Monthly Archives: July 2022


For decades, the political folklore of most Americans has been that democrats are underdogs and republicans are ‘robber barons’ at heart…or lack thereof. That folklore was firmly ingrained in my generation, and the generation before that.   

That folklore is underscored by the metaphorical adage, “If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart, and if you are not a conservative when you are old, you have no brain.” 

I’ve seen Classic Films before they became classics. Most of them are masterpieces, whether sophisticated comedies, dramas, or overtly political films. Invariably, republican characters in  comedies are ‘good-naturedly’ lampooned; in dramas or overtly political films, conservative characters are heavily portrayed as wealthy “robber barons.” Adapted to current society, that convention is alive and well. Attitudes die hard.

Folklore also dies hard. Most democrats (especially political commentators, university professors, and wealthy celebrities, hang on to stereotypical political folklore under the guise of implicit or explicit definitions like ‘social justice,’ or ‘identity politics.’

For the past year or so, the ‘no heart’ and ‘no brain’ folk have reversed their roles, at whatever their age. Now, it is the democratic politicians who have no heart. For example, Chuck Shumer is threatening Supreme Court Justices, gangster style. His words and the tone of his voice are spine-tingling, e.g. he publicly warned his republican opponents You will pay the priceyou will not know what hit you.”

Of course there is no shortage of invective on the other side of the aisle. But the traditional rivalry between republican and democratic officials is spiraling to the level of street brawls. For example, Representative Maxine Walters’ demeanor and incitement for violence are those of a guttersnipe.


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 The Second Amendment

Whenever I see a trophy of an animal’s head mounted on a wall, I think, “barbaric,” “cruel,” – and not the least of which – “bad decorative taste.”  I also think of the word, “ego.” Killing an unsuspecting animal does not fit my definition for the word, “macho.” 

My assessment of the right to ‘keep and bear arms’ is a different matter. When I first read those words, I knew they were meant for the right to self-defense. There are all kinds of arguments for and against that Constitutional right. But tragic instances associated with injury or death by gunfire is no less tragic than the death of defenseless people who are confronted by a killer with a gun. 

Underlying my judgment about firearms is the concept that decisions about life and death should not be based on emotions generated by the latest tragic instances. Like the blindfolded Lady Justice, we should not allow emotions to prevail over reason. 

There are no words that can fully express the profoundly tragic event that occurred at the Uvalde school recently and similar instances elsewhere over time, but the right to self defense should not be a casualty to criminals who will always have access to guns no matter whatever the law may be. Usually, their way to cheat the law is to get killed by a law officer or – more likely – commit suicide.

Although the following is not an argument but only an example, my dad kept a gun in a drawer next to his bed. We were three children. We never opened that drawer. He never went outdoors with the gun. He was simply exercising his right to own a gun. He never used the gun. I’m sure that lots of citizens also kept guns in their homes just in case a criminal intruder entered their homes. Perhaps some people carried guns concealed in their clothing, but I don’t remember a single news item about deadly street shootings other than gang wars in “Chicago…Chicago…A hell of a town!” 

Yes, I’m old enough to remember that. 

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An Idle Thought

Don’t be afraid to feel angry or as loving as you can, 

because when you feel nothing, it’s just death.

               -Lena Horn

That quote is the first thing I saw when I booted my computer. By sheer coincidence, it is a perfect introduction  to the article I had in mind. Well…almost. As the title suggests, I hesitate to write the article because it’s a bit esoteric.  But the quote out of nowhere put the title over the top. The word <nothing> is the major catalyst to my meditation about…well…no less than reality. Not just reality in general, but about reality itself.  Not exactly as significant as Einstein’s Thought Experiments, my article is on the edge of whimsical. But I’m compelled to express it.

‘Nothing’ in everyday context is an unequivocal word. Broken down to <no thing> its meaning is self-evident: “There is nothing left in the bottle of milk,” or, “There is nothing that lasts forever.” But the word <nothing> takes on enormous significance when it refers to metaphysics. 

Putting aside the possible proliferation of alternative universes to ours yet including them in my Thought Experiment, I submit the following.

It is at least as impossible to imagine no universe(s) at all as it is to grasp the existence of the known universe. Ironically, we cannot imagine a ‘non-reality’: no Big Bang, no Matter or Dark Matter, no Energy, no Universal Forces like Gravity, Electromagnetism, the Strong or Weak Forces; and even no Darkness in the absolute absence of SPACE  ITSELF, a concept which is as impossible to imagine as is the concept of the universe neither having a beginning nor an absolute end, even though without light.

Oooooops! In a play once considered to be ‘Avante  Guard,’ there is a passage that describes human existence as no more than that of lights that flicker for only an instant before individuals enter their graves, a metaphor for their meaningless lives. Above, I stumbled into a similar grim description, but did not mean it to refer to people.  I meant it to highlight the dilemma of the origin of the universe, or perhaps an infinite ‘number’ of universes. But since “infinite anything” is inconceivable, there is no point in pursuing the full meaning of the word. A very long time ago, I thought that phrases like “an infinite [whatever]” was a vague term. Recently, most of the scientific community admits that I was correct. That is not a great revelation on my part, but it’s good to know that ‘infinite’ is not quite the gold standard word it used to be, especially when applied to science. 

But there are exceptions. The phenomenon of a primordial gas evolving to a sentient being who is thrilled by the night sky is an example of an infinite source for pleasure. No proof required.

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