Saturday, March 16, 2019

Lies, Why Lies are Tolerated, Words, I.C.E., Technology Unleashed and My Safe





Lies, Lies, Lies … Sort of


We all know that Donald Trump lies.  Some media outlets keep a running count of them.  We also know that he is clever enough to avoid having his lies being specific enough to justify his being called a criminal.  For years, as is the case with many in his field, real estate development, he has had lawyers protecting him on that flank.  

Charitably, let's assume he had some loose M&Ms in his back pocket

Personally, his strange use of the English language as President (example: “people tell me that … “) filled with imprecision, keeps him from being “on the hook” for what he says.  He’s like a fish that breaks from the line just as you are about to pull him in. 
He jumps between “wall,” “barrier” or “fence” depending on his audience and its length varies from “where necessary” to “from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific.” That’s why the Mueller investigation, I feel, will not directly implicate the President, while it will (and already has) catch many around him, possibly including family members.  But their stink will rub off onto him. 

The President will continue to cloud the picture with vague misrepresentation just as Paul Manafort’s lawyer, after both recent sentencings, lied on the courthouse steps about both judges’ “clearing the President of collusion” when both quite specifically stated that the question of collusion was not dealt with in their courtrooms.   Not addressing the question is not the same as saying the court’s not doing so amounts to “clearing the President of charges of collusion.”  Manafort’s lawyer should be disbarred.  Period.  His behavior is why many humorists refer to lawyers as “liars.” Defending a client with outrageous arguments, as defense lawyers sometimes properly do, is not the same as stating outrageous lies for purely political purposes.  But he will not be disbarred any more than the President will be impeached.
Jack Lippman



The Real Problem Behind Trump – Why the Lies are Tolerated




The nation’s problem, as I have oft stated, is not with the President.  It is with (1) the people who elected him and (2) the Republicans in Congress who, while knowing better, recognize that those people are the ones that put them, and can keep them, in office. 

 McConnell - Chief Enabler
  If I were to write a book (I won’t), this is the direction the book would take in trying to explain why these voters are that way.  (As you will shortly see, someone has just done that.)

I have used words like “gullibility” and “ignorance” in this blog to explain their behavior, but it is deeper than that.  It involves:

(1) bigotry,
(2) the disappearance of old-style employment and its replacement by new kinds of jobs,
(3) the absence of unions,
(4) the presence of immigrants in our country,
(5) the deterioration of public education,
(6) the great disparity in wealth among Americans,
(7) the necessity of our having a government-run economic “safety net,”
(8) the confused shifting of the control of health care from the private sector to both the insurance industry and the government and
(9) the actual geographic separation of supporters with differing political agendas.  

A recent book, by Ben Bradlee (son of the late editor of the Washington Post who led the exposure of the Watergate scandal and who himself led the Boston Globe’s exposure of certain misbehaving priests in the Catholic Church) attempts to analyze this problem by dissecting it in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, in his book “The Forgotten.”  It is on my already cluttered reading list. 

JL 



Words Matter


Evildoers throughout the world usually hide under rocks until they receive some signal that it is alright for them to crawl out and perform evil deeds.  Today, such signals are given through the language and words Donald Trump uses to maintain the loyalty of his base, specifically those expressions directed toward the fear of immigrants coming to take what these misguided people believe is historically and exclusively theirs through some kind of birthright.   

It signals to these evil people that it’s okay to perpetrate murders such as those carried out this week in Christchurch, New Zealand and recently in Pittsburgh.  It is not unlike those atrocities carried out by ISIS in the Middle East by those who believed the misguided Muslim clerics who provided pseudo-religious justification for their evil acts.   


The harm done by statements like Trump’s saying (in regard to Charlottesville) that “there are good people on both sides” and his constant mischaracterization of those unfortunates seeking asylum in the United States is no longer immeasurable.  It can be calculated by counting up the bodies of those murdered by those whom such statements encourage. Trump’s guilt must be shared by those Republicans, mentioned in the first paragraph of the preceding article, who continue to support him. Their complicity is beyond shame.  It is inexcusable. 

 JL



 

Defining I.C.E. 


A frequent mantra of this blog has been “I.C.E.” referring to the Impeachment, Conviction and Exile of the President.  The time has come to be more specific.  The impeachment proceedings, or the resignation which their imminence might bring about, should take place only when there is strong support for it among the American people and both Houses of Congress.  House Speaker Pelosi is aware of this and is acting accordingly.  An impeachment effort, impeded by the Republicans in the Senate and Trump’s ever-loyal base, would do more harm than good.   

Once he is out of office, steps to indict and eventually convict the former President of criminal activity through our court system should take place, and if he is found guilty, the humanitarian thing to do would be to offer him exile in lieu of incarceration.   I have suggested Russia, Saudi Arabia or the island of St. Helena as possible places where he might go.  


Another possibility is the attractive beach area at the far eastern tip of the island of Cuba, a spot which the United States controls.


 JL




The March of Technology


The two tragic plane crashes involving Boeing 737 Max8 aircraft, from what I have been reading, very well may be the results of actions taken by the plane’s systems automatically, without specific direction by the pilots, or possibly action on the part of the pilots which conflicted with that automatic action, the pilots being unaware of what the systems were trying to do automatically.  We will eventually find out if that is the case. 

Which brings me to the new automobile I leased a few months ago.  I was surprised to find out that if were driving down a dark road at night, the lights automatically switched to “high” beams and resumed a normal setting when I turned onto a better lighted thoroughfare.  Now, I have always been smart enough to do that kind of thing myself, but I appreciate it having been built into my new car. 


Today, I received an Email from the dealership reminding me of the check-up which they say will be due at the 5,000 mile or six-month mark, whichever came sooner.  What really astounded me though was that the Email included the exact mileage I had put on the car as of the date of the Email and also commented that the installation of the floor mat on the driver’s side had to be checked!  Apparently, they knew I had removed and replaced it when I last vacuumed the floor of the car.  How closely are they watching me?  Apparently, they have the ability to keep track of me.  Do they know the addresses I’ve programmed into the navigation system as well?  Maybe I don’t want anyone to know where I go. That’s my business!   
Perhaps just as the pilots of those two planes that crashed might not have been, I am not fully unaware of where technology has taken charge of my life, taking decisions I am accustomed to making out of my hands.   And for those addresses programmed into the navigation system, I hope the fine print on the paperwork I signed when I leased the car didn’t take away any right to privacy.   
 JL



How My Safe Made My Day



Years ago, we installed a safe in a closet in my home.  It can be opened digitally by pushing a combination of numbers.  At one time, we kept some jewelry and papers in the safe but no longer do.  In fact, it is empty, but removing it would be a much bigger task than it is worth because of the way it is bolted to the floor.  Anyhow, the other day, I checked out the safe and it would not open.  A red light flashed indicating the old batteries operating the locking mechanism needed replacement.   Aware that there was a “secret” place on the safe where it could be opened with a key even after the batteries had died, I opened it in order to install new batteries in the battery chamber behind the safe’s door.  In doing so, unfortunately, one of the two springs which were supposed to hold the batteries in place snapped, a victim of old age.  After unsuccessfully seeking a replacement spring on the internet and checking in a couple of local hardware stores, I ended up calling the safe’s manufacturer. After waiting twenty minutes on hold on their customer service line I hung up and sent them an Email, explaining my problem.  After doing that, I noticed a metal paper clip on the floor.  Hmm, I thought.  Picking it up and returning to the safe, I bent it until it was small enough to be squeezed in where the spring had come out, creating a makeshift spring.  Voila!  Contact made!  It worked!  Problem solved!  But more importantly, this whole episode left me with a feeling of real accomplishment.  It made my day!  It was almost like winning the Lottery (which I have never done). That’s why I’m including this on this posting.
 JL



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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Socialism, Two Brilliant Colums (Pitts and Gerson), Manafort Sentence, the Butterfly Garden and Bad Vibes from the President


Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.


Would a Defeated Trump Give up the Office?

In a recent column, Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts wondered if President Trump, if defeated in the 2020 elections, would be willing to give up the Presidency or would he contest the election as being fraudulent, as he continues to do about the size of the crowd at his 2017 inauguration.   The Supreme Court put George W. Bush into office in 2000, and with its current make-up, a challenge of the 2020 results by Donald Trump might have the same result.  Pitts also wonders how Trump’s base, which supposedly would support him “even if he shot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue,” (as he claims they would) would take his defeat?  Quietly, as Al Gore did in 2000 after the Court ruled against him?  Or violently? This is important to the President since his re-election would continue his likely immunity from indictment.

Even if you read no further in this posting, you must read this column.  To do so,  JUST CLICK HERE.  And if that doesn't work, paste this on your browser line: 
https://www.arcamax.com/politics/fromtheleft/leonardpittsjr/s-2181990

Jack Lippman 

Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.




Take to the Hills - It's "Socialism"


I can see it now!   Any progressive legislation suggested by potential Democratic candidates for any office, including the Presidency, will be condemned by the Republicans as “socialism.”  This panders to the portion of their base (generously 40% of the electorate) which is ignorant of what “socialism” is and gullibly believes the lies spewed out by Donald Trump and his acolytes on Fox News.  

The rest of the Republican base knows the truth about “socialism” but is greedy enough to go along with Trump’s lies because they are for anything whatsoever which will not increase their taxes or better still, will reduce them or are simply unwilling to take any responsibility for those lower on the economic ladder than they are.  They are the unconscionable part of the G.O.P. which keeps the ignorant con man they nominated in 2016 in the White House.  They cease to be "respectable" Republicans when they choose to continue to support the President.  They will share his historic guilt.

Real Estate Developers are Just Like That

Trump glories in the lies and half-truths prevalent in much advertising and in the real estate development field in which he grew up.  Take a look at any advertisement for any development in any part of the country by any developer …  and then go visit the place and you will see what I mean.  The trees may be full grown in the ads but when you get there, they’re just four-foot saplings.  And the home advertised at $299,000 invariably costs another $100,000 more before you’re finished.  Half-truths are the standards they live by, the way they do business.  It’s normal for them. Buyers know it.   And laws, zoning and other regulations are the traditional enemies of real estate developers.  They believe lawyers exist to get around them and to get them off as easy as possible when they violate them.  Pick up the paper.  It happens every day in your town!  Bottom line:  These kind of people, including the President, position themselves on the opposite side of society from “law and order.” 


Donald, the Capo on Video

Saw a video clip of Trump commenting during a TV interview about imprisoned criminals “flipping” on their former accomplices and bosses.  He said that practice is wrong and should be illegal, and that means he is against convicted criminals cooperating with law enforcement to enable them to corral other criminals.  He believes, as do most “mafiosi,” that it’s synonymous with “ratting” or “snitching.”

That’s the way real criminals talk, gang!  Don’t believe me?  Check it out by CLICKING HERE and hear him say flipping "maybe ought to be made illegal."  The video includes what was on Fox with a Fox person asking the questions!  (When Fox showed this, they interspersed it with clips of the old TV show “Flipper” … a dolphin … and made a humorous piece out of it, diluting the Trump's criminal nature which it revealed.)

He has been conditioned by his dishonest business career and immoral lifestyle to automatically side with the crooks and oppose the law. (Roy Cohen, trained by Joe McCarthy, was his 'fixer' before Michael Cohen got the job.)  That’s what we have in the White House.  He knows no better.   Impeachment, conviction and exile are the obvious steps to erase this stain on our country.  But I now doubt that even Russia or the Saudis would take him.  He warrants a remote deserted island like where Napoleon ended up.   Check out St. Helena on a map.  Yeah!









Getting Back to "Socialism"  

Republicans try to paint any “ism” (except capitalism, I suppose) as totalitarian and repressive.  Examples are Fascism and Communism.  They try to extend this to “socialism” and the gullible swallow it. 
Karl Marx thought it up


“Socialism” in its fully developed stage is government ownership and operation of an economy’s means of production and distribution.  Under a totalitarian dictatorship, it is indistinguishable from Communism.  But that kind of pure “socialism” doesn’t work, as illustrated by the collapse of the old Soviet Union, today’s China (which finds it necessary to season it with capitalism) and in North Korea, where millions go to bed hungry every night.

What the gullible and the ignorant fail to understand is that “socialism” is not synonymous with day-to-day government involvement in a nation’s social and economic programs.  Examples are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, FEMA, the FDA, the FAA, the FCC and of course the IRS.  These and many other governmental entities regulate and supplement our free enterprise economy most effectively for the benefit of all Americans. Without them, foods and medicines would be unsafe, planes would crash, the airwaves, cyber and otherwise, would be filthier and more disorganized than they are now and of course, taxes could not be collected.  Where would farmers be without the government support the Department of Agriculture gives them?

Libertarians who believe that the government involvement should not extend beyond national defense needs would be happy if these agencies disappeared.  One of their economic gurus, Austrian Frederich Hayek, believed such government activities were the first steps on the “road to serfdom.”  And this is why any “progressive” ideas coming from Democrats will be condemned as “socialism.”  Hayek died a quarter of a century ago, when his ideas should have died along with him.

To deal with this situation, all registered Republicans should be offered the opportunity to drop out of Social Security and Medicare for starters.  Except for the very wealthy, this would be harmful to them, but if they truly are against “socialism,” they should do it!  Then they can join the families who chose to ignore the FDA’s “socialist” rules on childhood inoculations and whose children have come down with the measles, the flooded-out homeowners who believe that climate change is a “socialist” hoax, and the job transferees who find that their kids are a couple of years behind in their new schools because the ones they left didn’t go along with the “socialist” ‘common core’ curriculum.

  JL   
Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.


Another Great column  

The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson (who is a Republican) wrote one last week.  READ IT BY CLICKING HERE.  I sent this on to Senators Rubio and Scott, asking them whether they agreed with Gerson or not, and pointed out that their answer would go a long way toward showing what kind of Republicans they really were and more importantly, what kind of Americans they really were.   PLEASE READ IT!  

If "clicking" didn't work, copy and paste http://mailtribune.com/opinion/columns/michael-gerson-when-trump-demeans-others-he-is-undermining-democracy  ... in your browser line to read the article.
JL
Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.


Report from the Butterfly Garden

As I reported earlier, last year’s outside house painting project necessitated the removal or extreme pruning of many of my plants which nourished butterflies.  By now, most of them, and a few additions, are flourishing.  Not so, however, are the butterflies.


Despite the earlier appearance of a good number of Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants, and their devouring of the leaves, they have not successfully reached the chrysalis and butterfly stage. This is in line with whatever is harming the Monarch butterfly species nationwide.  I did see one this week on one of the milkweed plants.  Hopefully, she laid eggs which might, just might, produce offspring.


Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar
More successful are the Gulf Fritillaries which seem to love my maypop plant (passiflora incarnata).  It is loaded with caterpillars which have devoured much of its foilage, but it is starting to produce new leaves and I have a second maypop for them to feed on.  Every day there are two or three Gulf Fritillaries flitting around that part of my garden, and hopefully, depositing eggs.  (pictures taken in my garden)


I am seeing an occasional Broadwing Zebra, and have just planted two new corky vines (passiflora suberosa) on which they can lay their eggs.  I can’t figure out, however, which plants they are calling home right now.


The Dutchman’s Pipevine is doing well and I have spotted Yellow Fringed Swallowtail caterpillars on it and occasionally, but not often, their butterfly progeny.  Same goes for the beautiful Giant Swallowtails which breed on my Wild Lime bush.   I put in a Cassia bush a few months ago too, and perhaps we will be seeing Sulphur Butterflies (the yellow ones) for the first time in the garden. They will have to find their way to my house first though since they seem to be rarities in my neighborhood.


While none of the butterflies lay eggs on them, the many old Porterweed bushes scattered around are vitally important to the garden.  Their purple flowers and aroma attract butterflies (and bees too) which hopefully decide to settle, and lay eggs, on one of the other plants.  It’s only March and I anticipate more action in the Butterfly Garden as the Spring and Summer progress.   If you’re around, come visit.
JL
Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.


Manafort

So Paul Manafort got 47 months in the slammer, a surprisingly short sentence.  True, he faces sentencing shortly by another judge which can give him another five years on each of two counts, either consecutively or concurrently, or even concurrent with the 47 month sentence he just received for bank fraud and violating tax laws.   (Trump claims this exonerates him from charges of "collusion" with Russia which the Judge went out of the way to explain was not the subject of the trial ... but that was enough for the Presidential Idiot to claim "no collusion."  Manafort was also not sentenced for wife-beating, driving while under the influence nor selling drugs on street corners.)


Okay folks, why the short sentence.  There is something going on we don’t know about and it isn’t that Manafort’s life had been otherwise “blameless” which the sentencing judge said.  He has been doing bad things for which he should be blamed for decades.  No, there’s another reason for the unbelievably short sentence.  In some unpublicized and yet unknown way, shape or form, has Manafort “flipped” and is the short sentence his reward?  Keep your eyes, ears and antennae primed to catch hints as to whether or not this could be true.   (If you start to see the President's hair coloring fail to hide its probable whiteness, you can be sure something's amiss.)
JL
Please Forward this Posting to a Few Friends.  Please.


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 sending me an email at Riart1@aol.com.

HOW TO CONTACT ME or CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL TO JACKSPOTPOURRI.com 
Contact me by email at Riart1@aol.com.   YOU ALSO CAN SEND ME YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO BE PUBLISHED IN THIS BLOG AS WELL AS YOUR COMMENTS AT THAT ADDRESS.  (Comments can also be made by clicking on the "Post a Comment" link at the blog's end, though few followers of the blog have done that lately.)

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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. THESE FEATURES, ALONG WITH OTHER VALUABLE “SIDEBAR” ITEMS, INCLUDING ADVERTISEMENTS, MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE ON ALL MOBILE DEVICES.  CHECK THEM OUT ON YOUR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTERS.

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 



Saturday, March 2, 2019

"Democrat" vs "Democratic" plus Five Politicklers



"Democrat" is Not an Adjective, Folks

Let’s get something straight.  I seem to be harping on this point, making it in repeated blog postings, but I get the feeling that many Democrats don’t seem to get it.   Unfortunately, most Republicans do.  I specifically direct this to Democratic politicians who should, but do not, know better.  If you know any, pass this on to them.  Please!  (and read it anyway, even if you're not a Democratic politician.)

The words “Republican” and “Democrat” when specifying an individual are nouns.  Examples:  George is a Republican.  John is a Democrat.  All Republicans in the hall applauded.  All Democrats in the hall applauded.  A member of those parties is a “Republican” or a “Democrat.”  These two words are nouns, a noun being a "person, place or thing," as you were taught in school sometime during the last century.

The word, “Republican,” can also be an adjective ...  which remember is something that modifies or explains a noun. Example: The Republican Party.  But, and this is very important and where it gets tricky, the word “Democrat” is not an adjective and should never be used incorrectly as one.  The correct adjective is “Democratic.”  Example: The Democratic Party.  Using or saying “Democrat Party” is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Reiterating my point, the word “Democrat,” while a noun as explained above, is not, and should never be used as an adjective.  Misusing it in that manner gives it a pejorative tone.  (The closest parallel I can think of is calling a Jewish businessman a “Jew” businessman. Get it?)  Calling the Democratic Party or its candidates, the “Democrat” Party or “Democrat” candidates, is subtly offensive and brings joy to Republicans.  It was started 
during the 1940’s by Minnesota governor Harold Stassen, a perennially unsuccessful Republican Presidential aspirant, and is continued by Republicans today. Listen to Jim Jordan and his ilk.

Sadly, I sometimes hear Democrats using it as well.  When they do, they reinforce Republican usage of the word, giving it undeserved respectability (sort of like the way the President legitimized North Korean murderer Kim Jong Un by meeting with him twice).  

Republicans want to disassociate the praiseworthy non-political connotations of the word “democratic” with the name of the Democratic Party.  Calling it the “Democrat Party” accomplishes that.    And Democrats do not want to do that!  Understand?  Do you?

Jack Lippman



Politicklers 


Gaetz, Jordan and Meadows People who object to the intemperate comments of Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz regarding Michael Cohen and consider the Congressman to be an idiot must remember that it took a majority or plurality of idiots in his Congressional District to elect him.  We have people like Gaetz, and the infinitely more dangerous Jim Jordan 
Donations Accepted to Buy Him a Jacket
and Mark Meadows in Congress because they represent the ideas of the people who elected them.  Like it or not, this is America today and that is a bigger problem than Gaetz and company, as individuals, will ever be.  They will come and go but the hate and ignorance which nourishes them will continue.



Louche A few weeks ago, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd used a word in her column referring to the President’s supposed extra-marital activities which sent me scurrying to the dictionary (on line, of course) for its meaning.  Later, I asked a few intelligent friends of mine if they were familiar with the word and none were. 
Goldberg
This week, in her Times column, Michelle Goldberg used the same word in writing about the storefront prostitution operation recently exposed in Florida.  I guess Michelle and Maureen share a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus.  Do you know the meaning of the word “louche”?   One of these choices is correct:


  

   a. A sofa or couch in a brothel where sexual activities take place?
                b.    Disreputable or sordid in an appealing way?  
                c.   French expletive used by someone being pinched?
      d. French pornographer beheaded by Revolution in 1788. (Jean-Pierre  Louche)?

(Correct answer at end of this posting)



Michael Cohen's Testimony:
Cohen
The most unusual thing about Michael Cohen’s open testimony before the House Oversight Committee was the failure of the members of its Republican minority to challenge any of the allegations made by Cohen.  They ignored Cohen’s sometimes well-documented charges that the President is a racist, con-man and a cheat and limited their remarks to attacks on Cohen, painting him as someone not to be believed because of his previous lies before Congress and his status as a convicted felon on the way to prison for his lying which just happened to be done as an employee of and in defense of the President. 

Did this amount to their tacit acceptance of what Cohen was revealing, the G.O.P. Congressional equivalent of their standing by idly as Trump figuratively shot someone down in the middle of Fifth Avenue?  History will mark 2019 and 2020 as the end of the Republican Party as we have known it since its birth in the 1850’s.



The 'Art of the Deal' Author Flunks Out:  And speaking of the President, his utter failure to accomplish anything in his Vietnam meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un validates the position of prior Presidents, often criticized by Trump, in refusing to meet with that despotic nation’s leaders, because doing so would legitimize their terror-ridden practices.  The President’s vaunted skills as a negotiator amounted to nothing.  In reality, his supposed historic “negotiating” skills amounted to no more than having Michael Cohen, who testified to this, threaten over 500 parties with whom Trump was “negotiating” with expensive and never-ending lawsuits if they didn’t see things Donald’s way. 


This includes his contacting the educational institutions the President attended and the SAT Board as to their keeping his records confidential. (In a recent posting on this blog, I touched upon this point, even questioning his showing up in class, saying that the New York Military Academy, Fordham University, the University of Pennsylvania and its Wharton School had something about which to be ashamed.)
JL


Internet Causing Political Disruption Worldwide?:
McArdle
Occasional Washington Post and Bloomberg View columnist Megan McArdle had a recent column, to which I unfortunately cannot obtain a free link, suggesting that the disruption affecting politics today is not caused by either the decline of America’s white working class, their possible racism, immigration, political correctness, the 2008 economic crisis nor the arrogance of America’s “self-appointed mandarin class."  She points out that the appearance of “Trumpish” leaders such as Duterte in the Philippines, Bolsonaro in Brazil and Orban in Hungary parallel what has happened in America on a worldwide basis, so this is not a particularly American phenomenon.

McArdle postulates that “perhaps the most compelling answer is that the internet, and particularly social media, is disrupting politics the way it has disrupted everything else – nearly everywhere and all at once.”  She points out that political upheaval seems to follow advances in communications technology, the disasters of the 1930s (the rise of fascism) being preceded by radio and the confused 1960s (opposition to the Vietnam War) being preceded by television.  These innovations “fundamentally changed people’s relationship with information,” altering politics.  She offers this as a global explanation but anticipates “more convulsions until societies have fully processes the technological shift.”  I feel that this is really an excellent explanation of what's going on today.
JL
Note:  The "Unpublished Letter" mentioned in the previous blog posting was indeed published by the Palm Beach Post a day after the blog went out.



“louche” (pronounced ‘loosh’) – correct answer is “b.”


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 sending me an email at Riart1@aol.com.

HOW TO CONTACT ME or CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL TO JACKSPOTPOURRI.com 
Contact me by email at Riart1@aol.com.   YOU ALSO CAN SEND ME YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO BE PUBLISHED IN THIS BLOG AS WELL AS YOUR COMMENTS AT THAT ADDRESS.  (Comments can also be made by clicking on the "Post a Comment" link at the blog's end, though few followers of the blog have done that lately.)

MOBILE DEVICE ACCESS.
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. THESE FEATURES, ALONG WITH OTHER VALUABLE “SIDEBAR” ITEMS, INCLUDING ADVERTISEMENTS, MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE ON ALL MOBILE DEVICES.  CHECK THEM OUT ON YOUR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP COMPUTERS.

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