The Good, the Bad and Me

The Book of the Week is “The Good, the Bad, and Me, In My Anecdotage” by Eli Wallach, published in 2005.

Wallach was an actor of stage and screen. In many ways, he lived in a bygone era. Born in December 1915, he grew up in a Jewish family among mostly Italians, in a few different working-class neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Horse-drawn wagons sold fruit, milk and ice. The horses’ manure was sold as fertilizer. The Italians put on puppet shows, and had parades honoring Jesus and the saints, with floats, refreshments, and a band playing the national anthem. A marching band would play at funerals.

The value of money was quite high in the early twentieth century. If pennies were run over by the streetcar, they could be filed down to take on the structure of nickels, which could be used in pay phones. In 1932, Wallach began to attend the University of Texas as an out-of-state student for $30 a year. He roomed at a boardinghouse for $40 a month, including meals. His second year there, however, the school raised its tuition to $100 a year. Even so, the dean helped students find work so they could afford their educations.

In 1936, Wallach got free tuition at City College of New York when he took classes toward his master’s degree in teaching, at his older brother’s behest. He got a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse, an acting school, also in Manhattan. There, famous instructors taught Method acting. In the 1940’s, open-air double-decker buses that graced Greenwich Village, charged five cents. Wallach shared a one-room furnished apartment on lower Fifth Avenue for which he paid $35 a month. Maid service was included.

However, in 1956, the author hired a press agent for himself and actress-wife for $125 a week. That was a steep price. Ed Sullivan reported in his column that Wallach and his wife had lost their yacht in a sea storm– a line planted by the agent in the New York Daily News. The agent was let go.

Growing up, Wallach never met any black people. He heard about them in Harlem, but had never been there. While in college in Texas, he worked as an usher at a theater in Austin. He escorted blacks to their seats, which were relegated to the (nosebleed section) balcony only.

During Wallach’s fabulous career, in 1961, he acted in an absurdist play written by Eugene Ionesco, called Rhinoceros. It was about how herd mentality turned people into rhinoceroses when they conformed to State authority. For more information about the plot, see the following:

When Wallach acted in a film in Italy in the late 1950’s, he found that some people disagreed with him on how to portray their characters. He wrote, “It had always seemed to me that calling it the Method was incorrect; each country, each society, each theater, and each actor devises his own method.” Such is true of life at large.

Read the book to learn more about Wallach’s life.

Clinging to the Wreckage – BONUS POST

The Bonus Book of the Week is “Clinging to the Wreckage, A Part of Life” by John Mortimer, published in 1982.

Born in the early 1920’s in England, the author was a barrister and playwright. He practiced divorce law like his father before him, and also criminal defense.

The author once wrote a play about “… a man who always says to people what he thought they wanted to hear… We could, if we had any real intention of doing so, narrow the wage differential, we could make education, spectacles, false teeth and rides on the Underground [the London subway] open to all, regardless of the accident of birth.” However, human nature sucks. Humans must make class distinctions. Someone has to be oppressed. There must be class envy.

Nevertheless, now is the time, if ever, for the United States to continue its trend toward instituting national healthcare. For, it cannot afford not to, if it wants to survive as a democratic nation. See the post, “I Shall Not Hate,” third paragraph from the end. Although survival is in doubt at the moment.

As is well known, there turned out to be no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq after 9/11. But– Colin Powell convinced Congress that there were, so it would vote to attack Iraq.

As is well known, there turned out to be vastly significantly less danger than originally “projected” as announced by Dr. Anthony Fauci, that Americans would die of the coronavirus.

Both Colin Powell and Dr. Fauci, like the emperor, had no clothes!

The two aforementioned lies are part and parcel of the political vendettas that have characterized the United States government in the last several decades.

The difference between the lies is that, from 2003 forward, on orders from high government officials, the United States mucked up Iraq. But most Americans didn’t care or weren’t sufficiently powerful to stop the goings-on at “Gitmo” and everywhere else.

For a 20/20 hindsight look at Iraq, see the post: “The Greatest Story Ever Sold.” Two people who might have been viewed as alarmists in the most recent two decades are Naomi Klein (See the post “No Is NOT Enough, RESISTING Trump’s Shock Politics”) and Naomi Wolf, who can be seen in the following video:

In 2020, on orders from high government officials, the United States is mucking up itself! Oops, too late.

The two Naomis aren’t alarmists anymore, are they?? Such is the sewer of history. Anyway, read the Mortimer book to learn the tenor of the times of his generation, given his demographic group.

full circle (sic)

The Book of the Week is “full circle (sic), Escape from Baghdad and the Return” by Saul Silas Fathi, published in 2005. The author interspersed his personal experiences with a brief history of everywhere he had traveled, and brief stories of numerous members of his extensive family tree. Some chapters repeated the same information again, in case the reader had a short memory. Clearly, he wanted his descendants to know all about him and their ancestors.

In 1938 in Basra in Iraq, born into an upper middle-class Jewish family that would eventually have eight children, the author had lots of aunts and uncles. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, Iraq began to oppress its Jews (Zionists), and Communists. The author’s father, a government official, lost his job.

In August 1948, the father paid people-smugglers to help the family’s oldest sons, the author and his younger brother– a year and a half younger– to take them to Israel. Their two uncles in their late teens, were also in the same group of refugees. They had relatives already living in Israel.

Starting in summer 1950 and for about ten months, the Iraqi government allowed its Jews to leave with only the clothes on their backs, forced them to give up their Iraqi citizenship, plus they had to promise never to return, among other conditions. Many who fled to Israel ended up living with Holocaust survivors (more traumatized than the author) in refugee camps.

Fathi was bored of Israel by his late teens, and thought he would go live in Brazil for a few months, beginning in 1958. In Sao Paulo, he and a friend went to a Baptist church that offered free food to the destitute. Lots of Jews worshipped there after escaping the Nazis, and some converted. Fathi was so down on his luck, he worked for food, too.

Fast-forward to spring 1960. Because the author was open to new experiences and met many people who assisted him in his life, he was finally able to obtain a visa to study in the United States.

However, by October 1960, he was running out of money because as a student, he wasn’t allowed to hold a job to support himself. That’s when a chance meeting with a guard at the New York Public Library’s research branch (the one with the lions in front) suggested that he join the U.S. Army to earn money to continue his college education. He did so.

In early 1962, U.S. Immigration sent Fathi a letter telling him that since he wasn’t a U.S. citizen and wasn’t in the process of becoming one, his “… recruitment was an unfortunate mistake, and that any law which permitted such action was abolished at the end of the Korean War, in 1953.” Absurdly, litigation in connection therewith dragged on for years.

But that is the American way. If one feels one has been wronged, the way to settle it is through the courts. However, this is always costly– financially, emotionally and temporally. The costs are what leaders who abuse their power count on, to allow them to continue their tyranny.

Such is the mentality of the current leadership in the United States. NOT ONE previous president lifted a finger to unduly oppress Americans to allegedly contain a contagious, fatal disease. Only this current one. Why is that?

The oppression has certain similarities to a psychological process called divestiture socialization– a ritual imposed on newcomers to social groups in which there is tight bonding of members. Such groups include those in the military, medical school, boarding schools, fraternities and sororities. The newcomers are beaten down and if they survive their hazing, are forced to adapt to the culture of the abusive hierarchy. The new recruits who go along to get along get Stockholm syndrome, because they know that someday, they will become the oppressors.

Along these lines, it’s time to name names of the COVID CONSPIRATORS– those elected officials who are most responsible for punishing the American people for electing a president they themselves don’t like, punishing even those who voted against the current president.

By the way, some American employers make employees clean up the mess they made. Then they fire them. One should remember the mess the following conspirators made, and– come their reelection time, vote them out of office. Besides litigation, that’s the American way, too.

[Please excuse any omissions or errors in the following lists, as WordPress is buggy and had trouble handling the large volume of text, and would not delete specific items. Hackers may also have modified specific items.]

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

GOVERNORS

Alabama Kay Ivey
Alaska Mike Dunleavy
Arizona Doug Ducey
Arkansas Asa Hutchinson
California Gavin Newsom
Colorado Jared Polis
Connecticut Ned Lamont
Delaware John C. Carney Jr.
Florida Ron DeSantis
Georgia Brian Kemp
Hawaii David Ige
Idaho Brad Little
Illinois J.B. Pritzker
Indiana Eric Holcomb
Iowa Kim Reynolds
Kansas Laura Kelly
Kentucky Andy Beshear
Louisiana John Bel Edwards
Maine Janet T. Mills
Maryland Larry Hogan
Massachusetts Charles D. Baker
Michigan Gretchen Whitmer
Minnesota Tim Walz
Mississippi Tate Reeves
Missouri Mike Parson
Montana Steve Bullock
Nebraska Pete Ricketts
Nevada Steve Sisolak
New Hampshire Chris Sununu
New Jersey Phil Murphy
New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham
New York Andrew Cuomo
North Carolina Roy Cooper
North Dakota Doug Burgum
Ohio Richard Michael DeWine
Oklahoma Kevin Stitt
Oregon Kate Brown
Pennsylvania Tom Wolf
Rhode Island Gina Raimondo
South Carolina Henry McMaster
South Dakota Kristi L. Noem
Tennessee Bill Lee
Texas Greg Abbott
Utah Gary Herbert
Vermont Phil Scott
Virginia Ralph Northam
Washington Jay Inslee
West Virginia Jim Justice
Wisconsin Tony Evers
Wyoming Mark Gordon

U.S. SENATORS

Alexander, Lamar TN
Baldwin, Tammy WI
Barrasso, John WY
Bennet, Michael F. CO
Blackburn, Marsha TN
Blumenthal, Richard CT
Blunt, Roy MO
Booker, Cory A. NJ
Boozman, John AR
Braun, Mike IN
Brown, Sherrod OH
Burr, Richard NC
Cantwell, Maria WA
Capito, Shelley Moore WV
Cardin, Benjamin L. MD
Carper, Thomas R. DE
Casey, Robert P., Jr. PA
Cassidy, Bill LA
Collins, Susan M. ME
Coons, Christopher A. DE
Cornyn, John TX
Cortez Masto, Catherine NV
Cotton, Tom AR
Cramer, Kevin ND
Crapo, Mike ID
Cruz, Ted TX
Daines, Steve MT
Duckworth, Tammy IL
Durbin, Richard J. IL
Enzi, Michael B. WY
Ernst, Joni IA
Feinstein, Dianne CA
Fischer, Deb NE
Gardner, Cory CO
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. NY
Graham, Lindsey SC
Grassley, Chuck IA
Harris, Kamala D. CA
Hassan, Margaret Wood NH
Hawley, Josh MO
Heinrich, Martin NM
Hirono, Mazie K. HI
Hoeven, John ND
Hyde-Smith, Cindy MS
Inhofe, James M. OK
Johnson, Ron WI
Jones, Doug AL
Kaine, Tim VA
Kennedy, John LA
King, Angus S., Jr. ME
Klobuchar, Amy MN
Lankford, James OK
Leahy, Patrick J. VT
Lee, Mike UT
Loeffler, Kelly GA
Manchin, Joe, III WV
Markey, Edward J. MA
McConnell, Mitch KY
McSally, Martha AZ
Menendez, Robert NJ
Merkley, Jeff OR
Moran, Jerry KS
Murkowski, Lisa AK
Murphy, Christopher CT
Murray, Patty WA
Paul, Rand KY
Perdue, David GA
Peters, Gary C. MI
Portman, Rob OH
Reed, Jack RI
Risch, James E. ID
Roberts, Pat KS
Romney, Mitt UT
Rosen, Jacky NV
Rounds, Mike SD
Rubio, Marco FL
Sanders, Bernard VT
Sasse, Ben NE
Schatz, Brian HI
Schumer, Charles E. NY
Scott, Rick FL
Scott, Tim SC
Shaheen, Jeanne NH
Shelby, Richard C. AL
Sinema, Kyrsten AZ
Smith, Tina MN
Stabenow, Debbie MI
Sullivan, Dan AK
Tester, Jon MT
Thune, John SD
Tillis, Thom NC
Toomey, Patrick J. PA
Udall, Tom NM
Van Hollen, Chris MD
Warner, Mark R. VA
Warren, Elizabeth MA
Whitehouse, Sheldon RI
Wicker, Roger F. MS
Wyden, Ron OR
Young, Todd IN

U.S. REPRESENTATIVES
Abraham, Ralph
Louisiana’s 5th congressional district, 2015-2020
Adams, Alma
North Carolina’s 12th congressional district, 2014-2020
Aderholt, Robert
Alabama’s 4th congressional district, 1997-2020
Aguilar, Pete
California’s 31st congressional district, 2015-2020
Allen, Rick
Georgia’s 12th congressional district, 2015-2020
Allred, Colin
Texas’s 32nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Amash, Justin
Michigan’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020

Amodei, Mark
Nevada’s 2nd congressional district, 2011-2020
Armstrong, Kelly
North Dakota At Large, 2019-2020
Arrington, Jodey
Texas’s 19th congressional district, 2017-2020
Axne, Cynthia
Iowa’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Babin, Brian
Texas’s 36th congressional district, 2015-2020
Bacon, Don
Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district, 2017-2020
Baird, James
Indiana’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
Balderson, Troy
Ohio’s 12th congressional district, 2018-2020
Banks, Jim
Indiana’s 3rd congressional district, 2017-2020
Barr, Garland “Andy”
Kentucky’s 6th congressional district, 2013-2020
Barragán, Nanette
California’s 44th congressional district, 2017-2020
Bass, Karen
California’s 37th congressional district, 2013-2020
Beatty, Joyce
Ohio’s 3rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Bera, Ami
California’s 7th congressional district, 2013-2020
Bergman, Jack
Michigan’s 1st congressional district, 2017-2020
Beyer, Donald
Virginia’s 8th congressional district, 2015-2020
Biggs, Andy
Arizona’s 5th congressional district, 2017-2020
Bilirakis, Gus
Florida’s 12th congressional district, 2013-2020
Bishop, Dan
North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, 2019-2020
Bishop, Rob
Utah’s 1st congressional district, 2003-2020
Bishop, Sanford
Georgia’s 2nd congressional district, 1993-2020
Blackburn, Marsha
Junior Senator for Tennessee, 2019-2024
Blumenauer, Earl
Oregon’s 3rd congressional district, 1996-2020
Blunt Rochester, Lisa
Delaware At Large, 2017-2020
Bonamici, Suzanne
Oregon’s 1st congressional district, 2012-2020
Bost, Mike
Illinois’s 12th congressional district, 2015-2020
Boyle, Brendan
Pennsylvania’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Brady, Kevin
Texas’s 8th congressional district, 1997-2020

Schumer, Charles
New York’s 22nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Brooks, Mo
Alabama’s 5th congressional district, 2011-2020
Brooks, Susan
Indiana’s 5th congressional district, 2013-2020
Brown, Anthony
Maryland’s 4th congressional district, 2017-2020
Brownley, Julia
California’s 26th congressional district, 2013-2020
Buchanan, Vern
Florida’s 16th congressional district, 2013-2020
Buck, Ken
Colorado’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Bucshon, Larry
Indiana’s 8th congressional district, 2011-2020
Budd, Ted
North Carolina’s 13th congressional district, 2017-2020
Burchett, Tim
Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Burgess, Michael
Texas’s 26th congressional district, 2003-2020
Bustos, Cheri
Illinois’s 17th congressional district, 2013-2020
Butterfield, George “G.K.”
North Carolina’s 1st congressional district, 2004-2020
Byrne, Bradley
Alabama’s 1st congressional district, 2014-2020
Calvert, Ken
California’s 42nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Capito, Shelley
Junior Senator for West Virginia, 2015-2020
Carbajal, Salud
California’s 24th congressional district, 2017-2020
Carper, Thomas
Senior Senator for Delaware, 2001-2024
Carson, André
Indiana’s 7th congressional district, 2008-2020
Carter, Buddy
Georgia’s 1st congressional district, 2015-2020
Carter, John
Texas’s 31st congressional district, 2003-2020
Cartwright, Matthew
Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district, 2019-2020
Case, Ed
Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Casten, Sean
Illinois’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Castor, Kathy
Florida’s 14th congressional district, 2013-2020
Castro, Joaquin
Texas’s 20th congressional district, 2013-2020
Chabot, Steve
Ohio’s 1st congressional district, 2011-2020
Cheney, Liz
Wyoming At Large, 2017-2020
Chu, Judy
California’s 27th congressional district, 2013-2020
Cicilline, David
Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district, 2011-2020
Cisneros, Gilbert
California’s 39th congressional district, 2019-2020
Clark, Katherine
Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district, 2013-2020
Clarke, Yvette
New York’s 9th congressional district, 2013-2020
Clay, Lacy
Missouri’s 1st congressional district, 2001-2020
Cleaver, Emanuel
Missouri’s 5th congressional district, 2005-2020
Cline, Ben
Virginia’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Cloud, Michael
Texas’s 27th congressional district, 2018-2020
Clyburn, James “Jim”
South Carolina’s 6th congressional district, 1993-2020
Cohen, Steve
Tennessee’s 9th congressional district, 2007-2020
Cole, Tom
Oklahoma’s 4th congressional district, 2003-2020
Collins, Doug
Georgia’s 9th congressional district, 2013-2020
Comer, James
Kentucky’s 1st congressional district, 2016-2020
Conaway, Michael
Texas’s 11th congressional district, 2005-2020
Connolly, Gerald
Virginia’s 11th congressional district, 2009-2020
Cook, Paul
California’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Cooper, Jim
Tennessee’s 5th congressional district, 2003-2020
Correa, Luis
California’s 46th congressional district, 2017-2020
Costa, Jim
California’s 16th congressional district, 2013-2020
Courtney, Joe
Connecticut’s 2nd congressional district, 2007-2020
Cox, TJ
California’s 21st congressional district, 2019-2020
Craig, Angie
Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Crawford, Eric “Rick”
Arkansas’s 1st congressional district, 2011-2020
Crenshaw, Dan
Texas’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Crist, Charlie
Florida’s 13th congressional district, 2017-2020
Crow, Jason
Colorado’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Cruz, Ted
Junior Senator for Texas, 2013-2024
Cuellar, Henry
Texas’s 28th congressional district, 2005-2020
Cunningham, Joe
South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Curtis, John
Utah’s 3rd congressional district, 2017-2020
Cárdenas, Tony
California’s 29th congressional district, 2013-2020
Davids, Sharice
Kansas’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Davidson, Warren
Ohio’s 8th congressional district, 2016-2020
Davis, Danny
Illinois’s 7th congressional district, 1997-2020
Davis, Rodney
Illinois’s 13th congressional district, 2013-2020
Davis, Susan
California’s 53rd congressional district, 2003-2020
DeFazio, Peter
Oregon’s 4th congressional district, 1987-2020
DeGette, Diana
Colorado’s 1st congressional district, 1997-2020
DeLauro, Rosa
Connecticut’s 3rd congressional district, 1991-2020
DeSaulnier, Mark
California’s 11th congressional district, 2015-2020
Dean, Madeleine
Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
DelBene, Suzan
Washington’s 1st congressional district, 2012-2020
Delgado, Antonio
New York’s 19th congressional district, 2019-2020
Demings, Val
Florida’s 10th congressional district, 2017-2020
DesJarlais, Scott
Tennessee’s 4th congressional district, 2011-2020
Deutch, Theodore
Florida’s 22nd congressional district, 2017-2020
Diaz-Balart, Mario
Florida’s 25th congressional district, 2013-2020
Dingell, Debbie
Michigan’s 12th congressional district, 2015-2020
Doggett, Lloyd
Texas’s 35th congressional district, 2013-2020
Doyle, Michael “Mike”
Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, 2019-2020
Duncan, Jeff
South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020
Dunn, Neal
Florida’s 2nd congressional district, 2017-2020
Emmer, Tom
Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Engel, Eliot
New York’s 16th congressional district, 2013-2020
Escobar, Veronica
Texas’s 16th congressional district, 2019-2020
Eshoo, Anna
California’s 18th congressional district, 2013-2020
Espaillat, Adriano
New York’s 13th congressional district, 2017-2020
Estes, Ron
Kansas’s 4th congressional district, 2017-2020
Evans, Dwight
Pennsylvania’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Ferguson, Drew
Representative for Georgia’s 3rd congressional district, 2017-2020
Finkenauer, Abby
Representative for Iowa’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Fitzpatrick, Brian
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Fleischmann, Charles “Chuck”
Representative for Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020
Fletcher, Lizzie
Representative for Texas’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Flores, Bill
Representative for Texas’s 17th congressional district, 2011-2020
Fortenberry, Jeff
Representative for Nebraska’s 1st congressional district, 2005-2020
Foster, Bill
Representative for Illinois’s 11th congressional district, 2013-2020
Foxx, Virginia
Representative for North Carolina’s 5th congressional district, 2005-2020
Frankel, Lois
Representative for Florida’s 21st congressional district, 2017-2020
Fudge, Marcia
Representative for Ohio’s 11th congressional district, 2008-2020
Fulcher, Russ
Representative for Idaho’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Gabbard, Tulsi
Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Gaetz, Matt
Representative for Florida’s 1st congressional district, 2017-2020
Gallagher, Mike
Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district, 2017-2020
Gallego, Ruben
Representative for Arizona’s 7th congressional district, 2015-2020
Garamendi, John
Representative for California’s 3rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Garcia, Mike
Representative for California’s 25th congressional district, 2020-2020
Garcia, Sylvia
Representative for Texas’s 29th congressional district, 2019-2020
García, Jesús
Representative for Illinois’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
Gianforte, Greg
Representative for Montana At Large, 2017-2020
Gibbs, Bob
Representative for Ohio’s 7th congressional district, 2013-2020
Gohmert, Louie
Representative for Texas’s 1st congressional district, 2005-2020
Golden, Jared
Representative for Maine’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Gomez, Jimmy
Representative for California’s 34th congressional district, 2017-2020
Gonzalez, Anthony
Representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district, 2019-2020
Gonzalez, Vicente
Representative for Texas’s 15th congressional district, 2017-2020
González-Colón, Jenniffer
Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico, 2017-2020
Gooden, Lance
Representative for Texas’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
Gosar, Paul
Representative for Arizona’s 4th congressional district, 2013-2020
Gottheimer, Josh
Representative for New Jersey’s 5th congressional district, 2017-2020
Granger, Kay
Representative for Texas’s 12th congressional district, 1997-2020
Graves, Garret
Representative for Louisiana’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Graves, Sam
Representative for Missouri’s 6th congressional district, 2001-2020
Graves, Tom
Representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district, 2013-2020
Green, Al
Representative for Texas’s 9th congressional district, 2005-2020
Green, Mark
Representative for Tennessee’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Griffith, Morgan
Representative for Virginia’s 9th congressional district, 2011-2020
Grijalva, Raúl
Representative for Arizona’s 3rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Grothman, Glenn
Representative for Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Guest, Michael
Representative for Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Guthrie, Brett
Representative for Kentucky’s 2nd congressional district, 2009-2020
Haaland, Debra
Representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Hagedorn, Jim
Representative for Minnesota’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Harder, Josh
Representative for California’s 10th congressional district, 2019-2020
Harris, Andy
Representative for Maryland’s 1st congressional district, 2011-2020
Hartzler, Vicky
Representative for Missouri’s 4th congressional district, 2011-2020
Hastings, Alcee
Representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district, 2013-2020
Hayes, Jahana
Representative for Connecticut’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
Heck, Denny
Representative for Washington’s 10th congressional district, 2013-2020
Hern, Kevin
Representative for Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district, 2018-2020
Herrera Beutler, Jaime
Representative for Washington’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020
Hice, Jody
Representative for Georgia’s 10th congressional district, 2015-2020
Higgins, Brian
Representative for New York’s 26th congressional district, 2013-2020
Higgins, Clay
Representative for Louisiana’s 3rd congressional district, 2017-2020
Hill, French
Representative for Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district, 2015-2020
Himes, James
Representative for Connecticut’s 4th congressional district, 2009-2020
Holding, George
Representative for North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district, 2017-2020
Hollingsworth, Trey
Representative for Indiana’s 9th congressional district, 2017-2020
Horn, Kendra
Representative for Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
Horsford, Steven
Representative for Nevada’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
Houlahan, Chrissy
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Hoyer, Steny
Representative for Maryland’s 5th congressional district, 1981-2020
Hudson, Richard
Representative for North Carolina’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Huffman, Jared
Representative for California’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Huizenga, Bill
Representative for Michigan’s 2nd congressional district, 2011-2020
Hurd, Will
Representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district, 2015-2020
Jackson Lee, Sheila
Representative for Texas’s 18th congressional district, 1995-2020
Jayapal, Pramila
Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district, 2017-2020
Jeffries, Hakeem
Representative for New York’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Johnson, Bill
Representative for Ohio’s 6th congressional district, 2011-2020
Johnson, Dusty
Representative for South Dakota At Large, 2019-2020
Johnson, Eddie
Representative for Texas’s 30th congressional district, 1993-2020
Johnson, Henry “Hank”
Representative for Georgia’s 4th congressional district, 2007-2020
Johnson, Mike
Representative for Louisiana’s 4th congressional district, 2017-2020
Jordan, Jim
Representative for Ohio’s 4th congressional district, 2007-2020
Joyce, David
Representative for Ohio’s 14th congressional district, 2013-2020
Joyce, John
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district, 2019-2020
Kaptur, Marcy
Representative for Ohio’s 9th congressional district, 1983-2020
Katko, John
Representative for New York’s 24th congressional district, 2015-2020
Keating, William
Representative for Massachusetts’s 9th congressional district, 2013-2020
Keller, Fred
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district, 2019-2020
Kelly, Mike
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district, 2019-2020
Kelly, Robin
Representative for Illinois’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Kelly, Trent
Representative for Mississippi’s 1st congressional district, 2015-2020
Kennedy, Joseph
Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district, 2013-2020
Khanna, Ro
Representative for California’s 17th congressional district, 2017-2020
Kildee, Daniel
Representative for Michigan’s 5th congressional district, 2013-2020
Kilmer, Derek
Representative for Washington’s 6th congressional district, 2013-2020
Kim, Andy
Representative for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Kind, Ron
Representative for Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district, 1997-2020
King, Peter “Pete”
Representative for New York’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
King, Steve
Representative for Iowa’s 4th congressional district, 2013-2020
Kinzinger, Adam
Representative for Illinois’s 16th congressional district, 2013-2020
Kirkpatrick, Ann
Representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Krishnamoorthi, Raja
Representative for Illinois’s 8th congressional district, 2017-2020
Kuster, Ann
Representative for New Hampshire’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Kustoff, David
Representative for Tennessee’s 8th congressional district, 2017-2020
LaHood, Darin
Representative for Illinois’s 18th congressional district, 2015-2020
LaMalfa, Doug
Representative for California’s 1st congressional district, 2013-2020
Lamb, Conor
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district, 2019-2020
Lamborn, Doug
Representative for Colorado’s 5th congressional district, 2007-2020
Langevin, James “Jim”
Representative for Rhode Island’s 2nd congressional district, 2001-2020
Larsen, Rick
Representative for Washington’s 2nd congressional district, 2001-2020
Larson, John
Representative for Connecticut’s 1st congressional district, 1999-2020
Latta, Robert
Representative for Ohio’s 5th congressional district, 2007-2020
Lawrence, Brenda
Representative for Michigan’s 14th congressional district, 2015-2020
Lawson, Al
Representative for Florida’s 5th congressional district, 2017-2020
Lee, Barbara
Representative for California’s 13th congressional district, 2013-2020
Lee, Susie
Representative for Nevada’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Lesko, Debbie
Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district, 2018-2020
Levin, Andy
Representative for Michigan’s 9th congressional district, 2019-2020
Levin, Mike
Representative for California’s 49th congressional district, 2019-2020
Lewis, John
Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, 1987-2020
Lieu, Ted
Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district, 2015-2020
Lipinski, Daniel
Representative for Illinois’s 3rd congressional district, 2005-2020
Loebsack, David
Representative for Iowa’s 2nd congressional district, 2007-2020
Lofgren, Zoe
Representative for California’s 19th congressional district, 2013-2020
Long, Billy
Representative for Missouri’s 7th congressional district, 2011-2020
Loudermilk, Barry
Representative for Georgia’s 11th congressional district, 2015-2020
Lowenthal, Alan
Representative for California’s 47th congressional district, 2013-2020
Lowey, Nita
Representative for New York’s 17th congressional district, 2013-2020
Lucas, Frank
Representative for Oklahoma’s 3rd congressional district, 2003-2020
Luetkemeyer, Blaine
Representative for Missouri’s 3rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Luján, Ben
Representative for New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district, 2009-2020
Luria, Elaine
Representative for Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Lynch, Stephen
Representative for Massachusetts’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Malinowski, Tom
Representative for New Jersey’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Maloney, Carolyn
Representative for New York’s 12th congressional district, 2013-2020
Maloney, Sean
Representative for New York’s 18th congressional district, 2013-2020
Marchant, Kenny
Representative for Texas’s 24th congressional district, 2005-2020
Marshall, Roger
Representative for Kansas’s 1st congressional district, 2017-2020
Massie, Thomas
Representative for Kentucky’s 4th congressional district, 2012-2020
Mast, Brian
Representative for Florida’s 18th congressional district, 2017-2020
Matsui, Doris
Representative for California’s 6th congressional district, 2013-2020
McAdams, Ben
Representative for Utah’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
McBath, Lucy
Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
McCarthy, Kevin
Representative for California’s 23rd congressional district, 2013-2020
McCaul, Michael
Representative for Texas’s 10th congressional district, 2005-2020
McClintock, Tom
Representative for California’s 4th congressional district, 2009-2020
McCollum, Betty
Representative for Minnesota’s 4th congressional district, 2001-2020
McEachin, Donald
Representative for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, 2017-2020
McGovern, James “Jim”
Representative for Massachusetts’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
McHenry, Patrick
Representative for North Carolina’s 10th congressional district, 2005-2020
McKinley, David
Representative for West Virginia’s 1st congressional district, 2011-2020
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy
Representative for Washington’s 5th congressional district, 2005-2020
McNerney, Jerry
Representative for California’s 9th congressional district, 2013-2020
Meeks, Gregory
Representative for New York’s 5th congressional district, 2013-2020
Meng, Grace
Representative for New York’s 6th congressional district, 2013-2020
Meuser, Daniel
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district, 2019-2020
Mfume, Kweisi
Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district, 2020-2020
Miller, Carol
Representative for West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Mitchell, Paul
Representative for Michigan’s 10th congressional district, 2017-2020
Moolenaar, John
Representative for Michigan’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Mooney, Alex
Representative for West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, 2015-2020
Moore, Gwen
Representative for Wisconsin’s 4th congressional district, 2005-2020
Morelle, Joseph
Representative for New York’s 25th congressional district, 2018-2020
Moulton, Seth
Representative for Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie
Representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district, 2019-2020
Mullin, Markwayne
Representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Murphy, Gregory
Representative for North Carolina’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Murphy, Stephanie
Representative for Florida’s 7th congressional district, 2017-2020
Nadler, Jerrold
Representative for New York’s 10th congressional district, 2013-2020
Napolitano, Grace
Representative for California’s 32nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Neal, Richard
Representative for Massachusetts’s 1st congressional district, 2013-2020
Neguse, Joe
Representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Newhouse, Dan
Representative for Washington’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Norcross, Donald
Representative for New Jersey’s 1st congressional district, 2014-2020
Norman, Ralph
Representative for South Carolina’s 5th congressional district, 2017-2020
Norton, Eleanor
Representative for the District of Columbia, 1991-2020
Nunes, Devin
Representative for California’s 22nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria
Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, 2019-2020
Olson, Pete
Representative for Texas’s 22nd congressional district, 2009-2020
Omar, Ilhan
Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
O’Halleran, Tom
Representative for Arizona’s 1st congressional district, 2017-2020
Palazzo, Steven
Representative for Mississippi’s 4th congressional district, 2011-2020
Pallone, Frank
Representative for New Jersey’s 6th congressional district, 1993-2020
Palmer, Gary
Representative for Alabama’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Panetta, Jimmy
Representative for California’s 20th congressional district, 2017-2020
Pappas, Chris
Representative for New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Pascrell, Bill
Representative for New Jersey’s 9th congressional district, 2013-2020
Payne, Donald
Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district, 2012-2020
Pelosi, Nancy
Representative for California’s 12th congressional district, 2013-2020
Pence, Greg
Representative for Indiana’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Perlmutter, Ed
Representative for Colorado’s 7th congressional district, 2007-2020
Perry, Scott
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district, 2019-2020
Peters, Scott
Representative for California’s 52nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Peterson, Collin
Representative for Minnesota’s 7th congressional district, 1991-2020
Phillips, Dean
Representative for Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Pingree, Chellie
Representative for Maine’s 1st congressional district, 2009-2020
Plaskett, Stacey
Representative for the Virgin Islands, 2015-2020
Pocan, Mark
Representative for Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Porter, Katie
Representative for California’s 45th congressional district, 2019-2020
Posey, Bill
Representative for Florida’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Pressley, Ayanna
Representative for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Price, David
Representative for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district, 1997-2020
Quigley, Mike
Representative for Illinois’s 5th congressional district, 2009-2020
Raskin, Jamie
Representative for Maryland’s 8th congressional district, 2017-2020
Ratcliffe, John
Representative for Texas’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Reed, Tom
Representative for New York’s 23rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Reschenthaler, Guy
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 14th congressional district, 2019-2020
Rice, Kathleen
Representative for New York’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Rice, Tom
Representative for South Carolina’s 7th congressional district, 2013-2020
Richmond, Cedric
Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, 2011-2020
Riggleman, Denver
Representative for Virginia’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
Roby, Martha
Representative for Alabama’s 2nd congressional district, 2011-2020
Roe, David “Phil”
Representative for Tennessee’s 1st congressional district, 2009-2020
Rogers, Harold “Hal”
Representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district, 1981-2020
Rogers, Mike
Representative for Alabama’s 3rd congressional district, 2003-2020
Rooney, Francis
Representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district, 2017-2020
Rose, John
Representative for Tennessee’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Rose, Max
Representative for New York’s 11th congressional district, 2019-2020
Rouda, Harley
Representative for California’s 48th congressional district, 2019-2020
Rouzer, David
Representative for North Carolina’s 7th congressional district, 2015-2020
Roy, Chip
Representative for Texas’s 21st congressional district, 2019-2020
Roybal-Allard, Lucille
Representative for California’s 40th congressional district, 2013-2020
Ruiz, Raul
Representative for California’s 36th congressional district, 2013-2020
Ruppersberger, A. Dutch
Representative for Maryland’s 2nd congressional district, 2003-2020
Rush, Bobby
Representative for Illinois’s 1st congressional district, 1993-2020
Rutherford, John
Representative for Florida’s 4th congressional district, 2017-2020
Ryan, Tim
Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district, 2013-2020
Sablan, Gregorio
Representative for the Northern Mariana Islands, 2009-2020
San Nicolas, Michael
Representative for Guam, 2019-2020
Sarbanes, John
Representative for Maryland’s 3rd congressional district, 2007-2020
Scalise, Steve
Representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district, 2008-2020
Scanlon, Mary
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district, 2019-2020
Schakowsky, Janice “Jan”
Representative for Illinois’s 9th congressional district, 1999-2020
Schiff, Adam
Representative for California’s 28th congressional district, 2013-2020
Schneider, Bradley
Representative for Illinois’s 10th congressional district, 2017-2020
Schrader, Kurt
Representative for Oregon’s 5th congressional district, 2009-2020
Schrier, Kim
Representative for Washington’s 8th congressional district, 2019-2020
Schweikert, David
Representative for Arizona’s 6th congressional district, 2013-2020
Scott, Austin
Representative for Georgia’s 8th congressional district, 2011-2020
Scott, David
Representative for Georgia’s 13th congressional district, 2003-2020
Scott, Robert “Bobby”
Representative for Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, 1993-2020
Sensenbrenner, James
Representative for Wisconsin’s 5th congressional district, 2003-2020
Serrano, José
Representative for New York’s 15th congressional district, 2013-2020
Sewell, Terri
Representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district, 2011-2020
Shalala, Donna
Representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district, 2019-2020
Sherman, Brad
Representative for California’s 30th congressional district, 2013-2020
Sherrill, Mikie
Representative for New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, 2019-2020
Shimkus, John
Representative for Illinois’s 15th congressional district, 2013-2020
Simpson, Michael “Mike”
Representative for Idaho’s 2nd congressional district, 1999-2020
Sires, Albio
Representative for New Jersey’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Slotkin, Elissa
Representative for Michigan’s 8th congressional district, 2019-2020
Smith, Adam
Representative for Washington’s 9th congressional district, 1997-2020
Smith, Adrian
Representative for Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district, 2007-2020
Smith, Christopher “Chris”
Representative for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district, 1981-2020
Smith, Jason
Representative for Missouri’s 8th congressional district, 2013-2020
Smucker, Lloyd
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district, 2019-2020
Soto, Darren
Representative for Florida’s 9th congressional district, 2017-2020
Spanberger, Abigail
Representative for Virginia’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Spano, Ross
Representative for Florida’s 15th congressional district, 2019-2020
Speier, Jackie
Representative for California’s 14th congressional district, 2013-2020
Stanton, Greg
Representative for Arizona’s 9th congressional district, 2019-2020
Stauber, Pete
Representative for Minnesota’s 8th congressional district, 2019-2020
Stefanik, Elise
Representative for New York’s 21st congressional district, 2015-2020
Steil, Bryan
Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, 2019-2020
Steube, Gregory
Representative for Florida’s 17th congressional district, 2019-2020
Stevens, Haley
Representative for Michigan’s 11th congressional district, 2019-2020
Stewart, Chris
Representative for Utah’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Stivers, Steve
Representative for Ohio’s 15th congressional district, 2011-2020
Suozzi, Thomas
Representative for New York’s 3rd congressional district, 2017-2020
Swalwell, Eric
Representative for California’s 15th congressional district, 2013-2020
Sánchez, Linda
Representative for California’s 38th congressional district, 2013-2020
Takano, Mark
Representative for California’s 41st congressional district, 2013-2020
Taylor, Van
Representative for Texas’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Thompson, Bennie
Representative for Mississippi’s 2nd congressional district, 1993-2020
Thompson, Glenn
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 15th congressional district, 2019-2020
Thompson, Mike
Representative for California’s 5th congressional district, 2013-2020
Thornberry, Mac
Representative for Texas’s 13th congressional district, 1995-2020
Tiffany, Thomas
Representative for Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district, 2020-2020
Timmons, William
Representative for South Carolina’s 4th congressional district, 2019-2020
Tipton, Scott
Representative for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020
Titus, Dina
Representative for Nevada’s 1st congressional district, 2013-2020
Tlaib, Rashida
Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, 2019-2020
Tonko, Paul
Representative for New York’s 20th congressional district, 2013-2020
Torres Small, Xochitl
Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Norma Torres CA35
Torres, Norma
Representative for California’s 35th congressional district, 2015-2020
Trahan, Lori
Representative for Massachusetts’s 3rd congressional district, 2019-2020
Trone, David
Representative for Maryland’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Turner, Michael
Representative for Ohio’s 10th congressional district, 2013-2020
Underwood, Lauren
Representative for Illinois’s 14th congressional district, 2019-2020
Upton, Fred
Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district, 1993-2020
Van Drew, Jefferson
Representative for New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Vargas, Juan
Representative for California’s 51st congressional district, 2013-2020
Veasey, Marc
Representative for Texas’s 33rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Vela, Filemon
Representative for Texas’s 34th congressional district, 2013-2020
Velázquez, Nydia
Representative for New York’s 7th congressional district, 2013-2020
Visclosky, Peter
Representative for Indiana’s 1st congressional district, 1985-2020
Wagner, Ann
Representative for Missouri’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Walberg, Tim
Representative for Michigan’s 7th congressional district, 2011-2020
Walden, Greg
Representative for Oregon’s 2nd congressional district, 1999-2020
Walker, Mark
Representative for North Carolina’s 6th congressional district, 2015-2020
Walorski, Jackie
Representative for Indiana’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Waltz, Michael
Representative for Florida’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Representative for Florida’s 23rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Waters, Maxine
Representative for California’s 43rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Watkins, Steven
Representative for Kansas’s 2nd congressional district, 2019-2020
Watson Coleman, Bonnie
Representative for New Jersey’s 12th congressional district, 2015-2020
Weber, Randy
Representative for Texas’s 14th congressional district, 2013-2020
Webster, Daniel
Representative for Florida’s 11th congressional district, 2017-2020
Welch, Peter
Representative for Vermont At Large, 2007-2020
Wenstrup, Brad
Representative for Ohio’s 2nd congressional district, 2013-2020
Westerman, Bruce
Representative for Arkansas’s 4th congressional district, 2015-2020
Wexton, Jennifer
Representative for Virginia’s 10th congressional district, 2019-2020
Wild, Susan
Representative for Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district, 2019-2020
Williams, Roger
Representative for Texas’s 25th congressional district, 2013-2020
Wilson, Frederica
Representative for Florida’s 24th congressional district, 2013-2020
Wilson, Joe
Representative for South Carolina’s 2nd congressional district, 2001-2020
Wittman, Robert
Representative for Virginia’s 1st congressional district, 2007-2020
Womack, Steve
Representative for Arkansas’s 3rd congressional district, 2011-2020
Woodall, Rob
Representative for Georgia’s 7th congressional district, 2011-2020
Wright, Ron
Representative for Texas’s 6th congressional district, 2019-2020
Yarmuth, John
Representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district, 2007-2020
Yoho, Ted
Representative for Florida’s 3rd congressional district, 2013-2020
Young, Don
Representative for Alaska At Large, 1973-2020
Zeldin, Lee
Representative for New York’s 1st congressional district, 2015-2020

To be fair, the conspirators are punishing themselves, as well. They think the only way to oust the president is to crash the economy and have Americans vote him out of office. Ordinary Americans might never learn what the president did or didn’t do because he can hide behind executive privilege whenever his embattled administration is investigated for anything. Also, he and his attorney general are besties on the important issues.

The following quote from Bertrand Russell can never be repeated too often: “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.”

This COVID campaign has had a cloak of phoniness on it from the start. True, over time, myths and misinformation have suffused all major historical events. However, electronic files are slowly replacing paper, so the recording of the institutional memory of the world can be modified with a few keystrokes all the time. Propagandists from each side are engaging in a constant battle (like “Spy vs. Spy” in Mad Magazine) to be the most recent editors of as many online information sources as possible.

Another aspect of the opinion war is that it is difficult to trust anyone who is being paid to say what they are saying. Of course, they want to keep their jobs so they sometimes (or always) say things they don’t actually themselves believe.

But– no need to get all stressed out like Barry McGuire in the song, “Eve of Destruction”– because this COVID crisis is not entirely unprecedented.

WARNING: SPOILER (OR RATHER, HISTORY) ALERT

During president Dwight Eisenhower’s two terms– most of the 1950’s– Americans were living the American Dream. They were enjoying peace and prosperity. Really? Peace and prosperity?

It might be recalled that it was the McCarthy Era! Anyone who worked in communications-related jobs or in Hollywood, sooner or later, became the victim of ideological persecution. Everyone was forced to take the Loyalty Oath.

Never mind the fact that minorities and foreigners were subjected to physical persecution, the likes of which this whole nation is currently suffering. Feel better now?

Read Fathi’s book to learn of the author’s fate, every detail of his life up until then, and his family’s diaspora.

Landsberg’s Law

The Book of the Week is “Landsberg’s Law, a Journey of Discovery” by Mark Landsberg, published in 2006.

Born in Los Angeles at the tail end of December in 1937 or 1938 (the author provided references to various of his birthdays throughout the book as though to remind himself of his age, and was vague about other dates), Landsberg chose the hedonistic life of playing poker on the beach as often as possible, when he wasn’t living abroad.

While attending college in California, Landsberg worked for the U.S. Postal Service. His employer ignored him when he tried to tell them of an idea that would save them millions of dollars. “One of the drawbacks of Civil Service is that it stifles initiative.” Other places the author encountered a similar frustration were: in the Navy, and at University of California at Berkeley. “Thinking must be painful since so many people go to such lengths to avoid it.”

Along these lines, it might be recalled that for a time, the CBS network had the 1980’s promotional slogans for its TV and radio “news” divisions respectively:

“Americans. We like straight talk. We want hard facts. We demand the truth. We know who we are, and we know who we trust. Dan Rather. CBS Evening News.” and “Don’t let anyone tell you what they said. Hear them say it. CBS News.” True story.

In the late 1990’s, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, certain content-creators had good intentions. They knew that the world reaps untold benefits when people freely (at no charge and with no censorship) exchange information and ideas. They sincerely believed in educating people in an unbiased manner. Unfortunately, roughly twenty years later, most website administrators cannot afford to exist unless they allow their sites’ content to be dictated by political hacks, including, it appears, Wikipedia.

Throughout history, humans have engaged in endeavors whose original purpose was fun. Money has corrupted those endeavors: all kinds of amateur activities in art, music and sports, science fairs, and many others. Over the past half century, even areas in which people used to make a modest living while enjoying themselves, have become pressure-cookers of greed: the medical industry, professional sports, publishing, Hollywood, the music industry, etc. With the evolution of all systems, the profit motive takes over.

Greed will also fuel the country’s economic recovery in an ironic (!) way. Most of the distressed assets resulting from this pandemic will be bought by the “one-percenters” who will create new, enterprising entities that will move the country forward. Also, Americans who are in a position to do so, will move to the places that offer them the most freedoms and/or economic opportunities. The nation’s most oppressive regions will suffer capital flight and brain drain.

Anyway, back to Mr. Landsberg. Around 1970, some Scrabble players formed a club in Beverly Hills, California. They were forced to call it a “Word Club” because Selchow and Righter (S&R), the then-owners of Scrabble’s intellectual property rights were possessive of the game’s name. Anyway, Landsberg and his friends were a few of the first players to formulate counter-intuitive strategies for winning at Scrabble.

The author even produced a manuscript called “Championship Scrabble Strategy” but of course was forced to request permission from S&R to publish it. Through 1972, the two parties had months of serious discussions but the latter put it on the back burner. By the following year, S&R had hired a college dropout to publish a book on-the-cheap using Landsberg’s material without telling him.

Landsberg’s federal lawsuit demanded $25 million from S&R. Read the book to learn of how the author fared in his court case, which included the causes of action of: breach of contract, and plagiarism.

ENDNOTE: In general, some might say that the U.S. government has breached its contract with the American people, and that the president committed plagiarism by taking a page out of Nixon’s playbook (not that other politicians have not also done so). Sadly, on both sides, bashing is all the rage these days: Trump-bashing, Obama-bashing, China-bashing, Cuomo-bashing, FBI-bashing, Biden-bashing, Republican-bashing, Democrat-bashing…

But wait. We’re all in this together! And Americans can trust CBS, and everyone else. True story.

Ingrid Bergman, My Story

The Book of the Week is “Ingrid Bergman, My Story” by Ingrid Bergman and Alan Burgess, published in 1972.

Born in 1915 in Sweden, Bergman lived with extended relatives after her mother and father passed away, when she was three and thirteen, respectively. The father’s successful painting and photography-supply businesses were taken over by the family. When she was fifteen, a couple of friends in high places– and of course, passion and hard work– allowed her to get accepted to the Royal Dramatic School. Nevertheless, she quit to become a movie actress in Sweden.

David Selznick in America heard about her talent, and his wife set her wise as to Hollywood’s ways. Her advisors therefore negotiated a one-film contract rather than a seven-year contract. Bergman was the opposite of a prima donna on the set. Selznick was impressed and had his public relations people hold her up as a paragon of virtue and modesty. However, she refused to be typecast, insisting on playing all different kinds of roles.

Bergman wrote, “Another Hollywood thing I hated was the power of those two women, Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, the gossip columnists. Their power shocked me, and I thought it very wrong that the film industry had allowed them to build up to such an extent that they could ruin people’s careers and lives.” Sadly, there is nothing new under the sun in that regard. Gossip in American society has been used more often for evil than for good, especially in politics.

Anyway, in autumn 1946, Bergman got slammed for saying she wasn’t going to return Washington, D.C. because the theater there in which she was performing, banned blacks. Perhaps she was not a racist, but her immaturity in her personal relationships caused her first husband and first-born daughter endless anguish.

Read the book to learn of Bergman’s dream role, whether she got to play it, other roles she played, and about her families.

The Man on Mao’s Right

The Book of the Week is “The Man on Mao’s Right, From Harvard Yard to Tiananmen Square, My Life Inside China’s Foreign Ministry” by Ji Chaozhu, published in 2008.

Born in 1929 in the Chinese village of Taijun, Ji lived a charmed early childhood, as his politically connected father was a law professor and commissioner of education. In 1937, his family was forced to move in with his paternal grandfather in Fenyang when the Japanese continued their siege of China.

By the end of the 1930’s, the family had fled from their palace to the United States. They moved into a tiny tenement in the East Village in Manhattan. One aspect of their living standards that was actually higher, was the modern plumbing.

Ji had a much, much older, politically connected brother– old enough to be his father– who purported to aid the Chinese Communists, then Americans, alternating between the two throughout his life. But his loyalties truly lay with the Communists.

Ji’s father behaved similarly, translating between English and Japanese for the U.S. Office of War Information after the Pearl Harbor attack, but also starting a secret pro-Communist Chinese newspaper sold in Chinatown. In 1946, he returned to China to become president of Peking University.

Ji learned English in a progressive private school. As he got older, he too began to believe that the Americans were imperialists, as they invaded Korea. He therefore quit Harvard in his junior year to return to China.

Ji had no problem enduring mean living conditions there– more than a hundred students in his Tsinghua University dorm had to share one bathroom. They had a communal bathhouse. A food shortage meant that his diet consisted of only sorghum, corn millet, dried sweet potato flour and pickled vegetables. There were no chairs in the cafeteria– students ate standing up.

When Mao Tse Tung’s Communist party took over China in 1949, the U.S. Seventh Fleet in Taiwan protected Chiang Kai-Shek, the corrupt, exiled leader of the defeated Nationalist party.

In April 1951, Douglas MacArthur was dismissed from his military leadership position by president Harry Truman for having grand plans to wage nuclear war against the Communists. Congress member Albert Gore, Sr. echoed MacArthur’s hawkish sentiments, proposing that the United States warn people to evacuate Korea, and then showering it with nuclear waste to force a stop to the war.

Ji began to attend self-criticism meetings and worship Mao as though he were a supreme being. But Ji wasn’t automatically accepted as a member of the Communist party because his reputation was tainted with Western values. His father and much, much older brother had worked for the American government in various capacities, and his family had lived in America for a time.

Nevertheless, Ji’s fluency in English, high-level education, and understanding of Western culture were major assets that few Chinese people had. So China’s Foreign Ministry recruited him to translate and take notes at the Korean peace talks in spring 1952. He and his fellow interpreters risked their lives in traveling to the site of the negotiations in Panmunjon in North Korea. They survived shelling, strafing and bombing.

Ji then survived the pressure to perfectly, manually type up the excessive number of revisions in Korean, English and Chinese that led to an almost-final written agreement in July 1953. This, after about two million war deaths over the course of two years, with neither of the multi-national sides making any significant progress geographically.

After a short stop at home, Ji was then sent to Geneva for more abuse, but without life-threatening dangers overhead.

Back in China, the landlords and the capitalists were under physical siege by the peasants in rural farming villages. Mao egged on the violence. However, in late 1956, after the common Hungarian people staged an uprising against their Communist oppressors, Mao realized he needed to take steps to avoid that kind of situation in China. So, “… for the first time, American magazines, books, and the occasional film became available. Before that, any Western literature or movies were banned.”

In a move that was nothing new under the sun, Mao gave the Chinese people a chance to air their grievances. One professor complained that Party members and cadres were living high on the hog while the peasants were starving.

Mao then wrote articles saying that the government then knew who the infidels were. He launched his Anti-Rightist campaign. A lot of bourgeois people were fired from their jobs, and sent to reeducation camps. Many people suicided, were executed or never heard from again. Unsurprisingly, the famine in China resulted in about thirty million deaths.

Beginning in the late 1950’s, over the next decade, Ji dutifully did the jobs he was assigned. For months at a time, he alternated between going to rural areas to help with manual labor, and sitting at Zhou Enlai’s side, sometimes even at Mao’s side– interpreting at diplomatic meetings.

In August 1966, a group of adolescents comprised of sociopathic sadists supplied with weaponry– also known as the Red Guards– terrorized anyone accused of disloyalty to Communist ideology (i.e., ownership by the dictatorial State, rather than ownership by private parties, of the means of production; plus other conditions). Anyone could be an accuser. Mao encouraged everyone to be snitches. The victims of violence also included embassy personnel of the former Soviet Union, India and Burma. Not to mention, in August 1967, people in the British consulate.

While ugliness raged in China and was exacerbated with U.S. intervention in Vietnam, there was a similarity with the two countries’ leadership. Zhou Enlai’s role under Mao was like vice president Hubert Humphrey’s under president Lyndon Johnson’s. The second fiddles both obeyed their bosses to keep their jobs, even though their bosses’s actions caused an excessive number of needless deaths and ruined lives.

Read the book to learn much more about the history of China, and Ji’s life and times.

Hopes Dies Last

The Book of the Week is “Hope Dies Last, The Autobiography of Alexander Dubcek” with Jiri Hochman, published in 1993.

In 1920, Czechoslovakia became a sovereign state. In the nineteenth century, Slovakia had been under the thumb of the Hungarians, but it currently has its own identity, culture and language.

History has its fools. Dubcek was one of them. However, such a tragic figure inspires optimism– that helps oppressed people function, that helps them survive until they see better days.

Born in November 1921 in what is now Slovakia, Dubcek– who had an older brother, moved with his family every few years around what is now the former Soviet Union. His parents had briefly lived in Chicago prior to his birth. They were socialists and studied Marxism. In autumn 1921, his father became chairman of the newly formed Czechoslovak Communist Party, and was also a carpenter.

In spring 1925, the family moved to Kyrgyzstan to help build infrastructure for a famine-plagued area, through the auspices of an organization of a couple of hundred Eastern Europeans who sought to do cooperative charitable works. It was there that Dubcek became fluent in the Russian language, in addition to Czech and Slovak.

In March 1939, when Adolf Hitler took over Czechoslovakia, “Czechs, Jews, Communists and Social Democrats were declared public enemies. Remaining civil and political rights were terminated and anti-Semitic laws were imposed.” Dubcek’s family was Christian, and his homeland (Slovakia) was forced to fight for the Axis powers.

At seventeen years of age, Dubcek joined the (then-illegal) Communist Party like his father before him. He hid Party documents in his family pet’s doghouse, where they weren’t found by the oppressive ruling authorities. The Party’s main activity was the distribution of leaflets, which became more dangerous in 1940. However, the Nazi invasion of Russia in June 1941 was viewed as good news by the Slovaks.

Dubcek and his brother got jobs at an arms factory, working at a lathe. Their Monday through Saturday commute was rigorous: wake up at 3am to walk five miles to the train station; take the train; walk another two and a half miles to the workplace. Do it in reverse at shift’s end. Otherwise, they wouldn’t eat.

In spring and summer of 1944, Slovak partisans (which included Dubcek and his brother) and the Czech Army engaged in guerrilla warfare in the Slovakian countryside, where the Germans were committing atrocities.

In early 1945, the Soviets took over Czechoslovakia, instituting land reform and national health care while telling the people there would be full employment.

In March 1945, Soviet troops came in after the time the Nazis were all but defeated, to grab the glory. The Soviets’ war propaganda convinced the Czech people that Russia beat Germany, and anti-fascism was good, so their Communist system became preferable to Germany’s.

In summer 1949, Dubcek chose to quit working in a nationalized yeast factory to working for the Communist Party in a district office in what is now Slovakia. He eventually supervised bureaucrats in industry, agriculture and ideology– which he fully believed in himself; that is, prior to the shocking time (1956) he learned of Josef Stalin’s purges and oppression of dissidents.

In the early 1950’s, Dubcek’s family was permitted to holiday in the mountains, skiing, hiking, picking berries or mushrooms. In August 1955, as he was fluent in Russian, he (without his wife and children) was sent to a government school in Moscow for career training for three years.

As first secretary of the Slovak Communist Party, Dubcek wanted to move his country toward de-Stalinization. The tyrant Stalin, who died in 1953, accused dissidents of “bourgeois nationalism” and used other kinds of lingo that labeled Soviets whose words or deeds suggested that they might be thinking about Western culture and values.

Calling someone a bourgeois nationalist would be like calling someone Hitler nowadays– childish, and most likely, incorrect because the accused and Hitler aren’t the least bit analogous. Anyway the Soviets who did the accusing were just “… Marxist-Leninist ideologues convinced that any nationalism was detrimental to the cause of proletarian revolution.” Nonetheless, those accused under Stalin were disappeared without a fair legal proceeding to determine their guilt or innocence.

Stalin perpetrated and perpetuated a culture in which horribly insecure, power-hungry men made ridiculous, baseless accusations (and encouraged the general populace to do so) backed by sociopathic sadists with weaponry to put down threats to their power. The bureaucrats with survival skills lingered in the Soviet government into the 1960’s.

In late 1967, Dubcek was appointed the top leader of Czechoslovakia. He had been able to relax the Soviet censorship of the press but he needed to give his nation’s people more liberties to continue his Action Program, which included proposals for political and economic reforms that would move his government toward a democracy.

Dubcek felt that those dissidents who had been oppressed under Stalin, who had been released from the gulag, should have been pardoned, received their old jobs back, and received restitution. But no other government officials in the Soviet sphere agreed with that. They were all still steeped in the past lies and not ready to change.

In early 1968, Dubcek met with a Party functionary each from Poland and Hungary. They turned out to be snitches for Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. In March 1968, Brezhnev played Dubcek for a sucker by inviting him to a conference of Soviet bloc countries, to be held in Dresden. He told Dubcek it was about economic planning but it turned out to be a criticism session of Czechoslovakia– as Czech leaders were permitting a diversity of opinions from the press (horror!) which bordered on counterrevolution.

After two more charades masquerading as conferences at the behest (or rather, high-pressure tactics) of the Soviets, all of the Party functionaries present, signed an agreement with loophole-filled language that would allegedly allow some of Dubcek’s proposed reforms to be implemented.

And Dubcek’s naivete continued. He should not have been gobsmacked the way he was. He should have known the Soviets wouldn’t hesitate to fire on protestors and use dirty tricks in order to crush a resistance movement. He did know that if he resigned during the phony negotiations, the Soviet oppression of Czechoslovakians would get much worse sooner– but only about five months sooner.

Read the book to learn what transpired in Prague in the third week of August 1968 and thereafter (Hint– Dubcek wrote, “After 1968… rewriting of history was the common practice, and hundreds of historians, including quite a few of my friends, were persecuted.”)

Underground

The Book of the Week is “Underground, My Life With SDS and the Weathermen” by Mark Rudd, published in 2009.

March 1969 saw the start of Nixon’s secret bombing campaign against Cambodia. The author wrote, “I was so sure I knew better than my parents; after all, their generation had brought the world to this state of affairs, if only by their acquiescence.”

Rudd became the poster boy for the media as a protest leader at Columbia University during its period of violent unrest in the spring of 1968. He started his degree there in the autumn of 1965. At the time, the school employed African American female maids to clean the dorm bathrooms, a service included with the boarding fee.

Rudd joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in March 1966. He had grown up in a suburban Jewish family. His father had fought in the Second World War, during which Hitler was perceived as “Absolute Evil.” The United States used its powers for good to defeat the latter. However, twenty years later, when Lyndon Johnson’s war crimes began to be revealed, Rudd became disillusioned with his own country.

Rudd and his contemporaries didn’t support any presidential candidate in 1968 because “Electoral politics was beneath our concern.” He and his fellow political activists were concerned, however, about the deleterious effects of a senseless war perpetrated by the federal government, along with the university’s related and other nefarious activities.

For at least the last half century, hypocritical liberals have sought to “… co-opt the energy of radical young people into working for meaningless reforms…” However, with Vietnam, some would say the protests were justified. For, the American president started a needless war that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and ruined lives– recruiting cannon fodder against their will. The stubborn, arrogant president didn’t take a lesson from the stubborn, arrogant French, who epically failed in clinging to their fast-fading colonialism in mid-1950’s Indochina.

Columbia University had secret contracts with the U.S. government– researching both war weaponry for the Pentagon and war policy for the execution of the war. In spring 1968, this accounted for 46% (!) of the nation’s budget. The university was also abusing eminent domain in planning both to construct a segregated sports complex in Morningside Park, and more dormitories on West 114th Street off of Broadway near its campus. For years, it had quashed the formation of a union of black and Latino cafeteria workers.

Rudd and his fellow activists held rallies and went on protest marches. He wrote to school publications. The protesting led to occupations of campus buildings by, eventually, thousands of activists in the last week of April 1968.

Although Rudd’s became the most recognized name and face associated with the historical event (possibly because he was a white male), there were plenty of other activist organizations of different ethnicities whose members were arrested and got beaten up by law enforcement sent in by New York City Mayor John Lindsay; those fighting for civil rights, black-power, and peace.

The New York Times propagandized that the destructive and immature hooligans provoked the police; the police were the good guys. It should have come as no surprise to the cynical that the university was in bed with the newspaper. The school’s board of trustees claimed the newspaper’s publisher as one of their own. He was also an alumnus. The Times’ employees were alumni of the Columbia School of Journalism. Nevertheless, the university actually met about half of the six-odd demands of the activists.

After he was expelled from Columbia, Rudd became a recruiter for SDS, visiting various chapters and speaking at universities around the nation. The two major issues were always Vietnam and racism. Various groups within and without SDS, including the Weathermen (a spinoff of SDS), the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, the Black Panthers and the Revolutionary Youth Movement began arguing among themselves and with each other at conferences they jointly held in the next few years.

Rudd was in the Weathermen. He believed that the way to rebel against “the man” was through armed struggle. According to his FBI dossier, he urged college kids to kill cops. But his group was anti-racist, pro-Communist and anti-reactionary.

In the summer of 1969 in New York City, he and his fellow revolutionaries came across as so violent, they turned people off when they spoke at a Central Park rally. The other SDS factions thought the Weathermen (or, as they had renamed themselves, the Weather Bureau) were anarchistic, chauvinistic, masochistic and Custeristic.

In Chicago, there were clashes between sadistic cops and radical protestors. “Cook County Jail was overflowing with the addition of almost three hundred Weathermen, the total number arrested over the three days. The period was named ‘Days of Rage.’ ” After that, Rudd’s group went underground and broke off from SDS.

Rudd’s group’s heroes continued to be: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Vladimir Lenin, Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers.

By the mid-1970’s, Rudd’s group had claimed responsibility for more than twenty-four bombings, which were intended to destroy only property. There occurred three accidental deaths of its own radicals from a botched bomb-making operation in Greenwich Village in spring 1970.

Read the book to learn a wealth of other details of the tenor of the times, the mentalities of Rudd’s contemporaries, and how Rudd fared after his Chicago arrest.

Pink Boots and A Machete

The Book of the Week is “Pink Boots and A Machete, My Journey From NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer” by Mireya Mayor, published in 2011.

Mayor was born in February 1973 in Miami. While in her early twenties, she discovered her calling– primatologist / zoologist. An inspirational college professor helped her apply for a government grant to study a monkey in Guyana.

Thereafter, she braved infinite life-threatening dangers and primitive and uncomfortable conditions (like poor sanitation, and an extremely limited and at times– disgusting diet, and unbearable heat, to name three) on dozens of expeditions for weeks or months in obscure places to observe various animals in their natural habitats.

In the Congo, there were killer bees. In the jungle in Guyana, there were itinerant miners who were robbers and rapists; piranhas, malarial mosquitoes, tarantulas, vampire bats, ticks, leeches, etc. The author had to sleep in a hammock to avoid poisonous snakes on the ground.

In June 1997 in Madagascar, “Every visit to a village required a rum-soaked meeting with tribal elders that lasted through the night, occasionally for days.” While seeking a specific species of lemur in an animal reserve (that was not exactly a tourist attraction), she was bitten by a small scorpion and swarmed by wasps. Hundreds of cockroaches nestled in her pants legs overnight, shocking her when she went to put them on.

On another occasion in Guyana, she and her crew collected flora and fauna specimens from a mountain on which they camped (on the edge of a cliff, basically) in a “… flimsy sheet of nylon attached to the rock face by a single, six-inch steel pin.”

In Namibia, she was one of eight people who lifted the six-foot, six hundred pound neck of a tranquilized giraffe. The whole animal weighed approximately eighteen hundred pounds. The goal was to herd giraffes into a trailer to help them mate and reproduce.

On another occasion in Madagascar, when a mudslide from a monsoon prevented their hired truck from going any farther, she, another scientist and expensive porters (strong men) had to hike hours and hours with heavy gear, dozens of bags, crates and a generator to a campsite.

Mayor related that on another occasion in the Congo, “I woke up in an unusually good mood, considering it was 5am and I still had the worm [in the foot], the filarial bites, and the infected tick bite… Repeated hot soaks and antibiotic treatments finally banished it [the tick bite].”

Read the book to learn of the new species Mayor co-discovered, how she fared on a reality show, the kinds of issues she dealt with for being female in a male-dominated field, and much more.