Chauvinism and DoubleThink

To the Editor:
It is hard to imagine a more bumbling exhibition of male chauvinism than that of the Kavanaugh Judiciary Committee hearings. The level of discomfort of the candidate and the Republican members at being confronted with the female gestalt belongs more on the psychiatrist’s couch than under full public scrutiny. None the less, Kavanaugh’s display of privileged, All-American, sports-loving, beer-guzzling, combative prolonged adolescence seems not to have deterred their support for seating him on the Supreme Court. In deflecting criticism to Democrats rather than at Dr. Ford, they do recognize they are playing with fire in regards to women voters, but that they found, despite Kavanaugh’s frequently less than forthcoming answers, both testimonies “credible” indicates how deeply embedded DoubleThink, the ability to simultaneously believe two utterly contradictory “facts”, has become in American politics. Truthfulness no longer seems to hold great value, and here Donald Trump is the master of creating and manipulating the ensuing confusion in people’s minds. That the Republican Party has gone “all in” on this strategy of assuming power is disappointing in its disregard of honor once having been a Conservative value.



Greatness/Great Mess

To the Editor:
The America Donald Trump wants to make “Great Again” is precisely the America that needs to be but in the ash bins of history.  Racism, industrial waste, economic and social elitism, the thirsts for wealth and power, and indifference to public education, health and wellbeing are the very weaknesses that are bringing America down.  The stated ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the “originalist” Constitution belie the reality that the nation was founded on white supremacy, slavery, the displacement of Native Peoples, and the conquest and exploitation of the natural resources of a “virgin” continent.  The greatest lesson of history is that while warrior cultures may rise to great prominence, they are destined to collapse in ruin.  The future of the New World is that which ultimately rises from the ashes of its ruins.


Of a Moment, Outdoors

The startled bark

And raised neck hair

Of my dog upon

Meeting a mushroom

Un-before seen

In the middle of

His accustomed path.


A broad-tailed hawk

Spiraling sunward,

Riding a thermal updraft—

Days later a raven

Rising in the same.


A tiny intrepid spider

Parasailing across my yard

On a thin silken thread.


Multiple popcorn

Gray and yellow bursts

Of whirling burrowing bees

Emerging from underground.


The summer yellow petal fall

Of a golden raintree,

Falling and fallen silent,

Like the onset of snow.

Supreme Rulings

To the Editor:
Regarding the excitement of a continuing Conservative, Heritage Foundation-branded Supreme Court into the foreseeable future, it should be noted that the two most radical decisions in recent history, Bush v. Gore, which ruled, in essence, that an accurate count of the votes was not necessary, thus anointing George Bush as President, and Citizens United, which equated money with Free Speech, were made by a Conservative majority.  The first resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, our full, “Shock and Awe” swan dive into the Tar Baby affairs of the Middle East, while the second has enabled the rise of a Libertarian oligarchy in which the power of wealth reaps and wields the lion’s share of benefit and influence.  It will be hard to top these, but best fasten your seat belts now.


Trump and Putin

To the Editor:
Vladimir Putin’s Russia is not much different from the America envisioned by Donald Trump and his high-end backers.  It is an economy and nation controlled by monied interests. i.e. wealthy oligarchs, and we can be certain that the Supreme Court will be fully (5-4 for now) in support of this Libertarian/Ayn Rand concept of small government and unregulated enterprise.  The deck is loaded against Abraham Lincoln’s “government of the people”.  Regaining control of the House and Senate is now the only antidote to this turn of injustice to the majority of Americans.
Robert Porath

Manifest Destiny

To the Editor:
The most depressing aspect of the Trump Presidency and the Far Right takeover of Congress and the Courts is the thought that this is the real America, its Manifest Destiny.  White male supremacy and capitalist exploitation are its highest ideals.  Women, “people of color”, and the working classes are lesser, subservient beings to a ruling elite for whom wealth and dominance are the guiding principles. In essence, Donald Trump is the primal scream of fear and outrage built up during the eight-year nightmare of the Obama Presidency and the arrival of black faces in positions of power and influence.  Similarly, the Great Southern Border Wall is the expression of the fear that the Native Peoples of the Americas are returning to a land once theirs.  This is today’s true reality show.  This is not a carefully staged media event.

Robert Porath

The Worst President

To the Editor:

The Democratic Party is wasting far too much energy being distracted by Donald Trump.  It is true that he is an unmitigated ass, an egomaniacal, sexist, racist, capitalist pig and serial, self-aggrandizing liar, essentially a revelation and manifestation of every dark aspect of America’s history and ethos.  However the jury is still out on whether he is a worse President than Richard Nixon, who actually was a crook, or George W. Bush, a naif in the thrall of the war-mongering Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and here we can add the amnesty-granting, debt-raising, tax-raising, Third World-invading President-Feel-Good-About-America Ronald Reagan, all of whom were elected twice.

We are a year and a quarter in and the economy and markets (we can still make a buck here) so far haven’t crashed, and Roseanne Barr, while not the President’s vision of the Ideal Woman, loves his brash demeanor, and she is right that Mike Pence would be far worse.  What can go wrong here?

What can go wrong is that while all eyes are on the Donald (which he loves), the Republican agenda of unregulated, corporate-dominated, small government America is being put into policy and law.  Public safety and protection, in both the environment and the world of finance, is being compromised for the sake of greater profit for the already rich and powerful, somehow all in the name of a “forgotten America”.  This is not a government of the People, it is one of, by, and for a wealthy elite.  This should be the focus for the Democratic Party (and for all Americans), not Donald Trump.

Robert Porath