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The place is Earth Alliance Space Station Babylon 5, in the year 2260. The players are one “Mr. Morden,” a human representative of an ancient and powerful alien race known as The Shadows, and Vir Cotto, attaché to Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari. The Shadows have recently been supporting the Centauri in a considerable military campaign against another alien race: the Narn, and Cotto and Mollari both have been deeply involved in that conflict, though Vir has strongly opposed it from its beginning.

The two meet as they have on multiple occasions in the Zocalo, a popular market and gathering place on the station. The following is toward the end of their conversation:

Mr. Morden: If restoring the Centauri Republic means nothing to you, what does? What do you want?

Vir Cotto: I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next 10 generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look into your lifeless eyes and wave, like this [Vir waves tauntingly at Mr. Morden]. Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden?

As those of us who followed the television series Babylon 5 know, Vir did indeed get his wish, though at a price. In the wake of three-and-a-half years of the foolishness, the boorishness, and the general ignominy which has been the presidency of Donald John Trump, I have my own wish. It is not as violent or lethal as Vir Cotto’s was, but it is similar in its ultimate purpose.

So what do I want? Oh, this and that:

  • I want to see Trump utterly embarrassed in the run-up to the election, in advertisements, in speeches attacking him and his policies by Democratic representatives, and most of all, in any debates, where I fully expect him to fall on his face against Joe Biden.
  • I want to see him defeated so soundly in November that there can be no doubt in the minds of the voting public, not just of his ineptitude in the office of president, but the indisputable corruption which characterizes and accompanies everything he does. That defeat should be a landslide, both in the popular and electoral venues, of a scale comparable to the drubbing Barry Goldwater took from LBJ in 1964.
  • Once Trump is routed at the polls, he must be stopped from using his remaining presidential power to take any actions which would further endanger the United States and general world wellbeing. Considering that Trump is greatly motivated by his own hurt feelings and a desire for revenge and has little to no impulse control, the likelihood of his taking such action in the wake of his defeat strikes me as high to the point of near-certainty. This must be prevented.
  • Finally and importantly, the instant Trump is no longer president, he is instantly arrested and led away, preferably in handcuffs, with full and considerable media coverage of his being treated no better than a common criminal (which he is). The rest of his life should be spent initially in courtrooms and ultimately in prison, at last paying the price for his lifelong disregard for the law and the utter contempt he clearly had for any form of oversight.

I should mention that similar treatment should be afforded his children, particularly Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump, business associates, and his enablers in government, which should include Mitch McConnell, Mike Pompeo, and William Barr, all of whom should be at minimum investigated, with all appropriate corrective action taken. Under no circumstances should any of the above-named be pardoned or otherwise given a pass on their actions, and I do not think that a President Biden would be much disposed to do so.

Is this revenge? Of a sort, perhaps, but it is also a lesson and a warning, much like that Vir Cotto cited. Even as “some favors come with too high a price,” so do the kind of glaring acts of foolishness which putting an incompetent, narcissistic sociopath in charge of our country represent. This lesson will need to be placed front and center in our educational efforts, as well as made a constant reminder to anyone who would participate in our government, that they are there to SERVE and NOT to BE SERVED. Said reminder should include the fact that the days of the Trump administration saw considerable damage done to our government and stature in the world, and repair of those both will require far more time to accomplish than the hurt took.

Presuming Donald Trump can be removed from office, we will have dodged a bullet. We need to learn from that, because we may not be so lucky next time, and that is too high a price to pay twice.

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Comment by Grinning Cat on August 24, 2020 at 11:15pm

Joan, what you said brings to mind Marie Shear's definition of feminism as "the radical notion that women are people."

(Two fictional societies presumably without sexist bullshit that come to mind: Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, where people were female or male only for a few days a month, and they would bear some of their children and father others; and John Varley's Steel Beach, with women and men as we know them, except that people routinely changed into fresh, new, healthy bodies every decade or two; they sometimes decided to change sex and gender; and you were only considered fully adult once you've lived as a woman and as a man.)

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 14, 2020 at 3:08am

I like your reference to Hitchens, Loren! In far too many circles, even today, people continue to accuse women of "man-hating" when we define women's struggles to function as a mentally healthy adult in a sexist society. We do not hate men! We hate sexism!  

Comment by Stephen on August 13, 2020 at 4:16pm

A smart fella that Hitchens.

Comment by Loren Miller on August 13, 2020 at 4:06pm

I could put the following under the Quote of the Day, but after Stephen's and Joan's comments, it serves better here:

The cure for poverty has a name, in fact: it's called the empowerment of women. If you give women some control over the rate at which they reproduce, if you give them some say, take them off the animal cycle of reproduction to which nature and some doctrine—religious doctrine condemns them, and then if you'll throw in a handful of seeds perhaps and some credit, the floor of everything in that village, not just poverty, but education, health, and optimism will increase. It doesn't matter; try it in Bangladesh, try it in Bolivia, it works—works all the time. Name me one religion that stands for that, or ever has.
-- Christopher Hitchens

Comment by Stephen on August 13, 2020 at 3:56pm

Give women complete power over their reproductive rights and equal control over the family's finances and watch how the world would change. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2020 at 3:42pm

I did some interviews and literature reviews on women and religion and after a trip around the world, interviewing women in 32 nations about their lives, I wrote my dissertation, A Splendid HeresyIn it, I defined how women experienced their power and powerlessness, I identified the influences on their thinking, and how they internalized the teachings of family, education, community, religion, and laws. I explored how their beliefs resulted in consequences in their development as women and if they were able to function as a mentally healthy, mature adults. 

See: Broverman IK, Broverman DM, Clarkson FE, Rosenkrantz PS, Vogel SR. Sex-role stereotypes and clinical judgments of mental health, J Consult Clin Psychol. 1970, Feb;34(1):1-7. doi: 10.1037/h0028797.

The Passive Gospel

agree to


bow down to

comply with

consent to

give in to

go along with






submit to


turn the other cheek


Joan Denoo, Unpublished 1979, The Passive Gospel. A Splendid Heresy.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2020 at 2:07pm

Problem: "the emergence of Trump also came the 'basket of deplorables'." (Loren Miller). 

Goal:  A world without racism, sexism, nationalism, religionism. 

Option: Do nothing, cry and feel helpless, blame others, trivialize the problem, deny the problem exists, become one of the "deplorables," rely on the "Passive Gospel." 

Begin the conflict resolution and problem-solving processes. 

1. Name the problem

2. Set the goal 

3. Explore options

4. Select an option and develop action plans 

5. Take action

6. Evaluate progress (Am I moving from where I am to where I want to be?)

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2020 at 1:14pm

Ruth, I like your comment about the fear of losing white supremacy outweighs the fears of a pandemic and climate change. 

About climate change, when there is a shift in climate historically, it occurs swiftly, too fast for making adjustments. Mass deaths occur, even extinctions. Perhaps Homo sapiens will meet a far harsher fate caused by global warming or global cooling. Fear of loss of white supremacy has no basis in reality. Fears of pandemics and climate change can and should be out attention now. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 13, 2020 at 1:03pm

Loren, another powerfully written piece! Each one of those you mention must be held accountable for laws broken, systems destroyed for no sound reason, people harmed, including those cheated out of their wages and contracts, and harm perpetrated against the Earth because of greed and desire for unearned power.

I must not forget the voters who voted the crooks into office, the ones who lost the civil war and continue to practice supremacy over blacks. How absurd! Racism has no place in the practices and policies of the Colonies in 1619, in the founding of the United States in 1776, at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, or today. Even if slavery existed from the earliest development of Homo sapiens, it is not tolerable in this age. 

We have language to resolve conflicts, we have reasoning to solve problems, we have laws to protect the weak and powerless. There is no need for racism, sexism, religionism, or nationalism. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on August 6, 2020 at 11:47pm

I've been binge-watching Babylon 5. Half way through season 2. Galactic war is more palatable than reality.

Your sentiments are justified, but the deeper systemic problems would be untouched even by a thorough rout and prosecution of the central political agents you mention. It was disheartening to read today that Trump's support has stabilized among white US citizens around 50%, if not slightly improved in past weeks. Trump's shared insanity cult is impervious to empirical reality. They're so fearful of losing White Privilege that they're blind to an out of control pandemic and the existential threat of Climate Destabilization. These are incomprehensible times, surreal.

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