Post # 632    THE ORANGE RESUME

What would be more bizarre than Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky?” More distorted than a carnival funhouse mirror? More, conceivably delusional than believing that “liberals” are maintaining a profitable business in child sex trafficking ?  More misguided than drinking bathroom cleanser, or injecting veterinary horse worm medicine, as preventative to an attack of Covid-19? More delusional than believing in laser attacks from outer space by Israel? That the Federal Government has secreted microscopic tracking devices in Covid vaccine?

The irrefutable answer, to all of the foregoing challenging questions, is The nomination of the disgraced and odious, Donald J. Trump, to run again for the American Presidency.

In the business world, applications for employment positions, involving any reasonable degree of judgment or experience, universally and necessarily, encompass a written resume, and a series of personal interviews. Such requirements are, discernably, in aid of the potential employer’s responsibility to determine the potential suitability of the job applicant for the relevant position. Should a prospective employer or his representative, detect any suggestive negative traits or questionable experiences, relative to the applicant, he would, reliably, refrain from electing to hire him.

The evaluation of any prospective performance by Trump, beyond his past, single and singular, four-year term, would not seem, as a practical matter, to require a written resume or personal interview. His established, ignorant and corrupt [mis]management of the high office, has been more, empirically informative than any descriptive resume or follow-up interview. Trump’s two Congressional, impeachments, the contemporary commencement by Congress and the Attorney General, of prosecutions to be pending against him for a smorgasbord of criminal offenses, including the possibility of Treason,  gross violations of the Emolument Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and most particularly, the unprecedented failure to peaceably step down, after his loss to Joseph  Biden, [as is traditionally required in a Democratic Republic], and his autocratic, creation of the “Big Lie,” ultimately, fomenting a violent and deadly insurrection, against the Capitol  Building [traditional historic  Nazi tactics], would, undoubtedly, mandate a long jail sentence, and not another detestable opportunity to replicate his un-American and immoral behavior.

Such dishonorable acts, are in addition to criminal negligence in issuing misleading statements, concerning the seriousness of Covid, promotion White Christian Supremacy Groups, bigotry against minorities and women,  serial mendacity, cruel, public ridiculing of the disabled, an embarrassing  and pathetically, sophomoric international performance, appointment of unqualified and ignorant toadies to the American Cabinet, autocratic campaign against the news media, derogation of the concept of truth, itself, and the contrary promotion of “alternate facts,” derogation of intellectuals and scientists, denial of global warming, publicly demonstrated, lack of moral principle, consort with prostitutes and criminal bribery to silence knowledge of such misbehavior, slander and castigation of critics, immense neurotic egotism, arrogance, coupled with massive and all-pervasive ignorance, lack of mature perspective and refusal to seek better counsel, lack of empathy for the needy, cruelty to immigrants and their families, improper relationships, viz.,  Epstein, Putin, perpetration of fraud and misrepresentation in business, ex., “Trump University,” “Trump Vodka” and others, plus an egregiously immoral record in the real estate business, inveterate golfer and slacker-off, grantor of financial favoritism and grantor of  bribes, general grifter and consummate violator of mainstream morality,  observable, full-time sociopath.

To those who, impulsively, would tolerate any consideration, whatsoever, of a reprise of the  Donald Trump  Presidency, we submit this writing, as his personal resume, for evaluative consideration.

-p.   

Post # 631   A BOOK REPORT

At this disturbingly divisive and rancorous moment in our Nation, it would seem relevant and useful, to recall the 1935, Sinclair Thomas novel, “It Can’t Happen Here.” The prescient work published a full 86 years ago, describes the uncanny ease, with which the rise of a charismatic, populist, demagogue, similar to Adolph Hitler, may come to power, disastrously resulting in a dystopic and autocratic, political government. [Hence its title]. A reading or review of this work should dissuade any thoughtful person from the misguided impression that such a tragedy could not, at any time, occur in our democratic Nation; indeed, that, recent events, conceivably, might portend a harbinger of such nightmarish tragedy.

Our readings indicate a historically, tried and true, household recipe for the successful preparation of this bitter repast, evincing its authentic and dystopic, autocratic and repressive lifestyle, flavored with a generous overlay of cold, unsweetened, quotidian fear. To access this consistently utilitarian and reliably, error-free recipe, one need not go to the trouble to consult the cookbooks, ex., “The Joy of Cooking,” or “The Silver Palate,” nor even, Ms. Julia Childs, herself; the reported events, appearing in the daily newspaper, will suffice to favor the reader with more than sufficient factual information.  

The sycophantic followers of Donald J, Trump, essentially, made up of the vast, populist “underbelly” of our Nation, whose extant cultish adoration of, and obeisance to, that bizarre, orange, Deity, prior to his Presidential election, seems to have endured, despite two shameful Congressional Impeachments, and his election loss. By such adamant support, they yet remain, loyally and unshakably, in accord with his crude and Nero-style, egocentric pathology, of favoring the pattern of autocratic rule.

Replicating the historically, inglorious, Adolph Hitler, and other such repulsive autocrats, Trump, with such cultish support has favored the reprise of the traditional, autocratic tactic of the subjective distortion of truthful facts, in favor of the more convenient use of “alternate facts, or, “alt-reality,” to comport with his own subjective distortions and evident ignorance, the disparagement and control of legitimate newspapers and other institutional media, the promotion of divisive prejudice, particularly, regarding people with dark skin as well as religious minorities, the disparagement of learning and educative science, opposition to immigration, the practice of promotion to high political office of his personal acolytes, of controlling police discipline and the military sanction of dissidents, abridgment of free [critical] speech, absolute intolerance of critical opinion, feminine and gender abuse, lack of empathy for the disabled,  the xenophobic opposition to immigration, distrust of the intellectual, and legitimate academia, ready acceptance of irrational conspiracy ideations, and a universal, systemic paranoia and ubiquitous oppression.

The plethora of disturbing, undemocratic observations during the past, dystopic, term of Donald J. Trump, and the persistent, cultish loyalty of his followers [to the point of violent insurrection makes the fear of a regression to autocracy, with all of its despicable concomitants, a cogent possibility. Our Nation must constantly stay engaged and informed, so that it can, resist the false, but tactically alluring, snake-oil promises by skilled, wily demagogues, and continue to maintain a fully aware and informed citizenry, to be enabled to counter the conditions that allow autocracy, or “totalitarianism,” to flourish.

It can happen here.

-p.

Post # 630  SOLSTICE CHRONICLES [a Lamentation]

It is on the first day of the Winter Solstice, that Earth, our domiciliary planet, begins its slow, rotational turn, to the existential light of the Sun. Would that it was conceivably possible, to analogously observe Mankind’s assured regular inclination to enlightenment. Notwithstanding its laudable advancements, in science, digital technology and medicine, there has not been a commensurate heliocentricity, relative to Mankind’s advance to the attainment of enlightenment.

Any candid chronicle of events of the year 2021, would be hard pressed to do so, in a celebratory context; no psalms, carols, bells or whistles would suffice to dim: the anguished tragedy of the many thousands of preventable infections and deaths, attributable to the persistent Covid invasion, as exacerbated by the irresponsible ignorance of the Trump administration; nor, the emergence from the proverbial, woodwork of an anti-democratic horde of the Nation’s chronically ignorant underbelly, [catalyzed by their revered orange demagogue-deity, Donald J. Trump ] for the purpose of vociferously, and violently, demonstrating their psychotic hatred of representative democracy, in general, and American citizens, born with a noticeably heavier pigmentation of melanin, specifically.   

In a Nation, such as ours, populated entirely by immigrants and their progeny, the ardent, populist opposition, to the admission of desperate fugitives, fleeing foreign corrupt and dangerous venues, seeking acceptable lives [like their predecessors], is inhumanly cruel and despicably selfish.

At the close of year 2021, we find ourselves, confessedly, populated by a plethora of atavistic and undemocratic bigots, successful enough to date, to cause forty-three, Republican controlled, State Legislatures, to enact anti-democratic Laws, limiting the votes of America’s minority communities. The Kafka-like, “Through the Looking Glass” rationale, bizarrely enunciated for the latter, amounts to the avoidance of election manipulation, by [themselves] “overtly manipulating elections. This travesty has its tangled, gnarly roots, in Trump’s monomaniacal claim, the “Big Lie”, viz., the completely unsupported, fabrication that the election was “stolen” from him. It was this delusional, ideation, that led to the criminal insurrection at Washington’s Capitol Building, January 6.

At this remarkably, bleak time, the scourge of the pandemic continues to be increasingly, concerning. Notwithstanding, the laudable development of effective vaccines, Trump’s public disparagement of their administration, and, as well, of medically recommended prophylactic measures, tragically added to the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of American citizens. In addition to the reported mortality figure of upwards of 800,000 deaths, the prolongation of the virility of the epidemic disease, by his wrongful denial of its true threat has, to date, enabled two virulent mutations.  Hospitals are overwhelmed with cases involving Covid pathology, preempting surgery and other medical needs. There were loud, audible, boo’s the other day, when Trump and that avatar of arrogance and bigotry, Bill Reilly, publically admitted, to a television audience that they, inconsistent their ardently expressed, public disparagement of the process, had each taken both rounds of shots, plus the booster.

At the time of the occurrence of the present Winter Solstice, the most sacred and reverential part of the Founders’ architecture of our Separation of Powers, i.e., SCOTUS, scarcely resembles the institution, as properly and functionally constituted by our Founders.  A mandatory prerequisite to the acceptance of any case by SCOTUS, has, since its inception, the “certiorari proceeding,” purposed, to legally demonstrate, that no political issue was involved, nor any political impact thereof, possible. This was, appropriately, to prevent a breach of the requirements of the Constitutional provision of, “Separation of Powers.” Since the 2000 case of Bush v. Gore, SCOTUS has, in a surprisingly inconsistent manner, become political, [and worse, partisan] as was irrefutably, demonstrated by the Citizen’s Union case. The latter case was indisputably, political, and, further, contrary to all legal precedent extant, since the English Statutes of Elizabeth, ruled that “corporate personhood” [merely, a practical business fiction], entitled Corporations [as “people”] to make unlimited political contributions; thus upsetting the long accepted, constitutional mandate, and more existentially, dangerous to our citizen representative democracy; perpetrated by the very institution, created to assure and guide the proper functioning of our democratic republic.

Most troubling and existentially perilous, to our Democratic Republic, [perhaps, immorally seen as a useful tool by the autocratic, Donald Trump] is the Nazi-like rise of militant, White Christian Nationalist Groups. Their recent brazen, anti-societal behavior has metastasized from local criminality to the level of a full-blown, bloody, public Insurrection at the Nation’s Capital. The bitter lesson of the 1930’s Weimar Republic and Adolph Hitler must not go, unheeded. The insidious enemy, no doubt counts upon the reliable indifference of the public.

A mature and candid recognition of the presenting challenges is an existential prerequisite to their effective amelioration. We remain hopeful that, perhaps, by the next Winter Solstice, an aware and enlightened American population will, in natural adherence to its historically dedicated orbit, effectively, fend off, such threats to our fixed aspirations for eternally universal democratic equality and natural human advancement.

-p.    

Post # 629   * GREAT EXPECTATIONS [Redux]

It is empirically, irrefutable, that our perceived apprehension of others is acquired from mutual social experience, that it is non-scientific, but, admittedly, a subjective phenomenon. Much depends upon one’s previously established stereotypic images or, recollected impressions, of past interactive experiences. One’s own self-image, on the other hand, would seem to be the product of judgmental recollection of our lifetime reactions to presenting stimuli.

The quality of our recollected evaluation of others often depends upon the perceptual impact of their appearance, statements and actions. At times, inconvenient, facile and inaccurate fashion, one creates categorical or judgmental imagery of third parties, viz., stereotypes, construed in accordance with his perception of former experience. These effortless impressions, are tempting and convenient, but, all too often, unjust and inaccurate. It is inarguable, that our empirical experiences are finite, in number and that perceptions of the same, are subjective.

In an earlier writing, we expressed our strong negative reaction to the injustice created by the evaluation of insufficiently known individuals, reductively, based upon established stereotypes of others with whom we have had substantial, interactive experience. It would appear somewhat tautological, to declare that every individual has his own unique persona and life experience. Expectations of the quality of future performance of an individual, based on a perceived resemblance to another, or, the predictive comparison of differentiated individuals are equally reductive and illogical.

With these basic concepts in mind, and relevant to our present theme, we sought to understand the [merely] lukewarm praise, generally accorded by the media, to the Biden Administration, in lieu of what we observe to be, its outstandingly fine record, to date.

Initially, it is to be borne in mind, that Joseph Biden, upon entering Presidential office, inherited a roiling mortal pandemic [exacerbated by his incapable and ignorant predecessor], a seriously declining economy, a worsening and unaddressed, global warming, [the latter, already evincing tragic meteorological consequences], an autocratic insurrection upon the Washington Capitol, a Senate, controlled by a Trump acolyte Republican majority, the refusal of two obdurate, Congressional Democrats, to participate, in a needed elimination of the filibuster, the elimination of which would be crucial to halting Republican attacks on the right to vote [most especially, the vote of our black and brown communities].

Observably, the capable and informed policies of President Biden, after merely nine months in office, resulted in a Nationwide rational, and scientific program to fight the Covid pandemic, a much-improved, recovering economy [inclusive of a laudable, major reduction in child poverty], a wider citizen understanding and mobilization regarding global warming, the withdrawal from the useless and costly war in Afghanistan [specifically promised by previous Presidents], and a much needed restoration of universal respect for America’s Oval Office. Unlike his incompetent predecessor, he has appointed a Cabinet of knowledgeable, dedicated and qualified Secretaries, and a qualified and non-partisan, Attorney General. Biden has consistently and appropriately, demonstrated an empathic response to National tragedies, earning himself, the sobriquet of “Consoler in Chief.”

In light of the above, we confidently, attribute his lukewarm [as opposed to celebratory] approval, to the social and psychological dynamics, set forth in the earlier parts of this essay, which can be analytically, and relevantly, described as the error of comparative, “false equivalency.”

In the referenced, earlier writing, likewise entitled, “Great Expectations,” we severely criticized the reductive, lazy practice of maintaining a fixed, stereotypical expectation of others, who summon up some similarity with another person, with whom the observer had good or bad experience. The writing dealt with the unfairness of ascribing a persona, based on limited and subjective perception.

The election of Joseph Biden was, inarguably, a great relief, after the incapable and ignorant, clown show of the orange-haired darling, of America’s underbelly, Donald Trump; regarding whom, the Nation would have had little expectation of an acceptable, let alone, competent, performance. With reference to the present, themed, quirk in human judgment, the comparative ascendance to the Oval Office [mercifully] of Joseph Biden, appears to have elicited somehow, an unfair standard of unrealistically high, media expectations.

This is a classic case of the perceptual error of comparing apples and oranges, or “false equivalence,” noted above. The media and the Nation should appropriately, and fairly, construe their judgments,  upon the demonstrated, [excellent] beginning of Biden’s first term as President, and not on their personal, referential or esoteric expectations.

-p.
 * [once more, apologies for the title, to Mr. Charles Dickens]

Post # 628 FORCE MAJEURE

In legal lexicon, the common law principle of “force majeure” [or, alternatively, “Acts of God”], if proved, is a determinative, equitable defense to any lawsuit alleging breach of contract. The term, itself, relates to the precedential rule that parties to a legal contract are released from the obligation to perform when extraordinary circumstances, beyond their control, prevent the fulfillment of the contractual obligation, viz., war, epidemic, riot, or disaster. In this short essay, we have taken the liberty of extending said term, somewhat, to include, overriding, or existential, priority.

It would require but little argument, to declare that the Nation is sharply, divided on many issues, such as exist between those who would deny women, the right of abortion, and those who support that right as a matter of personal liberty, the acts of State Republican majority Legislatures, enacting legislation aimed at  abridging the vote of minority citizens, the disputed existence of the need for gun regulation, the paramount importance of science and global warming, the subject of vaccination, on immigration, on the unsupported claims of irregularity of the previous presidential, election, on redistricting and “gerrymandering,” on questions of basic, universal equality, on taxation, infrastructure, excesses of police behavior, reform  of the criminal law system, on the environment,  free trade versus commercial protectionism, on women’s opportunities in the corporate marketplace, on free tuition for State Universities, on privacy, unionism, religious influence in government, the internet, capital punishment,  government responsibility for needy citizens, on health and safety regulations and various others.

Contesting parties have disappointingly and uselessly, eschewed the healthy, productive practice of peaceful, citizen debate, in their preference for the useless, divisive, practice of tribal, insular groups of identical opinion in acrimonious relationship with similar groups of opposite opinion. Influential lobbyists, seek to fashion  law and regulations to  suit their sponsor,[ conceivably, contrary to the interest of the American voter], members of the judiciary are improperly selected, based  upon their known views, rather than the appropriate criteria, of legal prowess and impartiality, big corporations undemocratically, enfranchised by SCOTUS, to make unlimited campaign contributions, and delusional conspiracy wonks, fervently peddling their paranoid ideations. The foregoing is but an incomplete list of the present subjects of National acrimony and division. The most shameful and dangerous expression of discontent was the large, delusional, horde of [Trump invited] election conspiracy stooges, which went so far, as to stage a violent and deadly insurrection at the Nation’s Capital Building, June 6, 2020.

The fractious and divisive character of the nation was significantly, exacerbated, by the entry into the political arena of Donald J. Trump, an ignorant but effective, demagogue, capable, somehow, of the acquisition of, a large and remarkably vocal, “populist” following. Trump, awarded the singular distinction, of Congressional impeachment twice, in his single, four-year term as President, bizarrely, has continuing appeal to the populist underbelly of our country, who seek to perversely influence and control voters and  Congressmen; which influence continues, unexplainably, despite his electoral defeat.

The Democratic Party has been repeatedly roadblocked in The U.S. Senate, in its numerous attempts to enact legislation in the public interest, by the Trump sycophantic Republican Senate, fearful of losing their seats due to the cultish appeal of the autocratic Trump. Outstanding among these un-American censors of Democratic-sponsored, needed legislation, has consistently, proven to be the canny, tactical Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, Senior Senator from Kentucky. This wily and tactical, Donald Trump supporter,  has publicly dedicated himself to block proposed Democratic legislation; included in which is “Build Back Better,” legislation providing, among other things, substantial financial support, for infrastructure repair and development, McConnell had previously, in arrogant, partisan manner, in like manner, blocked, a deserving Democratic nominee for Justice of the Supreme Court; and subsequently, as contrived, had three, unequivocally, conservative Justices appointed to the High Court.

The concern based upon the possibility of loss of their Congressional seat, due to Trump’s bizarrely continuing influence, has, apparently, influenced U.S. Senators and Representatives to support or oppose, Trump favored legislation, contrary to the foundational tenets of our Republican Democracy. In the immediately preceding essay, [ #627 “Bonfire of the Lemmings”], we stated that the salutary concept of a two-party system, has, of late, declined, as a practical reality, to one party,[ Democratic] supporting the principles of democracy and the other, [Republican] endeavoring to demolish them.

Last week, while the national teapot continued to boil, vigorously, and with great divisive rancor, an unusual confederation of powerful tornadoes struck the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and broad swaths of the adjoining, Mid-West. The unusual meteorological conglomerate of storms blasted Kentucky to absolute smithereens and effected commensurate damage in surrounding States. The devastating and unprecedented happening reduced all structures, including homes, to rubble, and was tragically responsible for the loss of life of many Americans, of all ages. This cataclysmic event, added to the existing contemporaneous persistence of Covid, unquestionably, constitutes a historically, dark, and epochful event.

There would appear to be, little vocabulary, sufficient to adequately, express the depth and quality of our empathy, for the victims of this vast meteorological tragedy. Nevertheless, the reader may find the following personal predictions, of the consequential alterations, to previously held political views, interesting and thought provoking. These predictions are founded, upon the eternal and pragmatic, political aphorism: “Your stand depends upon where you sit.”

  • We anticipate a complete change of direction in Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell’s previous, obdurate resolution, to politically block President Biden’s “Build Back  Better” Infrastructure Bill. The Senator from the State of Kentucky, the latter, the bullseye center, of the enormous meteorological holocaust, will find, on further consideration, that the Bill is not far too costly.
  • The voters in Kentucky and other affected “red” States may realize that Global Warming, in fact, is not a conspiratorial canard, perpetrated by the left wing, for political purposes.
  • The affected citizens, needing substantial financial and other assistance from the Federal Government, may, at long last, experience the epiphany that governmental assistance is not the dreaded “apocalypse” of “Socialism,” [whatever their meager understanding of that economic-political theory may be].
  • The uncomfortable realization by Evangelical Christians, that such severe meteorological events have natural causes and are not expressions of displeasure of the Deity [Ex: “The Great Flood,” “ The Destruction of Nineveh,” “The  Egyptian Ten Plagues”]; and perhaps, in addition, a learned, respect  for the environment, and understanding of the aspiration of a green, sustainable Planet.

To be clear, we do not wish to express any personal belief, whatsoever, in the desperate aphorism, that all bad things have some positive benefit, of one kind or another. We do not believe in such a nonsensical and Pollyannaish aphoristic rationale. There is no good side of the Holocaust, or, more recently, the pandemic. We merely seek to predict the possibility of the acquisition of some useful enlightenment, resulting from this horrendous event.

-p.

Post # 627  BONFIRE OF THE LEMMINGS

[N.B.: Lemmings, are a species of short-tail rodents that assemble for mass migration, and develop some kind of compulsion and, carried along by such unreasoning compulsion, or mass hysteria, fall into step for a march, that will take them to a strange destiny; they are victims of obsessive thought, e.g., “move on, move on,”…. then, reach a precipice, and go over.]

Our Nation has, by and large, enjoyed a two-party political system, each party, customarily and usefully, in mutual contention on controversial issues such as, fiscal and public policy, citizen rights, the extent of governmental participatory responsibility in the commercial and private arenas, and a virtual myriad of presenting subjects, both domestic and foreign. Such relationship of contention, as originally conceived, salubriously, assures necessary consideration and balancing of the equities. Moreover, consistent with the intended dynamics of representative democracy, it, significantly, affords to the citizen by use of his voting franchise, the opportunity to weigh in on legislative and executive policy.

Despite discrete historic episodes of hiccoughs and temporary roadblocks, the American Nation has been, discernably, successful in its slow, but continuous, progress towards its avowed aspiration of true and universal equality; such democratic goal, however, eternally hobbled by a portion [“underbelly”] of its citizens, clinging, like mindless lichen, to their atavistic prejudices.

Such slow, but steady advance, was road blocked, by the surprise elevation to the American Presidency, of Donald J. Trump; the latter, a demagogic snake oil vendor, and the perverse darling of the Nation’s underbelly. Demonstrably incapable and corrupt as an executive, he is a former part-time host, of a second-rate television game show, and widely reputed full-time real estate grifter. In view of his ignorance, egotistic self-promotion and overt rejection of mainstream standards of morality and decency, it is difficult to conger up rational reasons for his bizarre elevation to the venerable, Oval Office; the exceptions, being the eternally discontented “underbelly” and the financing by certain air- polluting industries, which, sociopathically, value profits over human health.

Trump’s first [and only] four-year term, in addition to attaining the singular distinction, of two Congressional Impeachments, proved to be a National disaster, domestically and internationally, by reason of his colossal ignorance, serial mendacity, and empirical incapability. It resulted in a major loss of American prestige, an exponential increase in National divisiveness, [to the point of development of insular cults in mutual tribal conflict] and a stalemate in racial justice, the latter, affected by his public encouragement of America’s Christian White Supremacy Groups. His autocratic attack on newspapers and the media and on the existence of factual truth [“alt. facts”] were frighteningly analogous to the perverse tactics employed by fascistic Hitler and Mussolini.

Trump’s most impactful autocratic program, was his “Big Lie,” viz., his false claim of election theft conspiracy, relative to his election defeat for a desired second term. This ploy was no less than catalytic for his tribal, compliant, cult, and the lemming-like, right-wing asylum, of delusional conspiracy mongers, leading to their notorious and shameful, violent insurrection at the Capitol Building.

The pathological falsity and effect of Trump’s delusional charge [The Big Lie”] of election tampering were metastasized by various State [Trump- Majority] Legislatures. Contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, they enacted legislation to eliminate or make difficult, the votes of communities of color, as their articulated, reaction to the latter’s widespread support of Biden. It is no less than maddening, to note that such actions were perversely intended to alter or distort the results of the popular vote, in an illogical and clearly, hypocritical reaction, to the [patently false] “ Big Lie” claim of unfair voter irregularities. [More bizarre, Alice-In Wonderland reality or Franz Kafka justice].

Autocratic tactics were employed, including, voter and citizen intimidation, denigration of truthful facts, in favor of those, subjectively, deemed more useful [“alternative facts”], a continuous assault on the public media, the inculcation of tactical and conspiratorial ideation, of prejudicial beliefs and bigotry, against “others,” the degradation of science and learning, and many anti-democratic, memes were validated by a large number of cultishly hypnotic followers. This has led, to the present, bizarre phenomenon of having two parties, one of which, in practical effect, supports democratic governance, and the other, essentially opposed to it. There are miscreants, who, for personal and sundry motives, effectively, plot the destruction of our democratic way of life and civil society, with the loyal support of lemming-like citizens, uniformly complying in a perilous, unaware and thoughtless trek to tragedy.

We are completely nonplussed and enormously alarmed, at the substantial number of lemming-like, thoughtless individuals, faithfully responding to the orange-haired huckster,[ analogous to the Hamlin town rodents, hypnotized by the fluted notes of the Pied Piper, or, applicably, to the tragic hypnotic attraction of the German people to demagogic Adolph Hitler in the 1930s]. Such misguided and delusional, Trump acolytes, evince tribal belief, in the false, conspiratorial allegations of Trump’s “Big Lie,” and to perceived governmental secret conspiracies of every nature, including, tiny, government installed, tracking computers in Covid vaccine, rockets sent, by laser beams, to Earth by Israel, a flourishing, left-wing, child sex enterprise, a plot to take away all gun ownership, a government plot to morph into Socialism, the control of banks by Jews, the dedicated evangelical capability of homosexuals, democratic party voter fraud, and secret plots of the Federal Government; all of which can only have their origin in Trump-inspired paranoia.

These deluded hordes of conspiracy mongers are, unsurprisingly, Trump confederates,  in his autocratic,  “Big Lie,” supporters of [Trump inspired], legislative interference with the vote [notably, with respect to communities of color], opponents of immigration, castigators of newspaper and other media, opponents of empirical truth, and, in contrast, supporters, of “alternative facts” and consistent with autocratic theology, staunch opponents of enlightenment, freedom of artistic expression, universal equality and the traditionally accepted criteria of democratic republicanism.

It is certain, in fact, inarguable, that the lemming is not celebrated for his predictive acumen.  Should the violent anti-democratic lust, and “group think,” of the rare species, of American lemming- citizens, conceivably, be successful, they will have achieved, by such thoughtless insular tribalism, entirely altered life-styles under autocratic rule; predictably, portending a plethora of State control and a contrasting, dearth of personal liberty. Their faux “patriotic” means, for the moment, may seem to them, exciting, even inspirational, [albeit distorted and delusional], but the ends predictably, achieved would lead such “lemmings,” to the dark, unforeseen, cliff’s edge of autocratic existence.

-p.

Post # 626   SCOTUS: SHIFTING JUSTICE

Any possible reluctance to criticize the current Supreme Court of the United States [“SCOTUS], by the accusation that it has become “political,” will predictably be further diminished, by its expected decision on the issue of abortion [Dobbs v. Jackson Woman Health Org.]. In the latter matter, the [“traditionally enlightened”] State of Mississippi, by Statute, banned legal abortion after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. The foregoing expectation is fundamentally, based upon the unbalanced political composition of the contemporary Court, which now contains three additional partisan, conservative Justices, appointed, based on their past expressed views by the Trump Administration.

We would choose to highlight three cogent considerations, two of which are legal, the third, societal, in favor of a definitive reaffirmation of the natural right and liberty of a woman to make the personal decision to abort her pregnancy; as decreed in the fifty-year-old precedential case of Roe v. Wade. Such considerations are: (a) The societal stabilizing benefit of recognized legal precedent, (b) The absolute proscription against religious preference under the “Establishment Clause” of The U.S. Constitution, and, finally, (c) the danger to life and health implicit in the obligatory resort to non-professional and illegal, {“back alley”] abortion providers.

  • The sanctity of established legal precedent. The concept and application of recognized legal precedent is consequential in effect. It references a final, determination by an Appellate Court [viz., SCOTUS], which establishes the applicable legal rule or authority, for the future, on a previously controvertible issue.  Such determination is legally and societally, recognized and is productive of stability based upon its recognized resolution and universal acceptance.  The issue, previously contested, and resolved is a determinative source for relevant reference.

The Supreme Court, more than fifty years ago, established the Nation’s legal precedent, regarding the issue of a women’s right of choice as to abortion. The celebrated case of Roe v. Wade, determined the previously contested issue, by ruling that a woman had the personal and legal right to have an abortion. This was and is the settled legal precedent on the subject, and has been recognized and referenced, as stated, for upwards of one-half century.

The subject parties, who would seek to overturn established precedent, by making abortion illegal, vociferously, argue that legal precedent has in fact, been beneficially overturned in past American jurisprudence. citing such cases as, Plessy v. Ferguson [1896], which approved segregation in schools, if they were equal, and Brown v, Board of Education [1954] which indeed, overturned the precedent of the Plessy case; the latter Court, determining that all school segregation was unconstitutional, under the 14th Amendment, and that’ “separate is not equal.” They could as well cite the overruled Dred Scott case, in which the determination was that a Black slave was just agricultural property (a “chattel”).

However, it is rudimentary legal analysis would reveal that when the [properly constituted] Supreme Court, overturned such precedent, it was, specifically for the express purpose of the protection of individual rights, and, manifestly, not their destruction.

It might be argued, as well, that the alteration of precedential law, concurrent with the shifts in Judicial membership, would necessarily lead to the public perception that the application of our Constitution is political and not impartial.

  • The overturn of the Roe case, and the legal banning of abortion, would directly violate of the “Establishment Clause” of the U.S. Constitution:

Article 1, of the U.S, Constitution, among its other provisions, prohibits the making of any law, establishing or affecting the practice [or non-practice] of any religion. A review of “(c),” below, will result in the logical deduction [or the process of elimination] that the underlying motivation and evident purpose of the anti-abortion proponents are necessarily religious, if at all rational. We would refer the reader to “(c)” in support of this conclusion, in order to avoid unnecessary repetition.

  • The proposed denial of a women’s right of abortion, would be a blatant deprivation of her rights to privacy and personal liberty, and result in her necessary and perilous relegation to non-professional, or “back alley” services, and amount to a personal and societal danger.

The avowed, motivational purpose of anti-abortion proponents is a purported reverence for “Life.” This tactical misrepresentation is irrefutably, belied by their empirically demonstrated beliefs and actions, which include denial of benefits for the needy child, after the event of birth, apparently, only valuing life, in utero [the fetus], supporting unregulated gun ownership, favoring the death penalty, denying refuge for desperate immigrants, ignoring, or opposing the existential threat of global warming.

Such evident sentiment and lack of human empathy belie their tactical choice of name, “Right to Life,” as well as their sub-rosa motivations; the latter, by logical elimination can only be based on religion [see (“b”) above and be unconstitutional.

Until the procedurally, troubling case of Bush v. Gore, an Appellant was required to prove, in a prerequisite proceeding [“Writ of Certiorari”] that the case, for which acceptance was sought, by SCOTUS, for determination, was “entirely free” from any political issue, nor had any indirect political impact. This requirement, constitutionally required to avoid the violation of its bedrock principle, ”Separation of Powers,” had been the rule since its inception.

SCOTUS’ steadily declining record of impartial jurisprudence and less than institutional excellence, reached its low point in the entirely political and democracy threatening, “Citizen’s Union” case. In the latter [political] case, SCOTUS, bizarrely, chose to extend the contractual business use and fictional concept of corporate “personhood,” to apply to actual, large corporate political donors; the members of the once, highly venerated Court, thereby sanctioning substantial damage to our representative democracy.

The disappointing and alarming decline of SCOTUS empirically seems explainable by the shifting, and unfortunately partisan, appointments of Justices, based upon their respective political leanings, rather than their excellent record of jurisprudence.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor relevantly and alarmingly stated: “Will this institution [SCOTUS] survive the stench created, in the public perception that the Constitution and its [interpretation] are just political acts?”

-p.

Post # 625 BEDSIDE WARRIORS

The advent and persistence of COVID [almost, two years to date] has had an undeniable, ubiquitous effect upon our seminal folkways and psyche. From our deemed most significant viz., the restrictions on interactive personal relationships, to the less impactful, but eerie and dystopic, wearing of masks, life is not, and may never again be, the same it was, pre-pandemic. Lifetime routines, including commuting to work, attendance at school, daily social interaction, food shopping, travel, seeking entertainment, and public assembly are included within the universal prohibitive list.

We have predicted that the extended and significant alteration of our traditionally ingrained routines has resulted in a somewhat more conscious self- awareness of the dynamics of life and of meaningful purpose and, conceivably, may never again be unquestioningly, and automatically, replicated. Some have acquired a new respect for empirical scientific research, others, especially with the rapid development of vaccines, have had their long-standing confidence, in scientific research ratified.

In an early essay, “Florence’s Lamp,” we noted the eternal and existential importance to Mankind of the nursing profession, and of its eternally dedicated and hard- working core of professionals. The celebrated efforts of Florence Nightingale, the venerated nurse- hero of the Crimean War, resulted in the development of proper sanitary and generally healthy conditions of hospitals and of patient care [not to mention, her practice of compassionate and encouraging night visits to the seriously wounded soldiers], has been recently and deservedly, extended to contemporaneously serving nurses.

It had long been our critical observation, that, despite the incalculable and valued contributions to society, rendered by members of the nursing profession, appropriate professional recognition and societal status, traditionally, was not afforded to them; with the possible exception of patients who have been hospitalized and noted the long hours of duty of such seemingly, tireless, devoted professionals.  In-hospital services encompass, bedside patient, ICU, floor, Surgical, Emergency, Maternity, Lab, Pediatric, Geriatric, Infectious Ward, Hospice, and other needed services. There are, in addition to hospital and clinic nurses, office, travel, and home visit nurses.

This public perception has at last, appropriately changed by the horrific events of the Covid pandemic. Despite the pernicious and ignorant efforts of an incompetent and unhinged President, to downplay and dismiss the existential danger of the unprecedented, worldwide pathology, hundreds of thousands of human beings lost their lives and millions succumbed to this virulent epidemic. The World was, in effect, at war, having been unprepared for this unprecedented surprise attack, by this virulent microscopic enemy. Hospitals were overcrowded and challenged, hundreds of thousands were sick and dying, and, in fact, the population of the entire planet was mortally, challenged by this pandemic; a contemporary analogy to the pathological nightmare of the Medieval Dark Ages, the Black Plague

To the unparalleled credit of American medical science, effective vaccines were developed in comparatively, “blitzkrieg” time [approximately, one year], to aid in the prevention of this viral disease. This was only after multiple millions had been infected many of whom died from the disease. At the time of this writing, Covid-19 and its relatives [mutations] are still undefeated and many people [especially, those who for non-objective, political and atavistic reasons still refuse vaccination.

Since the beginning of this global attack, it was the nursing profession that constitutes, and still does, the courageous and tireless foot soldiers, boldly, defending Mankind from this egregiously dangerous and widespread invasion. Our Medical profession, of course, deserves great kudos as well; but it was the nurses who attended, and still attend, by the sick patient’s bedside, day and night, rendering care together with whatever assurances were possible.

The future will, no doubt recount the multitudinous hordes of people requiring immediate medical service from the finite number of overworked and overwrought nurses. The high tension, the  intense responsibility, the number of mortalities, the overworked and overstressed, infection- outpaced nursing staffs, took, and still takes their toll on the exhausted health provider; many nurses ultimately, and predictably, present the characteristic symptoms of PTSD.

Regardless of the plethora of inexorable challenges wrought, and still persisting, of the pandemic, the stalwart dedication, empathy, and competence of the American Nurse is nothing short of heroic and, inarguably, worthy of commemoration in the annals of our American History

-p.

Post # 624   THE REMAINS OF THE DAY

Now that the ephemeral distraction of the Thanksgiving Holiday has come and quickly gone, one might reasonably inquire, with what remains are the grateful celebrants left?  There is no quandary, whatsoever, concerning the ample, sumptuous remains of the celebratory meal. We have learned from long positive experience, that if a meal has been excellent, its leftovers will predictably, present further delectable enjoyment. However, the holiday celebrant’s resumption of the prior awareness of the less than delectable issues roiling the Nation is not a positive or encouraging experience.  

The frustrating realization, that the current constituent panel of the Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS], has unconstitutionally morphed, and descended to a politically partisan branch of government and, accordingly, is expected, this term, to undermine or overturn, decades of historical precedent  established by Roe v. Wade, as lobbied by the Republican right, that an unhinged serial felon, with substantial populist support, is bizarrely, once more seeking election as President, that such populist thugs have recently engaged in a bloody and mortal insurrection against the Washington Capitol Building, at the latter’s  bidding,  based upon his officially  passed legislation, which, are designed to limit the votes of people of color [by sheer contrast, a factually true interference with the vote], that “anti-vaxers” argue for the absolute freedom of the body from governmental  interference  [despite the danger of infection spread], that such staunch defenders of body liberty, are, shamefully, the opponents of a woman’s right to a needed abortion, the intimidating interference by such people with the National sentiment, regarding gun regulation  [responsible for a plethora of school and church shootings] and the many ignorant and delusional, paranoiac conspiracy advocates, who unfailingly, have delusions of universal governmental cover-up.

The tasty Thanksgiving remains, or leftovers, do share an item of commonality with the Thanksgiving Day remains, that phenomenon being one of predictable consistency; the pre-Holiday, distasteful political and social phenomena, remain equally as ugly and reprehensible, as before.

-p.            

Post # 623     TURKEY DAY REVISITED

We have little sympathy for companies like The Hallmark Card Company and their fellow “cardeologists,” nor with the entities that perennially produce traditional, pictorial calendars. These enterprises, reasonably, should have expected, that one day, their claptrap version of the “First Thanksgiving,” was fiction, like the Legend of “Sleepy Hollow” [the “Headless Horseman”], and would be revealed as the mere product of tiresome, National deceit, or Pollyannaish inspired imagination.

The main efforts of the standard American education system, to blindfold its students from the Nation’s dark periods, such as the malevolent enslavement of black human beings, and the greedy decimation of its indigenous peoples and their ancient culture, could, conceivably, last only so long,  before it was, ultimately, uncovered, by a  Nation benefited by so large a number of literate and inquisitive citizens. Accurate history thus, eventually wends its weary way through the dense fog created by imperious censors of historical experience and those autocratic managers of human knowledge, to reveal its truth. Self-serving propaganda conceits such as “Manifest Destiny,” and of an evangelical obligation to “save” the “savage peoples” by converting them to Christianity, are shameful matters, permanently, included in our National Historical Archives.

In the Hallmark Card Company version of the annual, November 24 holiday, representatives of the First Nations, amply portrayed in feathers and Indian regalia, and the new Colonials, in 16th Century, Quaker-like costume, are portrayed, celebrating their mutual friendship sitting along a large rectangular table, visibly and meaningfully, loaded,  with New World eatables, such as corn and squash, and of course, cranberry and wild turkey; dining and participating in the context of a warm, neighborly and amicable interaction. The foregoing depiction contains as little truth, as the doggerel printed on the inside of the greeting cards, manifests any poetic characteristics.

We recently read a scholarly essay, recounting the above revelations and referring to such adverse contemporary matters as, the Covid-19  pandemic, the boondoggle of the Trump Presidency, the perilous rise of White Christian Supremacy groups, the National divisiveness, global warming and the general disinterest in the environment, the immigration crises, the multiple tragedies caused by gun-toting psychopaths, the persistence of Jim Crow mentality, especially, among Municipal Police, the economic disparities, the conspiracy freaks, the insurrection at the Capitol Building and the threats implicit in computer fraud. The essayist questioned whether there was anything for which to give thanks on the Holiday.

The pessimistic essayist might also have, in such context, referred to the present international turmoil, including the perpetual war and famine in the Southern Sahara, the aggressive posture of Russia toward Belarus and Ukraine, the tensions with Iran, the pervasive corruption of Central America and the ensuing refugee crises, the tensions between China and Taiwan, the saber-rattling of North Korea, the political riots in Myanmar, our disastrous 20-year adventure in Afghanistan, and countless more subjects of far less than celebratory nature around the World.

Yet, looking around our well-populated Thanksgiving dinner table, we were, nonetheless, especially thankful, irrespective of the plethora of less than fortunate, contemporary problems, domestic and international. We were thankful for being citizens of the U.S., despite its present imperfections, the World’s freest and safest domicile. We were especially thankful for life, itself, and reasonably good health [even in a time of pandemics], for the love and bonhomie interactively, exchanged between the loving celebrants, and for the momentary reprise of realization of the eternally valuable celebration of good friends and family.

-p.