Blogpost # 901 L’ENFANT TERRIBLE

Functionally analogous to the proverbial, expression,“the apple, that spoils the barrel,” it inevitably, seems that among the vast multitudes of lovable and cherished children, there exists a rare few, whose persona and behavior, when revealed, prove to be dysfunctional, embarrassing and, frustratingly, incorrigible. This category of individual is often referred to, in the French lexicon, as an “Enfant Terrible.” By way of illustration, the term would embrace the sort of child that might, despite the certain expectation of consequent punishment, kick his seated mother in the shins, to foster his neurotic and insatiable need for exclusive, personal attention. Predictably, such damaged and needy species of Homo sapiens, achieve maturity, only to reside in an insular bubble, generally oblivious to everything and everyone, except insofar as it, or, they, can be seen as contributing to his being placed in the limelight. Whatever, conceivably, can be perceived by him, as advancing this neurotic aspiration, is, ipso facto, acceptable, irrespective of the possible cruelty to, or mistreatment of others.

It is our considered, view that the enigmatic dilemma, encompassing the dynamics of the bizarre and wrongful behavior, official acts and factually, unsupported declarations, of former President, Donald Trump, can be attributed to the foregoing etiology, regarding the empirical, adult devolution of the enfant terrible. As a factual matter, Trump, albeit, a three-time election loser, of, has been inordinately successful in obtaining, neurotically, needed, vast, populist, attention, especially, on television and other media.  In fact, it may, be realistically, (and alarmingly) maintained, that our Nation’s structural, two-party system, exemplified by the Democratic and Republican parties, has, of late, effectively, been morphed or transmogrified, into two parties, one for, and one against, America’s  Presidential species of enfant terrible, viz., Donald J. Trump.

With respect to his bizarre and completely, inept, four-year term as President, nor, in the period following, it would be fruitless to attempt, to summon up any recollection of his statements regarding policy, on foreign or domestic matters, any elucidation of held, economic or political doctrine, nor, indeed, regarding any subject of importance to the Nation.  By contrast, the television public witnessed regular and unabated praise of himself and derogation of perceived or actual enemies.

Unforgettable and eternally, unforgivable, is his cruel burlesque, performed before the vast television audience, consisting of his shocking and unabashed, mimicry of a reporter with the characteristic (uncontrolled, shaking) symptoms of cerebral palsy, presumably for the entertainment of his underbelly, populist supporters, and in contrast with his own apparent physical normality.

 In his addresses to the American public, he failed to evince any position, or indeed, any interest, in political policy, international, or domestic, nor indeed, on any nationally, significant matter. In addition to his numerous statements of personal praise, he, ignorantly, misinformed and misled the American public, regarding the pandemic, with notable, tragic results, revealed his personal bias toward minorities,  autocratically, deprecated education, the media, and intellectual advancement, literary achievements,  curried the favor of the gun lobby,  thus, ingratiating himself with America’s huge populist underbelly. He befriended Putin, and the fascistic leaders of Communist China, and Hungary, in his aspirational fantasy to, himself, acquire autocratic rule over our Nation.

His narcissism and lifelong need for adulation and “star status,” led him to invite his populist supporters to stage a violent (failed) insurrection against the American Government, based upon his electoral defeat by Joseph Biden, in an attempt at a second Presidential term. His narcissistic and entirely, unfounded, and, factually, unsupported, allegation was the basis for his irrational claim (and the compliant, battle cry of his compliant, populist, insurrectionists), that the election had been “stolen” from him. Trump, in his early, pre-election statements, in fact, brazenly, forecasted the insurrectionist event, in the event of his defeat. In the neurotically, deluded mind of this adult, enfant terrible, there were only two possible outcomes of the forthcoming election, personal victory, or illegitimate defeat.

We have eternally, and frustratingly, called for the consideration of a mandated, prudent and objective, vetting policy, for all nominees for consequential political office, as empirically, is mandated for all applicants for private, and inauspicious, employment.


Blogpost # 900      ENTR’ACTE

It would otherwise, be just be another early, Kingston morning, but this morning, perceptibly, the woodland seems to evince a repressed hush of expectant joy, in its anticipation of the advent of a familiar, perennial event. The chilled winds and blankets of white snow have, recently, and mercifully, removed to another venue, the air is refreshing, moist, electric, and comfortably, cool.

Soon to occur will be the Planet-nourishing showers, prompting winter-naked, branches to leaf and awakening the still-sleeping forest critters, alike, furry and smooth-skinned, from their wintery somnolence. Steady downpours will soon fall, with mellifluous, tympanic sounds on the freshly emerged, green arboreal leaves, refilling the dry streambeds and rock crevices and offering universal refreshment to the surging flora and the soon to be awakened and reenergized fauna.  

On a coming, morning, one can espy the early, blooming, emergence of a plethora of tiny, multi-colorful, crocus,  tender bulbs, and daffodils, strategically, located to facilitate the performance of their annual responsibility of seasonal reconnaissance of the new ambiance, to reassure the safety and timeliness of the arrival of larger perennial plants and flowers.

At such a preliminary stage of the new season, astonishment would be appropriate, in response to the sudden, kaleidoscopic, spectacle of multiple species of returning migratory birds, flying about or roosting in the trees, having magically, appeared, as if the woodlands were suddenly photoshopped, or computerized; yet, their sundry songs, chirps, and trills, lend mellifluous assurances of empirical reality.

A joyful, seasonal sight, is the re-emergence of the small forest denizens, the tactically, stationary bunny rabbits, the scampering, furry-tailed, squirrels and most entertainingly, the small, fur-striped, eternally, playful chipmunks, who remarkably, appear to prefer cavorting and high-jinx, to eating and filling their expandable round cheeks with tasty berries, seeds, and acorns.

Our cheek is the surprised, recipient of a floating, tiny, blue and white wing feather, serving the office of a soft, tactual cue, that the time has arrived to purchase the patio flowers.


Blogpost # 899                                         AWAKENED, AWAKE, WOKE

Despite the existence of much sound and fury, evinced by the persistence of the Nation’s problematic, race relations, it is our view, that an attempt at the examination of said singular and divisive, issue in a dispassionate and analytical context may tend to be of pragmatic use in its amelioration.

Initially, we cannot resist the impulse to observe, that the metaphysical, dynamics of American race prejudice, grave and complex as it, inarguably, is, has its own bizarre, empirical dynamic. Unlike the antipathy for example, of the Armenians against the Turks, for their cruel historical mistreatment, or the Chinese against Japan, for the “Rape of Nanking,” the extant racial hatred and bias in America, is bizarrely, evinced by the descendants of the White Christian slave owners, (i.e. the “wrongdoers”) against the modern descendants of the victims, (the “wronged”) of black enslavement. The prejudice, albeit, historical and profound, is thus, not retribution, but is empirically, skewed and conversely, irrational; yet is profound and dynamically, reflexive, i.e., requiring, merely, the mere, visual ascertainment of non-white, skin color.

A second, preliminary observation, is that the MAGA constituents have, profitably, added another tactical misnomer to their arsenal of ignorant epithets, viz., “woke.”  The previously, misused word, “socialism,” has been generously employed by Trump sycophants, for any and all government programs of citizen benefits, (inclusive of their own beneficial receipt of the same). It appears to be an entirely, futile exercise to, eternally,  remind the sage, MAGA conspiracy mongers, that “Socialism,” inapplicably, is a belief in the complete ownership and control of industry and business by government desired by, absolutely, no one. Their chosen epithet du jour is “woke,” which, in reality, simply means, presently aware (viz., of the fundamentals of the race issue).

“Woke,” in essence, simply, stated, is a descriptive adjective signifying that the attributed individual has a mature and objective understanding of the extant, unconscionable and eternal persistence of the institutionally, demeaned, status, which, had, historically, been assigned to the enslaved, black, individual. There seems to exist many American citizens, who, albeit, sincere and ardent opponents, of slavery, and racial discrimination in general, but, nevertheless, are not sufficiently, cognizant of the atavistic, societal, persistence, of such institutional perception. At sometimes it is subtle, at other times, it is more easily discernable; the exemption from such impediments, termed, “white privilege,” may well, circumstantially, go unnoticed, by its beneficiary. The informed, awareness of the contemporary, persistence of the subject phenomenon (the persistence of the institutionalized, differentiated racial status) is our understanding of the meaning and social context of the term, “woke.”

Some illustrative, examples of such atavistic, institutionalized, perceptions and consequent, differentiated, treatment may, at various times, be observed in the context of real estate and apartment rentals, admission to institutions of higher education and golf and country clubs, loans and mortgage finance, employment, the criminal justice system, and automobile drivers’ interactions with municipal police, and sadly, in personal relationships.

Enlightenment, more to the point, the maturation of Man’s perception, is a vitally, important ingredient in the foundational keystone, of personal development and, as well, of desirable, National cohesion.


Blogpost # 898  “STICKS AND STONES”

As one departs from childhood, he observes that his early, timeworn, response to critical comments or insulting accusations, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me” is, in fact, empirically, inaccurate. The employment of accusatory or critical words can have truly devastating and enduring results upon an individual’s reputation or the perceived value of an asset or idea. If a statement is false and causes injury, the wrong can be redressed in a lawsuit for the tort of defamation. Such false and injurious statements (defamation) may be oral (“slander”) or written (libel).

We were inwardly, pleased to learn of the two pending lawsuits, by plaintiffs, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, USA, against Fox News and Fox Corp., together with certain of their popular television hosts, seeking damages in the billions of dollars for defamation. The charges principally consist of the intentional, broadcast of false statements, proclaiming that the presidential election was (in the words of Donald J.  Trump), “stolen,” by the mechanical, switching and altering the votes, in order that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the winners.  Successful results in said lawsuits, we are advised, could put Fox News out of business; a result, which, in our view, would be entirely, salubrious, to our Nation’s body politic, and its democracy.  Fox News, eternally, has held itself out as a legitimate, News channel, when, in empirical reality, it is, a tactical, full-time, purveyor of right-wing propaganda.

However, such positive events, per se, do not constitute the intended, contextual theme of this essay, viz., the positive, function of such pending (and devastating) lawsuits, as a sorely, needed and conspicuous,  public reaffirmation of the basic, societal necessity, of factual, truth.

The shocking, elevation of Donald J. Trump to the Oval Office (largely, by the poorly informed and misguided, populist, “underbelly” of the Nation, financed by several of the Nation’s irresponsible anti-regulation, industrialists) was, predictably, regressive, and anti-democratic. In addition to his profound ignorance, his shameful bias and lack of moral compass, Trump, from the day of his inauguration, set out on the path of the autocratic, trade- mark policy of, demeaning factual truth, castigating the responsible media, and introducing to his large horde of compliant and deplorable acolytes, the concept of “alternate” facts, viz., information, subjectively, tailored to suit one’s temporal interest.

We have written, copiously, on the subject of this bizarre, Marvel Comics style, villain, his miscreant behavior, as previously specified, ranging from treasonous (promoting Putin’s propaganda) and greedy violations of the “Emolument Clause,” express bigotry, shameless incompetency and publicly demonstrated, lack of moral compass.  Nevertheless, the totality of said, specified, immorality, in our view, does not attain the deplorable level of the societal (i.e., anthropological) crime of demeaning the existential concept and humanistic, commitment regarding, “truth.” Without the mutual confidence and the eternal pragmatic, assumption of factual truth, the vital element of interactive communication would be untrustworthy or non-existent, and thus, societal life would be rendered, impossible; thus relegating Man to his early, primitive state, as living a lonely, insecure and hazardous life. “Truth” is the existential epoxy of interactive communication, and ultimately, of the existence of society.

Trump’s active and demagogic  campaign against truth (“alt, facts”) was especially, successful among his populist acolytes, and succeeded in  being an effective, catalyst for the creation and dissemination of his supporters’ susceptibility to delusional, conspiratorial ideations, such as:  liberals are child abusers, the Jews seek control of the World, 9/11 was a U.S. false-flag operation,  Israel (not climate change) is causing the unnaturally, large number of forest fires in the Southwest, by shooting rockets from outer space, and other creative, “revelations.” Many such paranoid ideations (revelations) were construed and disseminated by Trump’s cult-like supporters, loyally, compliant, with his denigration of truthful reality.

By far, the most shocking and damaging conspiratorial creation was Trump’s autocratic style, election denial, (of his loss to Biden) viz., “The Big Lie,” resulting in substantial National discord and, ultimately, an historically, notable, violent insurrection, which tragedy, at his invitation took place, at the Washington Capital Building two years ago. It will be recalled, that, the relevant election had been certified as valid, by several professionally, accredited sources. Nevertheless, said intentionally, false and neurotic, election conspiracy (The Big Lie”),  asserted by Donald Trump, and adopted by his large cult, of sycophants, frustratingly, and incomprehensibly, persists, to date.

Mankind’s existential, moral and pragmatic standard of truth, where needed, is highlighted by the two above-mentioned, cases, which concern a fundamental subject, required for the essential survival of humankind.



  In order that this writer avoid the depressing conclusion that the empirical outcome of the Founder’s  “Radical Experiment,” in the creation of a Democratic Republic, disappointingly, evinces, the triumph of experience over hope, he finds it metaphysically, necessary to construe an explanatory ( sociological) assumption, viz., that the experiment, itself, has changed and has become more societally, convoluted.

It may be useful, as an explanatory illustration, to reference the mathematical discipline of geometry, in the understanding of the contemporary stress-laden condition of American society, in contrast to the Founder’s dedicated efforts towards a just, peaceful and utilitarian, Nation. In Geometry, one is presented with certain established propositions, (the “Given”) and by applicable, logical process, deduces the desired, conclusion, (QED). Utilizing such geometric lexicon, the Founders’ optimistic perception was, evidently, based upon a distinctly, differentiated, “given,” (societal milieu) than the contemporary precepts, held by mainstream, right-minded American citizens.

In 1787, when the Founding Fathers completed the drafting of the United States Constitution, much of the Planet had, historically, been under the abject rule of despotism, monarchial or ecclesiastical. The architects of our Republican Democracy intended that their archetypal and radical creation, avoid the unjust, autocracy of a Monarch or Pope, eschew the unjust class system, based upon “privileged” birth, and, establish a “universal” equality. They, optimistically, anticipated that the outcome of their unique experiment would be, the political antithesis of autocratic rule and privileged status.

We would confess to the complete, contemporary, inability, to, rationally comprehend the sincere and dedicated, aspiration to prescribe a “universal,” equality, but, one which was applicable, exclusively, to propertied, white male citizens. Many of the founders, like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were, at one and the same time, slave owners, and advocates for “equality.” Excluded from the category of democratic, free citizen, were the enslaved black, whose legally, and socially, assigned, status was, that, of a mere agricultural chattel, the property-less male and the entire population of women. Thus, the status and complexity, of the Founders’ stated, “Experiment in Republican Democracy,” in 1787, was circumscribed, and, inarguably, far more limited in scope, and complexity than today.

Judging by today’s altered and expanded, criteria, despite the relatively, recent, legislated standard of equality of female treatment and, significantly, the grant of their voting franchise, the Nation evinces far less than universal compliance, with Statute, and case precedent, in the establishment of constitutional equality to Americans of color. It is the latter impediment in the main, together with certain (not unrelated) cultural factors (see, below) that continue to complicate the classic aspiration for a successful outcome from the great, experiment in Republican Democracy.

We would briefly, categorize and list the three salient factors, as we perceive them, most responsible for the added, complexity or enhancement, to the Founders’ (conception of) the “radical experiment in democracy.” Unfortunately, they uniformly, appear to be cultural, and consequently, difficult of amelioration. We list them, according to our perception, in ascending order of significance:

[Religious interference] The Founders, mostly Deists, all too cognizant of the historic, injustices and autocratic cruelties of the Church, clearly and unequivocally, made provision in our Constitution, for the non –involvement of the Church in governmental rule (“Separation of Church and State.”) The “Establishment” Clause, prohibits government interference with, or participation in, religion.

Nonetheless, the express prohibition against governmental participation in religious matters has been, at various, times, violated. The existence of “Sunday Blue Laws,” (now unenforced), alcoholic prohibition (now discontinued),  tax exemption for profitable Church institutions, persisting prayer at school and public events,  discrimination against trans-sex individuals and same-sex marriage, book censorship, and the most draconian, callous and life-threatening, the SCOTUS abolition of a woman’s right to abortion. The supporters of the latter, inhuman and unconstitutional strictures, tactically, and deceitfully, had arrogated to themselves the misleading name, “Right to Life.” That the falsity and misrepresentation of such name, (selected for public relations purposes), is inarguably, deceitful, is shown by their eternal opposition to programs of assistance to the needy child, (i.e., after birth), their general opposition to gun regulation (despite the plethora of tragic public shootings), opposition to refugee immigration, and support of capital punishment. SCOTUS’s banning of abortion was erroneous since religiously, based.

[Culture] The unfortunate, existence, in a Nation of a large inventory of a less than adequately, educated, and poorly, informed, citizens, poses an imminent danger to the existence of democracy. Founder, Thomas Jefferson, famously, declared that in order for a democracy to succeed, it is necessary to have an “educated and informed citizenry.”

That such basic and mandatory requirement has not been realized, is unequivocally, made evident, in the daily media and in personal experience. It is the large “underbelly,” of populist-ignorant members of the American society that is useless to any Nation that is dedicated to governance, by, and for the people. Moreover, it is this class that is most vulnerable to “snake oil,” demagogues, political and religious, and with the self-serving, financial support of anti-regulation big business, succeeded in the election to America’s Oval Office, of the autocratic, ignorant, immoral and biased, Donald Trump. We have, in earlier essays, previously, described his incapable and bizarre term of office (resulting in not less than, two, Congressional impeachments). 

It is among such populist underbelly, citizens that there exists, fertile ground for the perpetuation and transmission of delusional conspiracy ideations, and Christian White Supremacy militias, supporters of anti-democratic undertakings, not the least of which, was the Trump inspired, “false election,” or autocratic style, “Big Lie,” that, shockingly, led to the violent, January, 26 rebellion against the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

Historically, the 18th Century Founders had, naively, anticipated an entirely differentiated, population of Americans, who, in neighborly manner, would, regularly, and informatively, debate the extant, controversial issues. The result of the debates was anticipated to be useful as a guide to the Nation’s policymakers, as appropriate to a government, by and for the people.  Instead, differences in opinion led to sharp, divisive, rancor between insular, groups of like-minded citizens at “cold war” with other such groups, but of disparate opinion. The empirical character of the population had been optimistically, misjudged, no doubt, due to the Founder’s naive projection, of their erudite character and morally, dedicated, expectations. Again, the experiment had radically, changed.

[Race Relations] The 19th Century determination, outlawing slavery, following the Civil War, regarding which, black enslavement, was the salient issue, unfortunately, did not, by any means, signal the end of the anti-democratic, dynamics of race prejudice. The problem was not an ingredient in the Founders’ declared “experiment,” since, as observed, above, they,  in the context of their historical period, did not (somehow) perceive that the agricultural enslavement of black human beings, was immoral or unnatural.

By contrast, the overpowering, moral and legal issue in contemporary times is that of white-nonwhite, racial prejudice. The absence of this issue in the early aspirations of the Founders for success in their conceived “Experiment in Democracy,” renders their archaic estimation of such experiment simplistically, irrelevant.

In, solely analytic, societal, (and in avoidance of the use of humanistically, reproachful) terms, the long decades of institutional debasement of the value of people of color, during slavery, has, to varying degrees, and for various possible reasons, been atavistically, and ignorantly, perpetuated, especially, but not, exclusively, in regard to many, “underbelly” individuals, but empirically, more significantly, in many of the Nation’s institutions and practices. In many cases, these are subtle and properly, denominated as white (usually, unperceived) privilege. The advocates for “Critical Race” education, are especially, interested in this latter phenomenon.

We have chosen to persist in our optimistic expectation, that the “Radical Experiment in Democracy,” albeit, demonstrably, enhanced, and complicated, will, in time, enjoy a result, universally, satisfactory to all right-thinking, moral American citizens.


Blogpost # 896   IN FOR A DIME

[For a momentary diversion from the angst of the contemporary scene, we have acquiesced to a reader’s request to, once more, return to our exotic past. We have, previously, devoted several writings on our childhood, as first-generation progeny of poor Eastern European Immigrants].

By the late 1940s, our family had moved to the Brownsville section of East New York, to lease and reside in the downstairs apartment in a two-family dwelling, owned by our maternal Aunt and Uncle. It was at this era in the lives of myself and my twin (fraternal) brother that the relevant action took place.

It is because the currently, inauspicious coin, viz., the dime, has a prominent place in the adventure to be related, and, further, because some brief observations of the ubiquity of the same, in the 1940s, might be of assistance in imparting a partial picture of that singular period, we would indulge in a brief, but factually, related, diversion, concerning that relevant item of exchange.

The ten-cent coin, the “dime,” contemporaneously, occupying the hapless, financial status as a feckless nuisance, by contrast, had some significance, in an era when prices, and wages, were, so low, as to now appear incredible. Yet, in the 1940’s it was a minor, but, nevertheless, utilitarian, medium of exchange.

The coin’s ubiquitous significance in this era, was evidenced by the following, illustrative, uses: “The March of Dimes,” (fund for the eradication of polio), “Dime Stores,” (still in use for low-priced consumer marketing), “The Dime Savings Bank,” (would distribute, for deposit purposes, small cardboard dime holders, for saving the coins until the same reached, the depositable, total, $3.00), expressions like “a dime a dozen,” (of common character, ordinary), “In for a nickel, in for a dime,“(totally dedicated), “the car can stop on a dime,”(it has excellent brakes), the stereotypical panhandler’s request: “Mister, you gotta dime for a cup of coffee?” and so many other contextual examples.  Notably, the cost of a ride on the subway and the charge for the use of a public telephone, likewise, was the then, ubiquitous, dime.

Our “new” neighborhood, albeit, quite modest, conveniently, had a public pool, “Betsy Head Pool,” with admission at nine cents per patron. On warm summer afternoons, my brother and I would go there to swim, and took the price of admission from our meager weekly allowance. Our hard-working, immigrant father, like most other families in our milieu, unfortunately, was the recipient of low wages, and could not afford to give us a better weekly allowance.

As recalled, it was on a sunny, hot Friday, and predictably, my brother and I decided to go to Betsy Head Pool, where the price of individual admission was nine cents. Since it was the end of a week, we investigated the balance our mutual financial resources. Happily, we discovered that each of us, had retained, the identical sum of thirty cents (i.e. three dimes); sufficient to pay the cost of admission to the pool (.09) and the charge for the subway, going (.10) and returning (.10). Our mother gave us two towels, and, as expected, a greater number of mandated, instructions after which we went swimming.

We, at this juncture, each having remaining balances of eleven cents, just enough for our return subway trip, and upon exiting the pool, feeling refreshed and energized, we spied an Italian ices truck (lemon ices! Price, per cup, 10 cents). We were, at once, struck with frustration, and truly devastated, at our monetary shortfall. Italian ices, especially, lemon flavor, at this stage of our lives, was “Nectar of the Gods,” however, we each needed our dimes for our return subway trip.

We, sadly, descended the steps of the closest subway station with the intention to return home and discovered that the selected portion of the station facility was not central, but an auxiliary, unmanned one with simple, a turnstile for the deposit of fare, and a revolving door, which was mechanically, activated, and allowed entry into the station, upon deposit of the dime entrance fee.

We, shrewdly, looked at each other, then, wordlessly, ascended the stairs, and purchased a delightful cup of lemon ices, and, slowly and passionately, consumed it. Thereafter, we again, descended the steps of the deserted, auxiliary subway entrance, with only the wherewithal, (one dime) for one admission. We merely looked at each other as the cue for dynamic action. My brother, being the slimmest and most agile of the two of us, mounted himself, upon my shoulders, as I, compliantly, crouched. I then deposited the one dime in the turnstile slot, pushed into motion the now unlocked, revolving door and proceeded, shoulder-mounted with my sibling, into the train station, for our mutual ride home.

Prior to the described offense, and, moreover, in the seventy-five succeeding years, I have never committed, even the slightest, criminal offense. Accordingly, I remain eternally, hopeful that this singular, (ancient) theft of a dime’s worth of services, will legally, be barred by some applicable Statute of Limitations, even, possibly, annulled, so that, officially, I will be enabled to continue to exult in the recollection of a lifetime, of otherwise, unimpeachable, behavior.

Blogpost # 895     ABRIDGED TOO FAR*

History might, permissibly, be defined as the study of change over time. It covers all aspects of human society, political, social, economic, scientific, technological, medical, cultural, intellectual, religious and military. The study of history, inarguably, is an intellectual discipline that aspires to construe a rational understanding of the past. It seems reasonable to presume that no historian can be 100% objective, and that reputable, historians try to recognize their own biases and beliefs and seek thereby to understand the subject of their study, in the context of how and why people of the relevant era, thought and believed. It is our view, that the historian accrues the moral and professional duties of objectivity and inclusivity of the myriad phenomena of his relevant period of interest.

Initially, and briefly stated, we give short shrift to the status, and utility of “partial,” or, subjectively, selected or abridged, history, and, accordingly, view the outspoken, opponents to the academic instruction of “Critical Race Theory,” as deceitful and tactically, political and duplicitous.

It is empirically, undeniable, that for the period of American History, 1776 to 1865, the law  (and establishment) recognized and enforced the determination of the status of the kidnapped and enslaved African, as a “human chattel” ( N.B., Matter of Dred Scott, SCOTUS)). The advent of the Eli Whitney “Cotton Gin” (Cotton Engine), exponentially, increased the commercial demand for plantation slave labor. History records that, following the Civil War (itself, principally, motivated by the issue of slavery) and Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation,” the Thirteen Amendment was inserted into the Constitution, outlawing that base and immoral status. The painful recitation of such facts, regarding the Nation’s sordid blemish, of black enslavement is consummately, and uncomfortably, undeniable.

The insidious and tragic problem, as we would choose to describe it, is that, apparently, the centuries of hapless and unjust, cultural institutionalization of the status of the enslaved black person (now, legally and appropriately, an American citizen), seems to, immorally, illegally, and chronically, persist, among many atavistic and bigoted, anti-democratic, Americans. National efforts by government and mainstream, right-thinking citizens, to date, have resulted, disappointingly, in incomplete success in the Nation’s traditionally, represented, aspiration to, universal equality.

It is, predictably, within the large horde of right-wing, MAGA, conservative individuals that one finds the proponents of an arbitrary, major abridgment in the teaching of history so that subject matter, often referred to as “Critical Race Theory,” is eliminated, from the academic syllabus.  As declared, above, any subjectively, edited or selected accounts of history are misleading and entirely, useless. It is notable, that such major, abridgment, or omission of the Nation’s empirical history, appears to be ardently, sought by many individuals who seem to be election deniers, supporters of voting restrictions, opponents of liberal immigration and supporters of censorship and book banning.

“Critical Race Theory,” in its simplest description, is founded in the idea that racism is not merely the product of individual race bias, or “prejudice,” but rather, is a matter that is embedded in legal systems and policies. It is a retrospective, analysis of how racism has helped shaped public policy. The current opposition from its critics appears to emerge from an alleged fear, that white students will be exposed to damaging or self-demoralizing ideas.

Such alleged fears are obviously, specious and tactically false. What modern-day student is oblivious to the Civil War, to the media reports of the daily efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, to America’s past history of black enslavement, to the “Trail of Tears” and the Viet Nam War.

From responsible considerations of academic honesty to that of the pragmatism, mandated in our efforts toward progress toward universal equality, we need to recognize the totality of the American historical experience, inclusive of all that has, happened in this Nation, so that we can continue to create differential outcomes, where relevant, and become the Nation we say we are.

* Apologies regarding the title, to Cornelius Ryan, author of the 1976 Novel, “A Bridge Too Far”


Blogpost # 894    AN EXISTENTIAL MISAPPREHENSION: An Editorial

If one were to inquire as to the date of the violent, insurrectionist mob attack on Washington’s Capitol Building, reactive to the election defeat of President Donald J. Trump, the expected response would be, January 6, 2021. Any informed American, from political scientist and newscaster for the public media to the more casual, lay observer, would, expectantly, so respond. One hears from the dedicated, investigative committees, that their proceedings are purposed to uncover the facts and hold the miscreant, participators, and their tactical supporters, responsible, “so that this un-American and undemocratic travesty will not be repeated.” It is the latter, quoted, portion of the statement of ultimate purpose that we find sophomoric and troubling, and that, responsibly, inspires the contextual theme of our present writing.

We have chosen to refer to the Nation, by reference to the common, employed, philosophical term, “the body politic,” to stress its status, as an admirable, but, vulnerable, organic creation. In the analogous and observable way that toxic diseases, empirically, possess the potential to diminish the health of the Homo sapiens, so too, does the dynamics of anti–democratic, bigoted and autocratic sentiment, invade, and existentially, threaten, the health of the vulnerable, body politic of our Democratic Republic.

To further exploit our elected anatomical, analogy, we would, relevantly observe, as commonly, known, that the occasion of an individual’s, overtly demonstrated, fit of epilepsy, is never perceived as a “one-off,” occurrence, but, rather,  a probative indication of a serious, chronic and continuing systemic malady. Its individual manifestation may have occurred on a specific, medically, recorded date and location, but more insidious is the fact, that the dread experience, predictably, will be replicated.    

Likewise, the sordid events of January 6, 2021, are empirically, not  a singular, or “one-off,” event, but, rather, represent but a recent manifestation  of an anti-democratic, pathology, which, like the epileptic fit, has a regrettable, historic, and systemic existence, (even prior to the aberrant term of Donald J. Trump, its latter day, deranged, avatar.) If it were possible to ascribe a positive dynamic, to this horrific and lethal event, it was its function as a grim reminder of democracy’s eternal vulnerability.  

Any cursory attention given to the errant mindset of the Nation’s, substantial hordes of autocratic sympathizers, would note the perverse,  existence of anti-democratic traditions, of racial and ethnic bigotry,  voting interference, opposition to responsible government health regulation, opposition to universal equality, to privacy, most, harmfully, to abortion rights, opposition to the employment of truthful facts, to the legitimate, established media, to freedom of thought (book banning and elimination of the educational study of the darker periods of American history), to anti-immigration and xenophobia, to individuals of, (inherited), non-binary gender, to acts of capitalistic compassion ( as, ”socialism”), to reasonable gun regulation, free speech and enlightenment. All such fascistic positions have eternally, been manifested by the Nation’s populist, enemies of democracy, and still persist, as its endemic and systemic, pathology.

In order to effectively, preserve the enduring, health of our Democratic Republic, we, as citizens of goodwill, are mandatorily, obliged, to remain acutely aware of the ever-present threat of fascistic infection, which disease, chronically, persists as an existential, threat to democracy. We need to eschew the hapless, understanding, that this, ever-metastasizing, vulnerability, was, restricted to the January 26, attempted coup which was, but an episodic, failed event. The latter, episode, as stated, did perform the service to mainstream America, as a revelation or, reminder of the pernicious existence of a populist, anti-democratic virus, that eternally persists and poses a lethal threat to our Nation.

One cannot resist a passing comment on Trump and his hordes of atavistic and ignorant followers constituting the “populist underbelly,” who mounted a Bastille-like, physical assault on the Capitol Building. In medieval history, the monarch and his supporters, traditionally, occupied a castle with their Court and military. What atavistic and limited intelligence on the part of the insurrectionists and their sponsors, could have perceived that the medieval-style, take-over of the Capitol Building, would effect a National coup d’etat? Trump and his less than literate cult, were dangerous and undemocratic, but, also delusional, and anachronistically, ridiculous. We remain hopeful that all of the participants in the riot on January 6, and their promoters (especially, its instigator, Donald Trump) be brought to justice.

We have often written, concerning the ever-present,  danger to the perpetuation of our Republican Democracy, posed by its regular, substantial inventory of inadequately, educated and poorly informed citizens, especially, vulnerable to extremist demagogues, in the nature of the  “poster boy” for populist purveyors of autocratic, and pernicious propaganda, viz., the abominable, but dangerous, Donald J. Trump. The mainstream American citizen must remain, eternally watchful of the activities of its populist underbelly, for further iterations of January 6, but most especially, for their persistent, daily, attacks on democracy.

For the present, Congressional, members who are steadfast believers in democracy, can advance the cause of democracy and universal equality in our Nation by passing the John R. Lewis, Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, purposed to combat the contemporary, wave of racial discrimination in voting and to establish and safeguard strong National Standards, regarding elections.

Blogpost # 893     IMMIGRATION PIONEERS: A Proposed Solution

 We find it strikingly, unusual and selfish, that in a Nation, inarguably, populated by immigrants and their progeny, that the issue of immigration is so hotly contested. In general, Democrats are more welcoming to immigrants (especially, “asylum seekers”) than Republicans, most emphatically, the latter’s conservative constituents. The issue, disgracefully, appears to be a “game changer,” for many candidates, which is an indication that this “immigrant Nation” is sharply divided on the subject (The Statue of Liberty, and Emma Lazarus, notwithstanding).

The opponents of liberal policies of immigration, aside from those characterized by a lifetime of bigotry, argue that liberal immigration places a disabling strain on resources, such as residential spaces, schools, healthcare and public services,  that it exacerbates social conflict, that its maintenance and enforcement is too costly, that “illegals” who do not pay taxes, place an unfair burden on the American taxpayer (N.B. little, or nothing is said by them, regarding the Nation’s big businesses and billionaires who do not pay tax),  and that it creates competition for low-paying jobs.[ It is our considered  view, that it is the venal element of bigotry, itself, that  underlies most immigration objection.]

Proponents of liberal immigration, cite, among other things, America’s traditional history as a place of humanitarian asylum, its permissive Statutes affirming the propriety of immigration, the virtue in the responsible exercise of moral empathy towards the needy and afflicted by a prosperous Nation, and the frequent need of, special labor (viz., nurses from the Philippines, agricultural workers from Mexico).

We would, bravely, and confidently, offer an innovative and potentially, beneficial scheme which, if successful, could present the potential to reconcile all contesting interests on the subject (with the rational exception of America’s reprehensible and adamant bigots and anti-democratic, fascistic militias), but, additionally, and significantly, add to the strength of the Nation. However, prior to its revelation, we would cite some relevant empirical and historic, background.

Anyone who has taken an inter-coastal flight has undoubtedly, seen the vast areas of dry, empty, desert in the southwestern portion of the continental United States. The Nation, officially designated as located in the “Northern Temperate Zone,” is, nevertheless, occupied by no less than four enormous deserts ( in addition to an uncountable quantity of uninhabited prairie and grasslands). Of its four deserts (Sonoran, Great Basin, Chihuahua and Mohave) the Sonoran Desert, alone, contains 120,000 square miles of empty, barren and unused real estate.

A few years ago, when we were in Tucson, Arizona, we had the good fortune to visit its historical museum, which curated photos, clothing, utensils, tools, furniture and other relics of the Arizona territory, before the railroad. We saw somewhat, faded, photographs of ostriches, camels and mules, (the two latter, used as means of transport of goods) and the early settlers, living in the harsh, dry, infertile territory. These early settlers and their progeny, using common farm tools, reclaimed the arid, non-productive land and made it arable, commercial and habitable.
History relates that between the years, 1882 to 1903 thirty-five thousand Jewish immigrants (“the first Aliyah”) came to the arid, useless, forbidding, wasteland of the Negev desert and ultimately, tamed and improved it, albeit, with crude and inefficient tools, so that, generations later, Israel became a  major exporter of fruits and flowers. Few of the former ghetto or shtetel, residents, previously, had farming experience, notwithstanding which, to their credit, the lands were made fruitful, and life, viable, through the dedicated, efforts of these broken and damaged, human remnants of the Nazi holocaust, who were granted asylum in that young country.

Our novel proposed, solution to America’s immigration issue would result in synergetic benefits for the immigrant and the Nation. We would propose a program, in which the approved and willing immigrant, seeking a new home in America, for himself and family, be given employment in the reclamation of the vast, unused areas of American desert.* Our Nation has the assets and skills, necessary to initially, create livable temporary spaces, as well as necessary infrastructure for the willing and capable immigrant.

A preliminarily necessary, step would entail the employment of such willing and capable immigrants in the assistance of the government construction of their new homes, and, ultimately, (and most beneficially to the Nation) the reclamation of the non-arable land. In the modern era, the miracle performed by the first Israeli settlers could be replicated; this time with the benefit and assistance of modern construction and agricultural equipment, expert guidance and assistance. The positive, synergetic benefits, of this (entirely voluntary)  program, would be manifold, including, capital improvement (value) of useless, National lands, uncountable new jobs and salaries for American workers and engineers, as well as the trainee immigrants, and an increase in sale and use of American building materials and goods.

 Immigrants, thus employed, would, inarguably, and universally, be esteemed as a useful National asset, and productive, and valued, new members of the American family.

[*N.B. It is contextually, important to stress, that this proposal is intended to apply, solely, to volunteer immigrants, and that no conscription, whatsoever, is intended.]



Last week, fifty railroad cars of the Norfolk Southern Railroad derailed, in a fiery crash, in Ohio (near the State line, between Pennsylvania and Ohio). As reported, ten were carrying hazardous, toxic chemicals, which were in imminent danger of exploding. Crews hastily released the toxic chemicals that were in danger of exploding, into the air and began burning them, after the local residents were directed to leave the area, due to the imminent possibility of death.

Although our previous paragraph reads like an excerpt from the (1985) novel “White Noise,” by the post-modern author, Don DeLillo, it is, in reality, a terrifyingly, accurate, summary of that Friday’s news reports. Angrily, we thought of the myriad of vitally, important, governmental safety regulations, consistently, opposed by the Republican right wing and irresponsibly, eliminated by the former President, Donald J.Trump,                                                                                                                                            

The proximate responsibility and attributable guilt, inarguably, lies with America’s political right-wing legislators and politicians; the latter, financed by, anti-regulation, big business which, values profits over human life, and, in our view, may be clinically diagnosable as sociopathic..

It is frustrating and truly infuriating, to continue to observe the malign success that anti-regulation, advocates and lobbyists, have enjoyed, over the years, in tactically inculcating the Nation’s large, populist, constituency, to thoughtlessly and reflexively, respond to the asserted buzzwords, “socialism, or, “socialist” as a ubiquitous, epithet for un-American, or basic evil. Their adopted, classically, dynamic model, for this dynamic, was discovered by a well-known 19th Century Russian scientist who is credited with the developmental understanding of the “conditioned” (or “reflexive”) response to stimuli. In Dr. Pavlov’s, revealing trials, it was the hungry dogs’ response to the ringing of a bell; in the MAGA universe, it is merely the tactical assertion of the buzz- word, “socialism,” to alert the less than adequately, educated, right-wing constituents, to the purported existence of “evil” in what, in reality, are responsible governmental efforts to shield American citizens from harm.

It may be useful to once more, define the meaning and essence of “Socialism.” The latter term is a theory that comprehends the governmental ownership and control of all business and industry. There is not, nor has there ever been, a desire on the part of any American Administration, nor any possibility for the implementation, of such a form (or philosophy) of government.  Yet, bizarrely, the tactical designation of the term, “Socialism,” or “socialist”, is the “dog whistle” or Pavlovian bell, employed to elicit the desired and unfailing, negative response. It should be noted, that, as declared in an earlier essay, (“American Socialism”), it is the programs of compassionate capitalism, in our view, that have constituted the deterrent to any declared, need for an alteration in the form of government.                                                                                                                     

 The plethora of empathic, governmental programs, responsibly, enacted and designed to alleviate the suffering of poor and needy American citizens to be sure, are in no way socialistic. Nor are the many facets of the social security system (in which all conservatives, happily participate)  the federal FEMA programs of flood, tornado, earthquake, flood and forest fire relief,  postal and governmental health agencies, metrological and environmental agencies. Conservative politicians, self-interestedly, in acceding to the interest of anti-regulation, big business, shamelessly, and dutifully, assert that the prudent and responsible imposition of regulations, providing for the safety of transport such as mechanical efficacy, speed limits, safety at train crossings, transport of hazardous materials in close proximity to human habitation, and the like, are “socialism” (and ipso facto, bad);  however, the enormous cost to the governmental treasury, in restoration of the substantial damage caused by the catastrophe, which occurred, due to by the lack of application of relevant, prudent government regulations, regarding use and mechanical acceptability, is not. The tragic loss of life and health caused, on the date of the crash, by reason of the hazmat release has medically, been predicted to be exacerbated in the future.

Nor are regulations as insuring the purity of water, safety and effectiveness of medication, healthiness of food, safe and humane working conditions, safety of automobiles, roads, highways and bridges, air travel and too many other protective measures to enumerate, instances of the “dreaded” socialism.  

It would inarguably, appear that the greatest danger to the existence of a democratic Nation, is that of the grave misfortune of having a large, population of under-educated and poorly informed citizens.