Perhaps it’s time we ALL took the Hippocratic Oath? The language, it turns out, actually comes from another of Hippocrates’ works, Of the Epidemics:
“The physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future – must mediate these things, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”
Sure, this is a physicians’ oath, and we’re not all physicians. (I faint at the sight of blood.) But we’ve been feeling, and dealing with, and talking about dis-ease upon the land, in its various forms, for months – raging pandemic, racial reckoning, economic strife, climate crisis. And now? South of the Canadian border? A violent attempted overthrow of government?!?!
Perhaps a wee reminder to “do good” as opposed to “harm” might be timely?
“(T)o tell the antecedents (previous events), know the present, and foretell the future . . .”
Well, based on antecedents, the recent insurrection at the US Capitol, while shocking, was not all that surprising was it? To use a word the inciter of the violence often employed on his now defunct Twitter account: “sad”. Immensely sad.
It’s not my country, I know. But it is my husband B’s country. And it’s right there, only two hours’ driving distance away. Not that I’ve been there lately. To me, the US has always felt like Canada’s bodacious big brother. So, I cried when Biden spoke last Wednesday afternoon.
At first, it all just seemed kind of wacky, as Jamie Davis Smith described in Huffpost, “the Capitol looked more like the scene of a frat party than the seat of the United States Congress”. “Fired up by the Great Orator,” wrote Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic, “they charged their way into the Capitol building, which turned out to be as heavily fortified as a slice of angel food cake”. Wow. Tweeting a pic of “Viking guy” and others, @YousefMunayyer explained it thus: “We spend $750 billion annually on ‘defense’ and the center of American government fell in two hours to the duck dynasty and the guy in the chewbacca bikini”
In the aftermath, extremely violent videos (that I can’t watch) have surfaced, we know five people died (there’s not much mention of it but another police officer who attended the uprising died of suicide on the weekend, making it six) and we’ve had time to consider what it must have been like for all those hiding under desks and chairs for several hours not knowing how it would end.
It was well-planned, broadcast over various social media platforms for any individual to see, let alone intelligence. Hell, now looking at the website the Trump administration had created after the November election called wildprotest.com, what did law enforcement honestly expect? A “wild protest” should have been as blatant as the nose on 45’s orange face and the cheap hair dye we saw run down his shady lawyer’s cheeks.
They had bombs, guns, zip-ties and even a noose for godsakes! (On one of my rabbithole doomscrolling romps after the storming of the Capitol I came across a woman’s post that called for, in all seriousness, the return to some good old-fashioned hangings in the public square, insisting this is what’s needed, this will fix things.) It’s truly a wonder there was not more damage to life and property.
And is there more violence to come? I’ll be honest. I’m with Speaker Pelosi on this one. The nuke codes?! I asked B: “Would he, you know, because he’s feeling more isolated, want to end it all, take us with him?”
B was like, “No. Narcissists don’t kill themselves.”
I was like, “Yeah, I know. They think they’re God and all, above dying,” as I googled it and found this: “NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is associated with greater risk of suicide death . . .” Cripes!
I was calmed by initial reports of Pelosi’s chat with Jt Chief Milley, that although the president has ultimate authority, many others are involved in the process, others that would not perform an illegal command, but on further investigation? There seems to be some snark that Pelosi stuck her nose in and “they cannot remove the president from the chain of command”. Geez.
Of note: you can cram a Supreme Court justice through in eight days, but you cannot remove a deranged president in 14.
Okay. I know. Some, many even – according to the latest polls 45% of Republicans – believe the assault on the Capitol was justified. They believe the election was stolen. They believe they will lose their country to socialism. I don’t know how you convince people who believe this otherwise.
Maybe check your news sources? Maybe investigate 45’s lies, pilled up like the bodies of Americans dead from coronavirus? (eg, In response to his inflammatory speech last Wednesday, he of course did not take any responsibility, pathologically calling it “totally appropriate”.) Idk, maybe ask why there was only fraud in the states he lost? Maybe ask, does he even want the job? He’s done nothing but golf and lose election fraud court cases (61) since the election.
I listened to a great podcast on Ten Percent Happier with Dan Brown the other day. The guest was author and mindfulness master Jon Kabat-Zinn. Referring to the “body politic”, he pointed out this profound thing. What if, say, your heart did not care for your liver, maybe the way it was doing things, the colour of its cells perhaps? Would you want your heart and liver duking it out for control of your body?
Somehow, some way, some day, humans MUST find a nonviolent way to get along.
Website photo: The serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. Who couldn’t use a little healing right now?