Monday, August 14, 2017

North Korean Solution, the Vatican and Politics, PEFAP plus What's in a Name (Perception of Illusions)



The North Korean Solution

For some excellent insight into the problem we have with North Korea, take a look at an informative article from the American Security Project,  a nonpartisan organization created to educate the American public and the world about the changing nature of national security in the 21st century. CLICK HERE TO READ IT.  

But that article doesn’t go far enough. Clearly, a military solution is out of the question at this time because of the horrendous amount of death and destruction it would wreak upon adjacent South Korea, the vacuum it would leave once the present North Korean regime is destroyed and finally, the danger of a last-resort turning to nuclear weapons by North Korea once they see that their defeat is imminent.  




(The only way a military solution would work is if we have, and I don't think we do, the technical capability to render the North Korean traditional military forces on the border with South Korea harmless, at no cost to us or to South Korea.  It would have to be some sort of 'cyber' action comparable to the Israeli 'Stuxnet' assault on Iran's nuclear program.  If we had such a capability today, we probably would be using it on the North Korean nuclear and missile program.  And I have no reason to believe we can do that.)


So despite our Commander in Chief's ill-thought-out and intemperate remarks about what we can do regarding North Korea's bellicosity, we can forget about a military solution. The only value it has for us is that it can be used as a threat to counterbalance North Korea’s threat to use nuclear-armed ICBMs against the United States.  They don’t want to do that, regardless of what they say, since it would result in their country’s immediate destruction any more than the United States wants to send in troops or attempt to destroy North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons resulting in the a great number of deaths and wide-spread destruction in South Korea.  Seoul is but thirty miles from the North Korean border.

These two threats balance one another Having already achieved that may be considered a victory for North Korea.  That we let them get to this point is a tragedy. Previous administrations, Democratic and Republican, have let it happen, not wishing to "make waves" affecting our more significant economic relationship with China.

It is clear that China, without whose support North Korea's economy would crumble, is only going to do things which are in their interest, and not in the interest of the United States nor of world peace. Sanctions are not really an effective weapon to use against North Korea either because China, their major trading partner, really cannot be counted on to fully cooperate, despite their support of such sanctions against North Korea in the United Nations. China fears that a government which might succeed Kim's regime would constitute a threat to them and this bolsters their reluctance to do anything to really weaken him.

The only solution, then, is a diplomatic one.  We must negotiate with North Korea.   Once that process is outlined, it is likely that China will not remain seated idly at the sideline.  They would want to be at the table, or at least in an adjacent room, to see that their interests were protected.  


It is pretty clear what we would want to get out of such negotiations.  We would want a limit, or freeze, on North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapon program so that they would stop threatening the United States and its allies on the eastern Pacific rim (Japan, South Korea, Philippines, etc.)  North Korea would want the threat of interference by the United States or South Korea in their regime to disappear.  That threat doesn’t really exist but North Korea maintains that it does to justify their weapons buildup and to maintain tight control over their population.

Ultimately, we will end up recognizing this delicate balance between the threats made between North Korea and the United States.  It’s a poker game, and they do have nuclear weapons and ICBMs in their hand.  We have much more, but their hand is strong enough for them to keep raising the stakes. 

The goal of negotiations between the United States and North Korea would be a mutual non-aggression pact with strong UN guarantees.  We should be happy with that.  North Korea, however, might not be and prefer the delicate, but very dangerous, balance which exists today between the two countries.  They would want something more to sweeten their end of the deal.  That might consist of economic aid of some sort with the very long term goal of reducing their dependence upon China. This is why negotiations, once commenced, without some involvement by China seems very unlikely. They will not permit any "deal" to ultimately be to their disadvantage. 

Cutting a deal with so repulsive and oppressive regime as there is in Pyongyang, provided the Chinese go along with it, would be disagreeable to many Americans but that might be the direction in which negotiations will have to go. Some may say that such a solution smacks of what happened in Munich in 1938. Appeasing Adolf Hitler did not stop him.  But there were no international guarantees to that agreement, which any detente with North Korea must include.  And I don’t think Kim Jong-un’s goals are as geographically encompassing as were Hitler’s. Neither do I think he is suicidal.
Jack Lippman

Wait a Minute

A word I’d like to see the English language get rid of is “momentarily.”  Dictionary definitions of the word include “for a very short time” and “at any moment; very soon.”  “Moment,” the noun from which the word is derived is defined as “a very brief period of time.” 

Usually the word is encountered when a delay is anticipated and to give the appearance that it will be a very short one, implying just a few minutes. That is usually a lie, but is used to make the delay more acceptable. “Flight 333 will be boarding momentarily” can mean anywhere from one minute to several hours, or maybe never.  “Your feature presentation will begin momentarily” usually means you will be exposed to about twenty minutes of previews before the film you paid to see begins.”
  
People should say what they mean and not use words like “momentarily” to sugarcoat what is not the case.  If the length of a delay is known, it should be stated. If one cannot be precise about something, it is better to tell the truth rather than mislead the victims, even momentarily.

JL


Our PEFAP*

The PEFAP sitting in the White House has served as an enabler for the white supremacist gangsters who created the tragedy which has just taken place in Charlottesville.

Our PEFAP is at his best when he is in an attack mode, and that is demonstrable by those whom he has attacked for no reason other than that is the way he does things.  He attacks the press.  He still is attacking his Democratic opponent for the presidency.  He attacks his predecessor in office.  He attacks the Affordable Care Act.  He attacks immigrants, especially Muslims. He attacks Comey, Mueller, Sessions and McConnell in the same manner in which he attacked those against whom he was competing for the Republican presidential nomination.  Head-on, sidewise, by innuendo … whatever seems the best attack mode at the moment.  He frames his response to North Korean threats with ill-considered attacks, implying actions he has given little thought to.  The kind of tactics two-bit real estate dealers use are his stock in trade.

But he holds off on attacking those for whom he may have some use.  The bigots of America supported him for President.  Ask them. They think that down deep, he is their friend.  And because he does not go out of the way to specifically and directly attack and denounce them, they are encouraged.  They pay attention to what he "doesn't say" and read between the line of what he does say, or tweets.  And after all, didn't he bring one whom they revere, Steve Bannon, into the While House?  They appreciate that he limits his criticism to generalities and doesn’t call them out for what they are, white supremacist racists.  He doesn’t speak those words, and by not doing so, he enables them!  And that makes them believe they can get away with breaking the law.  (There may be a future use for Guantanamo yet.)

Add this to the great dissatisfaction which many Republicans in the House and in the Senate, whose party name he has permanently sullied, already have for our PEFAP.  They refuse to follow his wishes in regard to health care, the Russia investigation and increased sanctions on that country.  It is only a matter of time before they completely disassociate themselves from him, denounce him, bounce him and get on with Making America Great again after the harm our PEFAP will have done to the country.

*PEFAP  is an acronym for “Poor Excuse for a President.”
JL

Religion and Politics - The Vatican is a Player

Religion and politics are difficult to separate.  In some Muslim dominated countries, such as Iran, they are synonymous.  When a country calls itself an Islamic Republic, it makes no bones about its government’s relationship to God.  The connection is far more tenuous elsewhere and is in fact close to illegal in some Western democracies (even though the British monarch is still a “defender of the faith”) where many faiths exist and where none have locked-in political status.  

Nevertheless, in the United States we find that evangelical Protestant Christians, conservative Roman Catholics and Orthodox Jews generally tend to vote Republican and favored Donald Trump in the 2016 election.  Recently, the President signed an executive order removing the financial threat from the IRS faced by tax-exempt churches when clergy speak out on behalf of political candidates. Supposedly that would violate their First Amendment rights.  (I disagree.) 
Right now this issue is coming to a head in the Roman Catholic Church where conservative American bishops are often at variance with a much more liberal stance taken by the Church outside of the United States and particularly enunciated by Pope Francis.  An extremely interesting article on this issue appeared in the New York Times last week WHICH YOU CAN READ BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE.  Read it, please.
JL


It’s All in a Name - Two is Better Than One

Croft & Barrow and Rountree & Yorke sound very British, don’t they?  Can’t you see the two founders of these firms in their old shops on Savile Row in London stitching away on a garment for somebody with a royal title?  Well, not exactly.  Croft & Barrow is the name Kohls Department Store assigns to its own brand of men’s apparel and Rountree & Yorke serves the same purpose for Dillards.  Chances are that all the garments with these labels are made by underpaid workers somewhere in Asia.  But the marketing thrust is totally British.  

Having  a person’s name attached to a product gives it a personal touch.  And two people responsible for what’s going on sounds more stable than one name or just a plain old corporate name. Particularly if the names are conspicuously Anglo-Saxon !                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                           










Which company would you rather buy your detergent from: Proctor & Gamble (one of their original wrappers shown above) or the Cincinnati Soap Company? (Actually, P&G was started by two guys with those last names, brothers-in-law, back in 1837 in Cincinnati.) 


Sears & Roebuck, Barnes & Noble, Crosse & Blackwell all instill the same sense of solidity and permanence. Two names are stronger than one.  But BJ’s discount warehouse recently changed its own house brand from Berkley & Jensen to Berkley-Jensen.  Yet you still get the feel of dual ownership in that hyphenated version.  Competitor Costco manages to get by with just one name on its own products, Kirkland.  



And which do you prefer, the duality of the Mercedes-Benz name or just plain "Daimler" which is actually the name of the well known automobile manufacturer? Herr Benz and Herr Daimler started the operation and Mercedes was actually the name of the daughter of the man who became their top marketing guy, Emil Jellinek, who paired it with Benz' name.  Jellinek's biography is a story of its own. 

Years ago, Merrill Lynch was called Merrill, Lynch, Pearce, Fenner and Beane (with Beane being replaced with a guy named Smith in 1957).  The image was one of five financial wizards overseeing your investments.  Today, of course, Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America which probably has more than five people looking after your money.  People don’t like to leave their money in one person’s hands. It’s better to know that Goldman and Sachs are keeping an eye on each other.  Same thing goes for Morgan and Stanley whom one can imagine come to work each morning with their brown bag lunches.  But having more than one money manager nomnally around to watch the store didn't work out very well with either the Lehman or the Salomon brothers.  

I wonder if an ice cream cone from just plain Ben’s or from just plain Jerry’s would taste as good as one from Ben & Jerry’s?  Got the picture?  


Their strength is their reliance on one another. When one of them goes in back to wash his hands, the other one can keep scooping out Cherry Garcia for customers.  Same thing might hold true for Horn & Hardart or Dean & DeLuca.  There's an illusion of strength in numbers. It's all a matter of perception.  But we must never forget that's all that it is, and that goes for everything mentioned above, perception of an illusion!
JL


             


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Jack Lippman 



Monday, August 7, 2017

How the Democrats Must Proceed, Some Motivation, Who Watches Fox News and Socks & Shoes or ...

The Only Way For Democrats to Win in 2018
Democrats are kidding themselves if they believe the misfeasance, malfeasance and non-feasance  (I can give you examples of each) of the Trump administration will enable them to win enough seats in 2018 to take over Congress.  The gullible voters who swallowed Trump’s pitch don’t even recognize that they were lied to and will stick by him.  And there are millions of them out there.  

The polls may show the President’s national support plummeting but not in the well-gerrymanded congressional districts in which the battles of 2018 will be fought.   This is hard to discern from the Northeast and from the West Coast, but that’s the way it is across these United States.  Believe me!

However progressive and in the interests of the people Democratic programs might be, they will not by themselves suffice to win these Congressional seats.  

Americans are not really aware of the intricacies of government involvement in health care, the economy, in tax reform, in rebuilding our infrastructure and in dealing with foreign nations.  They only become concerned when they are out of a job, have bills (particularly from doctors) that they can't pay or worry about their sons getting sent to fight a war somewhere in Asia. Then, they look for someone to blame. Carefully detailed Democratic proposals, much more specific than Republican lies, do not sway them.

But all is not lost.  Here is how the Democrats can win in 2018 and in 2020!

Right now, it is clear that however gullible the typical Trump supporter is, Republicans in both Houses of Congress are much wiser.  They all, including the President’s most loyal supporters there, know what he really is and grasp the depth of his incompetence. Some quietly admit it.  Others deny it.  But they all know.

Some, such as John McCain and Lindsay Graham, among others, do not hesitate to speak up.  Every day, more and more Republican Senators and Representatives are becoming aware that they cannot be a supporter of Donald Trump at the same time that they remain a member of the party of Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, none of whom would tolerate the behavior of Donald Trump for more than a minute.  

So, from this moment onward, through 2018 and 2020, there will be two kinds of Republican candidatesThe first group will be those who are unwilling to sacrifice the votes of the gullible Trump supporters and will proudly show their support for the President.  They probably will increase the size of the American flag pin on their lapels, too.  The second group will be those who will follow their hearts and consciences and go out of their way to disassociate themselves from our disgraceful President and run purely as Republicans.

This will confuse voters.  The Trump loyalists will not vote for candidates who conspicuously disassociate themselves from their President.  They will look for another choice on the ballot.  There might even have been primary challenges from the right for such candidates to overcome.   

On the other side of the coin, Republicans who recognize the President’s great shortcomings will no longer vote for a candidate who stands fully behind the President!

Regardless of which of these two positions a Republican candidate has taken, they will have a big problem.  Depending upon which one of the two kinds of Republican candidates they are running against, Democrats must repeatly emphasize their opponent's position on Donald Trump, whichever it might be.  This may not increase Democratic votes, but it will result in a decrease in the number of Republican votes, because there will be many who disagree with the position, regardless of what it is, about the President which Democrats will have forced the Republican candidate to take.  No Democrat candidate should sidestep this tactic.



It is up to the Democrats to make use of this dichotomy in the make-up of Republican voters.  Democrats in both Houses of Congress, their supporters throughout the country and of course in the media, must maximize their efforts to force Republican candidates to make a choice.  They are either with the President or not with the President.  They cannot be allowed to equivocate and straddle both positions. Repeatedly, they must be asked to make this choice!  They cannot be allowed to have it both ways.  If Republicans are permitted to succeed in doing so, Democratic hopes for 2018 and 2020 are no more than an illusion.  That is why Democrats must, starting right now, do everything possible to cultivate and take advantage of this rift in the G.O.P. Then, and only then, can  Democrats win in both 2018 and 2018!

By extension, this also applies to ALL Republican candidates running for office throughout the country at all levels, for governorships, state legislatures, mayoralities, county office, etc., starting right now.  Democrats cannot and must not forget this.  Tip O'Neil's oft-quoted dictum that "all politics are local" must be kept in mind when Democrats exploit this split in the G.O.P.  

As important as detailed positions on the issues may be, getting Republicans to fish or cut bait, to take a stand on the man in the White House, is much more critical.  I hope the Democratic Party understands this.  I do.
Jack Lippman
Motivation Department

A friend sent me a very comical internet piece about the President.  And here is the response I emailed back to him. 

“Saw this a few months ago.  Very funny.  But the time for laughing is growing short.  We have a man-child in the White House.  The Cabinet, including the grossly underperforming Secretary of State, is worthless.  Everything is falling apart, in line with Bannon's anarchistic policy of 'deconstructing' government.  The only thing preventing the nation from going down the tube are the three Generals, Mattis, Kelly and McMaster, who know what to do in a crisis ... but there is no one to give them orders.  They will be left to take on the normal civilian role of making policy.  Hence, like it or not, we are being ruled by a Military Junta!   This is what goes on in Latin American banana republics when civilian rule fails.   Venezuela just jailed the losers in their national election.  Nut-job Republicans aspire to do the same with Hillary.  The time for humor has passed.  The Republicans know what is going on but are scared shitless that if they opened their mouths, right wing ignorati will go after them, with the man-child's support, in primary elections.
  
If this bothers you, just watch Fox News for a few days and you're see that everything is wonderful in Trump's U.S. of A. .... and would be even better if the Democrats, still annoyed by their election loss, would only go away.  And more people get their news from Fox than from the NY Times, the Washington Post or watch MSNBC or CNN.  Try Hannity for one night ... at 10 p.m.  and remember, millions of Americans are glued to their sets for him five nights a week! - Jack"

Whenever I watch Sean Hannity on Fox News, my blood pressure goes up at least 30 points I think. His inaccuracies, his rabble rousing, his obfuscation of the facts, his obsession with the criminality of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, topped with his unlimited praise for Donald Trump have to be heard to be believed.  




And the tragedy of this is that millions upon millions of gullible Americans believe every word of this bullshit.  To them, the Russia investigation is no more than a witch hunt and Special Prosecutor Mueller is practically a criminal himself!  Hannity often rants about a "deep state," some sort of hidden conspiracy of which most of the media is a part, and which he really believes controls our government.  I apologize for this strong language, but just watch Hannity for an hour some evening and you will see what I mean. Please. You owe it to yourself, your family and America to do so.

It should motivate you to do something.  I am not quite sure what, however. 
JL


A Clue as to Who Watches Fox News

Watching Fox News one afternoon last week (all liberals should do that as often as possible in order to learn what they're up against), the news was interrupted by three commercials during the time I was watching.  Forgetting the news for a moment, let’s look at the audiences to which these advertisements were aimed.  True, they also appear on other networks, but they clearly were aimed at a particular type of viewer, which I identify as the Fox News viewer.  You draw your own conclusions.

The first was from an online company selling educational materials for use in schools and by those who choose to educate their children at home.  Well, most school districts I know of have purchasing departments and don’t respond to mid-afternoon TV ads in buying their supplies.  So, I get the idea that the ad is primarily aimed at those who are home schooling their children. 
And the reason that some people usually do this is that they are dissatisfied with the education provided by tax-supported public schools.  


They choose to take government out of the 
educational equation for their children.
















The next commercial was for a company selling gold and silver as an investment.  On the deck of a retired battleship, an older man wearing the kind of sun glasses General MacArthur wore explains that he believes in two things, supporting our armed forces and investing in precious metals, as opposed to keeping his wealth in investments based on the country’s currency.










Like the home-schooler, this fellow recommends taking the government out of the investment equation.

Such Libertarians (and that's what these folks are) believe in minimal government involvement in people’s lives (and in business as well).  Sometimes their positions approach anarchy, the absence of government. The Koch brothers are good examples.  (One even ran as the Libertarian Party V.P. candidate some years ago.)  But their support of the armed forces, needed to preserve their “liberty,” does at least indicate a minimal faith in government.  

It is to folks who think this way, people who dislike any intrusion of government into their lives, even if it is for their own good (health care reform, food and drug standards, environmental protection), that these commercials are directed, people who voted for Donald Trump.  Such home schoolers and gold buyers are very likely to also want to "drain the swamp" and the drainage ditch appears to be Fox News. Too many of the commercials on Fox News follow this pattern, more so than on other networks.  These companies know where to find potential customers!

The third commercial was for a company selling mortgage refinancing to veterans, pointing out that a VA refinancing deal would be better than one from a bank.  They assumed that many veterans watch Fox News.  Of course, this same ad appears on other channels as well, but coming right after the guy selling gold and silver from the deck of a retired battleship, it had its military-oriented audience sitting waiting for it. The right wing knows where to find its marketplace:  Fox News.
JL

Socks and Shoes or ...

We got into a discussion last week of how people put on their socks and shoes.  Apparently, some folks put on both of their socks first and then both of their shoes while others first put on both their sock and shoe on one foot before proceeding to do the same on the other foot.  How you carry out this task may give some insight into your personality.  It also may be of some significance to those recuperating from various kinds of orthopedic surgery. 


In any event, we commend to you an interesting video in which Archie Bunker (you may remember him) raises this important question with his son-in-law, whom he affectionally refers to as “Meathead.” CLICK RIGHT HERE TO VIEW IT. LOTS OF LAUGHS! 






JL




HOW TO BE ALERTED TO FUTURE BLOG POSTINGS.
Many readers of this blog are alerted by Email every time a new posting appears.  If you wish to be added to that Email list, just let me know by clicking on Riart1@aol.com and sending me an Email.  

HOW TO CONTACT ME or CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL TO JACKSPOTPOURRI.com 
BY CLICKING ON THAT SAME ADDRESS, Riart1@aol.com   YOU ALSO CAN SEND ME YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO BE PUBLISHED IN THIS BLOG AS WELL AS YOUR COMMENTS.  (Comments can also be made by clicking on the "Post a Comment" link at the blog's end.)

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DID YOU KNOW THAT www.jackspotpourri.com IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICES IN A MODIFIED, EASY-TO-READ, FORMAT?   

HOW TO VIEW OLDER POSTINGS.                                                
To view older postings on this blog, just click on the appropriate date in the “Blog Archive” midway down the column off to the right, or scroll down until you see the “Older Posts” notation at the very bottom of this posting.  The “Search Box” in the right side of the posting also may be helpful in locating a posting topic for which you are looking.

HOW TO FORWARD POSTINGS.
To send this posting to a friend, or enemy for that matter, whom you think might be interested in it, just click on the envelope with the arrow on the "Comments" line directly below, enabling you to send them an Email providing a link directly to this posting.  You might also want to let me know their Email address so that they may be alerted to future postings.

Jack Lippman 




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Law-Breaker or Oath-Breaker, Transgenders in the Military, Washington Crisis Leadership, Two Poetic Interludes and Will Republicans Speak Up?

Tuesday Morning

This a.m., my TV greeted me with throrough coverage on MSNBC and CNN of how the President chose to dictate a misleading lie to serve as his son's explanation of that infamous meeting back in June of 2016 with the Russians in Trump Tower.  A Washington Post article has just exposed this lie, the sort of thing a sleazy real estate developer might put out to explain that the land he is peddling is only underwater one month of the year, not four or five.  

This is the way this man "deals."  Sitting down at a conference table, he aims at reaching a compromise between his lies and the truth, represented across the table from him, and happily ending up with a more defensible "half-truth, half-lie" resolution." 

Anyhow, I then turned to Fox News.  During the hour from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. this story was not mentioned as "Fox & Friends" occupied their viewers with a series of far less important stories.  Watch Fox News and learn what the world of truth and honesty is up against!  
JL


Law-Breaker or Oath-Breaker?

Some of this may duplicate material in last week’s posting, but it cannot be repeated often enough.  The President of the United States has said that he wants to see, in the absence of replacement legislation, “Obamacare implode.” 

This President of the United States, in taking his oath of office, with his hand on a bible, also said that he would “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”  Article 2, Section 3 of that Constitution includes the President’s responsibility to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The Affordable Care Act is one of those laws.  It has neither been repealed nor replaced.  Hence it is the responsibility of the President to exercise his Constitutionally-mandated responsibility to see that “Obamacare” is carried out. In view of his oath of office, repeated with his hand on a bible, he cannot avoid that responsibility. 

But he is doing so, and therefore is in violation of his oath of office. He is an “oath-breaker” which may or may not be worse than a “law-breaker.”   His word, in either case, therefore, even when he swears it on a bible, is worthless.  He will sit by as it “implodes” as he ignores the law’s provisions which would prevent that from happening.   All Americans except the profoundly ignorant know that Donald Trump is a con artist, except those who have been conned by him and those whose personal agenda benefits from the support of those who remain conned by the con artist.

(I won't go into his lies about his involvement with Don Junior's phony explanation for that meeting with the Russians, and other instances where tRump has attempted to con those dumb enough or evil enough to still believe in him.  The facts are there for you to see.)

And while we’re looking at the Constitution, let’s go back to Article 1, specifically the part of Section 9 which reads “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” 

Many believe that the money made by Trump’s family businesses, particularly the Washington DC hotel which bears his name, falls into the category of being an emolument (briefly definable as a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office) to the extent that many representatives of foreign nations, coming to Washington on their government’s business, take particular pains to stay at that hotel.  Hence, the President may be in violation of the Constitution on this count as well because his family-owned hotel is making money from the governments of foreign nations.

This man is a scoundrel for whom impeachment, which will ultimately occur unless its imminence results in his resignation, is far too mild a fate.  Let him go back to making his deals with the low-life which dominate that part of the real estate and entertainment businesses where he operated, and take his pompous self-righteous son-in-law, cut from the same cloth, with him.
Jack Lippman

Poetic Interlude Number One

One of my favorite poems is from a play called "Pippa Passes" by Robert Browning (1812-1889).  The character, Pippa, walks by singing this song.  Beautiful, isn't it? 
    
    The year's at the spring
    And day's at the morn;      

    Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled; 
     

    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:    



    God's in His heaven—          
     
               

    All's right with the world!

JL








Give Republicans a Chance to Speak Up

Without your telling me how terrible you believe Barack Obama was, and how bad a president you believe Hillary Clinton would have been, please tell me why you support President Donald Trump.   I am sure you have your reasons.  Please share them.   This is your opportunity to gain support for him!   Silence on your part would signify that you have come around to recognizing his shortcomings, so please, please, share your thoughts with us.  Send your answers to Riart1@aol.com.

JL


Who's To Blame?

I wonder who told the real estate developer in the White House that having transgender military personal could cost the armed forces a lot in medical costs, and that was the least of the problems their presence in the service can cause.  What kind of moron listens to this kind of crap?  And what kind of moron permits people with such outlandish views to even be present in the building housing the Executive branch of our government, particularly when appropriate studies on the question were in progress by the military?  Or did he just see it somewhere on the internet?

This is what happens when gullible people, the same dullards who fall for the kind of malarkey slick real estate developers routinely pitch, vote a totally unqualified and unprepared person into the presidency.  Don’t blame the lying moron in the White House for this any more than one would blame a four-year old child for their misdeeds.  They know no better.  Were he not a septuagenarian, he might be pitied but he is beyond that. 

But you can blame those who voted for him and the Republicans, anxious for their votes, who hold their nose and still support him.  Shame on them.  Long after Trump's presidency is just a sour memory, their party will be redolent with his stench.
JL 





Poetic Interlude Number Two

I guess, after all of that, we're ready for another poetic interlude.  From the old Broadway hit, "Annie." let's listen to the words of Charles Strouse's "Tomorrow."


The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun
Just thinkin' about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none 
    
When I'm stuck a with day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya tomorrow
You're always
A day
Away

So don't let the man in the White House give you the blues!  Just fifteen months till the mid-term elections.  Which is more than "a day away," but it's on its way.  Get ready.
JL

When the Chips are Down, Who's in Charge?

Somewhere I read the other day that Generals Mattis (our Secretary of Defense) and McMaster (our National Security Advisor) make it their business to make sure that one of them is always around in Washington just in case a situation arises demanding military knowledge and leadership.  Having General Kelly as White House Chief of Staff means this duty, standing watch for the country, can be split among the three of them.  Certainly, their boss, the President, is unqualified to perform this duty, as well as most other presidential responsibilities.

It’s a difficult job because our military leaders have always been subordinate to civilian government leadership.  The present administration is incapable of providing this in a coherent manner.  How well these generals perform a job they were not trained for, that of making policy rather than carrying it out, is crucial to the nation’s survival.  A recent New York Times piece addressed this subject.  Read it by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.
JL


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Jack Lippman