Category Archives: Government

You Will Not Find Me On Facebook

I have no Facebook account.

I will never have a Facebook account.

For years I’ve inveighed against what I sincerely believe to be the blatant immorality of Facebook’s business practices, which, true to capitalism’s two primary goals, seem to be:


Make as much money as you can, any way you can.

Grow as big as you can, any way you can.

Custom, tradition, ethics, law, morality, authority of government, common decency, the health of local or of global environment, or any other considerations are, as far as possible, to be disregarded or neutralized as restraints on the monomaniacal pursuit of maximum profit and of maximum growth for growth’s sake.


Facebook thrives on attention.

In general, the larger the audience the more effective the advertisement, which justifies charging high advertising fees.

So…how to generate a large audience?

So simple…let anybody post damn near anything, especially negative things, because negativity has been proven to draw larger attention than positivity.

This practice damages political processes, social cohesion, and the psychological health of large swaths of the human community.

These consequences are, I believe, acceptable to Facebook so long as it profits.

I sincerely believe Facebook to be a poisonous presence on planet Earth.

There are others who have concerns about Facebook’s impact on our quality of life.

Please see below.


First, a link to a recent Vox article.

https://www.vox.com/recode/22677911/facebook-scandal-research-teen-mental-health

Next, an article recently published by politico.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/21/facebook-paid-billions-extra-to-the-ftc-to-spare-zuckerberg-in-data-suit-shareholders-allege-513456

Finally, a document published in 2019 by MIT Technology Review, and republished recently by Pocket.


Click to access oct-2019-facebook-troll-farms-report.pdf

 

More On Masks

A Public Service Post

Wearing masks as a public health practice has been accompanied by much disapproving hullabaloo and shouting by some private citizens.

Some politicians, seeking to curry favor with voters, have added their voices to this protest.

In an effort to dilute ignorance with a dose of rationality I offer the following re-post: ¹


Concerning The Effectiveness Of Masks

This sign, displayed in a local food store, seems worthy of consideration:

  ” A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of the flu indicates

that if 50% of the population uses a mask, virus transmission would be cut in half.

If 80% of the population uses a mask, the virus would essentially be eliminated.” ²


¹  beewhatyouiz.com, 09/02/2020, Ref: Covid19, Flu, and Similar Annoyances

²  (Yang, Jin, et al. Modeling the Effectiveness of Respiratory Protective Devices in Reducing Influenza Outbreak. Wiley Online Library, Risk Analysis, 19 September, 2018. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/do/full/10 1111/nsa13181.)

Note the year of publication—2018—two years before the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic.

At that time, no one was interested in bending the public mind in any direction regarding covid-19.

The study deals with flu, caused by a virus.

To state the obvious, covid-19 is also caused by a virus.

To my layman’s mind, if a mask, worn correctly, is effective at blocking transmission of a flu virus, it is effective at blocking transmission of a covid-19 virus.

If, as some claim, masks are useless / dangerous to wear, then why are surgeons, surgical nurses, and anesthesiologists required to wear masks in operating rooms round the world, a present-day practice dating from a point in time far back into the last century?


For a  thorough discussion of masks, with no hype, see the following:

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/08/16/face-masks -what-makes-some-better-than-others-against-covid-19/5535737002/

Politics (8th)


Concerning Liars

The disinformation promoted by various political, business, and media liars for their own power-  and wealth – seeking motives is an unarguable threat to democratic government, a fact noted numerous times, of late, in various writings, with varying degrees of precision.

Of all of them the quotation below is one of the most concise.

“It is a form of coup, but with a loud nationalist hyperbole disguising the threat to democracy.”

“To hold power, or challenge it, in a democracy, requires continual argument and discussion, the precondition of which is a commitment to truth-telling and a shared acceptance of facts, however differently they may be interpreted.”

“Trash these preconditions and we inevitably slide into a universe of division and distrust, impervious to rational argument.”

“We are all belittled.”

—Will Hutton (an Observer columnist quoted in The Guardian)

During the 2020 campaign, I posted the following, which, now slightly altered, bears re-posting.

Many citizens are distressed by the shabby state of political debate, characterized by lust for political power to be gained by telling unending lies.

The level of pure, unadulterated falsehood is arguably equal to that displayed by any totalitarian state propaganda rag in existence.  

How did such blatant disregard for simple truth become such a popular tool for manipulating voters?

Presently I have no explanation to offer, and it’s true that politicians throughout time have never been noted for squeaky clean conduct—the only known rule of politics being that there are no rules.

That having been said, I find the present level of disregard for simple truth to be as extreme as anything I’ve ever seen in a communist party newspaper.

It’s worth considering that polling consistently indicates we are much more tolerant of lies told by our preferred party than we are of lies told by another party.

Such polling results have led operatives of all parties to the same conclusion:

Whoopee!  We can get away with this!

“We the people” are therefore partly responsible for this situation, which will improve when we care enough to penalize any and all parties for their part in such shameless bastardization of our political process.

Democracy is much like farming—cultivate carefully or shut up about the weeds!


End note—Last week’s post, Is God a Verb? has been extensively reworked.

Thoughts on Abortion (2nd)

Is some of the uproar over abortion, birth control, etc. an attempt to regain lost power and influence?

These days religious freedom, that is, freedom to practice one’s own religion, does not give one the right to tell others what to do.

T’was not ever thus.

In past time, conservative religious groups held considerable power over the population as a whole, as well as over their adherents.

Consider these examples of power lost:

   ◊   Control of family life by banning abortion and birth control.  In disagreement, many people, and not just the irreligious, quietly, (or not so quietly), ignore the bans.

   ◊   Control of family life by banning or penalizing divorce.  In disagreement, people for the most part pay no heed to this.  They divorce at will for reasons such as infidelity, infertility, or infelicity, among others.

   ◊    Control of society through imposition of their views on human sexuality, which were encoded in secular law, which punished perceived moral infractions, and/or sexual activities that religious dogma found to be sinful, such as homosexuality.

   ◊   Let’s talk about influence on culture in general.  For long years conservative religious groups had sufficient influence to dictate what literature, movies, stage plays, and elements of fashion and even of speech were morally acceptable.

Exercise of these powers was defended with reference to perfect (?) infallible (?) sources of divine guidance: sacred books, sacred persons, etc.

On the other hand, exercise of these powers can be described as coercion of conscience—and as an example of spiritual pride—the notion that The Almighty, however understood, speaks exclusively to one’s group.

Exercise of these powers seems to be based on an assumption that freedom to make personal moral decisions, (and to live with the positive/negative consequences thereof), exists only to the extent that such decisions align with certain groups’ notions of right and wrong.

Is this real freedom of conscience? ¹

Some conservative groups seem to pay lip service to freedom of conscience, while denying it in policy and practice.

Is this hypocrisy? ¹

Does great moral urgency ² ever justify coercion of conscience—that is, compelling people to live their lives in obedience to someone else’s moral standards?

I sincerely believe that practice of one’s particular religion does not give one the right to tell others how to behave, still less to use any means, overt, covert, direct or oblique to compel specific behavior.


¹ These questions are not sly propaganda designed to lead readers to a specific conclusion. Make up your own mind.

² As found in the “pro-life” position, for example.

Thoughts on Abortion (1st)

Being against abortion means you’re pro-life ?

Consider the following:

I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life.

I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.

And why would I think that you don’t?

Because you don’t want any tax money to go there.

That’s not pro-life.

That’s pro-birth.

We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is. ” ¹


The crux of Chittister’s ¹ point is that there’s a difference between advocating for birth and advocating for that child’s entire life.

If antiabortion proponents are truly ‘pro-life’, then those same legislators would not argue for defunding programs like those that provide school lunches or health care.

Many people who oppose abortion also oppose access to contraceptives (!)

Antiabortion congressmen have consistently also advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides women with birth control options.” ²


¹ Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., a Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, is an international lecturer, and award winning author of over 50 books.  Her multiple degrees include a doctorate.

² Quotations in this post appeared in:  https://www.popsugar.com/news/Catholic-Nun-Quote-Abortion-43096831 Author: Eleanor Sheehan—first published 02/01/17, republished 05/17/19

Capitalism (7th)

If, while drafting last week’s post—Capitalism (6th), I had been seeking evidence that free-market capitalism must in some ways be reined in I could hardly have done better than this:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich

See below for a closely related topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/25/us-military-toxic-chemicals-us-states

Capitalism (6th)

More on Corporations

I keep waiting for the day when a corporate president expresses shame for a corporate transgression against the public or the environment.  The statement would go something like this:

‘ On behalf of my company,its management, and its shareholders, I wish to express our grief concerning injuries suffered by people living downstream from our factory, along the Green River.  We are ashamed to admit that, over the years, our poisonous wastes have found  their way into the river, putting the community in peril.  We will do anything to relieve the suffering we have caused.  We are also concerned that safe storage for such potent chemicals now seems impossible, and so henceforth we will only use our facilities for safer forms of manufacturing.  Under no circumstances will we give thought to abandoning the community or its workers. ‘  

No such statement has ever been made, nor ever will be made by a publicly held corporation in America, for several reasons.

No corporate manager could ever place community welfare above corporate interest.  An individual executive might personally wish to do so, but to make this sort of admission would subject the company, and the individual, to legal action by local, state, and federal authorities, as well as to damage suits by victims.

It could also open management to lawsuits from its own shareholders.

U. S. corporation law holds that management of publicly held companies must act primarily in the economic interests of shareholders.  If not, management can be sued by shareholders and firings would surely occur.  So managers are legally obliged to ignore community welfare (e.g., worker health and satisfaction, and environmental concerns) if those needs interfere with profitability.  And corporate managers must also deny that corporate acts have negative impact of any kind, if that impact might translate into costly damage suits that hinder profits.

Though corporations may enjoy many ‘human’ rights, they have not been required to abide by human responsibilities.

The most basic rule of corporate operation it that it must produce income, and (except for that special category of non-profit corporations) must show a profit over time.

Among publicly held companies there is another basic rule:  It must expand and grow, since growth is the standard by which the stock market judges a company.

All other values are secondary: the welfare of the community, the happiness of workers, the health of the planet, and even the general prosperity.


The above quotations, while unflattering, aren’t meant to be condemnatory of free-market capitalism.

My stance in this series of posts (Capitalism 1st – 6th) is that we can do capitalism better by determinedly eliminating its more glaring flaws, one of which is discussed above.

It seems reasonable to require that private profit be pursued within a matrix of government policy, law and regulation designed to stabilize or improve the quality of life for all persons, as well as preserving local and planetary environment.

All quotations from: Mander, Jerry—In The Absence Of the Sacred ISBN 0-87156-509-9

Disclosures:  I have neither formal training in law nor a financial interest in any book cited anywhere on my blog.

 

More On Environment

Click on the link below to read a truly astounding article.

Although the reporters take a small swipe at the Trump administration, given the facts presented, it seems to me utterly irrelevant.

The fact that it’s happening at all grabs my attention—also that neither party can spare time from inter-party strife to do anything about it. ¹ ²

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/25/us-military-toxic-chemicals-us-states


¹ “Only fools fight in a burning house.”—(Paraphrasing) a line from Star Trek

²  For contrast to the above described pollution, someone who claims to know what he’s talking about once stated that 3% of all the ice in Antarctica is actually frozen penguin piss.

Weather and Politics (2nd)

 The recent extreme weather event that brought Texas’ electric power grid to within minutes or seconds of collapse, is now, as life crawls back toward normal, predictably attended by efforts to avoid blame.

The head of the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) resigned in disgrace, as powerful state politicians heaped condemnation on her head.  One might suppose that forcing her resignation accomplished something worthwhile.

I think not.

Her salary of $201,000/year is arguably a waste of taxpayers’ money in view of the calamity so recently visited upon them.

But she can’t be held solely responsible.

The politicians who dominate the state government are dead set against government regulation of the claimed-to-be-infallible free market.

In particular, they disapprove federal regulation, and have taken steps to insulate Texas’ power grid therefrom.

It’s worth noting the power industry in Texas has contributed generously to the governor’s campaign war chest, so generously, in fact, that it’s reported he has received more money than any governor in the the history of the country.  (This information, being much in the news of late, is easy to find.)

Spending money to winterize the power grid results in less profit for the power industry. 

Naturally, if they can lawfully avoid spending money to winterize, they’ll happily do it—remember the profit motive.

 The state government, being opposed to regulation as above noted, and wanting to keep major financial backers happy as possible, didn’t mandate, but only recommended winterization of the power grid.

Power companies can lawfully disregard mere recommendations.

Thus did politicians play a part in setting the stage for the recent calamity which visited  acute suffering on millions and caused at least twenty deaths.

In a effort to sweep their role under the carpet, (there isn’t a carpet big enough!), it seems politicians have decided to blame the state PUC commissioner, as though she alone was the author of this calamity.

Well, the only rule in politics is that there are no rules.  Stay in power any way you can.

Politicians know they won’t fool everyone.

I believe their goal, as usual, is to fool enough people well enough and long enough to win another election.

What are we going to do about it?

Weather and Politics (1st)

On this blog posts normally go live at the moment Tuesday miraculously becomes Wednesday, a.k.a. midnight.

The recent weather crisis mandated other activity, such as exerting oneself mightily to avoid being transformed into a human Popsicle—hence no post last week.

Being once more in grateful possession of electricity, warmth, and potable water, I find my thoughts turning to consideration of just how this crisis unfolded.

Similar considerations are no doubt running riot through the minds of other citizens, particularly relatives of anyone who froze to death.

Before we go into that, respectful acknowledgement is due to linemen who worked sixteen-hour shifts, day after day, in brutally punishing cold.

That job is so everlastingly dangerous that one can never get comfortable with it.

One absent-minded false move and someone, maybe several someones, are literally fried.

No matter how tired and cold linemen may be, they must be fully aware of what is to be done, and how safely to do it, step by careful step.

If that’s not enough of a burden, linemen must deal tactfully with public reaction.

It’s not all bad.

Some folks politely offer them cookies and hot coffee.

Some offer beer.  <−−− ???  Of all things not to offer a lineman… 

Some cheer them on yelling “Thank you!”

Others abuse them.  “What the hell took you so long to get here, you m*therf*ckers!?”

Linemen are good guys in this crisis.

Who might be the bad guys?

Maybe nobody.  There’s a difference between being truly malicious and being dangerously naive.

More later.

The Constitution (2nd)

More on The Second Amendment

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I’ve given the Second Amendment considerable thought and my conclusion is that there is no possible single, unambiguous understanding thereof.

That having been said, there persist popular misconceptions that should be debunked.

For example, people believe the Supreme Court has always held that the people have a right to carry firearms.  Period.  End of story.

Based on my admittedly limited research I say, “Not so.”

For decades the right to keep and bear arms was understood to be for purposes of service in a state militia.

In 2008 the Supreme Court added that a private citizen could keep and bear arms for self defense—but only handguns kept and used in the home.¹

Not any arms, anywhere, any time, for completely self-selected purposes.

In the same decision the Court declared that keeping and bearing a dangerous and unusual weapon was not automatically protected by the Second Amendment.

Also, in the same decision, the Court found that mentally ill persons and felons could be denied the right to keep and bear arms, also that this right could be limited/denied in/around schools and government buildings.

So, no—We the people don’t and never did have an unqualified constitutional right to keep and bear any arms anywhere, anytime, for any purpose.


Disclosure: I have no formal training in law.

¹ District of Columbia vs. Heller

The Constitution (1st)

Thoughts On The Second Amendment

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Most Americans think The Constitution is a precisely chiseled series of black-and-white-isms.

It’s certainly nothing of the kind.

It has been described as a set of “glorious generalities.”

The second amendment seems to me to be a masterpiece of inconclusiveness.

A Militia is a trained, equipped, organized group of some citizens, like our national guard, which state governments can activate to deal with emergencies.

The people might refer either to all citizens or possibly, the language of the second amendment lacking precision, to smaller groups thereof.

A militia without arms wouldn’t be very effective in suppressing riot or insurrection.

Therefore a militia must be armed.

But the people as a whole—do they all have a right to keep and bear arms ?

Everybody ?

Every fool, felon, unprincipled liar and lunatic in the entire body public ?

The second amendment, I really believe, says nothing conclusive about Joe Citizen’s individual right to own firearms for his own purposes, only that a well-regulated ¹ militia has a right to keep and bear arms for the security of the state,—state to my mind referring to any individual state in the union, and this right may not be infringed. ²

But what about the people—those two words—how do they fit in ?

The best I can do just now is to note that a militia is drawn from the ranks of the people.  So perhaps militia and the people are used as synonyms ?

That militias are so described in The Constitution makes it impossible for, say, the federal government legally to disarm states for nefarious purposes of its own.

States seem to have ³ a constitutionally protected right to raise and arm militias.

More later.


Disclosure statement:  I have no formal training in law.

¹ Well-regulated, to my mind, means well-trained, well-equipped, well-disciplined, well-commanded, and under authority of state government, as distinguished from a self-appointed posse of shotgun toting vigilantes bent on righting perceived wrongs in feloniously violent ways.

² Infringed =  restricted, limited, curbed or checked.  

³ It’s not expressly stated.  But I think it’s strongly implied.

Society

The More It Changes, the More It’s The Same Thing ?

From about 3000 BCE into the Middle Ages, empires were agrarian empires.

Such societies had three primary social classes—urban rulers holding the reins of power, wealth, and social status, and, with their extended families, amounting to perhaps 2% of total population.

About 5% were a “retainer” class—the army, government officials, scribes, high ranking servants, upper echelons of the priesthood, etc.

At the bottom of the ladder were 90%+ of the population, rural peasants, mostly agricultural workers, (working as sharecroppers day-laborers, or slaves), plus fishermen/women, artisans, etc.

In such empires, about 66% of the wealth, (produced by the rural peasants), was pocketed by the 2% by means of taxing agricultural production, and/or ownership of agricultural land.

Consequences for the peasantry were: unending hard labor, marginal nutrition, high infant mortality rates, and greatly reduced life expectancy.

Such societies could be described by three key phrases: economic exploitation, (above described), political oppression, (the bottom 90%+ had no voice in ordering society), and religious legitimation, (the religion of the elites decreed social structures—aka God was said to prefer the rich). ¹ 

Considering the course of present-day world-wide social development, how many similarities can you find between then and now?


¹ This discussion of empires was drawn from: Marcus J. Borg, Reading The Bible Again for the First Time, ISBN 978-1- 4351- 4914 – 4

Borg credits Gerhardt Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).  (Publication antedates use of ISBN numbers.)

Conspiracy theories

A Public Service Post

Conspiracy theorists among our co-workers or family members can be challenging to deal with.

We gain nothing by direct attacks on their beliefs.

On the contrary, in defense of their beliefs they become ever more deeply entrenched  therein.

What good does that do?

Click on the link below for access to a thorough discussion of polite ways and means of dealing with conspiracy theories and theorists:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/29/how-to-deal-with-a-conspiracy-theorist-5g-covid-plandemic-qanon

Capitalism (5th)

A Good Faith Mistake Or Deliberate Legal Corruption?

Corporations used to have privileges, not rights.

In 1886 the Supreme Court seemed to decide a case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, in a way that gave corporations the same rights as persons.

Corporations are not real persons, born of a biological process.

They’re artificial legal constructions.

So, why did the Court reason as it did?

It didn’t.

J. Bancroft Davis, lawyer, diplomat, former president of a railroad, was in service to the Supreme Court as a court reporter while the above cited case was before the court.

One of his duties was to write what are called headnotes for Supreme Court cases. 

Headnotes summarize key points used by the court in rendering its decision, and are the court reporter’s personal interpretation of the case not official opinions of the court.

Lawyers use headnotes as a sort of “Spark Notes” to quickly review arguments and court judgements.

Before the above cited case, according to the Bill of Rights + the Fourteenth Amendment to The Constitution, corporations, among other entities, had privileges. 

Persons had rights.

The distinction is important.

Davis wrote a falsified summary in his headnotes:  “The defendant Corporations are persons within the the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States, which forbids a state to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This legal creativity raised corporations from the ranks of the merely privileged to the ranks of real flesh-and-blood persons having actual rights.

Corporate rights were not even at issue in the trial!

Davis’ “creativity” perverted the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment.

This went unnoticed.  His fantasy headnotes were cited in later cases, thus acquiring the status of precedent law.

So corporations exist in society with the rights of real persons, but without the moral constraints that typically govern their conduct.


Disclosure:  I’m not a lawyer.  I have no political or financial interest in posting this article.  The foregoing is my opinion based on research.

 

Politics (6th)

Voting Information – A Public Service Post

NBC has provided complete state-by-state voting information which you can access by clicking on the link below:

https://www.optimistdaily.com/2020/08/this-map-tells-you-how-to-vote-during-a-pandemic/

If you intend to vote by mail:

Give yourself plenty of time to complete every step.

Be careful to follow all instructions precisely.

Remember, most ballots are invalidated because of voter error.

Also, please bear in mind that in the last twenty years, more than a dozen elections have been decided by a single vote or else ended in a tie.

 

 

Politics (5th)

As the 2020 campaign evolves, many citizens are distressed by the shabby state of political debate, characterized by lust for political power to be gained by telling unending lies.

The level of pure, unadulterated falsehood is arguably equal to that displayed by any communist party propaganda rag in existence.  

How did such an extreme, blatant disregard for simple truth become such a popular tool with which to manipulate voters?

While presently I have no explanation to offer, and it’s true that politicians throughout time have never been noted for squeaky clean conduct—the only known rule of politics being that there are no rules—nevertheless I find the present level of disregard for simple truth to be more extreme than anything I’ve ever known this side of a communist party newspaper.

That having been said, it’s worth considering that polling consistently indicates we are much more tolerant of lies told by our preferred party than we are of lies told by another party.

Such polling results have led operatives of both parties to the same conclusion:

Whoopee!  We can get away with this!

“We the people” are therefore responsible for this situation, which will improve when we care enough to penalize both parties for their part in such shameless bastardization of our political process.

Democracy is much like farming—cultivate carefully or shut up about the weeds!

 

Throwing out the baby with the bathwater…

…aka “defunding the police”

Let’s talk turkey about eliminating professional police and replacing them with citizen safety committees.

Let’s imagine these amateurs dealing effectively with the mafias of Italy, Sicily, Russia, and Vietnam, also international terrorists, drug cartels…

and a constantly varying mixture and frequency of burglary, arson, rape, murder, kidnapping, counterfeiting, robbery, prostitution, missing persons, bar fights, drunken driving, vandalism, disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, cruelty to animals, identity theft, traffic jams, hate crimes, rowdy demonstrations, maybe a riot… any or all of this,

plus directing traffic, escorting funeral processions, dealing with trespass complaints, investigating collisions, shooing away loiterers…

all the while enforcing weapons laws, and maybe serving a search or arrest warrant on the sort of psychopathic felon who’d rather kill a cop than get laid.

Can you imagine untrained, uncoordinated, inexperienced amateurs dealing effectively with any part of such a mixture?

I can’t.

When I assign that task to my imagination, it just laughs.

Hysterically.

Let’s eliminate police misconduct, not the police.

Politics (4th)

Vote Suppression—A Tactic Throughout History,

In ancient Rome the patricians, (aka rich political class), wanted their own way and, among other tactics, sought to get it by ensuring that voting occurred in summer months when many lower class people were out of town, (thus away from polling places), earning money as seasonal agricultural labor.

A different tactic was espoused by Joseph Stalin.  He didn’t care who voted or how they voted, so long as he controlled the count.

A lesson of history is that politics of any kind are subject to ceaseless efforts at vote suppression/neutralization for the advantage of this or that group.

Recurrences are so numerous, so persistent, as to be almost boring.

Once again, in our time, people turn to a favorite page in a time-honored playbook of political skullduggery, once again running a belovéd play in happy anticipation of political advantages to be enjoyed by their group.

Be not upset at this.  These people may, for a time, seem to be very powerful and difficult to stop.

Over time, (sometimes a lot of time), their misconduct always generates their defeat.

Why?

Because “reciprocity” is the universal moral law.

It can be expressed another way:  “Put out what you want to take back.”  Another way  of saying the same thing:  “It is impossible to serve someone something without serving oneself the exact same thing.”  And the best known way, in our society:  “Whatsoever you sow, that surely will you reap.”

It is commonly believed that this law operates as a final judgement in the next world.

Whether or not that’s true, it operates in the here and now.

The consequence is inherent in the deed.

Ultimately, regardless of caste or class, nobody gets away with anything.  As stated in street language—”There’s no free lunch.”

So if your cause aligns harmoniously with the inflexible moral law of reciprocity, be in no doubt: there is no defeat so long as there is sustained moral effort.

Obviously, then, it’s better to lose a few rounds in a political contest that will inevitably be won, than to win a few rounds in a political contest that will inevitably be lost.

So let’s calmly, determinedly, shift into low gear, and recommit ourselves to the unending labor and vigilance that alone guarantee that “government of, by, and for (all) the people shall not perish from the earth.”