Debate Preamble

New York Times
October 9, 1956

Page 1

Don Larsen threw a perfect game
Something baseball had never seen
In the World Series.

(Kind of like this presidential race…)

Voter registration rolls were swelling
As people were getting out
To fulfill a civic duty.

(Hopefully people are doing the same today…)

Page 2

An ad for “Middle of the Night”
With Edward G. Robinson said,
“You want to talk or do you just want
To make a pass at me?”

(Sounds like something said to guys getting off a TV bus…)

Page 3

MARINE MUST FINISH TERM
FOR LEADING DEATH MARCH
Sergeant heads to the brig.
(Sounds like the Republican party’s current walking papers…)

Page 6

The Enterprise air craft carrier
Of World War II service
Was offered for sale instead of becoming a memorial.

(Sounds like the bill of goods of Make America Great Again…)

Page 9

GYPSIES OF SOVIET UNION MUST GET TO WORK
Their conversion to a sedentary lifestyle
Being the price for a totalitarian government.

(What I’m scared of…)

Today

Sixty years after the reported facts
We are still dealing with
Election turmoil,
Sexism,
Abuses of power,
Wasted resources,
Overblown government,
And this election
Is doing nothing
To steer us
Out of the news of the past.
Neither candidate inspires.

“Psychology Ain’t No Science…”

From the journal of Carter Hamorton…

I have the benefit of age and the enlightenment of a doctorate. All that means is I’m old and went to school for a long time. In some respects I think that the wisdom from maturity and education are important if we look to them for inspired thought and an openness of heart. Certainly, the election of 2016 is testing the notion that are greatest gift is the ability to think as we are seeing so many Americans drawn to deceit with minds clogged by hubris and negativity.

That is not why I write, though. I’ve been thinking about my brother, Red, who used to drive a truck named, Snowball and once got me so angry that I threw his glasses out of a locker in an adolescent tantrum that was not funny then, but has an embarrassing humor to it now. I was thinking about the election today and an argument he and I had back in the late 80s about whether or not psychology as a science. I sad “yes” because there was research to support its existence. He said “no” because there was nothing that could be proved. Our argument went on in a sophomoric way right there in the State Farm house parking lot. I thought I knew everything since I was only three credits away from a psychology minor and Red was living the dream of a concrete pouring professional who saw the world through the eyes of experience instead of theory.

Today, I’m not sure how I would argue my position on the science of psychology. Since my research was essentially to measure something that is not seen, a construct, I’m betting my man would tell me I measured nothing. He would ask me for something more than statistics to prove that my little study had actually done something. I’d probably add fuel to his fire by saying nothing is proved and that relationships and the probability of their existence is what happens in research. One of us would get tired of the discussion, go Wayne Gretzky on a bottle cap, and change the subject to something more solid, like pouring footers, potato skins, or the proper usage of the phrase “phat.”

What I do know is that certain aspects of psychology have been at play this summer. The conditioning that goes on with animals works on people too. The cages and chains that are being used to incite whatever cause is making the American public look like idiots. The idea of education is to make sure we have the ability to think and make the most informed decisions, preferably in a rationalized way. We should be able to see the tricks being put upon us by the political mockery that is coming from the feathered one and not fall for his professional wrestling antics. Then again, the ambitious one with pneumonia has her moments of psychological trickery.

Education, though, is not enough. I learned from, Red, that life experiences are an important part of our education, too. I agree. We have plenty of experiences from history to see how psychology can be used to the detriment of man. Hitler used language that seems all to familiar today. Stalin, Khmer Rouge, and race haters on all sides, try to shut down thought by being loud, outrageous, and unconcerned with accountability for their actions. In this sense, I can’t see the psychological constructs, but I know he is using them to make a case for his power grab. As for her, she takes the high road which is not much of a step from the gutter the two of them waddle in. Her high road though is about as crass and transparent as his inane views of the state of America. She just happens to be a little more nuanced at the political ways than he is.

I hope middle America will wake up. I hope the edge states will wake up. It’s time to demand better choices from the two parties. But how do you get a country conditioned that they only have two choices to stand up in the cage of political-psychological manipulation and push a different lever.

The choices for our country in this election cycle have not been great. In fact, I, Carter Hamorton have no love for either candidate. However, if most skills in our lives are a melding of art and skill or the balancing of faith and science, this vote is most crucial. Better to believe in the lesser of two evils approach rather than there being any art in his deal. So I’m leaning towards that third party guy who knows nothing about world events. At least he isn’t being a donkey’s butt…or is he…I know less about him than he knows about Aleppo.

Red and I have never agreed on whether psychology is a science or not. Sometimes I think it is a parlor trick. Other times, I relate to it with the inquisitiveness of a researcher on a quest to understand why we do what we do. I accept the limits of psychology and its role in human behavior. But it’s there in some form, Red, and I think we are watching it play out every time that guy with the tan speaks from the Yellow Brick campaign trail. Of course, the other candidate is nothing to get too wrapped up in either. What’s that third guy’s name again?…

Old Papers

I’m reading the “Times Machine”
From July 27,1974
Like it was the first time
I ever experienced all this news.

My memories of the stories are vague,
General, and bolstered by Redford and Hoffman
Doing right by Deep Throat
In All the President’s Men.

Nixon was unraveling,
The evidence certain
That he had played a role
In covering up the Watergate break-in.

It’s funny, not really, that I’m reading this today
As Bernstein is opining on Mr. Trump’s
Loose tongue about Russia hacking Mrs. Clinton’s emails,.
Perhaps he doth speak too much.

Isn’t he old enough to know better,
But there are other stories that interest my maturing soul.
The Iceman, so adept at the finger roll, seems to have enjoyed
Pulling the trigger on his pistol and the Pacers traded Mel Daniels. What???

My interest peaks with news of the ABA
The red, white, and blue ball so much more wholesome
Than the illegalities of Watergate and
The ridiculousness of Trump v Clinton.

Perhaps this is the sign of aging
I’ve been looking for
Where the passion for the present
Is only stoked by its context to the past.

After all, aren’t we supposed to learn
From our mistakes?
That’s why studying history is so important,
Right?

Yet politicians still do stupid stuff,
Good players switch teams,
Shooting is out of control,
And I’m still reading newspapers.

Rory Fulfills His Next Commitment (#11)

Phi Beta Kappa Hall

The latest debate with the knuckleheads running for President made a stop at Phi Beta Kappa Hall. Rory sat in a field of giant concrete presidential heads listening to Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers,” and knew tonight was what his cross country coach had been hinting at.

Rory dialed Uber and waited next to Grant’s head stroking the concrete beard as if it were an antibiotic to cure the ills Rory was feeling. He thought the current cast of twerking candidates were exceptional in the colossal mess they were making of the most important txhouadickes_normae1position in the American government. A raggedy blue vintage Ford Mustang pulled up.

“Did you call for an Uber ride?” asked the driver.

“Coach Oweis? You drive for Uber? You still have this car?”

“Get in. I think I found your homework.”

Rory got in and was weirded out by the frequency that he was running into his old coaches. Oweis sensed Rory’s urgency and gunned the 289 for all it was worth. They flew down Richmond Road. The lap belts still did their job of restraining the passengers on the vinyl trampolines that were the seats. They turned at Confusion Corner and headed up Jamestown Road for PBK Hall.

As Rory jumped out of the car, he heard his coach yell, “Cherish tonight!” Rory rolled through the grass and headed for the secret entrance that his father had learned about from a boozer cop when Carter and Ford debated in 1976. He ducked under that stainless steel sculpture and followed a tunnel right to the bottom of the stage.

The candidates were just getting comfortable when Rory made his move. Rory was able to walk up a small set of steps that put him right in the middle of the stage. Security and Secret Service made their way to subdue Rory, but they were held back by some invisible force. Perhaps the ghost haunting the hall was doing good.

Rory introduced himself to the candidates and the crowd, “He Donnie, Markie, Teddy, Hilary, Bernie, and all you others, I have a few things I’d like to say. First, I think you are all peacocks. It’s true because you are each iridescent and stuck with some kind of sexual selection about yourselves or see your illuminated senses of self as some sort of fitness for the office. Second, you are all a bunch of sea snails, abalone, equally iridescent with strong, changeable colors. WE ARE ALL EMBARRASSED BY EACH OF YOU!”

The audience went wild!

“For all of your talk of unity and equality, as a group, you serve to deny, disrupt, and devalue anything that could be construed as moral, right, or in the American interest. WE BEG OF YOU TO STOP ACTING THIS WAY.”

The audience went wild, again!

Rory bowed to the crowd and nodded to the politicians. He then walked, unencumbered, through the front door and back to his coach’s classy car. They drove over to Paul’s and had hot Holly sandwiches.