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Month: April 2020

Phil Drucker Rants for 4-28-20: “Emanuel AME Church, Located at 110 Calhoun Street, USA”

In 2015, the ugly chimera of racism and the legacy of the “Lost Cause” again reared its twin heads of ignorance and arrogance resulting in the death of nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charlottesville, South Carolina, located at 110 Calhoun Street. That’s half a block down from Marion Square where stands an 80-foot high statue of the legendary John C. Calhoun, the marker on the base reading “1787-1850: Truth, Justice and the Constitution.” Just who was this John C. Calhoun? And why is he still revered (at least in the South) as a champion of states’ rights, minority rights, limited government, and slavery? Yes, slavery.

In his day, he was considered an orator without equal. He is remembered along with his congressional colleagues Daniel Webster and Henry Clay as part of the “Great Triumvirate” or “Immortal Trio” of congressional leaders. Later, he became known as the “cast-iron man” for his unyielding positions on the rights of the southern white minority including their right to own slaves, even to the point of insisting that any proposal to limit the practice of slavery was an infringement by the northern white majority on civil rights of an oppressed minority. As in the southern white slave-owning minority. Yes, you read that right.

A slave owner himself, JCC championed the concept that slavery was not a “necessary evil” as the abolitionist Yankee devils to the north claimed, but a “positive good” for both slave owners and their slaves. He went so far as to express the theory of nullification, meaning the federal government did not have the right to impose an unjust law upon the states and that each state, to protect the rights of the minority, southern white slave owners, was obligated to ignore and nullify any action to the contrary, including any suggestion that limited their rights to own or practice slavery anywhere and everywhere within the USA.

His name will forever be associated with the admission of the Texas Republic into the Union as our 28th state. As Secretary of State, he personally signed the Texas Annexation Treaty of 1845 paving the way for the Texans, now free from the tyranny of Mexican rule, primarily the abolition of slavery, to enter the Union as a slave state.

His rejection of the Compromise of 1850 and his continued role as the defender of minority rights, southern, white, slave owners, led to the Nashville Convention of 1850 where Southern radicals first met to discuss the possibility of state secession. Then, on March 31, 1850, Calhoun, who had been a long-time sufferer of tuberculosis, died.  His last words, reportedly, were “the South. The poor South.”

Historians generally agree that Calhoun’s death stalled the growing southern appetite for secession. In 1850, with public sentiment about abolition not nearly at the fever pitch, it was in 1860, without the additional ten years of northern industrialization in place and with one of the weakest, ineffective of US Presidents, Millard Fillmore, in office and, of at least equal, if not of more importance, not Abraham Lincoln, there is no telling if the secession movement would have succeeded. Most historians would generally agree that if the south had left in 1850, the Confederacy would have been created without so much as a shot fired, much less the commencement of a civil war.

In 2019, as part of a nationwide effort to remove Confederate monuments, activists called upon South Carolina legislators to remove his statue. In Marion Square. A half-block from the Emanuel AME Church. Located at 110 Calhoun Street. It’s still there, and my guess is it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.


Did you get your fill of Phil?



Instagram: Philip_Drucker





Phil Drucker Rants for 4-21-20: “Would You Like a Second Scoop of Stupid on Your Covid-19 I’m Going to Scream Cone?  

Let’s talk about the 10th Amendment, shall we?

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” -10th Amendment

It is in many ways a fitting ending to a document that starts with “We the People…” All power begins and ends with the people. So, what is it we expect from our dual sovereigns? The Covid-19 virus has given us an excellent opportunity to dissect and discuss the various constitutional roles and expectations of the people and along with it the very definition of good governance in a two sovereign both beholden to the will of the people in a democratic (one person, one vote) republic (government by elected representatives).

Let’s start with a simple, I’ll be kind and call it a presumption. The Federal response to the coronavirus pandemic has been abysmal. If nothing else, the Feds are responsible for protecting our shores from invasion. This includes invasion by germs, microbes and viruses. It is a mistake to think the Feds can’t, at a minimum, lessen the chances of exposure and once exposed, to the spread of any potentially fatal illness across the several states. Their ability to coordinate, alleviate and yes, eradicate these types of menaces is unparalleled in the world. Until today. Now, We the People are left to depend on the states for our safety and well-being. Will it be enough? Only time will tell.

Under the 10th Amendment, the powers not granted to the Federal Government are in the main referred to as the Police Power (PP). The PP gives the individual states the primary obligation and, therefore, the concomitant rights to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizenry. Problem is no individual state has the right to cross state lines. Viruses? Not so much. They don’t care about lines on a map. Due to the inability of the Federal Government to get its act together, we are finding out a bit more about what the states can and will do to alleviate the pain and suffering of their people. They buy PPE on the open market. Some of them reach out and make alliances with other states, offering aid, medicine and supplies. Some don’t.

Some put the national economy ahead of the lives of their constituents. Some state officials have suggested the elderly should be willing to die so the Walton family can keep hiding money in their offshore bank accounts and so Jeffy the B at Amazon can continue to abuse his employees while selling you stuff you don’t need. Will it be enough? Only time will tell.

That leaves us with the people. I’m a people. I want to live. I respect my state’s right, authority and, in my mind, moral obligation to use all reasonable means available to keep us Californians as safe as possible. Viva! But some don’t. There are too many among us in too many states who consider the “stay at home wear a mask for heaven’s sake don’t be a fool” order a “lockdown” and of course, despite its obvious benefits, including the saving of lives, a government overreach and, of course, an infringement on their “essential rights.” The right to be stupid, I guess.

This strikes me as odd in many ways. Some, rather obvious. They quote Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” in front of the local 31 Flavors. OK, a scoop of death it is. Hint: Next time, maybe try Sam Adams as your spiritual leader, sit down and have a beer. Just a suggestion. But here’s one a bit more obscure reason I find their disdain for the power of the state curious and it has everything to do with abortion.

The reason governors can issue mandatory orders for the population at times of great crisis involves the state’s interest in preserving life. No life, no citizens. No citizens, no work. No work, no taxes. The state needs you to be part of its productive workforce. Part of that is keeping you healthy so you can go to work. When it’s safe. Got it? But this the “conservatives” amongst us do not like. 

For the same reasons, a robust workforce, perhaps even to fill the next generation of soldiers we may need, the state has an interest in birth. The basic Constitutional argument for banning or not banning abortion is on one side we have the rights of individual women to make decisions regarding her fundamental privacy rights, in this case the right when to bear or not bear a child. On the flip side is the state’s compelling interest in protecting its citizenry, or in this case future citizenry and ensuring the continuance of the state’s vital interests, like you going to work, buying stuff and then collecting taxes on your paycheck and on what you buy. Sweet deal if you ask me.

And so, what is the moral of the story? The Feds have let us down. Some states are doing better than others. And the people, who can’t even wear a mask in public let alone stay home for their own good? That somehow this is a constitutional violation of their rights? While at the same time approving of the states right to force a woman against her will to bring a child she may or may not want to bring to full term? Even if the mother’s health is at risk? Even in cases of incest and rape? That somehow an infant’s first breath is more important than a sick or elderly person’s last?

Maybe leaving it all up to We the People wasn’t such a good idea in the first place. Only time will tell.


Did you get your fill of Phil?



Instagram: Philip_Drucker


Phil Drucker Rants for 4-14-20: “One Flu From Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?”

Let’s get a few things straight and for the record. The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 did not originate in a Spanish laboratory as an experimental biological weapon for use against the Germans in World War I. It didn’t even originate in Spain at all. The reason we call it the Spanish Flu is one of calculated perception during wartime and not of any sensible, factual reality.

Spain was a neutral country during WWI. When “la grippe” landed upon Spanish soil near the end of WWI and without any wartime morale to lift, or any military secrets to keep, the Spanish press did what all presses do. Write articles and well, report, widely. When King Alphonso XIII fell gravely ill to the disease, well, the French, English, Belgians and Americans said, “Hey! Don’t look at us! We had nothing to do with it!” But it wasn’t true.

The Allied nations who by this time had been joined by America, all started calling it the “Spanish Lady” or “Spanish Flu”. The Spanish protested vociferously. The headlines of their daily newspapers began shouting out the “French Flu”. But it didn’t take hold. This despite the Spanish Flu was relatively mild, mostly contained and in no reasonable estimation “widespread” throughout the nation. Even after King Alphonso XIII recovered from the virus, it did not change the rest of the world’s commitment to avoid any notoriety or taking reasonable responsibility for their actions, This despite far more incriminating and tangible evidence of their likely culpability
In creating, aiding and abetting the virus. But not Spain.

Our best guess is, as part and parcel of the lack of hygiene and sanitation surrounding the trenches in Western Europe coupled with the general shortages of readily available medicine (and starvation) normally attributable to times of war, the Spanish Flu pandemic probably originated in England (returning soldiers may have brought it with them), France or Belgium. But not Spain.

And then there is America, where the first documented cases (but not reported to the public at the time) of the virus were in a hospital camp in Haskell, Kansas, or possibly, some say, a bit earlier, though in a less well-chronicled outbreak in somewhat nearby but not really Massachusetts. But not Spain.

The Spanish Flu was the first of two deadly pandemics caused by the H1N1 influenza virus. One of the defining characteristics of the H1N1 strain is its ability to be transmitted through birds and pigs. The other H1N1 pandemic? You guessed it. The Swine Flu epidemic of 2009. This time, they blamed the pigs. But not the birds. Strange because you can’t get the disease by eating pork. It was passed mostly through perspiration droplets from humans. At least they didn’t blame Spain. Note: The county of origin was probably Mexico. Why not the Mexican Flu? Probably had a better crisis PR firm.

So, extrapolating out to today’s world of misinformation, disinformation, distraction, gaslighting, infighting and outright lies, there are the 24-hour news cycles whose only mission seems to be making matters worse than they are for higher and ever higher ratings. Are there no government officials who are in fact responsible for protecting us willing to take any responsibility at all (they take none, right?) for their lack of action in the face of an ever-climbing infection and mortality rate? Who I say, who let this contagious cow out of the barn? I was being facetious. DO NOT call it the Cow or Bovian Flu. My money is on the Wuhan or Chinese Flu. COVID-19 just sounds so cold and impersonal. Just like a virus should, you know?

Of course, given my druthers and perchance for historical and social justice, how about the Trumped Up Flu? At the least, a colloquial saying added to the lexicon? “Let them eat Chloroquinine? Anyone? A bit much? Still, it’s a thought.

Did you get your fill of Phil?

Instagram: Philip_Drucker

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