Post # 683              THE TEXAS SEPSIS

The Texas State Government, under the monarchial rule of Governor Greg Abbot, has overcome the formidable challenge of matching the autocratic inclination and hypocrisy of the master of demagogic mendacity, Donald J. Trump.  Abbot has endorsed Trump’s fascist policy of “The Big Lie” and as well, the latter’s pathological support for undemocratic policies such as limiting the votes of black and brown American communities, opposition to the policies of prevention of infection by the covid virus, interference with minority voting rights, opposition to immigration, opposition to the right of a woman to choose abortion, opposition to gun control, support of unconstitutional school prayer and denial of the dangers of atmospheric pollution and global warming.

 We have written copiously, on the subject of the undemocratic pathology of the foregoing detestable policies, and will accordingly, relegate this writing to the newest reported Texan travesty that of book censorship. The latter, now added to the other pathologically contagious presentments, have been responsible for Texas’ complete deterioration to the potentially fatal condition of infectious sepsis. Our aim, to the extent of our modest influence, is to avert further progress of the Texas dire infection, from tragically metastasizing into a veritable sepsis of the entire body politic of our Democratic Republic.

Book censorship is the act of the State in taking measures to suppress ideas or information, contained within a book. Censors, such as the current, undemocratic Texas government, seek to limit freedom of thought and expression by the restriction of their expression, by spoken words, printed matter, and other forms of communication.

 It might initially, and appropriately, be noted that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the American people from government censorship. In a lesser non-legal and aesthetic context, the celebrated author, Oscar Wilde, stated “There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well-written or badly written.” In the more relevant, formal, and societally instructive context, Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendel Holmes, famously asserted that those who think they are right, will find it perfectly logical to translate their convictions into law and impose them upon others, but the theory of our Constitution is that the best test of truth is in the free trade in ideas…”  We would, more modestly, add the logical point that if there is faith in a point of view, there should be no fear of controversy.

It is ironic and somewhat amusing to learn from the literature on the subject, that banning books often has the empirical effect of increasing interest in the book and making the work more popular.

On further thought, we realize that, in the above language, we have been too respectful and possibly naïve, in treating the recent autocratic censorship by Greg Abbott, with somewhat scholastic, or more to the point, rational argument. Our best perception is that Abbott’s rationale for his perverse acts is neither philosophical, political nor moral. Undoubtedly, he does not consider any other context, other than satisfying his influential confederate in nefarious, autocratic ignorance, Donald J. Trump, and the latter’s cultish acolytes; even at the cost of potential ridicule.

Texas’ mandatory book policy mandates the prohibition against the availability and reading of any book unless books with the opposing view are available. He claims, as false tactical rationalization, that he wishes to avoid feelings of shame or guilt in schoolchildren;  that accordingly, for example, books on The Holocaust and on Slavery have been banned, to protect the feelings of schoolchildren, and  because of the absence of books with “the other point of view.” One is hard-pressed to ask, what is the opposing view on the Jewish Holocaust? Hitler’s Mein Kompf? What is the opposing point of view concerning the egregious enslavement of black human beings?  Moreover, is it necessary to point out that the purpose of history, in any event, is not related to one’s feelings, but rather, to make us aware and learn of the past, so that such horrendous events will not be replicated?

Motivated by our palpable aversion to censorship,[with all due apologies], we will be unorthodox enough to relate an anecdotal, somewhat risqué, interaction on the subject. Many years ago, at a well-attended cocktail party, largely of members of the bar, we overheard another legal guest, a middle-aged woman, loudly and enthusiastically, sermonizing, to those in her close circle, in favor of censorship, “as a necessary mandate of societal morality.” Despite our pretention not to hear or be interested, she, for some reason, chose to come directly in front of us and, in the company of several other guests, sought to engage us in discussion. Although we have always detested censorship, we, politely, ignored her spirited remarks, and tried to avoid confrontation by politely offering her a canape or a drink; but she carried on, more loudly and vociferously, finally angrily demanding, “Well, then, what do you think of sex in the movies?” We, reflexively answered: “I don’t know, never tried it—but it would  probably be ok if the seats don’t fold up on you.” Following a gasp, she took her predilections for censorship elsewhere.

-p.

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Post # 682              JOYS AND LAMENTATIONS OF A FIRST GENERATION AMERICAN

This will be the second occasion in our hundreds of writings that, for the purposes of clarity and emphasis, we have chosen to state our conclusion at an essay’s beginning. The theme and conclusion of the present writing, simply, and  dejectedly, put, is: “This is not the way it was supposed to be.”

In an early series of essays depicting our life as American-born children of Ashkenazi -Jewish, European immigrants, self- transplanted to the novel ambiance of  1940’s Brooklyn, we sought to portray the ethnically warm, immigrant subculture, reprised, in a new and exotic context. We offered a few verbal  snapshots of our lives and those of fellow immigrants, and their earnest efforts to adjust and acclimate themselves to  a dizzying conglomeration of a new language, new folkways and social expectations,  the trolley cars, movie theaters, telephone and radio, retail stores, the automobiles, the remaining horse-drawn wagons, the coal and ice sellers, the aging residential apartment buildings, the mix of new and old-world food aromas and in general, the immigrants’ mundane experience in the then extant America,  previously dreamed of as the “New World.”

The emigrants had endured painful and dangerous sacrifices in their escape from prior lives of dire poverty, arctic-like cold and horrific peasant pogroms for a better life. They very soon discovered that America, previously transmogrified as the “ Di Goldene Medina” [the golden land] was, demonstrably, far from golden but nevertheless, a safer and better place in which to live, with the added promises of liberty and above all, opportunity for their future children.

Throughout childhood, we would, covertly, overhear the subdued adult recital of the horrific details of poverty and religious abuse, inherent in their European Jewish existence. We learned at an early age, to appreciate the good fortune of being fully vested Americans, coming to take for granted, the rights promised by law to all Americans, regardless of ethnos, relevantly inclusive of the progeny of Naturalized [immigrant] Citizens.

As related in our earlier writings, parents, regardless of the limited extent of their formal education,  emphatically stressed to their children, the existential importance of education, not merely for its own sake, but, as the route to a better life; the professions of Medicine, Law, the Rabbinate and Teaching, often being among the targeted goals. Schoolwork and study times were set aside as singularly important, during the pendency of which, parents would observe an appropriate period of silence. Their compliant children learned to dedicate themselves to success at their studies as the path to a better life.   

Until the recent appalling events, as set forth below, reconfiguring the entire traditional context of the Nation, the educational route for the attainment of “the American Dream,” was uniformly seen as a realistic goal. The children of the described immigrants, generally, went on to pursue higher education and lives as educated American citizens, many occupying the various professions and excelling in education and the arts; and, for the most part, attaining comfortable middle and upper-middle-class lives. Proper education and the democratic criterion of universal equality were recognized, in a uniformly felt context of gratitude, to be concomitants of immigrant success in the New World. Gradually, but significantly, as secure, and self-assured citizens, they acquired a mindset consistent with America’s historic mantra of universal rights.

However, in time, they became appallingly aware of the shameful and inconsistent National blemishes consisting of the past enslavement of black people and the immoral dispossession of indigenous Americans and personally experienced indications of the persistence of perverse racial, gender and anti-Semitic prejudice. Many immigrants and their children, based upon their painful memories of their past lives, became empathic and ardent supporters of civil rights and of the principle of separation of Church and State; the persisting problems of racial, gender and anti-Semitic prejudice,  universally seen as being antithetical to the historically articulated tradition of  American equality.  

America’s progress toward universal equality began to noticeably improve in citizen sentiment and government legislation in the decade of the 1960s. In 1964, Congress passed The Civil Rights Act which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, or sex. The Civil Rights Act of  1968, prohibited such discrimination, targeted more specifically, to the sale, purchase, rental, and financing of homes. There was an observable, steady and slow, but consistent, progress towards the mitigation and hopefully, the elimination, one day, of racial and other bias in America.

Significantly encouraging was the election and the reelection of Barack Obama, the first black American President,[we would maintain, to date, the Nation’s finest Chief Executive] to two Presidential terms [2009-2017]. During the period of the Obama [eight] years, the longtime hopes and aspirations of right-thinking Americans looked positively attainable.

The state of the  American union remained empirically hopeful and encouraging, until the lamentable election [2016] to the American Presidency of Donald J. Trump. As observed in previous writings, this Nation, like others, has historically suffered a substantial cohort of eternally discontented, inadequately educated, useless, and at times, harmful, the underbelly of citizens. We have, at times, unceremoniously, referred to them as the Nation’s inadequately educated, semi-literate, “flat earth”  ”population. The appearance on the political scene of Donald J. Trump,  an ignorant but wily and effective populist demagogue, and a canny snake oil salesman, was one with whose ignorance and manner,  many of the Nation’s sleazy underbelly might comfortably identify. With an unprecedentedly large vote of this underbelly, together with the huge financial support of many large, industrial sociopaths, who dedicatedly value profits, gleaned from dangerous air pollution, over human life and health, the incapable, former sleazy television game show host, i.e., the neurotically egocentric, Donald J. Trump was unexpectedly and lamentingly, elevated to America’s, Oval Office.

Trump, in his one term in office was impeached two times and remains the poster boy for ignorant, corrupt, incapable, ego-centric autocrats, about who’s publicly known, harmful, and incapable performance we have profusely, written. Trump, succeeded, in his short tenure, in casting a veritable, Dark Ages style shadow over the Nation. To relate the plethora of unspeakable acts of shame and disgrace, yet again, would be needlessly redundant. We can sufficiently precis the National experience as shamelessly incapable, ignorant, and morally reprehensible. He was perniciously successful in causing, among many citizens, a populist regression to the atavistic and regressive un-American, Jim Crow era and Christian White Supremacy, an autocratic assault upon the responsible press,  and, devastatingly, a successful attack on the existential societal institution of “truth,” itself. The latter gave carte blanche to the extant, unstable conspiracy practitioners, whose delusional reality then extended from rockets sent to earth by Israel from outer space, hidden tracking micro-instruments in medical vaccine, and thermostats or bamboo that alter voting results, [delusionally] enabling Biden to “steal” the past election from Trump.

The most dangerous threat to democracy, however, consisted of  Trump’s craven choice,  to, rather than stepping aside for a new, successful candidate, asserting a tactically manufactured complaint, messaged to his delusional cult, that the Biden people have “stolen” the election from him. Armed and incensed with this bogus claim, and at Trump’s not-so-subtle invitation, many hundreds of his cult, [notably, including the various Christian White Supremacy gangs] on January 6, 2020, [the date designated for installation of the new President, by the Electoral College] launched a violent, Bastille- like, bloody insurrection, at the U.S. Capital Building, causing deaths, injuries, property damage to historical artifacts, and worst of all, damage to our democracy, by an attack upon the efficacy of the American vote.

We find very alarming and truly bizarre, the incredible facility of Trump, analogous to the similarly, ignorant and psychotic, Adolph Hitler, to hold thousands of ardent sycophants within in his demagogic sway, in cult-like acceptance of his manufactured and distorted reality. The reality-based citizens of America are dumbfounded by Trump’s ability to convince so many others, of the verity of his neurotic contortions of empirical reality. His ignorant and atavistic anti-science stance has proximately led to many thousands of preventable deaths, due to the covid virus, caused by his downplaying its seriousness and his overt opposition to preventative masking, distancing, and vaccination.     

Despite his[ multi -certified] loss to Biden Trump has continued to supply his gullible and enthusiastically responsive followers with daily doses of vile and poisonous propaganda, dangerously and emphatically confirmed by those practitioners of cognitive dissonance known as the right-wingnut media; not only regurgitating Trump’s “Big Lie,” about the “stolen” election, but spewing dangerous and false “news” and commentary which is in accord with Trump’s ubiquitous distortions of truth, and with his message of support for the anti-American, Christian White Supremacy groups.    

At this time, the dark cloud of threatened autocracy has darkened hopes of enlightenment and societal advancement, as well as universal brotherhood and equality. Only a large, spontaneous, vote of right-thinking Americans can suffice to purify the atmosphere.

Benjamin Franklin when asked, “What kind of a Nation have we created?” providentially answered, “ A Republic, if we can keep it.”

-p.                     

Post # 681 PLANETARY DIVERSITY

We would choose to share with the reader, a truly éclat-level breakthrough in our understanding, that unexpectedly occurred during recent ruminations, that lends needed comprehension to the dynamics of the current, byzantine mindset of the American public. We had, prior to such inspiration, long and fruitlessly, meditated upon the manifold diversity, extant in society, in worldview and opinion,

A virtual universe of negative comment, it seems, has been expressed, concerning the remarkably,  inordinate divisiveness of our Nation; the latter, publicly, but to some degree, sanguinely, styled as “E Pluribus Unum.” We had for some time speculated, as to whether such remarkable divergence of views was the product of innate inclination, the tactical efforts of its political rulers, or perhaps, a mixed combination of both. Even more confusing and puzzling was the hodge-podge of permutations and combinations of such polarized opinions, as can boggle the best analytical minds. We now, at long last, are in possession of the empirical explanation; but first, some necessary [planetary] dynamics.

Scientists believe that terrestrial planets have been formed by the gradual clumping together of dust and gas into hot blobs of matter, which, after certain prolonged stages, cool and congeal into our recognizable planetary forms. The singular and remarkable event of a later and second, morphing of planet Earth, was caused by the congealing of the copious amount of accumulating dust and detritus of time-consuming and useless political argument. In the slow course of astronomical events, such detritus, ultimately and unprecedently led, to the Earth’s bizarre alteration and morphing into two identically conjoined planetary conglomerates, constituting the present single planetary body.  This bizarre and previously unheard of, solar system dynamic, nevertheless, fortuitously, makes efficacious our present theme, viz., the theory of planetary-political diversity. 

As indicated, the gassy detritus of an uncanny multitude of disparate views on a myriad of contested issues, during Earth’s gradual second formation, seems to have endogenously clumped together into two distinct, but miraculously conjoined planetary conglomerates; each sector of the globe, as was much later observed,  manifesting fixed and immutably consistent combinations of views, and perceptions, as are diametrically at odds with the inhabitants of the other.

It is our observation, that the diverse cornucopia of differentiated opinion had, commensurate with the planet, itself, evolved in a such a distinctly patterned, bifurcated way, that it appears to be flawlessly predictable to deduce the entire myriad of views of any denizen, living on a sector of the newly conjoined planet, by the awareness of his position on any single, selected issue. This timesaving, if not rational, dynamic, may be seen, irrationally, to depend upon one’s sector-planetary loyalty as contrasted with his individualized, deliberative reason.   

This phenomenon, conceivably, may be explainable by the combination of the extreme passion, universally invested in each of the many controverted issues, in close combination with the feelings of sector- planetary loyalty expressed, in acrimonious, unmistakable contradiction to the disparate views of the residents of the other sector of the conjoined planet.

Recent determinative, hotly contested issues, have included the woman’s right to abortion, the regulation of firearms, immigration policy, gender issues, including, same-sex marriage, the degree of respect for science, and medicine [vaccine or veterinary horse wormer], global warming and other environmental issues, reformation of the criminal justice system, government assistance to the needy, minimum wage, taxation policy, voter interference and gerrymandering, church-state relationships, foreign aid, government health and safety regulation, and trade and tariff policy. The reality is that one can ascertain, not only the entire list a of predictable opinions, but, in reverse, the planetary venue of the individual, by his expressed view on any one of the listed hot issues. It would, no doubt, be socially inconvenient, to live next door to a dedicated denizen of the other “sector” of the conjoined planet.

Citizens of one part of the planet who favor legalized abortion, will predictably favor gun regulation, those, on the other, who would restrict immigration, would oppose the regulation of gun ownership,  the denizens of the portion of the planet who respect science and acknowledge the threat of global warming, will predictably oppose any impediment to voting and will favor a liberal immigration policy, those who are opposed to homosexual rights, will eschew the problem of global warming, those who affirmatively support governmental health regulations, will favor tax equity, citizens believing in the [mythical] “Christian White Nation,” and tax benefits for religious organizations, will oppose gay rights and favor restrictive voting, supporters of reform of the criminal law system will, predictably favor the regulation of firearms and liberal immigration policy, and so, on it goes.

The existence of predictable combinations of views on contested issues appear to be fundamentally explainable by such general matters as, the felt propriety of governmental responsibility for needy citizens, including oversight of health and safety regulations and an empirical respect for science and global warming; in contrasting comparison with those who fear Federal governmental authority, and rely upon “trusted” political personalities in lieu of the official findings of scientific research.  

There has proven to be predictable and generic determinants governing this empirical dynamic; which we perceive to be based upon the rational extent of upbringing, the amount of formal education and resultant enlightenment of the respective residents of each portion of the planet. Experience makes it abundantly clear, that the sector of the planet with citizens possessing the enlightening benefits of a liberal education, will tend to support an empathic and rational approach to mankind’s issues.

-p.

Post # 680   A DISPUTATION OF “THE AFTERLIFE”

Individuals who describe themselves as “Atheists” or “Agnostics,” are known to consistently, dispute the “Religionists” conception of, and belief in, an afterlife. Such rationally based assumptions, argue the religionists, perceive man’s relatively short span of life as limited, brief, and inconsequential. Alternatively, they maintain, the belief in life’s reprise, on Earth, or some other spatial location,[ for those who have demonstrated a moral persona, during the space of their human life] makes the knowledge of their mortality less fearful. This widely held concept is disputable, but first, a word on the religiously held, principle of [heavenly] reward as an earned entitlement [and of deserved punishment].

We have on several occasions, criticized the “rewards-punishment” dynamic in the evaluation of validly honest and sincere morality. Intrinsic morality, is, instead, the product of a firmly and empirically based, lifetime self-image. We have previously offered the following fictional anecdote in illustration of this eternal principle: Let us suppose that in a moment of errant impulse, one were to steal a friend’s purse. Following such immorally impulsive act, the party who did the stealing was thereafter tormented by her conscience, and decided, thereafter, to return the purse to its owner, accompanied by a remorseful confession and a sincere apology. The friend, being an empathic person, accepts the apology and states, “Let’s forget about it and pretend it didn’t happen”. The sentiment is certainly generous and commendable. However, the wrongdoer herself, may not be able to forget it, and pretend it didn’t happen, since she remains plagued with the thought, “what kind of a person am I, who could have stolen the purse in the first place.” She has disturbingly, cast doubt on her previous sense of positive self-image. True morality is appropriately and dynamically, founded on one’s privately held esteem and determined self-image, and not on the expectation of reward or the dread of punishment.  The singular aphorism of which we approve is explanatory of such dynamic:  “Virtue is its own reward.”  

While the belief in an afterlife, lacks utility as an acceptable encouragement of essential morality, it admittedly, may offer needed consolation to man’s understandable fear of his mortality. Human life factually is brief, when compared to the longevity of a Galapagos Islands Turtle. But man’s magnificent gift of life, for as long as it may endure, has the potential for joy and self-fulfillment, reportedly missing in the Turtle. We have often expressed appropriate gratitude for Natural Evolution’s generous gift to b mankind of an advanced brain; one, that is potentially capable of reason, advancement, and creativity. While it is sad to observe that many human beings choose to ignore or misuse their innate potential, many in fact do, and in so doing, advance their personal understanding and self-fulfillment, during their allotment of life. The latter lead a meaningful existence, which, in fact, will continue in the celebrated thoughts and memories of admiring family and friends. It would appear to be empirically reasonable to believe that life might meaningfully be measured by its lived value and not its relative brevity. It may, accordingly, be rationally deduced, that the phenomenon of its relative brevity renders its days especially precious.

The many unique individuals who, by their past scientific and aesthetic contributions to the advancement of mankind, in life, health, or metaphysical understanding, such as scientists, authors, composers, and philosophers, will live on through their works which will endure in the minds and hearts of succeeding generations. A great book, itself, in time, may physically decay, but its contained wisdom endures. So too in the case of admirable lives, whose inspiration and value are eternally their enduring memorial. The potential for such a rational “afterlife,” is a phenomenon of contemporary existence.                         

-p.

Post # 679    FROM AN ELDER PERSPECTIVE

Having today attained the age of 85, we feel confidently enabled to confirm that, as previously declared, old age [assuming reasonably good physical health], decidedly, is not a disease. In fact, for the contemplative persona, it is the enjoyment of the enlightened rewards of mature perception, and, perhaps, some confirmation of one’s traditional understandings as to mankind, in general, as well as his personal assessment and self-image. The normal market price to be paid is certain losses of prior physical prowess and comfort, but for us, it is deemed well worth it. Mankind’s celebrity on Earth has never been based upon his superior strength or physical capability as compared with his contemporary fauna, but rather, in his potential to learn and to reason from such learning.

Our blogspace of slightly shy of 700 writings [essays and poetry] to date, has been dedicated to the promotion of mankind’s continuing journey on Evolution’s intended highway to the ultimate gold medal of wisdom. Consistent with such intention, we have among other recommendations, promoted man’s participation in chosen elective interests, totally unrelated to the performance of his mundane personal and familial obligations, to expand and diversify his outlook and enlarge his personal growth.  These have included, reading good literature and enjoyment of the various aesthetic arts and music, as valuable sources of private and personal experience, predictably resulting in increased personal sensitivity, and an empathic understanding of the eternal human condition; all of which, tending in the direction of the development of wisdom and mature perspective.

In our many essays, we have, when relevant, praised the philosopher, John Locke, for his devout declaration that man is born with a “clean slate” [“tabula rasa”], and that all knowledge is obtained, by way of his empirical experience. Were man to suitably follow Locke’s empirical theory of knowledge, there would be no irrational beliefs in superstition, no false conspiracy theories, no despicable criteria relative to the respect and acceptability of his fellow man, no unchallenged falsehoods, no delusional, promissory pie in the sky. We would, predictably, have a world population, living full lives in peace.

Our 85 years have taught us the sad lesson that a great many people demonstrate little interest for experiential knowledge or empirical truth. The distortions making up their irrational and atavistic beliefs, come, not from personal learning by [Lockean] experience, but, in unfortunate, stark contrast, upon communicated social inheritance from non-empirically oriented, atavistic thinking, family, or community sources. Such passed-along, tribal irrationality is, for such people, indistinguishable from, or perhaps, synonymous with, “fact” or “truth.”  The worrisome and existential fact is that there exists in our society, a great many devotees of such ignorant assertions of non-truths or misleading memes, a great many of whom are devout acolytes of the despicable duo of Donald J. Trump and Mr. Jim Crow.

Experience has taught us that the fundamental mandates for societal communication by language, is the understanding of a common vocabulary, and its shared conceptional meanings. We have observed, over the years, that the chronically deluded cohorts of the ignorant and irrational, have fixed, nuanced,  references and manufactured contexts of reality. These are defensively intertwined with their self-conscious feelings of projected mistrust of the fictional and eternally existing and singular, ongoing conspiracy between the “deep” forces of the government, in sub- rosa nefarious league with the “coastal liberals.” The plethora of “wacky” [paranoid-delusional] conspiracy theories are, verily, religious scripture to this substantial cohort of irrational, less than adequately schooled, discontents is beyond logical, or sane, description; inclusive of Trump’s, well-known, “Big Lie,” and the recommended preferability, for humans, of veterinary horse wormer, over medically approved vaccine for preventing Covid.

Long years of focused observation have taught us that the members of said ”underbelly” of the Nation have an altered and bizarrely dysfunctional, perception of reality and essentially, have developed their own nuanced frames of reference existing in a logically unshakeable context. On some occasions in past years, we have responsibly attempted to use reason and experiential [empirical] arguments in our good-faith attempts to re-orient such individuals from the mindset of atavistic and untested perceptions and to revisit their distorted vision of reality. We made such attempts, [please note] despite our long-held, negative feelings regarding ”missionary work,” but due to our deep concern about the danger to our democracy [see immediately preceding essay, ”Infestation of Termites”].  We have consistently, been met with ignominious failure, often met with anger and even on a few occasions, accusations of being propaganda agents for the imagined [usually, “liberal”]conspirators.”

Lockean experience has taught us that all, however ardent, attempts to encourage rational thinking to the many cohorts, populating the [Trumpian] underbelly of the Nation are done in vain and doomed to empirically predictable, disappointment. The only effective National vaccine against the danger of abasement of our unique democratic experiment is the unanimous vote of its enlightened citizens and the thorough, non-political, vetting of all nominees for high office.

 We would confidently invest our 85 years of experience and concern in the latter recommendations.

-p.       

Post # 678  AN INFESTATION OF TERMITES [An American Danger]  

   

 We are advised that authentic subterranean termites [“epifamily isoptera”], in contrast with our metaphorical ones [“Americus underbellia”], date back more than 120 million years, to the age of the dinosaur. They are known as “silent destroyers,” due to their natural propensity to create damage to wood, such as flooring, and the structural supports of buildings. The prospective purchaser of a home is well advised to procure a certified, “termite search,” prior to his acquisition of title, against the possibility of infestation and damage by these dreaded, quickly multipliable, wood-consuming pests. Empirical experience would recommend the occasional replication of such search and the use of appropriate repellants, as needed, to ensure the building’s structural integrity.

 Any cursory review of history will reveal the dreaded existence of a multitude of National leaders, possessing the metaphoric inclination to replicate the natural activity of destructive subterranean termites, by their immoral propensity to rot and destroy the essential supporting pillars of society. A vile, contemptible occasion of such injurious [metaphoric] termite infestation, to the vulnerable pillars of our Republican Democracy, was inarguably manifested, by the recent, pestiferous, and ruinous Presidential term, of the not-so-subterranean, Donald J. Trump.

Many scholars have said that the two essential pillars of American democracy, are the sanctity of the law and the freedom of the press. Relatively recent history [the 1930’s] demonstrates that, even in the heart of a civilized Europe, rational human thought dramatically succumbed to the irrational ranting of the infamous, demagogue, Adolph Hitler.  Hitler’s early efforts during the brief existence of the democratic, German Weimar Republic, were dedicated to tactically subverting the existing German law and the strict repression of newspaper journalism. These programs have been deemed fundamental to such dystopic subversion of citizen rationality to Hitler’s vitriolic and hideous propaganda. In like way, Donald Trump’s comprehensive and virulent assault upon the societal existence of  “Truth” [“alt. facts”] and on the responsible media, were tactically intended to affect the common ability of the American people to decide on the authenticity of politicians and their policies. As is eternally common to the early establishment, of both termites and hateful autocrats, Trump sought the calumnious control and unlimited infestation of existing objective and empirical reality.

Trump’s early destructive behavior consisted of his [defensive] derogation of the critical media as untrustworthy [“fake news”] and his articulated and demonstrated, disrespect for the law. Considering his known ignorance of history, such efforts, no doubt, were a spontaneous and unwitting replication of the pernicious Hitler formula. Trump’s populist success as a demagogue regarding many discontented, uninformed, and impressionable citizens, and his damage to the underpinnings of National democracy, is empirically comparable to that evinced by his Nazi predecessor, in the latter’s infestation and total destruction of the support structure of democracy in the 1930’s Weimar Republic.

Trump’s bias and divisiveness [contrary to the American institution of its declared, “E  Pluribus  Unum”], his unrelenting attempts to delegitimize America’s definitional voting process, after his  defeat by Biden [“The big lie”], despite its multiple certifications, his present call for multiple election audits,[to manufacture the  impression, since his ego-defeating loss, that election results, in general, are not final, but, purportedly subject to scrutiny], his incitement and support of the violent insurrectional termite swarm on the Capital Building of  1/6  [based upon his tactically fictitious claim that the election was “stolen”], the current multi-State, Trump-inspired legislative actions to rig future elections, by curbing the black and brown vote [since their votes, had, in large part, been for his opponent], his un-American support of biased Christian White Supremacy groups [for the latter reason] the paranoidal conspiracy theories of Trump acolytes [encouraged by Trump’s anti-factual propaganda and serial mendacity], the universal rejection of modern Science by Trump and his loyal sycophants, resulting, respectively, in the occurrence of otherwise preventable horrendous human tragedy from the Covid pandemic, and, regarding his denial of global warming, the devastating loss of life and property and the ensuing plethora of unprecedentedly savage natural disasters; all of which clearly constituting the undermining and weakening the structural integrity of our vulnerable pillars of Democracy.

The infestation of the now defeated Trump and his loyal termite swarm of indefatigable cult followers persists to date. These pestiferous menaces must be publicly identified and voted out of office; lest our Nation be undermined and destroyed by the metastasizing infestation of nefarious, termite-like, White Christian Supremacy Groups and a host of miscreant others, whose actions are destructive to America’s basic and traditionally democratic, underpinnings.

We would recommend an appropriate and empirically effective pesticide for the control and elimination of our[metaphorical] National termite population; one, consisting of a combination of an awareness and recognition of the identity and existence of our destructive citizens, strategically combined with the dedicated and responsible votes of every moral and knowledgeably informed citizen. Recent unconstitutional attempts to withhold, or impose limits on any portion of the American voting franchise, [as well as attacks on all equal rights of all citizens] are deleterious to the support structure of the American Nation and must be vigorously and effectively opposed. Any residual termite damage to our Nation and its traditional values must be immediately repaired and strengthened by enlightened and rationally appropriate citizen action. Lastly, but of existential importance, aspiring American leaders must be vetted, as a prerequisite to nomination, to ensure their personal commitment to the support of the foundational ideals of our Democratic Republic.

-p.    

Post # 677 FLOTSAM AND JETSAM [poesie]

Peering thru the National spyglass
He can faintly espy the outlines:
Floating islands of flotsam and jetsam
In watery flight from perilous homelands
Fleeing the awful Four Horsemen,
Hearts throbbing, desperate for life,
Beseeching the sons of desperate migrants
To light the soft-candled glow of empathy,
Rekindle the long-repressed memories, and
Hear the fluttering pulse of the flotsam and jetsam
And eschew the gods of comfort, for those of love.

-p.
L.N. Shapiro, NYC 9/24/21

Post #676 VANITY FAIR (Redux)

Anyone would tell you that Deena was certainly nobody’s fool. Deena Jane Ipecac always knew what, and for how long, something was “cool.” She was admirably self-sufficient, persistent in her personal pride and defensive when she detected any threat to her firmly held self-image. For example, when something new came up in conversation, of which she knew nothing, she had the tactical good sense to reply “whatever,” to denote disinterest or even boredom. It is to be especially noted that she studiously avoided any consideration of “then” and was unrelentingly focused on “now.”

Deena Jane was always reliably “in the know” and constantly alert to the shifts in the wind concerning changes in linguistic or apparel fashion. She prudently kept the latest “smartphone” within easy reach, in which phone was stored, the latest music, games, celebrity gossip, current telephone numbers and most notably, dozens of posed “selfies, ”taken and painstakingly selected, to reveal the authentic Deena Jane; the latter always seeming to bear an uncanny resemblance to some  “diva” appearing on her favorite reality television show.

Her texting was always expressed in the very latest patois, “lol,” “omg,” “s’up?” as some examples; and revealed a generous use of the latest lingua franca, such as “like,”” totally,” “awesome.” Ms. Ipecac was literati, performing close and analytical readings of People magazine and most of the supermarket celebrity publications.

To her credit, she was completely flexible; when the need for change was perceived, she changed, except for her tattoo. Her clothes were always au courant, hence, for the present, rips in her jeans, flip flops and a streak of color in her hair (usually blue).

Often, Deena Jane’s friends disappointed her, however; she was often willing to endure a contrary opinion if it was expressed by an attractive person who affected confidence. It was, unfortunately necessary, every so often for Deena Jane to change her “best friend.”

As far as “boys” were concerned, she was faultless at identifying who was considered the “hottest” by her cohort and then directing her flirtations at him.

Her conversations, such as they are, contain the language of the current patois, “totally,” instead of “yes,” “she goes”, in lieu of “she says” “awesome pizza,” instead of “tasty” pizza.  She qualifies all her statements with the word “like” in order to avoid any possible impression that she has a current emotion or has personal feelings about the subject.

Deena Jane’s eyes are always celebrated in a copious variety and quantity of makeup products, as contained in magazine advertisements which endows her eyes with a striking resemblance to that of a lemur; she only decorates her lips with lip gloss ( for the moment). There is a simple metal adornment screwed to her left earlobe.

She invariably refers to ( and, thereby, deprecates) aged members of society by referring to them as “cute,” carefully reserving the word “old” to refer to, “out of fashion,” “passé,” and other “retro” things, words and expressions.

Deena floats high on life’s meandering stream,  never knowing the direction of the next “cool” thing, but ever ready to make changes in her appearance, vocabulary and when necessary, friends.

Do not have pity or be sad for Deena Jane, she is especially fortunate to remain forever young (that is, as long as it is in fashion).

p.

Blogpost # 675    THE PALEOLITHIC PROMISE

We will dare to offend against the classically accepted tenets of the essay form, for purposes of clarity and emphasis, and, in nuanced fashion, and display our conclusion at its beginning, viz., Mankind has impeded the direction and implicit potential promise of Evolution, by its inglorious and shamefully ungrateful, squandering and misuse of the potential, afforded to him, by the generous gift by Nature, of an advanced brain.

We have previously stated our personal [“rational”] interpretation of the ancient, apocryphal legend of Adam and Eve, which has much significant metaphorical and allegorical relevance to our present theme. Religious dogma recites that the first man, “Adam,” committed mankind’s universal and eternal, “Original Sin,” by the act of eating an apple from the “Forbidden Tree of Knowledge,” inhabited by a “serpent” [snake]. He did so, it says, in response to the temptation of Eve, the first woman. As a result, the tale continues, Adam discovered his “nakedness” and he and Eve, [ Mankind], as punishment were forever banished from the “Garden of Eden.” Churchgoing supplicants have eternally sought forgiveness for this alleged “Original Sin”.

Were mankind to properly utilize Evolution’s generous gift of an advanced brain, as Nature intended,  he might have comprehended the true celebrated message, proudly announced the allegorical significance of the Tree of Knowledge, the Apple given by Eve, the snake resting on the tree limb, Adam’s consequent discovery of  his “nakedness” and mankind’s permanent expulsion from the “Garden of Eden.”

The snake, in ancient mythology, eternally, was a universal symbol of fertility; thus, eating an apple from the tree of knowledge, inhabited by the classic symbol of fertility, [i.e., mental fertility], cannot acceptably, be seen as sinful. The apple offered and given to Adam by Eve, rationally portending an invitation to knowledge, generously awards to woman, the honor of delivering the gift of the promise of knowledge to mankind. Adam, thereupon, discovers his “nakedness,” [ i.e., identity, self, awareness] and they [Mankind, as symbolically fictionalized in “Genesis,”] are thereafter, banished from the Garden of Eden  [ man’s original, primitive state of ignorance] never to return. This depiction, inarguably, is a momentous occasion appropriate to great Anthropological celebration, and not for lifetimes of religious regret and profound torment.

While this essay, is not focused on religious belief, but rather, on the widespread misuse, or non-use of reason, by mankind, yet, we cannot resist the following modern, non-secular illustration of mankind’s failure to employ reason, to inform his understanding of the world and of himself.

The undisputed, consensus of scientists of note, is that the best estimate of the age of planet Earth, is in excess of 4.5 billion years, with an allotted, “error range” of 50 million years. These declarations are based upon the scientific dating of the rocks in the Earth’s crust, and that of the moon and fallen meteorites. Western Religious belief states that the World [ and its oceans, flora, and fauna] were all created by the Deity in six days, after which the “omnipotent,” creator had to “rest” on the seventh day, fortuitously, on Sabbath Sunday. The latter does not even approach any generous concept of rationality.

To be clear, we do not maintain that “reason” is the sole appropriate guide by which to evaluate reality. Human valid emotions, such as love, anticipation, hope, ambition, desire, like and dislike, as only a few examples, may be useful, even admirable, despite their non-rational foundation.

It has been a matter of good fortune, that, our Nation has historically been populated by the numbers of educated and informed citizens, mandatorily required for its continued success as a democracy [as prescribed by Thomas Jefferson]. Yet, like many cultures, it has eternally suffered the existence of a substantial “underbelly,” of inadequately educated and poorly informed citizens, seldom civically participatory and essentially of little utility, to any representative, Democratic Republic.

We have often expressed our admiration for the 17th Century, English philosopher, John Locke. Locke, who famously, declared that man is born with a clean slate [“tabula rasa”] and that all knowledge is acquired by his experience [ foundational empiricism]. When we write in this essay of rational thought, we refer to determinative thought, founded upon objective experience and learned human lessons.  Previously acquired, or newly discovered experience, comprise the only reliable foundation upon which man may properly and rationally, reason. Error is usually the unsatisfactory result of the failure to objectively comprehend or misjudge the relevant empirical reality.

When man acts contrary to reason, he does so, erroneously, and in derogation of the natural dynamic of mankind’s continuing evolution and thereby negatively affects, the ongoing progress and successful operation of his society. In sum, actions taken, contrary to reason, are in direct breach of mankind’s implicit, non-verbal, paleolithic promise, to advance toward the goal of wisdom.

A discernable, regressive departure and steep descent, on the part of many citizens, from a promising level of mankind’s slow, but steadily developing, enlightenment, in no small part, due to the influence of the despicable Presidential term of Donald Trump. The ascendency of the incapable and discernably ignorant Trump, had the dynamic effect of a chemical catalytic, empowering a previous, unorganized, nor especially assertive, ignorant “underbelly” of our Nation, to the ominous role of an outspoken, violent, albeit totally ignorant, revolutionary force. A usefully perceived commonality was especially exemplified by Trump’s personal and neurotic attack on “truth,” creating a new and dangerously irresponsible concept of “alternate facts.” This errant concept served Trump’s egocentric need to comport the accurate criticisms of the media with his egoistic fantasies about himself and to counter the plethora of justified criticism. The underbelly contingent used it for their reductionist fantasies.

Truth, the gold medal of reason, thus, tactically, and neurotically, downplayed by Trump, was also loyally dismissed by Trump sycophants, in the creation and belief of irrational conspiracy theories. These delusional precepts consistently lent a dystopian, sub-rosa intention even to acts of government, proven protective to the health of citizens, such as vaccine to prevent infection by the Covid virus; and universally asserting, a paranoid style, secret and malign intent, behind even the most necessary and universally salubrious programs. The substitution of such delusionary conceptions, for reason and reality, has induced many easily misled and poorly educated citizens to irrationally refuse approved vaccination against the pandemic, in certain cases, in favor of ingesting veterinary horse wormer.

Other illustrations of irrational delusionary conceptions, are practically speaking, without limit: viz., that 9/11 was a U.S. military false flag enterprise, that homosexuality is teachable, that Israel shoots missiles down from outer space, that our Nation was created to be Christian, that the Biden election win was due to fraud, that caustic bathroom cleanser is an effective medicine against Covid, that government acts of compassionate capitalism are socialistic [ and, ipso facto, bad], that immigration dilutes American “purity,” that abortion of an early fetus is homicide, that automatic weapons ensure democracy, that the Jews control the banks, that black colored skin is, somehow, correlated with lack of intelligence and creativeness, that the planet and all its flora and fauna, was created in six days, in time for the Sunday Sabbath, that indigenous Americans were savages, that global warming is a liberal hoax, that liberals are child molesters, etc., etc., ad Infinium, ad Nauseum.

Human failures of empirical rationality are not only regressive and harmful but are intrinsically and shameful gestures, lacking in gratitude to Nature, for evolution’s generous gift to homo sapiens of an advanced brain designed for implicit advancement toward the ultimate golden prize of wisdom.

-p.

Post #674 [poesie] MUSICAL GEOGRAPHY

The eternal, steady, discernable pulsing, is
First felt upon rolling into the City, the
Bricked Buildings, parallel streetways, the
Dwellers, peripatetic, with leather-leashed dogs, the
Open window intrusive loud music, heard
Amidst the diffused glare of traffic streetlights, the
Screeching halt of a speeding auto, the
Clanking din of the lidded metal bins,
All are singers in the Metropolitan Choral.

By radical amendment to the libretto, the
Country sounds emanate from softer voices, the
The sibilant sounds of the brushing arbor, the
The pliant wind though standing tree trunks, the
Soft neighborly brush of verdant bushes, occasional
Sounds of small critters and soprano songbirds, the
Salutary respite of quiet, dark nighttime, occasionally,
Punctuated with distant hoots and canine barking, this
Is the Planet’s natural, earthly Sonata, hanging on.r

p-
L.N. Shapiro [9/16/21]