Post # 441 THE OASIS

During the relatively brief period of time, between winter’s seasonal holidays, and the end of the year, many individuals, perennially, experience, a sense of having, breathlessly, arrived at a hiatus, effectively, a small oasis, in the surging sandstorm of time, sufficient to experience, a private moment of self-analysis, retrospection and, personal catch-up.

There are people who feel anticipatorily depressed, and at a true loss to comprehend, the universal expressions of joy, and celebratory, Mardi Gras atmosphere, of the coming New Year’s, holiday, its annual celebration of the passing, of another valuable year, of a finite lifetime. To such people, in such a somber context, it may seem that the New Year whirlpool- maelstrom, of drinking and reveling, is merely, an ephemeral, diversion from the stark realization that another, irretrievable and meaningless year has, passed.

The seemingly, exponential rate of change, in electronic-computer facility, particularly, its real life, social consequences: the  morphing from personal interactive communication, to impersonally transmitted small screen symbols, authentic friendships to mere “face book” acceptance, from human, personal services, to absentee robotology, from the enthusiasm and excitement of personal investigation and hunt for knowledge, to the mundane pressing of “apps,” on a hand held instrument, from turning pages of a softly lit, good book, to scrutinizing words on an electronic screen, and from the all-pervasive and fast evolving, metamorphosis, from natural human contact and interaction, to impersonal electronic connection, appear to be prominent features in the raging sandstorm of societal change.   Life has, for a great many people, been tending to appear, progressively lonelier, more insular, and less meaningful.

There are many, (especially, among the younger generation), who will, rarely, experience the pleasures of natural, personal interaction with a recognized voice, and the benefits of spontaneous response, the comforting, tactual experience, of turning pages of a good book, under a soft reading light, never write a selectively worded, personal letter, concoct a recipe, read a newspaper or magazine, or write an article. In a complicated age, when personal interaction and social contact are vitally important, they have chosen, in compliance with the call of contemporary lifestyle, to sell out vital life experience, for the cheap allure and easy convenience of populist and impersonal, (if more efficient), electronics.

Such people have, in any objective audit of the franchise of life, received little, aside from some physical convenience, and momentary comfort, in an unwise exchange, for the complete loss of the invaluably, warm reassurance, of shared socialization and the excitement of novel experience. Many have become ambulatory couch potatoes, bored and disappointed, with so little return accrued from life, and panicky, regarding the fleeting time, fruitlessly, waiting, for something good to happen.

The inevitable passage of years is accepted by many others as well, but, in their case, is mitigated by the recognition that their limited franchise of life, is being spent in the enjoyable pursuit of an elective interest, in pursuing and developing knowledge, understanding and perspective. We have used the opportunity of this blogspace, to encourage advancement and the development of a mature perspective of the self and of others, as well as of man’s environment. We have emphasized mutual, natural and real life interaction, as the best means for the exchange of thoughts, feelings and information, but also, as a needed assurance of societal membership, and personal identity; as contrasted with a desperate feeling of insulation and insecurity. Reading (of books) has been recommended as a lifetime activity, as is, involvement in a chosen interest, involvement in the arts and sciences, as possible, and of course, active family participation.

In this blog space, we have chosen to maintain the theory, that the evolution of man is an ever continuing phenomenon. Further, that man accrues a moral responsibility, to use his unique potential, to the utmost of his ability, to achieve greater value from his life, and as an expression of appropriate gratitude to nature, for its generous, singular gift of an advanced brain. Those who do so, come to fully appreciate, in the thought-provoking, oasis of time, between the holidays and the New Year, a wonder at the marvelous franchise of life, and enjoy an appreciation for the time allotted to them. They happily and gratefully, celebrate at the New Year’s holiday, the incomparable value of the time, afforded to them (albeit finite), and live gratefully and fully.

In this blogspace, we have consistently declared that ultimate, “success,” is the internal realization of self-fulfillment, and not the external, accumulation of worldly possessions.

-p.

Post #440   A PLINYBLOG BIRTHDAY (A Retrospective)

It was, slightly more than four years ago, when we began the publication of our mini-essays, popularly referred to as “blogposts.” A developing desire to share lifetime thoughts and experiences, seems to have accumulated a residual sense of urgency, as we attained the status of societal “elder.” The blog canon, itself, affords sufficient opportunity to make observations and personal judgments, on a variety of subjects, limited only by the extent of the author’s scholarship and empirical experience. The first few “blogposts,” were experimental, a trial dipping of an insecure toe, in the water; later published, mini-essays became somewhat more advanced and literary (as well as, hopefully, incisive) and enhanced our desire for expression, most especially, as to the human condition and its universally, classic, issues. Unless perceived events, and, felt responsibility dictated otherwise, we have attempted to limit the number of occasions for comment on issues arising in the current political scene.

It might be useful, or timely, to reveal the origins of the name of our blogpost, “Pliny blog.”  In ancient Rome, the nephew of “Pliny the Elder,” (the latter, a much revered Statesman), called,” Pliny the Younger,” authored copious letters, which turned out to be, a virtual treasure trove of information, for students of Ancient Rome.  In his review of the book, “Review of the Letters of the Younger Pliny,” literary critic, Arthur Serkis, states: “Whenever I began reading the collection of letters, I felt as if I may be reading Pliny’s blog. Except that they did not have the internet…”

The younger Pliny, is quoted, as, writing: “…so we must write as our [self] professes, and not make anybody else’s idleness, an excuse for our own. It is for us to produce something worth being written and read.”

To be clear, we do not, aspire to comparison with the exalted status of the named, ancient Roman, but we are, in fact, dedicated to produce “something worth being written and read,” and, we have, accordingly, undertaken, in this contemporary age of the internet, to call our blogspace, “plinyblog.com.” We do confess to being presumptuous, but only to the extent of the universalization of our own, salient and personal goal, the development of wisdom and mature perspective, as the appropriate aspiration for mankind.

As can be observed above, we have published, something short of, 500 mini-essays. These in large part, deal with the implicit obligation of homo sapiens to demonstrate, to the natural forces of evolution, his gratitude and recognition, by its use, for granting him an advanced brain. We have applauded those in modern society who have, indeed, shown respect for this invaluable anthropological gift, by pursuing personal advancement and understanding, but have expressed existential disappointment with the far larger numbers, who have refrained from doing so. We have argued, for the existence of an anthropologically, moral obligation of man, to continue to grow in understanding and perspective, by the exploitation of that generous gift. We have further declared, that the Nation is stronger and better, and individual life is more satisfactory and meaningful, with the acquisition of knowledge and mature perspective. This has been our signal message. We have (perhaps too) often referred to the message of Thomas Jefferson, to the effect that, an educated and informed population is required, in order to have a successful democracy. Plinyblog.com, has consistently charted the pursuit of knowledge, as the only route to the aspiration for a higher quality of life, and personal fulfillment.

Far too much has been published to date, on the distressing subject of our sitting, miscreant, occupier of the White House. It would serve little purpose, to once more, recount his seemingly, uncontrollable and unseemly behavior. An especial cause of our present distress, is the frightening realization, that millions of Americans voted for him, despite his incapability and unsuitability for office. This, of course, makes relevant the cited, Jeffersonian statement, on the existential need for an educated and informed citizenry. It has been wisely and challengingly said, by many, “we can have a Republican Democracy, if, we can keep it.”

It has been this worrisome challenge, that fuels this blogpost, as well as its eternally expressed, urgent message of encouragement, of the citizen, in a reasonable, lifelong, participation in the arts and sciences, and in the responsibility and exciting challenge of human advancement. A Nation’s people, are its most strategic, reliable and effective, natural resources. Reason is the proper goal of every citizen, and of the Nation. We humbly, seek in this blog space, to encourage the pursuit of that doubly beneficial goal.

-p.

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.