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.

Love Thy Neighbor – BONUS POST

The Bonus Book of the Week is “Love Thy Neighbor, A Muslim Doctor’s Struggle for Home in Rural America” by Ayaz Virji, With Alan Eisenstock, published in 2019.

This slim volume related how the author tried to counter the “Nasty comments. Ignorant. Bigoted. Hateful.” messages and deeds of Americans pursuant to the mood of the nation that was changed for the worse with the election of Donald Trump. This is NOT to say Trump started the trend toward xenophobia, but he has exacerbated it.

In 2017, the pastor in the medical-doctor-author’s small community of Dawson in western Minnesota (population, about 1,500) suggested that the author give a talk to educate people about his religion.

Read the book to learn why the author decided to continue to dispel “… myths and misinformation about terrorism and Sharia law and how Muslims treat women.” Right now, this nation needs to dispel myths and misinformation about medicine and its medical community. The two major takeaways from the current episode of political shenanigans are (not that there aren’t pros and cons on each side):

  • The Democrats are pushing for national healthcare.
  • Bill Gates is pushing for online education.

Of course, as always, all political donors are pushing for their own agendas. Enough said.

…And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since / Citizen Lane

The first Book of the Week is “…And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since, From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress” by Charles B. Rangel with Leon Wynter, published in 2007.

This repetitive, stream-of-consciousness autobiography was a bragfest, but the author’s major point was that his near-death experience while serving in the Korean War led him to realize that surviving everything else in his life has been a cakewalk.

Born in June 1930 in West Harlem, New York City– Rangel, his older brother and younger sister were raised mostly by his mother, mother’s brother and mother’s father. His maternal grandparents– white father and black mother– were originally from Virginia. His mother raised him as a Catholic.

Rangel’s mother worked as an attendant in a hotel and in resorts in the Catskills in upstate New York, while the author stayed in West Harlem with his grandfather or uncle, both elevator operators. Starting when he was about nine years old and throughout his childhood, Rangel worked at a drugstore, as a paperboy, at a hardware store, as a shoe-store assistant, cargo loader, etc.

Rangel was deeply influenced by his grandfather’s reverence for attorneys, whom he saw all day at his job in the elevator of a courthouse. Nevertheless, Rangel’s social circles in Harlem did not expose him to anyone who particularly valued education. He therefore dropped out of high school after sophomore year. He was also deeply influenced by his older brother, who valued working and volunteering for the U.S. military.

So after Rangel’s four years in the military, during which he was unexpectedly sent to Korea, he was persuaded by his brother to choose work in civilian life instead of a military career.

Eventually, realizing that his life was directionless and his lack of education was holding him back, Rangel appealed to the Veterans Administration (VA) for help– aggressively, as he was an arrogant youth with a sense of entitlement as a war hero. A VA representative provided him with the kind of guidance he needed, pushing him to focus on the goal of becoming an attorney to please his grandfather.

Rangel expanded his worldview at St. John’s law school, meeting other blacks, plus Italian, Irish and Jewish students. Later, as a Congressman, his frequent international travel led him to change his views on Catholicism.

Rangel became less religious, as “When you find Washington saying it has no moral responsibility for social services, that it’s on local or state government or the private sector, you would expect the Church to be screaming with outrage. Not just about the unborn, but about the born… I had to remind Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the media that we spend $100,000 per year just to keep one kid locked up in the city’s [New York City’s] Rikers Island detention center… Imagine if we were investing even a fraction of that in the education of every kid in New York.”

Read the book to learn how Rangel came to have daily gratitude for life after his war experiences, and rose through the ranks to have an illustrious political career, and for all the great accomplishments he considered himself responsible.

The second Book of the Week is “Citizen Lane, Defending Our Rights in the Courts, the Capitol, and the Streets” by Mark Lane, published in 2012. This autobiography was a bragfest, too.

Born in the Bronx in 1927, Lane spent his childhood in Brooklyn. He spent his early career years practicing law as a solo practitioner in East Harlem. Even though his skin was white, he defended minority teen gang members accused of serious crimes. The juries were wealthy white males only. Lane also sued slumlords on behalf of tenants.

In the second half of the 1950’s, Lane helped reveal the scandalous conditions at the Wassaic State School in upstate New York; human nature, being what it is– in the early 1970’s, Geraldo Rivera told a largely similar story involving Willowbrook State School.

Teenagers accused of petty crimes who were deemed “mental defectives” determined by only one IQ test were placed in Wassaic State School. The IQ test was given in English only. Not coincidentally, many Puerto Ricans (Spanish speakers) were immediately placed in the school.

Despite the name of the institution, inmates received no academic instruction– only psychological, physical and sexual abuse, and solitary confinement for minor infractions, at the hands of sadistic guards.

Restraints were used willy-nilly. The food was inedible. The inmates had no recreation whatsoever, not even reading. In October 1955, Paul H. Hoch, commissioner of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene called a hearing only after New York State governor Averell Harriman was prompted by political motives to do something. Hoch said it was a public hearing, but banned the press from attending. Big mistake.

The press gathered around the hearing-building and wouldn’t leave. Lane gave them the lowdown on the testimony he heard firsthand. The reader can guess where this is going. The only heads that rolled were the guards’. No one else’s. Dr. George Etling, director of the school, remained so for another eighteen years until he comfortably retired.

The next episode in Lane’s heroic career related to cofounding– with the reverend of the Mid-Harlem Community Parish– of a free-of-charge (unlicensed; read, illegal) heroin rehabilitation clinic in West Harlem. The patients kicked their addictions cold turkey through sedatives and therapy administered by doctors, nurses, social workers and psychologists. Lane allegedly got Jackie Robinson to hire all the recovered addicts (many of whom were ex-cons) by the Chock full o’Nuts restaurant chain.

Prior to election year 1960, judges and other office holders were able to vote for their cronies, even though they had moved out of the candidates’ East Harlem and Yorkville district years before. Lane’s young polling volunteers told the illegal voters they had to sign an affidavit swearing to their current addresses. Busted, the would-be voters slunk away instead.

In spring 1961, Lane and black attorney Percy Sutton went on a “Freedom Ride” (i.e., risked their lives) via buses and a plane through different southern cities, ending in Jackson, Mississippi. There, they were arrested for “…disorderly conduct by improperly ‘congregating’ and placed in separate segregated cells.” But they hadn’t been the least bit hostile. They were convicted without a trial and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. In March 1962, the state of Mississippi changed its tune and the charges were dropped.

In 2004, Lane started co-hosting a weekly radio show from New Jersey, in which he wasn’t obnoxious to callers, and “…all ridicule would be reserved exclusively for the leaders of our nation who led us into a war in which they traded blood for oil… I read the names of those who died that week in Iraq, to remind us of what we are doing.”

Read the book to learn of other major historical events in which Lane was supposedly front and center, and the ways in which he did his best to investigate scandals (including JFK’s and MLK’s deaths) in a bygone era in which:

  • security in buildings was poor
  • forensics were primitive
  • racism was rampant, and
  • cover-ups were rife (thanks to aggressive, dishonest politicians and intelligence services who spied on and oppressed their own citizens).

Thank goodness cover-ups aren’t rife anymore, given the current mean, nasty divided political situation in the United States. Right.

Gorsuch – BONUS POST

The Bonus Book of the Week is “Gorsuch, The Judge Who Speaks For Himself” by John Greenya, published in 2018.

This volume mostly discussed Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the position of Supreme Court justice, gleaned from opinion pieces in online publications including blogs, and comments from interviews, in a disorganized fashion. With some of Obama’s political career thrown in. Plus the controversy surrounding Gorsuch’s mother. It got tedious after a while, and should not be classified as a biography.

As is well known, Gorsuch was nominated in an era with an especially emotionally charged political atmosphere. Of course, during his confirmation hearings, Gorsuch was grilled on one particularly extremely controversial issue: abortion.

Some Republicans propagandized that Gorsuch was a gentleman, and a good writer. Some Democrats propagandized that Gorsuch would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Prior to his SCOTUS nomination, he had served as an appellate judge for a decade, during which he saw no cases directly related to that case’s decision.

Gorsuch himself, in a book he wrote, conceded that whether abortion is the taking of a human life, hinges on the definition of “human life.” At his confirmation hearing, when pressed on whether he accepted that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not consider a fetus a person, Gorsuch agreed it is federal law that says a fetus is not a person.

Abortion is one of the most, if not the most, volatile political issue in the United States, because it is a matter of religion and politics, life and death, and its legalization or not, has serious ripple effects on society. There are three major aspects, among a host of peripheral issues, upon which most people seize: biology, women’s rights, and economics.

The first major aspect relates to a few pieces of information that allow people to form opinions on the definition of “human life” to which there is no right or wrong:

A fetus’ heartbeat is detectable approximately two months into a pregnancy. Some people believe that when a heartbeat is detectable in a fetus, that that fetus is a human life.

Besides, a fetus can live outside the womb at approximately two months into a pregnancy, but it still requires a large amount of technological help with sustenance at that stage; around five months is when it can live outside the womb without the extensive assistance of medical technology.

Some people believe that if a fetus can live outside the womb (but the amount of life-support equipment any given fetus requires varies widely), that that fetus is a human life. Thus, some people believe abortion should be illegal from those respective points onward. Others believe life begins at conception. Therefore, according to them, abortion should never be legalized at any point.

The question of abortion obviously disproportionately affects females. Women’s rights involve a female’s control over her own body.

There are two major economics aspects to abortion:

Norman Mailer argued that from a purely economic (non-emotional) standpoint, abortion should have been legalized merely because, according to research, a lot of unwanted babies grow up to become career criminals. Legalization of abortion would eliminate the long-term costs to society of unwanted people.

Moreover, prior to the time abortions became legal, poor women who couldn’t afford illegal abortions done by an experienced medical professional, attempted abortion methods themselves, which were dangerous to their own health. So there arose long-term costs to society in the form of their medical expenses, if they didn’t die from complications.

Even though abortion is now legal conditionally, some poor women still cannot afford it. That raises the can of worms of whether abortions should be publicly funded. Which leads to a vicious cycle for poor women. And society.

Biological aspects of abortion that make abortion laws conditional, include: specifics on the trimester in which the procedure is performed, whether the mother’s or baby’s life is in danger and whether the baby is developmentally normal. An additional wrench in the works is whether a female should be able to have an abortion in a case of rape or incest.

The religious aspects of abortion are a whole other explosive ball of wax. Especially when sex education is thrown into the mix. Yet another cause of heated discussions is that it is impossible to prove how often abortion is used as a birth-control method.

The yelling and screaming, litigation and legislative debate is guaranteed to never stop, because there will always be questions such as: If the mother is extremely young– does she need a parent’s consent to have an abortion?

And can a pregnant woman of any age cross state lines in order to gain access to an abortion that is legal, given her situation? Which leads to the controversy of States’ Rights.

In the last several decades, the Democrats have faced a dilemma when they nominated a Catholic presidential candidate. The Democrats favor laws that allow abortion. Some Catholic and Christian voters say they would never vote for any candidate who is a Democrat for that reason alone. They say they wouldn’t waver on that. The question for the ages is: Is the number of these voters sufficient to affect the outcome of a presidential election?

Anyway, read the book to learn of other issues on which Gorsuch’s positions had yet to be seen as of the book’s writing, and tabloid writers’ and politicians’ take on his fitness for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Child of the Ghetto / The Three of Us

As is well known, WWII did a number on Italy. Here are two books that described the experiences of females during and after the war.

The First Book of the Week is “Child of the Ghetto, Coming of Age in Fascist Italy: A Memoir 1926-1946” by Edda Servi Machlin, published in 1995.

Born in February 1926 in a small village outside Rome, the author was named Edda, after Mussolini’s daughter. Her father was the community’s rabbi. The family was actually anti-fascist, but used her name as a cover for avoiding trouble. The Italian government began its abusive treatment of Jews starting in the late summer of 1938. Jewish teachers and public-school employees were fired.

Since the author was no longer allowed to get an education, she spent her adolescence up until her late teens in real-world job training, as a maid, bookkeeper and seamstress. Signage in retail outlets’ windows stated, “This is an Aryan-race store.” Everyone was required to show ID cards that stated his or her religion.

Mid-July 1943 saw a change in Italy’s government but not in its war alliances, pro-Fascism bent, or treatment of Jews. Even though in September it pledged to stop fighting against the Allies. The author’s two older brothers went to hide in the woods to avoid conscription. Because they were Jews, they were denied admittance to an anti-Fascist youth group.

According to the author, in October 1943, the Germans who were sociopathic sadists with weaponry, descended on Rome in the middle of the night to abduct via truck, more than three thousand Jews. Luckily, in the next two months, when a roundup began in neighboring regions, the author, her brothers, and younger sister had been on the run in an area spanning hundreds of miles of countryside around Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, etc., hiding in various homes of benevolent farmers willing to risk their lives. Her parents and younger brother, however, were taken away.

The author heard “through the grapevine” that two American soldiers had bailed out of a warplane and parachuted into her village. That was exciting, because she had been rooting for the Allies all along. Her mentality was, “America, the mythical country of our childhood dreams, was so far away… And Lello [her older brother] had met two of her children! We were enthralled.”

Read the book to learn the fate of the author’s family members, her prewar existence, her adventures in the forests and farmyards during the war, and of her later endeavors.

The Second Book of the Week is “The Three of Us” by Marisa Giardina, published in 2012. This is the suspenseful, depressing story of a female whose girlhood ended before she turned three years old, due to WWII.

The author, her mother and older sister fled on a ship bound for Italy from their native Libya with hardly more than the clothes on their backs. They left her father and her two older brothers behind. The goal in their travels was to reach Fiuggi, where her grandfather was being held as a prisoner of war.

They spent an inordinate amount of time in a bomb shelter and their diet consisted of dried bread crumbs when they could get them. As their situation worsened, refugees such as they, resorted to prostitution, thefts of crops from farms, black-market trading, and illegally occupying abandoned, rubble-strewn buildings, among other tactics to stay alive.

“Italy was in chaos after the war and the Italians lost their compassion for their fellow men.” Non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross and CARE handed out food and sweaters, which were acquired after days of waiting in a queue.

Read the book to learn more about the countless hardships endured by the author, and her incredible will to live, considering her circumstances.



Piety & Power / Troublemaker

The First Book of the Week is “Piety & Power, Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House” by Tom LoBianco, published in 2019. This volume recounted the political adventures of Mike Pence, elected vice president of the United States in 2016.

By November 1990, Pence had lost two Congressional races. “He didn’t grasp that using the campaign cash to make his mortgage and car payments was a clear violation of their [his Republican colleagues’] trust.” Thereafter, the Federal Election Commission deemed that activity illegal.

Pence lets political expedience dictate his religious / ideological bent. Over the course of twenty years, beginning in the late 1970’s, he proceeded to play the roles of: evangelist, conservative Republican, mainstream Republican, Libertarian, evangelical megachurch supporter, and finally, Christian Rightist.

Pence was finally elected to Congress in 2000. In 2013, he became governor of Indiana. He gave Hoosiers a small tax cut but promoted it as a big one. He proposed funding free pre-kindergarten for poor kids (of course, knowing him, he’d push for allowing pre-kindergarten to teach religion), but actually obtained more federal Medicare funding. He also proposed a state-run news service– which of course was looked at askance, and died on the drawing board.

In March 2015, Pence signed a bill that allowed (translation: encouraged) religious ministers and businesses to refuse to provide services for gay marriage ceremonies. He failed to anticipate the public relations crisis that ensued.

Pence figured that a Donald Trump loss in 2016 would increase his own chances of getting elected president in 2020. For, Pence was instrumental in helping Trump win the Rust Belt and other swing states.

Read the book to learn of other interesting factoids about Pence.

The Second Book of the Week is “Troublemaker, Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again” by Christine O’Donnell, published in 2011.

Born in 1969 into a family that was eventually comprised of six children, O’Donnell is of Irish and Italian extraction. The family moved from Philadelphia to Moorestown, New Jersey when she was little.

When O’Donnell participated in the commencement ceremony at Fairleigh Dickinson University, she still owed $8,000 in tuition, and was six credits short of graduating. At the podium, the leather portfolio she was handed contained a bursar’s bill instead of a degree. By that time, she had decided she wanted to pursue a career in politics. Her naivete was a blessing and a curse, as it is with so many passionate young people who seek to work for a cause that is bigger than themselves.

However, the more one reads, hears or sees about politics, the more cynical one becomes; one does not even need to run for office to see what dirty a business it is. The sooner one learns this, and the lessons O’Donnell learned, the better. Apparently, a certain political climate at certain times allows particular instances of what could be considered unethical, or at best, dishonest activities to proceed.

Anyway, O’Donnell wrote candidly about her work experiences. She described what some might say were conflicts of interest that were minor, in that the goals were to spread propaganda and cover all the bases, more than make money.

Some believe that a media outlet should not be used solely as a political mouthpiece. Nevertheless, in 1994, from Washington, D.C., the Republican National Committee aired a Haley Barbour-created TV show, “Rising Tide.” The weekly show had affiliates around the nation, including Chicago. O’Donnell– whose job was to sell the show– got it on the air on a cable access channel in New York City.

In another case, in 2008, Senator Joe Biden re-ran for the U.S. Senate at the same time he ran for vice president. Biden won both elections. As is well known, he has been a gadfly ever since. Currently, some people, even those from his own party, wish he would go away.

At any rate, O’Donnell advised the reader on ways she saved money after she again lost her run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Delaware, of all states. In her late thirties, she had crushing debt load, but she swallowed her pride and:

  • worked cleaning houses
  • babysat
  • became a laundress
  • sold her possessions on eBay and Craigslist
  • cancelled her cable TV subscription
  • borrowed free DVDs from her local library
  • got free internet access from her local library
  • moved into a small apartment
  • shopped at thrift stores, and
  • destroyed her credit cards.

Running for office is undeniably expensive, regardless of the age of the candidate; just ask even now-famous politicians who lost elections in the past. Those who emerge as election losers but are still wealthy are those who inherit endless money. Or obtain it through unethical means at the very least, or both.

O’Donnell clearly had a stronger desire to change the world than profit. Obviously, by the third time she ran for the Senate in 2010, she knew there would be adverse financial consequences. However, she did not anticipate the extreme abuse she would suffer.

During the author’s race, the opposition (unsurprisingly), but also her own political party (!) launched vicious smear campaigns against her. And the IRS audited her for years. Notwithstanding, in summer 2010, she went on Mark Levin’s national radio show, and listeners consequently donated $12,000 to her campaign in a matter of hours. After she won the nomination in September, Rush Limbaugh endorsed her on his radio show and donations poured into her campaign.

Mike Castle, O’Donnell’s primary opponent was a sore loser. Karl Rove and his GOP operatives cast aspersions on her, too. Toward the end of this book, she cast aspersions on Barack Obama. She blamed him for almost all the nation’s troubles.

O’Donnell didn’t understand that on the economic front, one economic period cannot be fairly compared to any other, because times and conditions are constantly changing. It is incalculable how much credit the current president deserves for the current success of certain economic sectors or indicators. Does former president Bill Clinton deserve full credit for the economic upturn that, without question, resulted from the rise of the Internet? Anyway– as is well known, Al Gore invented the Information Superhighway, so perhaps he deserves full credit.

One way to get an idea of the extent of dishonesty of idiot-box drama on a political show, or one momentarily reporting on politics– is to mute the TV and see whether the person reading the Teleprompter is blinking frequently. If they are, what they are reading is likely lies; blinking like crazy is body language that likely indicates lying.

O’Donnell gave the reader tips on how to be an activist. She wrote, “Whether liberal, conservative, Republican or Democrat, good people should be able to run for office without concern for getting trashed in the public eye or having phony claims thrown at them. Thug politics have to stop.” Good luck with that, all.

Read the book to learn of O’Donnell’s other political and personal experiences.

The Reckoning

The Book of the Week is “The Reckoning, Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land, a True Detective Story” by Patrick Bishop, published in 2014.

Born in 1907 in Poland near the Lithuanian border, Avraham Stern grew up to become an agent of the Irgun (one of the intelligence services in Palestine), coordinating the purchase of weaponry from Italian and Polish sources, to be smuggled into Palestine to help the Jews fight for an independent state, plus spreading propaganda about offensives in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky was a prominent Zionist in the same underground group, who gathered intelligence and launched military offensives in pursuit of Jewish statehood.

Stern, however, was a more radically violent sort, whose spinoff group (called Betar, or Revisionists) committed acts of terrorism against Arabs, even civilians, and later, the British. His group received funding from wealthy Jews who believed in the cause of helping oppressed Jews live freely in a land of their own.

In May 1939, Great Britain issued a White Paper– a follow-up document to the 1917 Balfour Declaration– stating that since there was then a significant Jewish population (450,000) in Palestine, only an additional 75,000 would be let in in the next five years, and those arriving later than that, would require Arab consent.

A governance arrangement would have to be made in the next ten years between the Arabs and the Jews. Of course, no one could know the untoward historical events soon to occur, let alone the number of Jewish refugees who would ultimately be seeking to reside in Palestine.

By 1940, Great Britain was in trouble militarily. In August, Jabotinsky unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Stern, who took the opportunity to occupy the resulting power vacuum, argued that the Zionists should ally with Germany because although anti-Semitic, the Germans might let the Jews emigrate to Palestine.

In desperate need of money, Stern plotted a successful bank robbery in September 1940 that was executed by his henchmen. He himself was an armchair warrior, only the mastermind behind the group’s activities.

Afterwards, Stern went underground, but got friendly with the anti-British Italians through his spy network, so if the Italians were to march into Palestine, they would be benign colonialists, rather than oppressive imperialists. Early 1941 saw Stern solicit the friendship of the German diplomatic corps, too. His overtures later proved to be a waste of time.

In 1941 and 1942, Stern went all out with planning violence because he knew his days were numbered. His group committed a robbery and launched an attack that resulted in the deaths of innocent people, including British cops. He became public enemy number one. A major historical event that might either discredit or make truthfulness more likely in connection with various historical accounts is: the Wannsee Conference held in late January 1942, at which Hitler discussed his plot to create a master race and eliminate all Jews. Thereafter, parties privy to such knowledge began to change their behavior.

Stern and his cohorts hated the British government because the British knew the Jews were seeking refuge from Hitler’s death camps, but they prevented them from reaching the shores of Palestine via boats, anyway. It was inexcusable not to save their lives. Two of Israel’s future politicians, Irgun members (Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin) fought with the ideologically dogmatic Zionists, newly renamed “Lehi.”

Read the book to learn of the way the British intelligence community treated Stern’s terrorist cell as an organized-crime gang– resorting to frontier justice out of fury when law enforcement officers were killed in attacks; the ensuing propaganda war between the Brits and Jews on a specific incident involving Stern; the fate of the head of British intelligence; and the activities of the British and Zionists from 1944 onward.