In early September, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court, to replace the elderly Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was retiring. Justice Kennedy positioned himself as an independent, deciding on each case by his own legal compass, even siding occasionally with the liberal justices, Sotomayor, Kagan, Bader-Ginsburg, and Breyer.

Neither Trump nor most leading Republicans made any effort to conceal their nominee's conservative positions. The appearance, at any rate, of a "biased" justice antagonized Democrats in Congress, which caused a tumult during Cavanaugh's congressional hearing. Liberals, Black leaders, and Feminists worked hard to discredit him. The American public shivered with every step of the process--discrimination against the minorities, discrimination against the whites! How will all this play out? 

Left-wing activists feared that subsequent decisions by the Supreme Court would marginalize or eliminate important initiatives like the so-called "Affirmative Action," a near-euphemistic term for ethnic preference--in this case Blacks and Latinos over Whites and Asians.

Democrat fears increased as two more elderly Justices retired or died, givingTrump the opportunity to push through two more nominees, Gorsuch and Barrett. Along with Justices Thomas, Alito, and Chief-Justice Roberts, they gave the conservatives an unassailable majority, which infuriated the left-wingers.

The lack of a unified agenda and the antagonism between the two political camps makes governing a matter of favoring one side over the other, giving America a disabled or skizoid functionality; but until the two sides take a long-term view of the situation and figure out that we can't keep going like this, the nation has to soldier on, ravaged by internal divisions--a quick ticket to capitulation to someone--the Chinese or the Russians, or one faction of its own people arrayed against the other. I repeat, we can't keep going like this. We have to spin off new nations.

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine published an interesting article in its September 9, 2018, issue titled "When the State Discriminates"--in German, "Wenn der Staat diskriminiert." This post derives much of its inspiration from the article. As the title suggests, Affirmative Action says something important about our society--how much political  power controls its functions, even its system of justice. Once upon a time, institutions discriminated--Blacks, Jews, Italians, Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, even atheists. Discrimination cuts so many ways, reflecting personal preferences rather than a political agenda. With Affirmative Action, the government says, "Only we get to discriminate."

It interferes with a basic drive in human nature, the desire to win. Those cushy New England prep schools work the dog out of a person. The trustees who oversee the schools want nothing more than to produce more leading scientists, literary giants, entrepreneurs, and presidential cabinet members--all of them alumni! So they want the best. Jewish legal scholars like Merrick Garland, Alan Dershowitz, and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg have supported Affirmative Action, as the means to correct past injustice and pull the nation away from a "meritocracy," promotion guided by personal achievement; but I doubt they wanted ethnic preferences when they were themselves students. Can you imagine them agreeing to graduate far down the class-ranking so that poor students of other races could get ahead? But shouldn't they do that if they apply the egalitarian standard across the board? Obviously not! So why demand that White or Asian students make that kind of pointless sacrifice?


Merrick Garland


Alan Dershowitz, right; Claus von Bülow, left


Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

People pursue politics guided by only primitive instinct. Do whatever you can get away with! We've seen it play out time and time again. Political rivalry employs fierce, brutal tactics, as brutal as any gladiator sport, or even a street brawl. Hardly anything brings out the animal in people like politics. It is the main reason our planet Earth has so few democracies. The political animal rears its ugly head in this country, now. . . . America's days are numbered. We must avoid the fate of other nations and divide the country, so that both political camps can govern a nation. Resuscitate democracy within governable units, dictated by the philosophies of the parties. 


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September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.


September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.


September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.


Lloyd Bowers

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