Mariner’s Wife

Poets have their unique qualities. Edgar Allen Poe carried an overarching mood in his poems; examples are “The Raven,” “Annabellee,” and “Al Aaraaf.” Billy Collins wrote with a light touch; for example, “Man Listening to Disc.” And the injection of the self into the poems of Robert Frost was unique; for example, “The Road not Taken.”

Mariner’s wife is a serious and talented poet. She has won contests, writes about every aspect of life and, with seeming ease, can create poetry from events anyone else would dismiss without a thought. She, too, has a unique quality in her poems. She injects a twist of thought in her poems. It’s a twist the rest of us would not imagine yet we are forced to take note of it. In the following poem, his wife addresses the relationship of humanity with their God. As we relate to the human condition, we are led to a heavenly twist:

                         At the Gathering of the Great Congregation

At the gathering of the great congregation,

The Lord made his way down the aisle,

Shaking hands, smiling, nodding,

Reaching out to touch a shoulder

Tousling the heads of the infants

Catching the eye of everyone—

Amazing how he acknowledged

Each of us individually.


He mounted the steps

Paused briefly before the altar

Then moved over to the pulpit.

There was a great hush

As at the beginning of the world.

Now at last,

At long last,

The meaning of life would be revealed

And the purpose of our deaths.


The Lord said, “In the beginning…”

And paused.

A ripple of laughter spread through the congregation.

“Well,” he said with a smile,

“How did you expect me to begin?

In the beginning, I started a story.

It started with light and stars, and galaxies,

And earth and animals and a garden.

And you.

It was a story and you were part of it.”


A murmur of puzzlement arose from the congregation

As they turned to each other in dismay.

A hand went up.

The Lord acknowledged a young man.


“Is that it? It was all just a story?

We were just characters in a cosmic play?”


The Lord smiled. “Just a story. Yes.

But what more could there be?”


Voices, questions began to emerge

From the murmuring congregation.


“You put us through birth and death and suffering,

Through war and disease

And fear and pain

For a story?”


The Lord said,

“Things happen in a story.

If you want to keep it going,

Things have to keep happening.”


“But why,” the young man persisted,

“Did you make us suffer?”


The Lord replied,

“It was a big story. It had to contain everything.

Worlds, even.”

He paused and added quietly,

“I suffered, too.”


Now there was anger as the questions jabbed out.

“You suffered? Give me a break! It was your story,

You started it. You could have made it better.

We didn’t have to die.

We could have lived forever in the garden.”


The Lord was patient and kind. He said,

“One of you could have lived in the garden, perhaps,

But not two. Two is conflict and conflict is lack of peace,

It is pain—and it is also story.   Once there were two

The story spun out inevitably.”


An older man interjected,

“Are you saying you had no control of it?”


The Lord turned toward him and said,

“I could have wrapped it sooner.

At any point I could have said

‘And they lived Happily Ever After.’

But you do understand, don’t you,

That that would have been the end of the story.

Is that what you wanted—the end of the story?”


Someone asked, “Is the story over now?”


The Lord laughed. “It doesn’t seem to be.

Wherever two or more are gathered in my name

The conflict—the story—continues!

But that is not a bad thing, is it?

It fills up the universe, and our lives

Yours and mine

With joy and glory, companionship,

Fulfillment and love—yes,

It is true that part of it is also doubt

And hardship, pain and grief.”


A young woman stood up and said,

“Let me get this straight.

If there were peace on earth

And the brotherhood of man

Lived in right relations with each other—

Are you saying that would be the end of the world?

The end of the story?”


The Lord said,

“Yes. A story can’t continue if nothing happens.”


“So our choice is—live in conflict or not at all?”


The Lord said, “If you live, there will be conflict.”


“So what is the point,” came the plaintive cry

From somewhere within the great congregation.

“It seems like bad people advance the plot

Better than good people. You must really

Love the villains.”


“Oh, I do, I do,” the Lord said.

“I love them all. I love you all.

The point is—it is a story.

Be glad you were in it.

I’m glad you were in it.

“Oh, my questioning children—be at peace.

Your part of the story is over.

I thank you for the part you played

And for the indelible contribution

You made to the unfolding story of life on earth.”

The Lord raised his hands in benediction,

Turned and paused at the altar

And walked back down the center aisle

Through the quiet congregation

That was silent in his passing.


After he left the sanctuary

There was a brief pause before the murmuring began.

It grew louder and more insistent,

With cries of “It’s not fair!”

“He didn’t tell us anything!”

And, “I don’t believe any of it!”


And the Lord smiled,

Knowing that his will would be done in heaven

As surely as it was on earth.



June, 2014—after Annual Conference


֎Scientific American printed an issue that introduces the reader to new advances related to humans. For example, a Japanese scientist has successfully raised mice using skin cells that were reengineered to be egg cells. Mixed with normal mouse sperm, healthy mice were born. In the near future Japanese scientists hope to resolve human egg cell issues with this technology.

The overall genetic technology related to this feat is the discovery that any cell can be turned into any other type cell by turning on certain genes and turning off others.

֎On the other end of the spectrum is creating faux humans from robots. Scientists fully expect to create robots with compassion, common sense, and reasoning identical to humans who may possess the same attributes. Today, scientists are experimenting with robots (AKA androids) that learn the same way children learn; already the sex toy industry is close to matching the Stepford Wives and Stepford Men as well.

֎Today, scientists can capture brain images. Whatever image is occurring in the brain can be captured and reproduced by a special machine connected to the scalp. Scientists proved the principle by showing a volunteer a picture of a face. The machine captured the same face from brain activity.

֎The Atlantic has an article questioning how the World will feed the middle class in the future (as soon as 2050). The common attitude is “science and technology will improve crops.” In fact, scientists have discovered that the biggest issue is affluence. As populations become successful, consumption increases algebraically compared to increases in population – the expected 25% increase in global population by 2050 will require a 100% increase in food production. On the negative side, fertilizers, insecticides and genetically modified organisms (GMO) have an increasingly destructive effect on the environment. In other words, farmers can’t produce much more than they do today. Further, many scientists have taken the position that arable land is too crowded, overused and, in fact, should be reduced to sustain a healthy ecology.

֎From “A flip in Earth’s magnetic field may be brewing. And if it is, an electromagnetic blob deep under southern Africa is likely to be ground zero for the change.

New research using clays burned in cleansing rituals by Iron Age farmers finds that over the past 1,500 years, an electromagnetic anomaly in the Southern Hemisphere has waxed and waned, with the magnetic field in the region weakening and strengthening. This weirdness may presage a gradual reversal in the magnetic field, so that magnetic north moves to the South Pole and vice versa. (A flip-flop of this sort last occurred 780,000 years ago.)”

Besides sending geese and whales in odd directions, the real issue is radiation from the Sun. The Earth’s magnetic field deflects most of the radiation but during a flip of the poles, the magnetic field will be very weak and for a short time, will not exist. Unblocked solar radiation would be deadly to living things on Earth.

֎Global warming is all the rage right now but the planet has other patterns that may be interesting. Major ice ages last for about 100,000 years with a gap of about 10,000 years in between. It has been 12,000 years since the last ice age; are we heading toward another ice age in the next few centuries? What obscures predictions is man-made global warming, which has raised global temperatures in a century or two that otherwise would take a few thousand years.

The primary cause of major ice ages is the influence of Jupiter and Saturn. In certain configurations of their orbits, they tilt the Earth just a tiny bit – altering the declination of the Earth about 2°. Other causes include wavering radiation from the Sun.


The mariner is truly perplexed that governments accept solutions to the issue of too many guns by agreeing with Donald, Florida legislators and the gun lobby that more guns are needed – in spite of a large majority of citizens disagreeing. Is there any better evidence that a democratic republic is a farce? Maybe things will be better when androids take over.

Ancient Mariner


On Being Lost

Have you ever been lost? It’s a sense that one has lost touch with the perimeter or edge that provides definition to a person’s situation. One feels adrift and even afraid because there is no meaningful ‘here’ or ‘there;’ there is no ‘over there.’ It is then that we realize how important it is to know where we’ve been, where we’re going, and where we are relative to our start and finish.

This sensation of being lost can be induced in many different situations. For example, trying to solve a puzzle with too many variables like the ones that offer “Jane is 4 years old; John is 12 years old and their brother is 20 years younger than Aunt Joy who is six years younger than their mother. . .” Another example is the experience that college freshmen have when trying to identify one’s proper role in a completely unknown environment. Sometimes the unknowns are so vast and complex, we don’t realize we’re lost!

That brings us to today’s example of being lost. Who is lost? The entire world of people is lost. The world’s cultures are eroding like sand blown by the desert wind. Mariner can provide indicators that suggest we don’t know where we are or where we’re going in the future:

֎ Authoritarian governments are increasing while democratic countries are decreasing. The imbalance has accelerated since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The latest example is China which voted only a day or two ago to grant President Xi Jinping the status of President for Life. Even old standbys like Turkey, Greece, and the Balkan nations are struggling and show signs of increasing authoritarianism. The map shows where authoritarianism has emerged (the orange and yellow states – apologies for the blurred image).

Since the early 1500’s the bluer nations have ruled the world. It is likely that blue rule will fade in the 2000’s. In its third iteration since the 1940’s, China has grown up economically and has improved culturally. It is so huge in national presence that it is likely to dominate world economy and culture much as the United States has since the 1800’s.

Typically, authoritarianism evolves in nations with failed economies or oligarchical cultures. In the case of China, a nation with an average ten percent growth for decades, it will become authoritarian. The question with China is whether one man’s vision will comprehend change well enough to sustain global leadership as the world changes dramatically over the next 50 years. While authoritarian governments can take charge of confusion more quickly than messy democracies, their weakness is the inability to manage cultural change.

֎ If authoritarianism is at one end of the spectrum, the United States (and the less influential Nordic States) is at the other end. Unfortunately, the founding fathers wanted a nation ruled by the people – no monarchy here – but also wanted government to control the economy and the military. Hence, a democratic republic; something like a duckbilled platypus. While touting democracy as the guiding force, the republic side has dominated society and is no better at managing culture than authoritarianism (current studies show that over time the voting public has influenced one percent of legislation while moneyed sources have influenced ninety-nine percent, which explains the growing problem of oligarchy and corporatism in the US since the 1850’s). It is the case with any government philosophy that a hot, expanding economy forgives many sins but the US economy isn’t ‘hot’ anymore.

The US culture has become ragged without good social leadership. As the 1990’s rolled into the 2000’s, fringe conservatism and shifting liberalism crumbled national unity. Further, every country in the world is exposed to lightning-speed changes in culture because of the Internet and Artificial Intelligence. Who knew the morning coffee-klatch would meet on Facebook?

Global economics is changing as well. Old natural resources, old technologies and old political liaisons are up in the air at the moment and do not fit the new world economy in a technology-led world.

֎ Technology has been a puzzle piece for decades. Remember when a generation quietly passed on as it handed the torch to the next generation? Now folks have to live through the next generation as well and maybe the one after that. Never mind that joblessness, financial security, really old parents and feelings of uselessness are left to you to manage. Does that obnoxious voice box in the living room (Alexa or Google Assistant) look like its growing arms and legs? Even today, it knows you’re pregnant before you do; be careful if it starts to rearrange your investments and insurance – it knows when it’s your time to go. If you thought your spouse nags all the time, wait until the voice box follows you around giving you advice about everything and, dangerously, not telling you things you should know. Further, lawyers beware; there are legal bots online that can provide legal services for any need a client may have including the forms to process the issue.

֎ The environment, the puzzle piece still run by the planet whether we acknowledge that or not, already has plans to change the weather, coastlines, atmosphere, food resources and the diversity of nature itself. Did you know that when the last great ice age melted it created the Great Lakes? The water level of the oceans rose 300 feet. Today, if you live on the seashore, a long term mortgage may not be a good idea. You may want to sell soon – just ask folks who live in Bali, Miami or New Orleans.

So – if Jane is 4 years old, China is the new global power, your great-great grandparents live in the basement, you meet for coffee on Facebook, your job is gone or your boss is a nagging robot, giraffes and tigers are gone, the ocean creeps under the door twice each day, where are we going?

Ancient Mariner



Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein:

“A human being is part of the whole called by us “Universe”; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to enhance all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

– – – –

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a reputable news source, researched Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt. Politico found a series of tapes, “KFAQ University — Standing Up For What’s Right.” Produced in 2005 and posted on Pruitt’s campaign website in 2010, they offer a frightening view of Pruitt’s irrational and conservative view of religion, science, business and politics. A couple of his statements are below. If one enjoys horror entertainment, listen to the tapes at:

1-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed evolution as an unproven theory, lamented that “minority religions” were pushing Christianity out of “the public square” and advocated amending the Constitution to ban abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage and protect the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments.

2-Pruitt also described the Second Amendment as divinely granted and condemned federal judges as a “judicial monarchy” that is “the most grievous threat that we have today.”

3-“There aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution, and it deals with the origins of man, which is more from a philosophical standpoint than a scientific standpoint.”

– – – –

The Grace of Wealth

While the world ponders the future because China can clone Macaque monkeys, Barbra Streisand matter of factly clones her pet dog into two identical offspring – no big deal except it cost $50,000 per dog. Sort of goes hand in hand with Oprah’s bathtub carved out of a single block of limestone that cost $70,000. Mariner blew $350 on a new miter saw last year. Ahh, the life of the idle rich. . .

– – – –

All things considered, mariner opts for Albert. It should be extremely disturbing to us when we watch the agony and death of people living in war zones, the wretched life of starving families, the unnecessary death of millions from lack of common immunizations, the horrific destruction of life by selfish autocrats – while the overly wealthy look for new heights in lavish, wasteful spending. Fixing this imbalance in human life is virtually impossible. When push comes to shove, oligarchs clone their government representatives.

Ancient Mariner



One is the Magic Number

Mariner has been pondering what magic word will lead to a successful campaign for candidates in November 2008. What came to mind quite intuitively is the refrain from John Lennon’s song Imagine:

 You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

 The song is a spiritual appeal for everyone around the world to diminish the importance of worldly possessions and the abuses of imbalance and separation and make the most important issue oneness – even above religious and economic interests. Being one is the supreme value of existence.

Imagine is a lovely, romantic song both lyrically and musically. However, in the practical world of US politics there is no oneness. No oneness of nation; no oneness of culture; no oneness of citizenry; no oneness of economy; no oneness of responsibility; no oneness of sharing a common life together. The spoken phrase “I am an American” was almost surreal in the twentieth Century but since has begun to plummet rapidly in value.

There is no single definition that covers all US citizens. The population is a collection of splintered priorities every one of which is more important than national identity. We can no longer say, quite literally, “One nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” We can’t even claim to be a nation under ‘God’ – an implication that there is one supreme spirit, however defined. Abortion, race, sexuality, fundamentalism, Islam among many other issues are more important than the holistic virtues of associating with a supreme being.

The unfairness and violence alluded to in ‘Imagine’ runs rampant in the American culture. The absence of oneness and unity in many sectors of life are why we have a virtual antichrist as President. It is why we have dysfunctional governments across the nation. It is why other nations are looking elsewhere for leadership. It is why Putin can so easily disrupt our democratic ideals. In sailor terms, the boat has no ballast – any wave can topple the boat.

The cure to our ailments, nationally and internationally, is to restore the ballast we had in the last century. Oneness. Unity. Togetherness. Cultural responsibility. One is the magic word. If a candidate can engage the electorate in the joy of oneness, that candidate will win by a landslide. It isn’t “Make America Great Again,” it is “Make America One Again.”

Ancient Mariner


The Apocalypse is Nigh

Mariner often has touted the joy of being married to a professional librarian, serious poet, and bibliophile of the first order. Yet again, reading through the many books by her bedside, his wife came across this amazing likeness in C.S. Lewis’s book, “The Problem of Pain”, published in 1940. The quote below is found in the chapter on hell:

“. . . . Picture to yourself a man who has risen to wealth or power by a continued course of treachery and cruelty, by exploiting for purely selfish ends the noble motions of his victims, laughing the while at their simplicity; who, having thus attained success, uses it for the gratification of lust and hatred and finally parts with the last rag of honor among thieves by betraying his own accomplices and jeering at their last moments of bewildered disillusionment. Suppose further, that he does all this, not (as we like to imagine) tormented by remorse or even misgiving, but eating like a schoolboy and sleeping like a healthy infant – a jolly ruddy-cheeked man, without a care in the world, unshakably confident to the very end that he alone has found the answer to the riddle of life, that God and man are fools whom he has got the better of, that his way of life is utterly successful, satisfactory, unassailable. . . .

“. . . . Even mercy can hardly wish to such a man his eternal, contented continuance in such ghastly illusion.”

– – – –

In Apostle Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, he describes the antichrist:

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.” [Thessalonians 2]

Is who we think we’re talking about the antichrist? Is his base the nonbelievers deceived by his message? He is eager to use nuclear war. Is the Apocalypse nigh?

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the Earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The Sun shall be turned into darkness,  and the Moon into blood, before the coming great and awesome Day of the Lord, and it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the Name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Joel 2:30-32)

Ancient Mariner

How to Make Order from Chaos

Mariner is not, what is the term – a neatnik. His home office is a replica of the human presence on Planet Earth. The office is a clutter sanctuary, a habitat of overgrown functions that dysfunction – lost in the mire of mismanagement, a Paleolithic collection of useless junk. Mariner decided in a godlike manner to restore order and spiritual beauty to his office. It is time for Armageddon.

Mariner discovered immediately that one must indeed have the power of God to restore functional and productive order to human disorder. God uses water and fire which seems excessive for this task. Mariner has no choice but to wade into the matter in the likeness of Jason and his Argonauts.

The home office is no 10 Downing Street. It is a 12×12 room beside the front door entry. The room has a 5×2 closet with a separate 2-foot storage area above which meets the ceiling. Someone in the past put shelves in the closet; it behooves mariner to say they had no sense of functionality. The closet has two sliding doors which means easy access is only at each end. Unfortunately, there are no shelves at each end – only in the middle behind the doors. This situation has led to intense jury rigging while storing supplies – certainly a contributing factor to the immense disorder at hand.

One immediately sees lying about the office towers of 8½ by 11 paper as tall as they will stay balanced. The reader will be entertained that the resident filing cabinet is half empty – suffering long ago from a failed filing system. An overgrown potted spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) contributes to the mayhem. Overstuffed oak bookcases dominate the walls. Any remaining wall space is filled with sailing charts, photographs of sailing trips and other memorabilia from the past (Why is an eight-foot boat hook leaning in the corner?). A small corner desk with a glass surface holds the computer and its paraphernalia.

Today, the closet has been cleared of everything, shelves and all. This means there is only a foot path from the door to the closet – a mere goat path among the hills. It is time to reorder things. What would God do? Mariner questions God’s judgment when God flooded the Earth but did not oversee reconstruction. Had God dealt with our home offices, perhaps the world of humans would be a more orderly place.

Ancient Mariner


Mariner was a Methodist pastor during the 1960’s. He was interested in philosophical direction at the time; it was indeed a time of crossroads in contemporary thoughts about secularism, socialism, capitalism, theism, and the role in general of belief systems in modern society. For a college theology assignment, mariner researched an Indian philosopher named, for short, Rajneesh.

Rajneesh was sort of a rebel religious philosopher in India espousing normal Indian mysticism and spiritualism but Rajneesh injected a thread of spiritual humanism that made him known in the western world as well. Mariner has not thought of Rajneesh since his college days. Rajneesh is brought to mind by an article in this week’s New Yorker email.

The most efficient analysis of his approach to spiritualism is to examine his effort to write his own ten commandments (very much a restrictive western gesture). Bless Wikipedia for having Rajneesh’s ten commandments clearly presented!

1.Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.

2.There is no God other than life itself.

3.Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.

4.Love is prayer.

5.To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.

6.Life is now and here.

7.Live wakefully.

8.Do not swim—float.

9.Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.

10.Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.

Bring a copy of the commandments to your next Sunday School class for discussion. Mariner guarantees there will be discussion. Certain commandments, particularly 5, 8, 9 and 10, can raise the blood pressure of western capitalists; socialists struggle with 3, 5 and 6; theists are stopped by 1, 2, 3 and 6; western society in general finds 5 an anathema.

Mariner gleaned many sermons from Rajneesh by integrating his spiritual elements with western pragmatism.

Being a bit older, mariner has in his mental library many forgotten moments to discover again. Welcome back, Rajneesh.

Ancient Mariner


Immigration is not a one-thought issue

The growing proportion of older adults throughout Europe, many parts of Asia (particularly Japan, South Korea and China) and North America are outpacing the population of young people. This gray population explosion is due, in part, to extended longevity, but also due to dramatic declines in fertility – the number of children per female. Fertility rates in many nations are well below the necessary level of 2.1 children per female to simply maintain the population. For example, Australia and Brazil share a fertility rate of 1.7 children per female, China has dropped to 1.6, Japan and Germany are at 1.4, and even the relatively young United States is at 1.87. In short, the world’s most industrialized nations as well as many of the planet’s developing economies are witnessing an unprecedented drop in the number of children. While fewer children presents a number of social questions such as the availability of a robust workforce and general economic growth – the birth dearth also portends a troubling future of caring for an aging society.[1]

Mariner has come across a number of websites and magazine articles that have raised the issue of imbalanced demographics. It is proven and certainly true across the industrialized world. Which leads to mariner’s puzzlement as to why the United States – especially Congress and the President – seem so determined to prevent immigration. The truth is the US needs young people even if they aren’t white Christians. The President brags about the unemployment rate being low; this is due to two phenomena: (1) good jobs are disappearing and workers are taking jobs at a fraction of their former salary, which removes them from the unemployment number (2) the US is running out of workers.

The American workforce is in a downward spiral. Many politicians tout retraining the US workforce but no plan and no funding are available. Further, the public education system has been financially starved for generations and requires immense intellectual and financial improvement to even be able to address the issue.

Perhaps some time in the future under the guidance of a different President and a different Congress, we may properly address the issue of immigration, job readiness, and education.

Today’s Congress is too busy garnering personal wealth. Today’s President is incompetent.

Ancient Mariner


The Arrested Donald and other Important Matters

Mariner has been overwhelmed by the presence of Donald in a twenty-first century Presidency. Mariner hasn’t said much this past year other than a few asides in the midst of other topics. It has become blatantly obvious as Donald’s term runs past a year in office, that Donald has two dysfunctional attributes: Donald is a victim of arrested development. Donald has developed a narcissistic personality.

Mariner isn’t sure what causes arrested development, whether its nature or nurture or both. (Some breeds of dogs are deliberately bred not to ever mature) In any case, its mariner’s opinion that Donald stopped developing around the age of eight. An eight year old is familiar with few policies other than loyalty and deflecting blame. If those readers who are parents can think back to when their child was eight years old, the child’s vocabulary and sentence structure, the simplistic view of behavior, the inappropriate bravado, the shortsighted reasoning, the dependence on fantasy, one will realize Donald is an eight year old.

It is unfortunate that Donald was raised in an intensely strict family. From birth his behavior was irregular; flaunting his prowess by bullying, challenging rules of behavior and, like his father, using belittlement as a weapon, Donald was a problem child from birth. At thirteen, Donald was expelled from his family by the father, sending Donald to a military school where discipline was harsh.

The father was obsessed with winning. If a child didn’t win, the child was belittled. How does a small child survive in this destructive situation? Become narcissistic. Regardless of reality, regardless of the father’s derision, regardless of growing difficulty in social situations, Donald saw himself as a successful child and always a winner. Being narcissistic, Donald easily can assume that Donald and winning is the same thing. He truly believes in his own mind that bad news and lack of performance are the fault of someone else – fantasy is a handy tool provided by being eight years old. Defaming and belittling others is a defense mechanism typical of an eight year old.

The simplistic ethical structure of an eight year old combined with the absence of empathy in narcissism, yields one Donald Trump. Donald has been and will continue to be destructive. It is difficult to imagine Donald’s motivations for his behavior. His motivations are far simpler than normal adults would imagine; pundits, journalists and the press in general fall into this trap: overthinking Donald. Donald’s ‘loyalty’ to Russia and all that entails, likely is based on the simple idea that his election may be overturned if it is proven that Russia hacked the election. Otherwise, following the money and uncovering shady business deals reveals Donald’s normal environment – he is a member of the oligarchy run from Russia preying on most of the old USSR. Donald wants the sanctions lifted for the same reason Putin does – sleazy profits.

– – – –

Nevertheless and regardless and to any length – Donald will cause damage to the intellectual force of the United States. But Donald is not the real danger. The real danger is Congress – and by default the Republican Party. Due process, mediation of any kind, civic mindedness – all have disappeared even before Donald came on the scene. Adding Donald to the selfish whims of the GOP has exposed the party for the self-righteous, money-driven, and fragmented entity it has become. Several of mariner’s more thoughtful resources have gone so far as to call for dissolving Congress, holding a special election for every seat in both houses. An article in The Atlantic makes an uncharacteristic plea to the electorate: do not vote for a republican!

A sound, public minded Republican Party would have squeezed Donald out of election politics when he provoked birtherism. Racism always has been an Achilles heel for republicans but using racist remarks on the campaign trail is not helpful in winning a majority of voters. Additionally, a struggling right wing of the party has been able to bring the Republican-held House to a standstill. With audacity, Congressional leaders (Republican) turn to the democrats seeking votes for legislation antithetical to democrats.

Who can fix Russian intervention in US elections? Congress.

Who can fix gerrymandering? Congress.

Who can eliminate cash-driven elections? Congress.

Who can remove lobbyist control of legislation? Congress.

Who can assist transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy? Congress.

Who can regulate banks and Wall Street to play fair? Congress.

Who can mediate international politics? Congress.

Well, perhaps not.

Ancient Mariner