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.

RP

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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

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

Oh Captain, My Captain

To the Editor:
For all his vainglory and grandstanding, Donald Trump is more simply a personification of a sector of the American psyche. How one reacts to his outsized personality depends upon how one feels about elitist ambitions, the pursuit of wealth, and white male superiority. Rather than as captain of the ship of state, he is more its figurehead, a hologram of sorts projected upon our television screens. The ship’s course is powered by other forces.

Robert Porath

Survival of the Fittest

To the Editor:
Harassment and male aggression in the pursuit of sexual conquest, along with road rage, murder, warfare, and the authoritarian thirst for power, are apparently part and parcel of our human, mammalian DNA. To say this is not to condone or accept these behaviors, but to state the truth. They are not a sound basis on which to build a stable social order, and acquiescing to their influence has unravelled thousands of lives, not to mention whole societies and even empires. Our survival in the 21st Century will be dependent upon cooperation, community, and truthful communication, not on our base animal instincts.

Robert Porath

The Politics of Race

To the Editor:
It is becoming clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are continuing to count on the White backlash to the Obama years to ensure their political majority in 2018 and 2020, that and gerrymandering and voter suppression   Mike Pence’s media stunt of abruptly leaving the Indianapolis Colts game could have not been more blatant to that end, and the NFL  seems now so afraid of losing its fan base that it has joined in on the platform.  One has to wonder how Black athletes feel about being thrown under the bus and how might they react.  Steve Bannon may no longer have a position in the White House, but he is still dominating both the political narrative and the Republican agenda.

Robert Porath

Female Statuary

To the Editor:
A not entirely trivial bit of the history of female statuary is John Ashcroft’s covering of the breasts of the blindfolded, scale holding symbols of Justice during his tenure as Attorney General.  If Harriet Tubman is not a proper replacement for Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, perhaps the Venus de Milo or Rodin’s The Kiss might serve to better reflect feminine beauty and mystery and deflect our tendencies to military engagement.  Similarly, lest the reality of Art upstage the surreality of ambition and war, the copy of Picasso’s “Guernica” portraying the anguish and suffering of a village being bombed and strafed during the Spanish Civil War was covered with a tarp as our intention to attack Iraq was being announced from the steps of the UN building in New York.  It seems we have but a tenuous grip on the realities of justice and life.
Robert Porath