Well this has been a disappointing week. Let me list the ways.
For one thing, Albie “Bertle” Einstein, who we already learned on TV last year was a rotten husband and father in so many instances, nonsimultaneously, turns out to have left a travel diary to posterity that is more racist than anyone could have imagined possible. Especially in regard to China.
Speaking of physics, I was reminded just yesterday of the very popular view, often bolstered by quantum theory, that your reality is made by your mind. Or something like that. The way quantum theory gets into it is, “Consider the double-slit experiment. The pattern the electrons make after going through the slits is different depending on whether you are watching which slits they go through. The nicest pattern is the one where you don’t look. So don’t look.” I’m probably not explaining it right.
I’ve never met anyone who could control the patterns electrons make on a TV or computer screen using their mind alone. Everyone I know has to use a mouse or a keyboard.
Anyway there may be something to it. Einstein’s mind clearly messed with his reality during his trips to China.
Disappointment No. 2 was the repeal last week of the Seattle Employee Head Tax, or the Employee Hours Tax as some of us prefer to call it. The repeal was done with less than 24 hours notice only a month after the tax was voted in. It was already a watered-down compromise. It wouldn’t have taken effect until 2019, so there was no emergency. The Council could have waited weeks to ponder the issue or just let it go to referendum in November.
Instead they acted as though the building was on fire and the sky was falling. “No time! No time! Have to repeal today! Tomorrow will be too late!” This is another example of minds warping reality.
We’re now back to where we started; homelessness is still growing, and Seattle is doing less than what needs to be done. The big businesses say it’s not their problem. We’ll see.
The ugliest news this week came from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, both of whom claimed that seizing and warehousing children of undocumented immigrants is not only OK by God, but approved.
Sessions was more explicit in his reference to the Bible, quoting Paul in Romans 13:1 expressing the idea that we ought to “obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”
I’m sure that Sessions, who unlike Einstein has never for a minute been imagined to be anti-racist, is aware that same passage has been used throughout U.S. history to justify every form of officially sanctioned racist laws and policies that this country and the colonies that preceded it have indulged in. I’m sure that he has even ached for the moment when he could hope to get away with dragging that passage out to justify some more racism that he thinks this government can get a pass on — the better to be able to use it again later for further exercises of this nature.
Who knows? Maybe if he pulls this one off, he can get a big congressional “amen” on restoring Jim Crow and segregation. Then, a revival of slavery.
After that, who knows, maybe in time for the 2020 presidential campaign he can try to use the Romans 13 quote to get us all back to accepting the Divine Right of Kings, which stems precisely from the notion that God ordains the circumstances of government.
He just has to get Paul’s quote to stick right now and convince America that it’s OK to rip children out of the arms of their parents because the government has the backing of God whatever it does. The law he and Sanders are referring to is not passed law, but merely a law enacted by means of jackboots and billy clubs. It’s a law that says you will do what we have the power to force you to do.
Once you can say to the country that all that the government does is moral because anything that is done by force must be ordained by God, and you manage to get away with it, then the country will have relinquished all claim to be a moral nation.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd.
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