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Author: RW Doerfer


There it is again. In the news recently a movement surfaced that calls for an expansion in the number of people on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court, Does the history of that fruitless effort provide us no lesson learned. It’s like placing nine wings on the back of a pig so it can fly, That having failed, then deciding to attach two more wings to see if that works. We all know that poor creature just ain’t gonna fly.

There have been as few as six and as many as ten justices on the high court in the past, with both parties at one time or another attempting to change the political ‘leaning’ of its decisions by changing the number of justices. Actually, the constitution says precious little about the supreme court other than that there has to be one. Specifically, it does not set a number for the court’s size, but I firmly believe that the number of justices on the bench is not the problem. Cleary, it’s how the members are chosen.

I would suggest that every president who has had the opportunity to appoint a nominee to this illustrious body has done so because said nominee has met, in one degree or another, enough political desires of the president and/or the senate to receive a confirmation. The way it is, and always has been, it’s an impossible task to have a completely non-partisan body in being the final judicial authority. As demonstrated by follow-up court actions, said appointees serve with those expectations to be met, regardless of which political party is in power. To be clear, as well, the constitution does not even say the court has to be non-partisan. It’s just a concept that apparently caught on through its growing years and it has become an expectation to functions in that manner.

As a point to begin the discussion, allow me to make the following proposal. Since there is already a National Judges Association, this body could establish a standing search committee, a group of retired members whose purpose would be to review qualifications of potential nominees to fill supreme court vacancies as they occur. After all applications have been reviewed, the top three to five names would then be forwarded to the Senate for debate and final selection and that recommendation then sent to the president.

I can hear one big exception to this plan now. ‘Those retired judges still carry those prejudices that won their appointment with them.’ While that may be true, I believe, however, that with their years of experience on the bench, plus the fact that they don’t need those factors anymore to win an appointment, their involvement in this kind of setting may somewhat ameliorate any past ‘leanings’ they may have had. Also, internal discussions with so many others of somewhat equal age and experience, would likely provide an enormous resource for give and take as well as the presence of more mutual respect as well as the absence of extremist influence.

At any rate, I think the debate should ensue in achieving the necessary changes in the process of selecting our supreme court justices. Although I don’t think this essay is going to be the total answer it could, however, be a start. There has to be a better way than how it’s being done now. What’s your idea?


Stay with me in reading this tongue-in-cheek post about the place of the color of one’s skin in today’s social world. There is a meaningful conclusion to my literary exploration in which we will deviate somewhat from the skin tone list of people who have a need to engage in such categorizations. The five basic skin colors from which I will venture are, not surprisingly, Black, White, Brown, Red and Yellow.

Skin color has not been an issue for me all my life, having had little contact with non-white families. In my small NW Kansas community we had only two or three Mexican families and the only Black people I ever saw were porters on the Rock Island Rocket passenger train that came through our town on a daily basis.

The anniversary of the slogan, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ having occurred yesterday when it began hitting the media and downtown areas nation-wide. I certainly empathized with the reason for its existence and intensity. Soon after, however, another mantra surfaced, the ‘All Lives Matter’ effort, with which I also related. Since that time, I have wondered why either philosophy shouldn’t be of an on-going preferential status in our everyday social agenda. Place your tongue back in your cheek and allow me to get back to this entry of questionable value into the literary world.

Even though folks of African descent are called Black people, how many really black folks do you see? Obviously, there are a percentage of people are indeed black, due to a factor somewhere in their genealogical heritage and, I am sure, proudly so. As a matter of fact, however, a vast majority of the ‘Black’ community are of varying degrees of light black, grey , brown and, in some cases, nearly white, whose heritage some may question. Remember, though, these designations as a means of categorizing groups of people are by those who have a need to do so. Further, all of this is of little consequence except for the purposes of this article.

Moving on, the only really ‘white’ folks are those who suffer from a skin disease which doesn’t allow the skin pigment to develop. Beyond that, this population is a sort of cream color, varying from a touch of brown to shades of, well, everything close to cream and light brown. Some folks, however, go to great lengths to achieve a brown , often dark brown facade in order to satisfy some mental urge. White skin, with all its Caucasian variations, however slight, probably share the world’s largest population with brown skins close behind. Please note, any such comparative statements have no empirical evidence to back them up. Is your tongue still in place?

Brown skins, however probably rank as the most consistent color of the world’s population. Some observers, at lease in this country relate Latinos as the best representative of the brown race but that group makes up only a small percentage of brown folks. This group ranges from the very dark brown from the country of India and the Pacific Islands to the lighter browns of North and South America.

Let me close with a short discussion of the last two skin colors, Yellow and Red, the two poorest designations of skin color imaginable. Yellow as a skin color is nearly all relative to the populations of Southeast Asia, particularly Japan. I heard this a lot during World War II by the media and as part of everyday negative conversation, such as those ‘Yellow Japs’ or worse. In other words, the color became a notation of disdain and even hate. To paraphrase a previous line, “how many actual yellow skinned people do you see? Again, a few who suffer from a skin condition, but nothing like a yellow crayon.

Finally, the color that I see as having been a product of rank discrimination is red. Like yellow, red doesn’t come close to representing the skin color of the Indian tribes of North America for whom frontiersmen and politicians was widely spoken. It’s apparent to me that discontent, even hatred, for the scores of tribes that inhabited the forests and plains of early America were used to justify military and social campaigns against them. Simply put, the newly arrived ‘white’ folks wanted what the Indians had occupied for generations, their land. Through media campaigns. legislative actions and eventually, military operations, the ‘savage red man’ was herded onto vast areas of largely remote and unproductive reservations. The point is, skin color played an insignificant role in this dark and disgusting segment of American history.

In conclusion, while the color of the various populations of the world is used by many to divide us, the over-riding point of all this verbiage is, there are major factors of equal and significant importance that all of us share: one, we all bleed red; two, everyone enters this world from the womb of a mother, in one way or another, and three, we all manifest from the same spiritual source and all will spiritually return to that same God-source when this manifested physical being has had enough. It will come about without the color of one’s manifested skin color and without regard to the social, religious and political consequences of physical life.

And so it is. Namaste.

A note of appreciation

I can’t tell those of who have responded to my posts how much I appreciate your comments, especially as belated as my response has been. They have gone a long way toward bolstering my confidences in entering this endeavor. More are forthcoming, slowly but surely. Namaste.


A Confession to Dorothy Francis [Short] Doerfer

Dear Mom. It’s Mothers’ Day and I am remembering you with love which I have done on most of these special days over the years. Sadly, it comes to mind that I have given you more mental and heartfelt love in these days than I ever gave you in the nineteen years we shared a household. I really believe the phrase ‘I love you’ was scarcely heard in the Doerfer and Short families and, as I recall the phrase was just as absent in the years of my presence with you.

It’s also my impression that part of your motivation for marrying my father was to find the love and security you passionately desired. Sadly, it didn’t happen and after ten years, the birth of a son and another child on the way, he deserted us. Over the next ten years, your self-centered adolescent and teen-age son, to my knowledge, never uttered the phrase ‘I love you’ or said ‘thank you’ near enough. I understand your third ten-year period as a single mom with my sister were somewhat of an improvement in hearing expressions of appreciation for your motherhood.

You did have three men in your early years as a single mom who wanted to fill the gap of love in your life, but because of your concern of the effect that each of them may have had on your children, you sacrificed another married life and turned them away. There was a fourth man of interest but because he just couldn’t give up the wife he still had, that relationship went nowhere as well. In my unsolicited opinion, you were better off without any of them.

The rest of your life, especially after retirement steadily improved in demonstrations of love, verbally and physically, thanks to your daughter and her family. At least, in phone calls and two personal visits from 2000 miles away, I was finally able to say, ‘I love you.’ Yeah, I know, I was a slow learner. during that time, but in the years I have left I will faithfully give you my love in heart and mind.

Since 1989 you have been within the love and oneness of God, which is the ultimate destiny to which we will all spiritually return.

And so it is. Your loving son, Rolland.

Christian Values Gone Astray?

It has been a statistical fact that the United States has been a predominantly Christian nation, even from the time of its very beginning. Even though its own ranks may be waning in numbers, according to some observers, the faith still has the most adherents.

With this bit of knowledge in mind, the vast majority of participants in the protests of recent years, especially those that turned destructive with many injuries and even deaths, one must conclude that a vast majority of them were raised in Christian homes. At the time the protests were more frequent occurring, I was asking myself,

“What were their grandmothers thinking of such activities; or their parents?”

Although a few of them were also likely in the midst of things.”

“Did they have their preacher’s, priest’s or other religious leader’ blessings?” [I felt I knew the answer to that, except in extreme parishes]

Even of greater significance, to some people; What would Jesus say? Would He help them overturn that car, or help light the torch to be thrown into an innocent business owners front window and steal anything or everything?

Would He address the crowd and rev the protestors up to do even more?
Nearly all of us, except certain extremists, know or admit the answer to that.

I wrote this many months ago but even though the riotous events have become almost non-existent, we’re only one unfortunate incident away from an explosive new response. One thing I do believe is true; most protesters go into their involvement with no intent to do anything but carry a sign and chant their feelings. There are those extremists, however’ that sit back and await the opportunity to infect those ranks with the malicious fervor of anger, hate and indiscriminate destruction, with the sole intent of creating social and political disorder. This in turn infects the emotional bearing of many other protesters who then join in.

Now is the time for potential protest organizers to develop a plan for neutralizing these social extremists from disrupting legitimate protests.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


It seems to me that at least every other week there is a new, oddly spelled drug on the market. Do the folks who create these ‘wonders of improved health’ have a reservoir of names from which to draw? Is it possible that big pharma has an ad agency, one its job it is to develop a source of names from which the various companies can make selections, depending upon the purpose of each new item. Or does each one have a linguistics specialist on the payroll.


Directly in front of our patio is an interesting tree, one of which I don’t know the name but which I realize is a representation of my life. I do realize, however, that every tree is a ‘Tree of Life’ and is depicted as such by many writers and artists. As I sit here and examine ‘my’ tree I can create a scenario which parallels my life.


I read an article in Reader’s Digest months ago by Bruce Grierson whose article, ‘The Rule of 10’, which had been published in full in the magazine Psychology Today.  In it he writes,

Ten-year olds are about to experience the biggest surge of intellectual horsepower in their lifetimes, as measured by gains in executive function. . . Ten-year olds are transitioning, in other words, from dreamers to lawyers.