand and glare
From on the platform of that wheel.
With vicious smile and carnal teeth,
I could stretch to see but few.
Of this wuka-wuka menagerie
Better hope it will pass by.
The wuka-wuka at your face.
All would be lost, all good be gone,
Your fate: to see the beasts up close.
Wuka-wuka, wuka!

The first beast is called the “Trail of Tears”
One,” Armenian Deadly March”
A white one bears the name, ”Jim Crow”
“Dresden” is the German beast
“Appomattox,” another horse
Next to a black one, called “Babi Yar”
A Yak who answers to “My Lai.”
Behind an ancient hound, “pogrom”
“Nagasaki” is the reddish beast, before
Twin ogres, “Isabella and Ferdinand”
“Hutu-Tutsi” both on the side
And to the right of one, “Nanking”
Wuka-wuka, and then wuka wuka, ever it clacks.

To the smiling skull atop the pole,
Above the center of the wheel
I screamed: ”Please, please answer me!”
“When will it stop?”
The faint reply was wuka- wuka, wuka-wuka


Leonard N. Shapiro 11/16/16

*This is the second of two reprised poesies, to remind us that human tragedy inevitably follows whenever evil persona prevails. We need to consider the reality of National disaster unless we vote against the candidate ,inspired by autocrats and autocratic rule, Donald Trump 8/3/20

Blog # 526 NAMASTE [*Redux of 172]


Attend it close, excluding all
So as to sense and mindfully hear
The cardiac beat of planet Earth
Those pulses soft in depths profound
Life’s vital tattoo, its organic sound
In synchrony to man’s own heart
In star- set universal time.

If you would hear, go out of mind
Attend the Earth, embrace its sound
Enfin, -do you mark that base tattoo?
That all may hear and apprehend-
It ticks the steady tune of life
With the eternal measured strikes
That beat, indeed, from babe to crone
And then, from crone to dust, so soft.

My sight is only for your Self
And not your lovely eyes or limbs
It is perforce, your heart I seek
That beats along with that of mine
Both timed unto that earthly drum.

What I would see and do salute
My planetary heart and earthly self:
Is pure, ethereal love of you.


Leonard N. Shapiro, N.Y. 2018)

*This poesie is reposted to serve as a brief moment of healing, at this time of great stress.