The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

THE NUDIST REVOLUTION

Thankfully, we survived the dire warnings that there would be an ISIS strike against the homeland on the 4th of July weekend.  (Those in my former home town, Chicago, didn’t fare quite as well with fifty shot and ten killed there).  Perhaps the attitude of the gang members, presumably the ones who were the perpetrators of these crimes was that if ISIS is going to take a break from terror, we’re here to stand in for them.  As a side note, not one single NRA member was arrested in conjunction with any of those shootings.

Perhaps it’s one of those glass half empty/glass half full scenarios.  No reasonable or even anemically red-blooded American would hope that there had in fact been an ISIS related incident this past weekend.  But what is disturbing is that there was a bombast of information spread through the media that we should all be on our toes and report any suspicious behavior – although if this message were really intended for us to do that, one would expect that there would be some central phone number which we should call.  Most of us do not have the number for the FBI on our speed dial.  And while there was no ISIS incident this weekend, the unfortunate side-effect of that is that in the future we are more likely to be skeptical and less inclined to be vigilant should another such alert be broadcast.  Most humans have an attention span of a goldfish and at least some of us have read the story of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Perhaps our biggest impediment to defeating the potential of an ISIS attack, other than the present administration, is that a significant portion of our population, we’ll call them the far left, are more concerned with seeking political advantage than they are addressing real problems – and one of their most potent tools is trying to dissect the population of the USA by dividing us into preformed little cubby holes.  Among those are gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin – but the list goes on and on.  So as I was thinking about this I realized that there is one thing that is true of all humans, irrespective of any of the pigeon holes into which the left would assign us.  We are all naturally nudists – or at least we are all born naked.

Now I defy anyone to dispute that claim.  No, I don’t have a science background (which is to say I’m not dependent on a government grant to maintain my life style by coming up with “data” to support what the bureaucrats in Washington, D. C. want me to find).  And it’s true that I have not been personally present at the birth of every human child since mankind discovered whoopee and began making more of us.  But I’ve never yet heard of a later to be straight woman being born wearing an Hermès scarf or a future lesbian woman being born wearing a newborn-sized set of steel toe boots.

Nudism could unite the country.  If nothing else, if we all adopted a nudist lifestyle, those of us – and I include myself in this group – who are a bit out of shape, could perhaps find motivation to eat more healthfully and perhaps get more exercise.  Think about the money that would be saved by not having to buy the latest fashion since there would be none.  Granted, we might cause significant damage to the industrious, hard working and underpaid people in Sri Lanka and other third world countries which manufacture the stuff that we find in our retail stores.  But that might encourage them to find new jobs in agriculture, turning previously unfertilized land into new and rich farm soil and increasing the rice crop which might go far in eliminating hunger globally.

The largest impediment to bringing about a nudist revolution in the United States is probably the airlines.  (But since they’re presently under the scrutiny of the Department of Injustice – their days may be numbered anyway).  No longer will they be able to gouge the flying public with outrageous fees for regularly checked or overhead placed baggage since all we would need for our trips would be a toothbrush and some mouthwash.  And as an improvement to national security, we would no longer be faced with the threat of some militant jihadist trying to get on board wearing an underwear bomb since Fruit of the Loom (a Warren Buffet company) would be a thing of the past.

You might think this idea farfetched – but rumor has it that if she’s elected our next President, Hillary Clinton plans to issue an executive order, mandating that all Americans go nude.  Of course, as is characteristic of Ms. Clinton’s past behavior – this newly enacted edict will apply to everyone else – but not to her.  And that would be a blessing.

STONED

 

 

 

American pothead

Somewhere in California.

 

 

 

two gay men being stoned to death by isis

Somewhere in ISIS controlled Iraq.

By it’s 6-3 decision that the IRS may interpret the PPACA (Obamacare) to include subsidies to those who purchase insurance through a Federal exchange rather than one established by the states as the law clearly states, the Justices made a political rather than a legal decision and while the President took a lap dance victory lap at the decision, the real winner in this decision was the GOP.  Sadly, I doubt that many of those in the race for the presidential nomination realize that – yet.

To borrow a phrase from Sophia of The Golden Girls, “Picture this” – we’re now at the point where the nominees for both parties have been selected.  And instead of today’s ruling, The Supreme Court ruled that the subsidies for many people were illegal.  Now we have a bunch of people who have had health insurance for several years who suddenly actually have to pay the full freight for that insurance, just like the vast majority of Americans who have insurance.  They naturally view that as being unfair – having to pay for what you bought.  (It’s a mindset that people who shoplift can well understand).

So, as we go into the final stretch before the 2016 election, you would see a flood of headlines in the liberal media and constant reference among the talking heads on television, that since Republicans (who did not vote for the law in the first place) did not provide a fix to an inherent (and I think intentionally designed flaw) in the original law, they are out to persecute minorities, the disadvantaged and everybody else who makes up the mindless mob that is at the core of the Democrat base and are, once again “throwing Granny under the bus.”  (Granny has more tread marks on her withered frame than a month’s output of product at a Michelin factory).

In a certain sense, the Court’s ruling today is irrelevant.  If you read the original law you understand that the IRS was vested with a tremendous amount of authority to administer it.  And that agency, which can’t comply with Federal archival registry laws regarding official documents, such as the Lois Lerner emails which it is only beginning to find several years after clearly stating that they were destroyed, had previously stated that in determining the subsidies to which an Obamacare health insurance participant they would rely on the word of the taxpayer as “they were unable to verify the information.”  Funny, they seem pretty capable of determining whether you or I have correctly reported our income.  Today’s ruling simply says that laws don’t matter and that unelected bureaucrats have free reign to do whatever they choose to do.

This decision does have significant implications that are completely unrelated to Obamacare.  Justice Scalia made that point in his scathing dissent from the majority opinion.  I think this decision might best be termed, “The Clinton Decision” – not for Hillary but for sometime hubby, Bill.

Remember back to Slick Willie’s impeachment trial and one of his responses to a question about his sexual activity within the Oval Office.  In typical legalistic fashion, then President Clinton answered one of the questions with the rhetorical question, “It depends on how you define ‘is”.”  We now know that the former president perjured himself under oath – and received a symbolic slap on the wrist with the revocation of his law license.  But in an age where politicians, bureaucrats and government officials regularly knowingly break the law which they are supposed to uphold and enforce – that is an attitude and climate that was the important part of today’s Supreme Court decision – which they essentially endorsed in their decision.

You cannot have it both ways.  If you think you’re justified in breaking this or that law, because it really doesn’t apply to you or really just isn’t that important, then why should you be disturbed if someone robs a convenience store or a policeman uses excessive force in apprehending or perhaps even killing a criminal suspect?

Thomas More’s speech to his son-in-law in A Man For All Seasons comes to mind in which he says he would give the Devil his due and the full protections of the law because if we start making exceptions, even for the Master of Evil, then “All the laws of England will come crashing down and then when the last law has fallen, where will we turn for refuge?”

And that is  what the Supreme Court has decided to inflict on the nation.  Hopefully, a wiser and more constitutionally oriented court in the future will undo the damage that was done by this court and return that august body to its proper role which is to interpret rather than make law.

 

q

My interest in Alexander Hamilton began with my first summer job with the Wall Street firm, E. F. Hutton.  Their offices at 60 Broad Street were just a short walk from Trinity Church and its very old graveyard among whom was laid to rest the first Secretary of the Treasury of the then newly born United States, Alexander Hamilton.

There is no doubt that Hamilton was one of the most influential of the Founding Fathers of the nation.  Born out of wedlock, he was raised in the West Indies and was educated thanks to the beneficence of some wealthy islanders who recognized the young man’s brilliance and talent.  And for years, we have continued to honor his memory by ensconcing his portrait on our ten dollar bills.  But that is about to change.  A movement is afoot to replace the esteemed Mr. Hamilton with a person of the female gender – the left proclaiming that, “It’s time we finally had a woman on our currency.”  Like so much of the rest of the pother they put out they’re wrong as there has already been a woman featured on our currency – none other than the nation’s first First Lady, Martha Washington.

 

dollar

 

The notes, which were redeemable for one silver dollar, a sound fiscal policy which incidentally was abandoned forty-seven years ago today, continued to be printed for ten years when they were replaced with the famous “Educational Series” notes which bore portraits of both Martha and President George Washington.

 

educationalseries1896

 

Alright, having dispelled the notion that having a woman on U. S. currency would be a first, Treasury Secretary Lew has opened the public to offer potential nominees for the changeover which is to occur in 2020.  Among those who have been proposed by that esteemed publication known as, “Rolling Stone,” you’ll remember them for their publication of that fake story about a university rape without bothering to check the facts, is the singer, Beyoncé.  Other than the fact that as she is still reportedly alive, which would violate an 1873 law which requires that anyone featured on our currency be deceased, Beyoncé’s contribution to anything is, to my mind, fairly suspect.  But certainly there are some excellent candidates who actually benefited the nation by their lives and examples.  But it seems to me that the obvious choice for the liberal left is Hillary Clinton.

Now you may be saying to yourself, “Hold on, Juwannadoright.  Hillary is out of the question.  Remember that 1873 law that says only dead people can appear on our currency?”  To that I answer, “Hang on Bucko.  Have you seen her on the campaign trail?  And you’re going to tell me that this portly bit of protoplasm is alive?”  Do we not measure “life” by both brain and heart activity?  How can there be brain activity when all we hear is the same robotic monotony that sounds as though it is pre-recorded palaver, set on an endless cycling loop of “replay.”  And can there be a heartbeat when there is no heart to support it?

As you might have expected, I do have a possible explanation for Mrs. Clinton’s apparent mobility.  It has to do both with a thorough investigation into the concept of zombies and the transmigration of souls, the latter of which actually interests me.

Now all things zombie are big business.  They’re big box office, big Halloween costume business and an apparent requirement to work in the Federal bureaucracy.  As you know, zombies walk around, lurching this way and that and attacking all those who are actually alive, mistaking them for the drive in of a fast food restaurant.  We do not call them alive and yet they move and create traffic problems.

So you say that even though you’re going to spend your money to watch Hollywood’s latest zombie flick you don’t really believe they exist.  (You’ve never been to Haiti have you?)  But let’s talk for a moment about the transmigration of souls – a far more interesting concept.  And that brings us to a discussion of Chairman Mao Zedong, the late dictator of China who was directly responsible for the deaths, through his proclamation of the “Cultural Revolution” of at least one and one half million Chinese intellectuals and just plain ordinary folk.

Mao died in 1976.  At that time, Hillary was working her way up (somewhat infamously according to some) at the Rose Law firm in Little Rock.  She had been married to “The grass is always greener, Bill” for a year at the time.  So what happened to that Mao Zedong soul?  Clearly, based on the economic ruin he brought on the Chinese people and the misery and suffering he inflicted on his countrymen it was not ready to move on to a higher state.  And, according to some religious sects, it is possible for one soul to transmigrate into a person who is already living, forcing out that person’s soul and replacing it with their own.  Well, it’s a theory.  But is there evidence to support this speculation?.

BEFORE

 

mao headshot

 

AFTER’

 

hillary clinton cropped

 

Some things never change.  Taste in clothes might be one of those.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAH! RAH! AMERICA

For some reason, President Obama’s use of the “n” word during a radio interview has caused a brand new conversation about race,  racism and the inevitable segue into “white privilege” in America.  Why anyone pays attention to what the Klutz in Charge has to say is beyond me.  God knows the Iranians could care less and the Israelis cringe every time El Jefe speaks.  Well, perhaps America’s new found friend, Fidel Castro cares since that was a title that used to be reserved for him.

Perhaps I can lay my attitudes at the feet of my parents.  They taught me to judge people not by their race, nationality, religion, gender or anything else other than who they were as people.  And that judgment was not made until you saw how they treated other people.  If they were kind, considerate, generous – then they were good people and were the kind of folks that we would have over for dinner.  If not, then we would pray for them and try to encourage them to adopt the characteristics that I described earlier.  Well, it was a simpler time when we learned values from family and religious leaders rather than the internet.

During the course of many years in business I hired many people.  Furthermore, being in the business of executive search my staff and I referred many thousands of people as candidates for positions.  We did so irrespective of that person’s race, age, gender or anything other than their qualifications and ability to do the job for which they interviewed.  In the sweet bye and bye, the Federal government came along and told us that we should be doing just what we had been doing all along.  And caused us to fill out additional paperwork to prove that what we were doing was moral, ethical and legal.  I often wondered why they were the supreme arbiters of the first two of those items.

Now if everyone had my upbringing, this whole conversation about racism would be moot – that is if we all had parents like mine and we all had listened to them.  But obviously that is not the case.  And while I have heard arguments that racism exists worldwide, which is probably a true statement, that hardly mitigates its existence here.

If we want to look at one of the most obvious examples of racism we have to turn the clock back to February 19, 1942 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 (he had a pen,too), which resulted in the internment of more than 110,000 Japanese resident aliens and U. S. Citizens as well as approximately 300 Italian-Americans and about 5,000 German-Americans who also were citizens.  Those of us who marvel that we were foolish enough not only to elect BHO in 2008 but to repeat the error in 2012 should take some solace in the fact that the country elected one of the most prominent racists in American history, FDR no fewer than four times.  (For those of you who are younger or got your American history via the public school system, Roosevelt was a Democrat).

It seems reasonable before we solve the world’s problem with racism we should first clean our own house.  After all, how can we, with moral impunity, critique the Chinese for hating the Japanese or the Indians for hating the Pakistanis, to cite only two of numerous examples, unless we set an example ourselves?  And I am pleased to say that I have a solution which I will be forwarding to my Representative in Congress and one of my senators.  (I’m not going to send a copy to Harry Reid out of respect for his eye condition and otherwise generally deteriorating health, physical and mental).

I am proposing that we establish a national program and create a new Cabinet level position which will be called the Department of RAH.  In this case, RAH stands for Rent A Human.  (Those of you who know how much I would like to reduce the size of the Federal government may be surprised at this proposal, creating as it were yet another bureaucracy.  But I have that covered.  We abolish the Department of Education thus making this a zero sum swap out.)

This is how it would work.  Any person would be able to rent any other person in the United States to be their “friend.”  But instead of this being a merely symbolic friendship as on Facebook and the rest of the social media, the person who wanted to befriend (or rent) another person, would pay a fee for that privilege, the price depending on the specific characteristics of the person to be rented.  Needless to say, the more characteristics which are currently in vogue, the greater the fee.  But the good thing is that the fee for renting people would go directly to the person so rented.  For some of the more popular categories, this might result in people being truly lifted out of poverty and the welfare rolls.

I haven’t worked out all the details (give me time), but as an example, if a white person wanted to rent a black person (your ordinary vanilla type individual), the fee would be, let’s say, $20 a month.  But if you wanted to add someone to your friendship list such as a transgendered black male who thought he was a lesbian and who happened to have an Hispanic surname and several felony convictions, well that might cost you a couple of thousand a month.  True, only good liberals like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Hollywood celebrities might be able to afford such a “friend” but hey, what the heck, they have the money to spare.

So, other than the obvious of doing good, what’s in it for the people of the United States and the country itself?  Quite a lot.  First, if we get enough of our citizens involved, and I’m banking on the fact that there is still a great deal of generosity in America, we might totally wipe out the need for anyone to be on welfare – which would be a tremendous savings to each of us.  And for the person who collects the most points for the greatest number of “RAH” members (weight adjusted based on characteristics) in any given year, I would propose that we put their likeness on our ten cent pieces, retiring Roosevelt from that coin along with the Confederate Flag to a museum and a place in racist history.

CAIN AND ABEL

1Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and bore Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the LORD‘s help.”

2Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel became a shepherd of a flock, but Cain cultivated the land. 3In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. 4And Abel also presented [an offering] – some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast.

6Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why are you downcast? 7If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”

And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

—Genesis 4:1-8

The Biblical account of Cain and Abel details how the first human born slew his brother, the second human to be conceived.  There is no description of how it was that Cain accomplished his fratricide but it is fair to guess that he didn’t use a Colt .45.

Whether it is jealousy, anger, pride, willfulness, mental illness, greed or war, there have been many reasons that one human has found justification for doing away with others of his kind.  And that has been an unfortunate truth about the human condition since humans first made their way upon the Earth.

For those of us who witnessed and participated in the Civil Rights movement going back to the early 1960’s, it is hard to escape the similarity of the act of terrorism that occurred at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC and bombings and lynchings that occurred fifty years ago in the deep South.   But with one very important difference.

In the ‘60’s there was at least a perception of near indifference on the part of those in elected position to the murderous tragedies which occurred to black Americans and today there has been a nearly universal outpouring of support which transcends racial lines at the deaths of the nine innocent Bible study participants who were summarily executed by the racist Dylann Roof.

The survivors of the nine victims exhibited an amazing amount of grace in the face of their losses, several of them openly forgiving Roof for his murderous acts.  That is a display of Christianity at it’s finest.  And it would have been uplifting if both President Obama and presumed Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton had merely expressed their sadness at this terrible incident rather than turning it into an opportunity to lobby for and make statements about gun control, as though mankind has only begun slaughtering one another since the gun was first invented.  At the very least their comments were both gauche and insensitive.

We have only to look at ISIS to know that no gun has ever been used to behead a person.  The story of Cain and Abel clearly demonstrates that until we as a race find a path to inner peace there will be neither peace nor justice among us.  And from our history, it appears that quest may be a long time in coming.

As much as I’ve always enjoyed games of almost any variety, including card games, for some reason I never had any exposure to bridge when I was young.  That was rectified my first year at the University of Chicago when I encountered another freshman, Alvin Rosenblatt, a young Canadian student with a passion for bridge.

Now if you’ve never met anyone who is fanatic about bridge, you’ve truly escaped one of life’s great horrors.  Little did I know how deeply committed people become to the game until I allowed Alvin to convince me to teach me how to play.  I actually had less interest in the game than befriending Alvin whose manner was so abrasive and generally offensive that he might have caused Bernadette of Lourdes to begin swearing.  I felt sorry for him – and since I was generally pretty good at card games, I thought this would be a natural addition to my repertoire.

Well, it didn’t take a lot of time to round up two other students who played bridge and wanted to escape reading any more of the subtleties of John Locke or were tired of doing calculus so it wasn’t long before I played my first game with Alvin as my partner.  I could tell from almost the first moment of play that I had better do my best or my beloved partner would let me know that I had screwed up.  I think that outburst occurred in the fourth or fifth hand.

Now in bridge, partners play a “system.”  Perhaps the one that most beginners start with was developed by Charles Goren, the man who may have done more to popularize bridge than any other.  It’s probably the easiest for the novice to memorize.  But that basic system was far too simple for Alvin.  He played the Kaplan-Sheinwold system – which to me sounded more like a medical syndrome that had devastating implications for the gall bladder than it was a bidding system.  But I was a tyro – so what did I know.

Bridge comes in two very distinct varieties.  The first, the game that I began playing and which is usually played socially is contract bridge.  There is a fair element of luck in this game since being dealt extremely strong or weak hands greatly affects the game, far more than the skill of the player holding those hands.  The second version is duplicate bridge.  This is truly a game of skill because each pair of partners plays all the same hands as all the other pairs and depending on how well or poorly they play their hands is measured by a points system, ranking them accurately against all the other players.  My harrowing introduction to bridge, and my next several sessions, were of the contract variety.

I was already beginning to think that my compassion for Alvin and my attempt to befriend this young man were misguided.  Alvin never failed to let me know when I had erred but ignored offering any compliments when I had done something quasi-brilliant.  Of course, that second situation only occurred rarely.  I began thinking to myself, “Who needs this abuse?  I could just go to class and have one of the tenured professors insult me.”  But I confess that the game began interesting me so I suffered the slings and arrows with which Alvin’s quiver was overwhelmingly filled.

Things went along more or less in the same way through eight or ten sessions in our dorm’s rec room when Alvin pronounced that, “While I was still an incompetent ‘bumble butt’  I had advanced sufficiently that it was time for me to graduate to the far more sophisticated and challenging game of duplicate bridge.”  There was a duplicate bridge club that had a weekly session at the university’s International House and he expected me to attend with him the following Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. promptly.  I acquiesced to his request and actually looked forward to the challenge, expecting to be competing against twenty other players or thereabouts.

When we arrived at the building we easily found the signs directing us to the appropriate room – which, as it turned out, was the largest meeting room in the building.  And it was filled to the gills with nearly two hundred bridge players.  Suddenly, remembering Alvin’s previous outbursts in our little social game, it occurred to me that I was likely to be embarrassed before several hundred people.  And that is exactly what happened – about one half hour into our play.  Which caused me to stand up from the table, direct an extremely crude expletive statement at Alvin and walk home.  And that was the last time I played bridge.

Well, speaking of bridge and bridge terminology, this past week, Donald Trump, a man whose ego makes Barack Obama’s look like one belonging to a mendicant friar, announced that he is entering the Republican race for President of the United States.  The speech proclaiming his bid reminded me both of Alvin and a papal encyclical – but without humility.  But I was particularly struck by his intent to bring Mexico to its knees and force them to pay for the construction of a wall which will keep unwanted foreigners from invading our country.  That would have to be one heck of a wall.

There are approximately 540 million people who live in Mexico, Central America and South America.  Granted, not all of them want to move here.  But still, that’s a lot of humanity, not to mention those who are participants in ISIS and might take the trip across the Rio Grande via Mexico.  And I thought, how likely is this wall to succeed in keeping them folks back where they belong.  I thought about this in the context of the Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, NY, a maximum security prison, from which two escapees made a getaway a little over two weeks ago and are still on the loose.

Now Dannemora typically houses between 2800 to 3000 prisoners.  Yet, with a little bit of help from their friends, two of these truly evil felons are roaming around free, at least for the moment.  So if we can’t keep people whom we’ve already captured under lock and key, what is the likelihood that we will effectively keep a swarming mass of humanity out?

As to the answer to that question, I bid, “One No Trump.”

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