Monthly Archives: September 2017

Criminality

The Republican Party is not a political party. It is a mobster syndicate, committing crimes in broad daylight, and we have looked away.

Consider: if, thoughtlessly and irresponsibly, one leaves a child in a car so that it dies from heat prostration, that is a crime. The Senators are willing to abandon the sick, the disabled, the children to the elements, denying them the protection, support and healing powers of modern medicine.

Isn’t such irresponsibility a crime?

Over the last seven years, the Republican Congress has taken sixty-plus votes to repeal The Affordable Care Act, a mugging of government.

Isn’t mugging a crime?

On Monday, the Finance Committee scheduled the only hearing on the latest version of Repeal/Replace. A riot erupted, as 181 victims protesting Hit-and-Run legislation by the Republicans were arrested. The Senators were considering a bill that would in fact shatter the lives of millions of their constituents, folks they had promised – nay, took an oath! – to serve and protect. For all intents and purposes, the Republican senators planned to plow into these Americans with a legislative truck that makes the Hit and Run carnage at Nice a mere footnote. Why did the VICTIMS of such destructive irresponsibility get hauled off to jail – many of them in wheel-chairs – while the Republican senators deplored their victims’ lack of decorum.

Isn’t Hit-and-Run a crime?

In 19 states, Republican governors have refused to accept the Medicaid provisions in the ACA, denying coverage to millions. Statistical analysis shows a significantly reduced death rate in states with Medicaid as compared to states without Medicaid. Why aren’t the governors charged with manslaughter? Aren’t they guilty of a crime, sacrificing the lives of their constituents?

Isn’t manslaughter a crime?

True, this week the Republicans failed again to rustle up the necessary votes to enact the appalling Repeal/Replace bill. By one vote, probably! In other words, all but three Republican senators would have voted – again! – to destroy medical protection for their constituents. There are 52 Republican senators. 49 would have committed this crime, presumably in order to keep their job, with the prestige and perks that go with it.

Many impartial observers have judged Repeal/Replace legislation the most thoughtless and vindictive to have ever come before a committee of Congress. The voters give Congress an approval rating under 10%, the lowest number in the history of polls. So the people are on to the Republican abandonment of responsibility.

Nonetheless, now in the eighth year, Mitch McConnell was breathing down the neck of Republicans to get their murderous legislative truck up and running before the September 30th deadline. But, lacking the 50 Republican votes, plus that of the god-fearing, misogynist Vice President, Mitch cancelled the vote. However, he insisted the Affordable Care Act would come up again for repeal. He is not interested in working with Democrats on improving the ACU. He will not cease his inexhaustible attacks on Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

Doesn’t that qualify for a hate crime?

Who Are We?

So, the Republicans are going to try yet again to destroy The Affordable Care Act. They don’t CARE! They will deny modern medicine to some thirty million of their fellow Americans. This assault has gone on now for eight years.

Do you think this astonishing ruthlessness would have survived this long without Mitch McConnell? Is he The Torturer-in-Chief?

Do you understand Senator Bill Cassidy? Does he have any sense of shame? Does he feel embarrassed to be caught in a blatant lie, which the entire nation hears about, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel? I don’t understand how he can be seen in public after such miserable behavior.

It is possible not three Republicans will vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill. If the Cassidy-Graham bill passes, they are making illness, which befalls everyone sooner or later, as terrible as it was throughout human history. The magnificent achievements of medicine to treat and ease human suffering are to be denied to tens of millions of their countrymen. Why are Republicans not conscience-stricken at their blatant cruelty? why not appalled at being responsible for thousands of deaths, an inevitable consequence of lack of care?

What is the spiritual depth of our country? Every developed nation provides medical insurance for everyone. We are the only country that has millions of uninsured, and Republicans in Congress find it no problem to take another thirty million off health care.

Who are we, as a People? Can anyone explain to me this lack of common decency? of common sense? Senators and congressional Representatives are our surrogates. Which people are they representing?

Have WE lost all sense of shame?

President Trump stands before the world at the UN and threatens to destroy totally North Korea. He is proposing the death of some thirty million people. He doesn’t CARE!

The most terrifying picture of Trump’s speech showed General John Kelly, the president’s Chief of Staff, with his face buried in his hands. He knew, as Trump spewed his madness, that there was nothing to be done to protect not only his country but the world from the recklessness of the most powerful ruler in history.

Who are we?

We can claim we are not Trump’s base. Of course we are. His administration is based in our country. He lives in our White House. Until 2020, he determines the direction of our government. We elected him.

In eight months as our president, he has brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war –

For eight years, the Republicans have tried – over sixty times – to drive thirty million Americans back to The Stone Age, whenever they become ill.

Will someone please tell me who we are as a nation.

Doin’ Nothing!

We all know Republicans squat on a three-legged stool, a metaphysical contraption they cobbled together out of The Moral Sense. It is not found in nature. It is a man-made artifact. Examine any Republican’s political position, and it invariably comes down to that three-legged stool –

First leg – No new taxes – disregards arithmetic

Second leg – No regulation – disregards history

Third leg – No government spending – disregards We the People

You want to risk starting your week on a wave of nausea? Look at that fella’ in yonder corner. It’s Mitch McConnell! sitting on his three-legged stool, glaring out at the world. Has there ever been such a humorless face? an uglier curmudgeon? a more useless politician?

Or take a gander at Paul Ryan, squatting next to Trump, smugly pleased at his high seat at the table – Incompetence paired with Madness.

The secret to Republican success? They peddle values, not positions evolved from data. They disregard common sense and mobilize The Moral Sense. The race is vulnerable to that bait-and-switch. In this morning’s New York Times, Paul Krugman figures around 48% of the electorate votes tribal, that is, it is bamboozled by Republican fixation on values.

What about Democrats? They stand on a platform made not from metaphysical presuppositions, but out of wood brought in from the local lumber yard. This is how it works.

Democrats calculate with real numbers. Should minimum wage be 15 dollars or what? – arithmetic!

Democrats learn from experience. The recession of 2008 came from unregulated banking, so they put together Dodd-Frank – history!

Democrats provide for the uninsured, so they pass The Affordable Care Act – We the People!

But the Democrats, bless ém, don’t just go with common sense. They have a secret weapon.

“THE BLISS OF FREEDOM GAINED BY HUMOR.”

Check out YouTube, “Two Comedians in a Car Having Coffee.” President Obama is sitting at his desk in the Oval office. Jerry Seinfeld pops up like a friendly spook outside the window behind him and taps, getting his attention. Annoyed, The Prez waves him in.

Jerry arrives and plops down on the couch. He takes an apple from a bowl, leans back and takes a bite. He asks The Prez, “Have these been washed?” The Prez cracks up. The next minute they’re having a rumble about where to dispose the apple.

They go outside.

“Where ya’ goin”

– Out.

“What ya’gonna do?”

Nothin’.

They tool around the White House grounds, doing nothing. Jerry is a world-class talent at doing nothing. He’s driving a 1963 Corvette that Jerry insists is shaped like a submarine. Jerry is a spirit at play, and The Prez joins the game. Doesn’t have to put on a uniform to join the team. He’s a Democrat. Doing what comes naturally.

When you’re doing nothing, you don’t have time to moralize. The two bro’s on YouTuube don’t. What Anthony Burgess said about Falstaff is true for Barack and Jerry. “Their spirit of play is a great sustainer of civilization. It disappears when people worry too much about their souls.”

They talk about money. Jerry tells the Prez, “I’ve made a lot more money than you have.” The Prez tells Jerry he might use his loot to make a Jewish Citizen Kane.

When you can have fun with money and PRO-Semitism and drive around the White House in a car designed like a submarine, you know you’re living with Dems.

Best of all, when you’re having fun, you can’t moralize.

Jerry and Barack don’t. Too busy doing nothing.

The Mind!

Let’s draw a line through the sands of time –

– 1440 A.D. The Gutenberg Line!

Let’s now position ourselves on that line. Behind us, “the dark backward and abysm of time,” 200,000 years during which we walked the earth with the fully evolved powers of Homo sapiens sapiens. 2,000 centuries!

From that Gutenberg line we will journey through the next 350 years, a mere three and a half centuries, our Mind newly empowered a thousand, no, ten thousand fold, by The Printing Press –

1511 – In Praise of Folly – Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam

1532 – The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli

1543 – On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres – Copernicus

(1564 – Shakespeare and Galileo born.)

1605 – The Advancement of Learning – Francis Bacon

1623 – The First Folio – Shakespeare

1632 – Dialogue Concerning The Two World Systems – Galileo

(1642 – Galileo dies, Newton born)

1689 – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy – Isaac Newton

1690 – An Essay Concerning Human Understanding – John Locke

1750 – The Spirit of Laws – Montesquieu

1787 – The American Constitution – James Madison

Each of the above resulted from an action of Mind. Each was difficult to create. Each is difficult to understand. Supported by the giant winds coming off The Printing Press, they brought into the world a new construct – The Humanitarian Revolution.

By contrast, the Problem of Good and Evil is second nature to us. We are born with The Moral Sense. We don’t arrive on the planet equipped with an understanding of The Calculus! Hear how trippingly the destruction of 800,000 young people comes off the tongue of Jeff Sessions. No more difficult than the condemnation to The Flames of 100,000 young people in the 15th and 16th centuries. Did the citizenry back then hear the agonizing shrieks, see the engulfing flames? No.

Does Sessions register the terrors those 800,000 young folks are experiencing every day, their lives in the hands of an Attorney General who lies? No.

Marvel how effortlessly every Republican senator voted to repeal Obamacare, thereby, had each succeeded, depriving tens of millions of the poor, the aged, the disabled of medical insurance. Did that give them pause? No.

Consider that Mitch McConnell’s only vision for our country since he became Majority Leader is to destroy the Democratic agenda. Does he have pangs of conscience he is trashing his high office? No.

The Cowboy and I had kept his cruelty and hypersensitivity tucked under the couch. Hadn’t he gone from poverty to a comfortable living? Did it restrain his Moral Sense? No.

The Moral Sense cares about only one issue –

THE PROBLEM OF GOOD AND EVIL!

It is unaffected by reality. Take DACA. A Nobel Prize economist, Paul Krugman, cites facts that demonstrate arithmetically deportation of The Dreamers is against the financial interests of the country. For example, 90% are employed, higher than most any other demographic. Do these facts have any bearing on the problem for the powers that be? No.

The metaphysical basis for destroying those hundreds of thousand of young, “American” lives, The Dreamers, is not affected by facts. It is a moral issue, that is, it obtains its authority from a belief system not accessible to reality. The common sense world, the one registering on our five senses, is not relevant.

A consequence of splitting the world in two, one Good, the other Evil, is that objectivity goes out the window. Good and Evil are defined not by the five common senses, but by “meta,” – a Greek prefix, meaning beyond – a META-physics that is beyond the physical.

(to be continued)

.

The Cowboy!

“The Cowboy” and I knew there was risk involved – the two of us locked in a room, dredging the depths, working to make unthinkable thoughts thinkable. Six foot, four inches tall, the Cowboy moved in a space instinctively no one entered. When he lay on the couch, my task was to enter that space – it crackled with menace, its clock forever set at High Noon – but not to trespass. He worked as an actor, his paranoid sensitivities crippling his career.

We scheduled two sessions weekly. As the work proceeded, his physical violence against women ceased. His income went from 30,000.00 to a quarter million. And then, one day, I offered an observation. He seemed stunned. In the next second, he leaped off the couch and thrust his face an inch from mine. “Why did you say that?” he thundered.

It was the voice of The Moral Sense ringing across two thousand centuries. It was terrifying. I felt infinitely small. My interior vanished. All was emptiness. By the time he had climbed back on the couch, however, I was filled with a hatred I had never before experienced. I wanted to rend him limb from limb. Thinking about it now, at that moment I could join Pepys on his walk through Charing Cross.

When the smoke cleared, I hadn’t lost my mind, and the work went on. But I had help on an unimaginable scale.

Aristotle didn’t.

Plato didn’t.

The Roman Republic didn’t.

Shakespeare did!

Bach and Handel did.

The Founding Fathers did.

I did!

THE PRINTING PRESS!

Until 1440, a scribe could write out, by hand, five pages a day. Gutenberg’s technological wonder could print 3,000. And that was only the beginning. Today, The Library of Congress has more than 16 million books.

For two thousand centuries, for all intents and purposes, each generation had to start over. Without the printed word, it could not create a history. It could not learn from experience. The result, more often than not, was catastrophic.

Steven Pinker poses a scary question, “What makes us different from our ancestors of just a few centuries ago, who savored the infliction of unspeakable agony on other living beings? Why don’t we feel it today?”

We do! I did. With The Cowboy. Our biology didn’t change miraculously in a few centuries. But our technology did, thanks to the Printing Press. We remain a dangerous species.

The poet gives warning –

O the mind, mind has mountains,
Cliffs of fall, frightful,
No man fathomed.

O the mind! Yes, indeed. But with The Cowboy and me teetering on cliffs of fall frightful, I had

The Collected Works of Sigmund Freud –

Envy and Gratitude, by Melanie Klein –

Transformations, by Wilfred Bion.

I had Gutenberg.

One can’t exaggerate the power of the Printing Press. It fueled The Humanitarian Revolution. How? The Printing Press broke the Good and Evil mentality of The Moral Sense, that is, my group, Good, every other group, Evil. The Printing Press sent out word across the globe – histories, plays, poems, novels, textbooks –

“We are much more human than otherwise.”

The Humanitarian Revolution made accessible the deep structure of democracy, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. The Printing Press provided James Madison the political histories of the race, enabling him to write our brilliant Constitution. It printed hundreds of thousands of Common Sense, Tom Paine’s 48 page pamphlet, the mind refusing submission to the lie that a divinity shapes a crown.

The Printing Press offers The Mind limitless reinforcements in its struggles against the Moral Sense. The 16 million volumes in The Library of Congress constitute a vast syncytium.

(to be continued)