Equal Compensation.

Seat 6F is on the window, up front in coach, a step behind the curtain that separates first class from the cheap seats. Surprisingly and happily, at almost 10 AM on a swarming Saturday, the AA Airbus wasn’t at capacity. Then, in the rarest of circumstances, seats 6D & 6E were still vacant when the doors were shut and locked down. Heavenly day. You could put up the seat arms and stretch out for the 4+ hour cruise to Los Cabos International, the 6th busiest airport in Mexico. Lucky you. But as Flight 836 taxied, an uneasy feeling — a premonition — rolled in. Somehow, you knew you would pay for the exclusive use of D,E & F. The thought wasn’t unduly pessimistic — simply an acknowledgment of something called the Universal Law of Equal Compensation. Payback was swift. It came first from 7F. He couldn’t have been more than eight, but his cough belonged in a seventy-year-old chest — deep and raspy, promising nothing less than contagion. You began counting the seconds between his eruptions to predict when you should cover your face with the airsick bag. Briefly, you considered retrieving the life vest as a more impressive barrier but the female flight attendant already had you  in her crosshairs, pegged as a nutcase. Thankfully, at least little Johnny was consistent. Every two minutes, give or take the count of ten, he distributed a cloud of pathogens for your consumption. You did the quick math. Thirty coughs per hour times 4.5 hours equals 135. At least you had the good sense to pack a Z-pack. When the 250+ pound husband in 5F put his seat back and began twisting and rocking his blubber back and forth, you were sorry you couldn’t have packed your Ruger 380. The hulk had spacious bulkhead room but that wasn’t good enough. No, he couldn’t stop tossing about. Neither could your laptop. It danced precariously on the seat-back tray table as you held it under one thumb. You would have used two thumbs; but your left hand was compelled to keep the ubiquitous airsick bag poised for action — every flippin’ two minutes. Unfortunately, Tubby’s movements were not as predictable. When he lurched out of his seat for a trip to the head, his sleeping wife in 5D would never see you drop a double dose of Ambien powder into his drink. You wish. Fantasies helped cope with the stress. You imagined Mrs. Tubby wouldn’t have cared anyway. You imagined that hubby’s restlessness drove her from the marital bed a long time ago. Meanwhile, Johnny Boy and Mr. Tubby had a competitor on your nuisance scale. She sat in 7A. You heard her piercing, irritating voice for 20 minutes before turning to see the person who owned it. She was a millennial, apparently connected to Skype — fixated on her device — oblivious to anything that approaches manners — delivering a tiresome monologue. The experienced guy next to her in 7C, likely her significant other, came prepared. He crashed early. Maybe her unending prattle bothered no one but you; however, four hours of chatter added to four hours of hacking added to four hours of human turbulence, added up to a type of human bondage. Please God, you could not wait to touch down and get out — you thought. You should have guessed this flight was only  prologue to a new, more horrifying experience — a look at utter chaos. When the airline staff announced they had no immigration or custom forms, your antenna should have vibrated. When a city bus showed up at the south forty tarmac, the term “gridlock” should have been at least a whisper. When you finally entered the main entry of the main building, the crush of people could mean only one thing — you were now a refugee and you were being processed for internment to a prisoner of war camp. Inch by interminable inch, you and thousands of other passengers — schlepping baggage — were funneled down two stairwells into a massive assembly hall already filled with a sea of humanity. Half the hall was divided by crowd control line barriers — perhaps 25-30 of them, parallel lines 75 yards long. You would creep every step of the way. Back and forth, like sheep to slaughter. Immediately, therefore, you weighed priorities. Absent facilities, would your bladder persevere? Would you be trapped with hundreds of people whose bladders collapse? You had a random thought that someone selling Adult Depends could make a fortune. Stumbling along, the mob resembled a scene from The Walking Dead. Only 10 immigration officers were positioned to process thousands. They were in no hurry, chatting among themselves. Then it hit you — this was Mexico’s revenge for Trump’s promised wall. Two hours after debarking, you retrieved a checked bag and made a beeline for the sun and ground transportation. It was then, in a guilty flashback, you thought about little Johnny. That cough wasn’t trivial. He needed to have it looked after. You worried that Mr, and Mrs. Tubby would suffer in the mile long queue. Maybe he suffered debilitating back pain. Ms. Millennial was probably traveling alone, nervous, without family. They each had their story to tell. Could it be you were in them? Most likely not.

Rap.

Positive thinkers — those of charitable spirit — always see the single bloom poking out of rampant weeds. Those of forgiving nature always choose to extol virtue amidst a sea of depravity. Those of saintly disposition always cultivate, nourish and bring out the best in human behavior. Like Mother Teresa, their prescriptions for a good life glorify any number of Biblical admonitions and principles, including self sacrifice and the Golden Rule — in all things, seek and find the Good, however microscopic, in everyone and every thing — because Good does exist, even in the most hideous of places and within the most repugnant of personalities. With all due respect and admiration for Mother T. and other saintly souls, she never ran into Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., aka Snoop Dogg, an American rapper and “actor.” You wouldn’t suggest that this individual is either hideous or repugnant, since either term would be unduly flattering. You may think this individual is an example of human slime, a deviant who could appeal only to a cult mentality — a tiny, ignorant minority — a sub-human species as primitive and profane as their hero. But that opinion crumbles quickly with the realization that this individual has sold over twenty-three million albums in the U.S., and thirty-five million albums worldwide. This statistic doesn’t count those who applaud and don’t buy. You have zero interest in performing the kind of exhaustive research necessary to identify and analyze the demographic profiles of living souls who would choose, with premeditation, to cozy up to the sound and smell of sewage. Twenty-thirty million Americans simply could not identify with, could not respect, could not embrace the Dogg or his garbage, could they? Silly question. Of course they could — and do, as every generation has before them. Each successive generation always produces more garbage, or more than likely, recycled garbage. But you must never lose hope. Instead, do your best to emulate M. Teresa. Tell yourself that these lovers of filth do have something to offer the world — something worthwhile — something of redeeming value — if not now, perhaps someday, God willing. Take solace in that. Learn to accept the unacceptable. Not even God will rid creation of ignorance, immorality and evil. Dogg is here to stay until he ages out and passes his fetid baton to the next version of human decay. Therefore, as you pass out judgment, you must overlook the vacuous and the primitive — those coarse beings who relish obscenity. Save your wrath for the enablers, the facilitators, who give people like Dogg the international conduit to serve up his swill. Save it for the “entertainment” industry and the vaunted Media whose moral compass vanished years ago. Unrestricted by any self imposed ethic, they relentlessly broadcast the worst of humanity — and in the process often elevate what is evil over what is good. Energized by broadcast media, profaneness has hijacked America’s historic values — its ideals, virtues and principles. Profaneness was always here but it lurked in dark places, illegitimate and condemned. Now Snoop Dogg visits preschool children in their homes. He has First Amendment rights. So has the Church. But guess which the Entertainment Industry and Media push? You guessed right. Not the Church. The media has no interest in the Church until religious liberty infringes on their definition of political correctness. This is the world you live in. Slam the Church and support the Dogg. It’s a bad rap.

Sheep.

By in large, people are sheep. You’re reminded of a scene from the 1967 film version of Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy’s brilliant novel. On a high pasture bluff overlooking the sea, a crazed sheepdog drives his master’s flock toward the edge of a cliff. The bellwether ram blindly gallops for all he’s worth until he leaves solid ground, taking his fatal leap. Behind him, every last one of his extended family follows suit — every last one dashed on the jagged rocks, hundreds of feet below. Not one of them hesitated. Not one flinched. Not one ewe. Not one lamb. Not one wether. Not one bullock. Not one asked Speedy McDuff where in blazes he was going, or why. Not one turned to her cousin and shrieked, “Bleat . . .baa . . .maa . . . bleat . . . ” (Translation — “Blimey, Matilda, where’s the bloody fire?”). Staring pointblank at eternity, they behaved exactly like — well — like sheep. Yes, you will say these are creatures without cognitive skills. You can’t judge them anymore than you can judge a toddler who plays with matches. But, given centuries of historical evidence, you do have ample reason to judge adult human sheep. These are people, human beings who march with the mob. Intoxicated, the German sheep followed the demonic tirades of a certified Nazi psychopath. Millions of German, Polish and Czech sheep  shuffled submissively onto boxcars and into death camps. Under the boots of kings and emperors, generations of peasants and slaves dutifully accepted their subservient station in life and obediently bowed to the bidding of their privileged betters. If history has proven only one thing, it is that genocide and sheep were made for each other. Thankfully, by the grace of God, in the mid-to-late 18th century, a handful of men decided to be, in the words of Peter Finch (aka, Howard Beale), “mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” A handful of men decided that the days of acting as sheep were over. Against all odds, they not only sent King George packing, but also gave future generations a Gift for The Ages — an immaculate political doctrine dedicated to the utterly preposterous idea of Individual Freedom. With the Declaration of independence as a belief code, they set about crafting a Charter between Governments and the People. Strip away all the “whereof’s” and “whereafter’s” and what you have left is a set of rules that have a single, all-powerful purpose — to limit the centralized “Federal” Government to a very narrow authority and jurisdiction — and to give utmost sovereignty to the States. But it so happened these gents were truly educated — in the ways of the world, in history, and in the Nature of Man. They didn’t trust in future lawmakers’ fealty to The Constitution. These Founders — in fact — predicted that the Federal Government would gradually overstep its jurisdiction and would creep into outright tyranny — if left unchecked. And the people — the sheep — would sit comfortably on the sidelines to observe their freedoms erode like the ever shifting banks of an ancient river. Welcome to the United States of America, circa 2017. The sheep are indeed milling about. You see the danger. You whine about it. You sit in groups, state the obvious, chew your cud and wait for the next election. But nothing changes. The Fed grows larger. The dependent States grow weaker. The Founders predicted it — but they gave you — the sheep — the remedy to stop the runaway Federal train. In their genius, they created Article V of the Constitution — that gives the States the supreme, inviolable power to not only stop the train, but also to detach most of its cars. You must ask why every State in the Union has not already called for A Convention of States. Why? You must ask why any thinking person — any average person, any official lawmaker — would oppose this exceptional remedy to end the Federal corruption and madness, and restore the balances of power. You ask the “why” question, knowing all along that you don’t want to hear the answer. You have to face it. You have an unstoppable Federal train because the people either want to ride that train or they just don’t care. You see, by in large, sad to say, the people are sheep.

The ranting and raving of critical Dick.