Involuted Lacunae

“I actually liked Babel” he admitted, “I admired its audacity.”

“Then, why destroy it” asked his adversary, or perhaps his assistant, at least at one time, the Archangel Hêl él?

“I didn’t, not really, I just set events in motion so that those who dared consider the faintest possibility of challenging me turned, instead, on each other.  It was a reflex reaction, one I’ve long regretted.”

“But what of their language, and their knowledge; their music and their poetry” asked Hell-El, fully knowing the answer but perhaps wanting to add a bit of salt, perhaps black salt from the Himalayas, to the metaphorical wound?

“Fragmented, unfortunately, couldn’t be helped.  I hadn’t the time to consider consequences before I acted, and thus, unintentionally loosened Confusion; Misperception and Misunderstanding from their bonds, and they quickly mated and sired Disdain and Manipulation and Treachery, which in turn, bred politics and religion and journalism, and, if not the Law, unfortunately, the legal profession.”

“Pity that!  Unfortunate. Right.  The end of possibilities you once fancied.  ….  On another front, any news from Humpty Dumpty and his egg shell restoration project”?
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Call for a Real Liberal, a Real Progressive Political Movement in the United States

As usual, the United States is embroiled in an armed conflict.  Since war is supposedly illegal, we no longer have them, we have police actions and special military operations and clandestine interventions, etc.  The latest, that one involving the Ukraine, is a bit different, a bit more Machiavellian.  The United States orchestrated it (with help from its NATO allies) and is financing it but is maintaining that it is not actively participating in it, other than through assuring and facilitating its continuance in order to weaken both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, regardless of the cost in lives and infrastructure for the Ukrainians (the United States designated tools) and perhaps, in the near future, if its luck holds, the Taiwanese.  That nuclear holocaust is a risk is irrelevant.  The ends, apparently, justify the means, and narrative management will take care of all but the radioactive fallout.

Thank goodness Donald Trump was eliminated to make the foregoing possible, after all, it’s a project started during the Clinton administration and implemented by the good old troika of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (with an assist by Hunter).

So, how is the foregoing feasible, you know, with the United Nations Charter, the United States Constitution, etc.?  Well, well-orchestrated political dynamics in and through the United States certainly help.  There’s the purportedly defensive “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, now morphed into a world-wide neoliberal enforcement organ predicated on “Mafian” principles; there’s the European Union, NATO’s echo chamber; and of course, there’s the  United States’ bipartisan dictatorship.

Let me explain the latter. 

There are two major political parties in the United States which, between them, split almost all political offices and posts at every level.  One, the Democratic Party, has under the leadership of a certain Nancy Pelosi, with the assistance of a certain Chuck Schumer, become monolithic in its voting patterns (except for two recalcitrant senators, one from West Virginia and one from Colorado, considered pariahs and traitors).  The other is a strange collection of feuding caucuses under divers, would be leaders, who find it difficult to govern.  Not a bad thing as Will Rogers, a noted political comedian from the first half of the twentieth century once noted when he explained that “no one’s life or property was safe while Congress was in session”.  Oddly, he was a Democrat and once described that political party in terms that now apply to its principle opponent.

Until fairly recently, interestingly enough, both parties were controlled by the same people, whose artfully planted moles in the federal bureaucracy shielded their interests from any populist threats.  Somehow that managed to briefly change in 2016, making formal and informal structural changes in the electoral system necessary in order to preserve democracy’s innocuousness.  After all, democracy’s supposed to be just for show.  The control by the unorganized but highly disciplined state within a state that some of us refer to as the Deep State was shaken, perhaps bent a bit but not broken, and it is now firmly back in place.  Thanks to an artfully crafted, controlled and managed “pandemic”.  A curse for many but a blessing for the privileged few who rule us.

But, what does the foregoing mean? 

Well, to all appearances, it means that ideology free monolithic autocracy and pragmatism have triumphed over principles, equity, democracy and liberty, nasty things the latter, every one.  Monolithic autocracy, is maintained, sustained and fueled by the hate, disdain and polarization which the Deep State, now a memeplex all its own, loves.  It sets us against each other domestically by gender, by race, by nationality, by sexual orientation, by religious beliefs and then does all it can to absolutely silence dissent through censorship, censorship directly by our government (all three branches) as well as through its allies in Internet technologies and platforms, and through abuse of the criminal justice system to attack political enemies, all while loudly accusing everyone else of doing exactly what it is it is in fact doing (the foregoing phrase kind of reminds us of the famous observation, “that depends on what the meaning of “is”, is).  There is a problem though.  Today, only the Democratic Party is sticking to the script, although a number of traditionalist Republicans keep trying to bring the good old GOP back into line.  But fortunately for the Deep State, at least right now, the Democratic Party controls all of the federal political branches (although how legitimate that control is and how it was attained is questioned by all too many potential voters; but that is irrelevant).

To the delight of the Deep State, that “Democratic” Party applies Deep State principles and tactics internationally, as well as domestically, seeking economic and political control by planting conflict everywhere which permits perpetual sowing of the profits of perpetual war, albeit in the name of peace, democracy and liberty.  And admittedly, those profits are not meant to be shared, at least not broadly.

To opponents of violence as a means of conflict resolution, to those to whom equity, truth and justice are somehow relevant, GOP traditionalists are not much better than Democrats, but at least the GOP is not monolithic, there is internal dissent expressed in actual congressional debates and non-uniformity of votes, with a wing led by Rand Paul that demands de-escalation of external conflicts and freedom of belief and speech at home, opposed to GOP traditionalists like the Cheneys and the Bushes.  And there are civic leaders like Tulsi Gabbard, an awesome statesperson, except for her Islamophobia, but she at least thinks for herself and is not owned by the billionaire class.  In truth, there are viable political leaders everywhere, in third parties and among those who refuse to be part of political parties (which have become the self-serving sectarians James Madison promised in the Federalist Papers would not evolve.  The anti-Federalists, unfortunately for us, were right on almost every point, as history has shown). 

Federal elections in the United States (now a dysfunctional mess as promoters of electoral fraud in the name of “democracy” obliterate traditional norms) are set to take place in a few weeks.  Elections that impact men, women and children everywhere, most of whom cannot participate as they are not United States citizens.  I wonder what would happen if they could?  How might all of the people in all of the countries that the United States has fragmented and looted, … purportedly for their own good (or at least that’s the story), usually under Democratic Party led administrations (think WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and now the Ukraine but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg) vote?  But they can’t, at least not unless they have managed to enter the United States and surreptitiously usurp the franchise, … and vote for the Democratic Party.

The foregoing makes United States voters committed to peace and equity morally responsible for selecting world leaders who really believe in peace and in sane environmental policies and in sustainable economics and in equity and in real justice.  A daunting task at which we too often fail because our choices are drastically limited to those of whom the Deep State approves.  As to those who do not come up to Deep Sate standards, well, not that he was great, or even decent, but look at what happened and is happening to Donald Trump, whose main crime is that he does not believe in perpetual war and dared to suggest dismantling NATO and bringing troops back from overseas.  Look at what happened to Tulsi Gabbard, the star of the Democratic Party’s presidential debates until the rules were changed to exclude her.  Look at what happened to Dennis Kucinich, gerrymandered out of a congressional district by his own party (the Democrats, who with crocodile tears now constantly scream against gerrymandering, at least any gerrymandering that is not their own).

All of this is possible only because, notwithstanding the famous “First Amendment”, the United States does not have (and really, never has had) a legitimate free press but rather, only purported journalists tasked with spewing mind-controlling narrative on a 24/7 basis.  There are, of course, miniscule exceptions, exceptions like the imprisoned Julian Assange and those who look up to him, but there are less and less of those as more and more realize on which side their bread is buttered, or how dangerous it is to actually investigate and honestly share findings.

So, … as elections once again approach, we, the electorate, find ourselves confused, bored, disillusioned and disinterested, anticipating results we feel are preordained.  Except of course, for dedicated and either well compensated or deluded Deep State activists, some of whom, like lemmings, vote in blocks regardless of how often they have been deceived.  But then, that’s what polarization is for.

Going into these imminent elections, we are once again unprepared for alternatives, either because they have been prevented from evolving or because the corporate press and social media moguls have obfuscated them.  At best, once more, we can vote against greater evils, although they are difficult to identify.  If only Tulsi Gabbard could run for everything, but alas, she’s not running for anything, although she has endorsed a few candidates.  Still, perhaps by recently resigning from the Democratic Party (but not joining the GOP), she has provided a sort of benchmark for our personal electoral decisions.

Too many of the most decent among us will refuse to participate in what they see as a charade but that may well perpetuate the Deep State’s hold on power, and that, in turn, may well accelerate the day on which our political decisions will no longer have any relevance, as the universe may at last find itself rid of the infection posed by our species, decisions which will no longer be relevant as our, and many innocent species, will no longer inhabit this sphere we call home.  Is that a depressing or hopeful thought?  I guess that depends on one’s attitude towards being rebooted.

Not that there isn’t hope for a peaceful world.  One where equity and justice prevail; where truth is relevant and where we are each not only free, but empowered to attain or full potential.  But that requires a great awakening and a rejection of those who currently enforce de facto, if not de jure slavery over so many, either in a pretty velvet casing or through brute force.  Rejection of those dedicated to ruling us through polarization and perpetual war.  Rejection of those who hoard the world’s resources forcing hundreds of millions to live in abject poverty and to die or be maimed in meaningless conflicts.

There is a saying that it is always darkest before the dawn and it is pretty dark right now.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Kalliope, a Muse then in Training

He’d met her in the apartment building where their families lived at the time, on Northern Boulevard adjacent to Flushing High School and down the block from a Horn & Hardart.  They’d bonded quickly.  Although she was one year younger than he was, she was vastly more experienced in things intimate and would explain, in intricate detail, what they were proscribed from doing, after which, they’d of course try it.  Her breasts were beautiful, large for a fifteen-year-old, with pretty, very sensitive nipples, but she was otherwise slender, at least then.  Her hair was auburn, and worn a bit shorter than he liked, and her eyes a piercing blue.

He’d seen her, walking with her mother in Manhattan, years later and she’d filled out quite bit.  But back then, in that magical summer and autumn of 1961, she was perfect and he’d immediately succumbed to a sixteen-year old’s addiction for his first love. 

He recalled a day at the beach, perhaps Rockaway but it could have been Jones, and listening to the Beach Boys “Surfing Safari” and to the Drifters singing “Under the Boardwalk”, and to the Four Seasons.  The Beatles had yet to arrive and turn the musical world upside down.

He couldn’t get enough of her back then and when they parted at the end of each day, one or the other would immediately call.  They’d spend what seemed like hours listening to the other’s breath over the phone, having already said everything they could think of, especially how much they loved each other.  He attended a boarding school to which he returned at the end of the summer but she visited him there several times and they talked on the phone every evening.  They made plans for a future together.  He’d attend Columbia University and study international relations, hoping for a diplomatic career, she’d be with him.

It was an ambivalent paradise of joy and pain, at least until it ended about eight months later.  Then only pain, intense and bitter remained.  A future very different than the one they’d briefly planned, although very full as well, at least for him.  He never knew what became of her although it may be that she eventually settled in California.

But perhaps, in a sense, their relationship never really ended, at least from his perspective, after all, he’s writing this reflection.  He doesn’t think of her often anymore.  Sometimes decades go by but then, of a sudden, while reading a book perhaps, or hearing a song, echoes come roaring back.  Bittersweet echoes faded a bit more each time.  Echoes tinted with scents.  Her scent, or perhaps the scent of an ocean, or a park.  Or of her parents’ apartment.  He wonders what she looks like now, where she is, what she’s doing, and whether her life has been happy and fulfilled.  He hopes that it has.  He remembers her parents too, very fondly.  He recalls the time they plied him with Ouzo to see what he’d be like when inebriated.  To be sure he’d not be an abusive husband.  They were, after all, of Hellenic descent.

He’s had many other relationships since those halcyon days.  Way too many in his own opinion.  Many were meaningful with wonderful women.  Endings were usually sad.  But perhaps no other relationship was as intense, for which, in hindsight, he’s now grateful. 

He’s never again experienced that bliss, nor has he experience that pain. A fair exchange, all things considered.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

But it’s a Saying Nonetheless

It’s strange being a shadow, discreetly indiscreet, fitting into all kinds of nooks and crannies.  I’m there even when, having turned on lights, bright or dim, it appears I can’t be seen.  I’ve quite a store of sort of borrowed knowledge but it’s not much use really, unless I share it with the echoes who are my friends, not all of them are, but some.  I am sort of trapped in a sense, having to go to all kinds of places against my will, in a sense, not really having a will of my own, except when the person who’s had me trapped all my life sleeps.

I have contrarian sort of cousin who lives in mirrors, always reflecting things sort of backwards, left being right and right being left.  It lurks in all mirrors but can be conjured by only one person, and is trapped there, imitating that person until it’s dark, or the person goes away.  Evidently there is a quantum based centrality of sorts where reflections lurk, waiting to be summoned.  Kind of like shadows.  We shadows are sometimes invited to party there, unfortunately, we don’t tend to mix well, and notwithstanding what people think, we hate to be superimposed, especially as rabbits.

Not that we have anything against rabbits, or crocodiles, or the other images we are sometimes, well, all too often, forced to imitate.  But we are happy just being our two dimensional selves.  Thinking our two dimensional thoughts and dreaming our two dimensional dreams, but avoiding colors whenever we can.  When we can’t we subdue them, sort of.  It’s a sort-of sort of life being a shadow, but it’s okay; at least for now.

Is a cube merely a square squared?  Or a sphere merely a circle escaped into the three dimensional world.  More likely a circle abducted and tortured into three dimensionality.  Indeed, we shadows seem to shadow almost all three dimensional objects, beings and non-beings alike.  We believe that we existed first, when the multiverse only had two dimensions, but that’s a hard hypotheses to prove.  Still, it may be our greatest religious belief and they don’t require proof.  Only faith.

It may be that at least one of us has escaped, or blundered into the three dimensional world because they sometimes seem to believe that one among us knows a great deal, perhaps everything.  They have a refrain: “who knows what lurks in the hearts, of men, to which they answer: ‘the shadow knows’”.  There’s a sort of similar saying among us which we apparently share with three dimensional beings: “who knows what the future will bring”.  But as far as I know, none of us has ever met that “who knows”, so none of us knows if it even exists. 

But it’s a saying nonetheless.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Message for Yankees Fans after the Latest Disaster

It’s October 24, 2022, and Einstein, wherever his soul lurks, is probably sort of chuckling, thinking, “I told them so”. Same-old-same-old all over again, as Yogi might have said. To the brink of success then run away, run away fast as though your lives depended on it (from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”). The organized campaign to place the blame on Aaron Judge thus setting the stage for him to head elsewhere is in high gear, probably subsidized by the four pillars of the Yankees’ apocalypse: Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. The limited partners are fine with the results. Profits preserved; money not wasted on fans too stupid to root elsewhere (but that’s the nature of fans).

As one of those “stupid” fans (there may be a redundancy in that phrase, sort of as in “stupid voters”), I have no joy in having been right in numerous postings on social media sites, those useless and frequently censored and manipulated vehicles designed to let us blow off steam while accomplishing nothing. And of course, I am very far from having been alone.

A once promising season is over, as has become traditional. “Postmortem”, sadly, is not a hyperbolic exaggeration for Yankees’ fans, now as polarized as the rest of our country, divided between cheerleaders who label those who criticize management as “haters”, and those who love their Yankees but refuse to accept ineptitude and disdain in our historically storied sports franchise. Ineptitude at every level is the impression that’s been left as “aspirations are swept away” to lie uncomfortably under the rugs in Hal Steinbrenner’s office. Ineptitude concentrated at the top and flowing down in concentric waves: A callous owner faithful to his investors while virtually ignoring the fans; a president of baseball operations missing in action and a bargain hunting general manager whose bargains rarely meet aspirations (as is the case with most bargains); and, a manager and coaching staff whose decisions varied from amateurish to jinxed. A show good enough to consistently make the stage but then flop. The sports version of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players, albeit perhaps less talented.

Odd that the Yankees minor leagues seem to do so well, and that while minor league players seem to start out well at the mother team level, they almost immediately succumb to the “swing for the fences-strike-out brigade”. Or that if they’re pitchers, they’re quickly burned out. Actually, odd only if one accepts the excuse that coaches and managers are not responsible for players’ failures. Our Yankees have become the obverse of what they once were. Instead of turning turnips into diamonds we now turn talented and eager young players into failures; that is, when we don’t just let them rot unused, as was the sad case with players such as Miguel Andujar, now “liberated” in the Pittsburg Pirate organization where he is probably sighing, “free at last; free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last”.

Being a fan is a psychologically grueling vocation but one Cub’s fans, Red Sox fans and Jet’s fans have mastered through mainly bad times (albeit always with glimmers of hope, delusional though they might have been). True fans stay the course, but not quietly, not with “my country right or wrong attitudes”, and I guess there is a karmic curse to pay for all the awesome Yankees’ years. For the Babe and the Mick, and Mr. October and Mr. November. And for Donny Baseball. And for George.

The Piper, it seems, is collecting his due.

It’s a bit hard because most of us remember George but we despise his progeny and their decisions. Because we’re seemingly stuck in a ditch with little hope that, as occurred when George arrived to save us from CBS, a new, enlightened and dedicated ownership group will arrive to save the day.

It seems like more sad times await us. Jeter and Rodrigues and CC and other alums don’t have the funds, and the Steinbrenners and their partners would probably not sell anyway.

But we’ll stay the course, that’s what fans do. And make observations and suggestions that all too often, all too sadly, prove true. 
 _______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Some Observations and Reflections as we Once Again Head to the Polls in an Existential Election

I am not and never have been a supporter of former president Donald J. Trump but I’ve defended him against the myriad false and misleading accusations to which he’s been subjected.  I also recognize the current witch hunt against denominated “Election Deniers” for what it is.  That’s because as a dual United States Colombian citizen, I have the benefit of a somewhat broader historical perspective. 

For example, the events surrounding the 2020 federal elections that crystalized in the protests turned violent on January 6, 2020, as well as the ensuing government reaction have an analog in recent Colombian history.  Current Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, was, in his youth, part of an insurgency (unfortunately armed) against the theft of the 1972 presidential election in Colombia by a coalition of the two traditional parties, an insurgency known as the M-19, a movement that was not a communist conspiracy, as described by its detractors, but one whose goal was to protect both democracy and liberty.  The insurgency soon lost its focus and egregious acts against the innocent public resulted but eventually, a positive although very slow healing process ensued, culminating first in a new constitution, and eventually, in Colombia’s recent presidential elections where for the first time in its history, a progressive movement emerged victorious.

The United States is currently experiencing a similar crisis.  While it is probably impossible to determine that electoral fraud in 2020 was enough to impact the electoral results, there is little doubt that, as in every federal election in United States history, some fraud occurred, and that the electoral mechanisms introduced in 2020 purportedly due to necessities imposed by the apparent Covid 19 crisis (a crisis now deemed by many as artificial at best), mechanisms such as mass mailing of electoral ballots and acceptance of completed ballots through intermediaries, facilitated the process for vote harvesting and the buying and selling of electoral ballots.  At least some credible allegations of electoral fraud were raised but as in the case in Colombia in 1972, they were neither seriously investigated by responsible government agencies nor prosecuted, leading a large segment of the electorate to question the election’s legitimacy.  The refusal to investigate the allegations and instead, to investigate and in too many cases, to prosecute those who made them (either in judicial proceedings or through Congressional hearings designed to impact future elections) have led to the complete polarization of the United States electorate at levels threatening domestic tranquility.

Insurgencies are usually the result of justice blatantly denied leading to a loss of faith in all governing institutions deemed responsible for the repression of democracy and liberty (two very different things).  That sometimes, although fairly rarely, leads to popular reaction, something detractors refer to as “populism”.  Populism is neither a right wing nor a left wing phenomenon and examples in recent United States history include the ill-led Sanders revolution (which flopped) and the Tea Party revolution (which succeeded until it was stamped out).  It is thus a phenomenon which occurs when a significant segment in any given society rejects constitutional institutions designed to hamstring democracy and decide to really “throw the rascals out”, although all too frequently without having reflected on with whom or what they’ll be replaced. 

It may be that populism is the only thing that can save the world in which we find ourselves, today although hopefully (as is the current case in Colombia), with a well thought out and planned alternative ready for implementation.  The traditional parties in the United States are leading the world deeper and deeper into a dystopic disaster and need to be replaced. Not all options are viable and many are worse than the “disease” they need to eradicate (kind of like the Covid 19 vaccines seem to be), but some options are indeed viable and additional options can be crafted by men and women of good will who want to maximize debate while minimizing polarization, and to find common ground for solutions while acknowledging that, where consensus cannot be attained, in a democracy, there are things which are beyond the legitimate control of government.  That minds and hearts are not changed by ridicule, censorship and false narratives (at least not in the long term), but that long term solutions are desperately needed if our species is to survive.

While it is losing respect and influence everywhere, the United States is still powerful enough militarily and through control of mechanisms of international finance (with ill conceived, unfair and illegal economic sanctions) to create havoc almost everywhere.  Thus United States politics impacts people everywhere and its elections are of universal import.  Indeed, it would seem normal and justifiable for people all over the world to seek to impact the elections in a would-be hegemon (what after the 2016 elections was hypocritically referred to as foreign meddling), given that the results of such lections are likely to impact their own future, and even, their survival.  Once again, as seems to happen at least every other year, existential United States elections are again at play.  Once again, we are again about to go to the polls without viable options, but at least some fundamental things are clear:

  • One political party and the traditionalist remnants of the other are totally controlled by the state within the state many of us refer to as the Deep State (unelected bureaucrats, corporate news media, intelligence agencies, billionaire technocrats, etc.) and are dedicated to perpetual war in quest of worldwide political and economic dominance for the benefit of a tiny few, albeit claiming to merely be seeking racial and gender justice and recognition of human rights, purported rights they themselves violate constantly. 
  • The other is comprised of confused and angry populists who know in their hearts that the “system” is not their friend and who seek solutions mainly in what they mistakenly recall as a better past. 

Not great options, but the reality is that one party is willing to risk the survival of humanity, and the other is not.  A crude choice, … at least for now.  A third alternative is one being crafted by an interesting albeit imperfect stateswoman, a former United States Congresswoman who concurrently served as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaiian National Guard but who abhors war.  However, she has neither a political party’s backing nor an organized political movement fielding candidates in the next election, although there are a few candidates she is supporting, without regard to their current political affiliations.  Her name is Tulsi Gabbard and she recently resigned as a member of the Democratic Party, recognizing it for what it was become.  It may be that her recommendations and endorsements are worth considering.

Most of us want very similar things.  A world without war.  Economic and personal security.  The ability to successfully raise and protect our families.  Access to real justice with respect to resolution of interpersonal and international conflicts.  Freedom to think and to express ourselves however we want free of censorship of any kind and free from those who insist that we think and believe as they do, even if we are wrong (it may well be that only by being free to make mistakes will we ever be able to be experienced enough to find correct solutions).  A world free of international organizations like NATO whose goal is to dominate others through military force, and to force conflict on societies whose people derive no benefits from the ensuing mayhem (e.g., the Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Palestine, etc.).  A country that spends its citizens’ hard earned money for education, healthcare, infrastructure and a social safety net rather than on foreign military bases and a bloated defense industry.  What seems clear is that the political party than now controls all political branches of government at the federal level and which has turned the federal bureaucracy into an Americanized version of the Gestapo is an unmitigated disaster in every respect and should be consigned to the dust heaps of history, and that were it possible, its leaders and elected officials should somehow be barred from ever again participating in political leadership, or indeed, leadership of any kind. 

This is not an endorsement of the GOP but rather a rejection of the Democratic Party and a plea for consideration of new alternative political options.  Your survival depends on the evolution of new viable alternatives and unfortunately we are no longer dealing with a long term solution but rather, with one which requires immediate action.

Please consider the foregoing when you go to the polls in a few weeks.  Please also consider sharing the foregoing observations.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Perhaps

How strange it is to grasp that this world might well be a better place if the fictional macabre were real. 

If ghouls and goblins ruled in place of politicians and if necromancers and their ilk controlled the corporate media. 

Or perhaps there wouldn’t be any difference.  Any difference at all.

Perhaps they already do.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Biography of Sorts

It started towards the end of the third quadrant in July. 

Monthly quadrants are not all equal, of course.  Those in February are usually seven days long except in quadrennial years, and then each quadrant is approximately seven days and six hours long.  April, June, September and November have quadrant’s that are seven days and twelve hours long, but January and March and May and July and August and October and December are a tiny bit more complex.  And they’re in the majority.

In that July with which we were concerned, the day with which we were concerned was the twenty-second, a sort of magical day in astrological terms, and it was towards the end of the third quadrant because in July, as in January and March and May and August and October and December, each quadrant is seven days and eighteen hours long, so the third quadrant would end at six in the morning of the twenty-third day.  And this was still the twenty-second day.

Had it been in February it would have been during the start of the fourth and final quadrant, but it wasn’t.  Had it been in April, June, September or November, the twenty-second would also have been during the last day of the third quadrant if it were during the morning but the first day of the fourth and final quadrant, had it been the afternoon.  But it was not April, June, September or November with which we were concerned, although the time with which we were dealing being the early morning of the twenty-second day, before the sixth hour, there would have been quadratic coincidence during those months.

It was in a city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom the aboriginals had once worshiped (whom, not which, given that they personified it) under the name Cumanday.  Perhaps some still worshipped it under that name and it is certain that there were at least some local, dedicated proto-new agers, who did so then.  It had been the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar, although China was very far away.  He’d have preferred the year of the dragon, or at least of the lion, but no lion was included in that calendar, so it would have had to have been, its cousin, the tiger.  But it was the dog.  It seemed unfair that no lion was available given that in the more traditional Babylonian astrological family, the twenty-second day in July was usually the dividing line between the lion and the crab, although that crab had a rather unpleasant name: cancer.

And anyway, being too young to really have a vote (scream and cry though he might, and in fact, as he had) he was stuck with the available signs, a dog and a lion, and maybe a crab with an evil name.  Not so bad really.  But a dragon would have been really cool.

It had been an interesting day (in the Chinese sense).  The culmination of a somewhat unpleasant period for his mother of course, and unfortunately for her, he’d taken his time, albeit not without a good deal of internal fussing.  But he’d finally come out to see the world he’d be inhabiting for quite some time.  He’d been the first of his generation so a good deal of fuss had been made of the occasion.  New waves had formed and in concentric circles, had begun to oscillate, first nearby, then in that special city, in that special department, in that special country, in that special continent, in those special hemispheres, one vertical and the other horizontal, then in that poor, poor abused planet, then in that solar system, in that galaxy, in that universe, and finally, throughout the multiverse, at which point, the wave had started its return journey playing with time and space, and quanta, and dimensions along the way.  Examining black holes and white holes and playing with dark energy and dark matter but, as it approached its point of origin, nothing was there except radioactive residue, well, and radio waves echoing demands that everyone vote for a certain Democratic Party because Russians and Chinese with which Republicans were purportedly in league had to be stopped from destroying everything, and that the Ukraine had to be permitted to join NATO, and that a great deal of money was required, first, to keep that Democratic Party in power, and then, for more and more and more weapons to keep everyone safe from , … well, at that point the echoes became garbled.

So the wave just kept on going, back to the edge of the multiverse it had visited before. And back again, looking for that child who’d first arrived in the third quadrant of the month of July, at the intersection of the lion and the crab in the year of the dog in a once beautiful city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one once overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom aboriginals had once worshiped under the name Cumanday, and perhaps some local, dedicated proto-new agers had once done so as well.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Endoplasmic Indulgence

Perhaps he’d always been confused, perhaps it was nothing new, perhaps his confusion was merely more confusing because the world had become so much more incoherent, so much more contradictory, so much more filled with falsehoods and fabrications, so much more, well, … confusing.

Odd that others didn’t acknowledge his confusion, and that the answers which they, for some reason, sought from him, seemed to them both eloquent and precise while he remained so full of doubts, incertitudes and self-equivocation; but apparently, it didn’t show through.  Not that he wanted it to.

He wondered if others felt that way.  If others who seemed so sure, so certain in their postures, positions and conclusions were, in reality as full of doubts as he.  And if the doting crowds that followed them knew in their hearts that those for whom they clamored were merely somnambulating through roles they’d themselves assigned?

The delusional leading the deluded through perdition into despair.  That would explain a great many things.  Most religions for example, and politics, and law, and journalism, and history itself.  Delusional erudition amplified through rhetoric.  It has a nice ring albeit in a horrific context.  Perhaps onomatopoeia run amuck!

“Endoplasmic indulgence”, a phrase apparently heretofore unused, a virginal phrase taken a bit further than is really rational.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Memories:

He’d liked his brandy sweetened.  He’d loved apricot brandy when it was “apricot brandy” and not just apricot flavored, and he liked it strong, at least eighty proof.  And he’d liked regular brandy too, sweetened with Grand Marnier.  And Armagnac, Clés de Ducs if possible; but he’d preferred Spanish to French brandies, especially Cardenal Mendoza, or in a pinch, Gran Duque de Alba.  But he hadn’t like it alone, after supper over coffee, he’d liked it with a bit of cheese, sharp cheddar if possible, and with an apple sliced with a paring knife, and with hot tomato soup.  And he’d liked it best listening to symphonic music, especially Beethoven or Bach, while he was reading, especially Tolkien, or researching religious mythology.  Especially with a roiling fire burning in a large hearth. 

Especially in a Normal-style castle, set on the highest point on a long island, set between a river and a small harbor, in a town named after cold springs.  In a castle with a gym and a football field and a baseball field, and with students and faculty members, and maintenance personnel, and a nurse, and retired military personnel who’d had adventures they enjoyed sharing.  A castle full of memories where new ones were made daily, at least for a while.

One would think those aspirations were unrealistic, unless one had lived them.  And relived them, over and over again, long after the castle was just a shared memory.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.