Sunday, June 17, 2018

Three "Must-Read" Columns, Democracy and the Founding Fathers, the Singapore Meeting, Our Friends and Allies and the Children of Immigrants


(For the curious, the expression “P.O.S.” in the following articles does NOT mean “politically obscene soul,” unless you want it to.)

A Week Which Will "Live In Infamy"


The past week we have seen the P.O.S. who occupies our White House give totally underserved credibility to the lowest of the low (perhaps except for himself) of heads of state in office today, an absolute dictator to whom murder and torture are routine daily practices.  Millions of Americans should have vomited at the sight of American flags sharing the platform equally with the blood drenched flags of North Korea.  That display, to recall the words of FDR about the Pearl Harbor attack, should be marked as commemorating “a day which will live in infamy.”

We offered the removal of our troops from South Korea and the cessation of the joint training exercises with that nation which the North Koreans consider provocative in exchange for a very general, non-specific commitment on North Korea’s part for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.  We also implied that denuclearization (with no specific plans for verification, mind you) could also lead to a relaxation of economic sanctions against North Korea. Twice before, that country has made such commitments and totally ignored them.  If the P.O.S. in the White House thinks that just because he sat down with Kim, we are better off than we were before lowering ourselves to sit down with him, he is mistaken.  We got nothing in return for giving the Korean leader a legitimacy he could get from no one else … and even if we change our minds about withdrawing our troops and calling off the training exercises, we still come out as the losers in these “negotiations.”

I am reminded of the 1996 Tim Burton movie, “Mars Attacks,” in which Jack Nicholson, playing the President of the United States, sits down to talk with the Martian leader … whom he had no reason to trust, but did, with unfortunate results.  Now that our President has sat down with Kim, you can feel better, just as Nicholson initially did, until the Martians gave him a dose of what was really on their minds as shown in these clips from the film.
















The week also saw him walk away from the carefully nurtured economic and political alliances which our county has developed since the Second World War ended.  The support this P.O.S. receives from the unprincipled little P.O.S.’s in the Republican congressional majorities is based on their fear of losing the votes of his blind, gullible and ignorant supporters (which happened on Tuesday to ultra-conservative Congressman Mark Sanford who dared to criticize the P.O.S. in the White House).  

But I’ve vented enough. Click here to read Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times column.  And click here to read Michael Gerson’s recent Washington Post column.  Finally, read Thomas Friedman’s recent New York Times column by clicking here. .  They say things better than I can.  And use more polite language.

Friedman (to left), Krugman (to right) and Gerson (the guy with glasses)






After reading what these three have to say, think about whether or not you are still proud to be an American, and if you agree that your pride in your country has been somewhat tarnished by the P.O.S. in the White House, what are you going to do about it?   Make a list! 
Jack Lippman
                                                 



Immigrants Seeking Asylum Separated from Children

Have you seen pictures of the 
children being taken from their parents involved in attempts to seek asylum by entering the United States?  Does it bother you the way these people are being treated?  To some extent it probably does, and you sympathize with them.  Great!  But how different is your attitude from that of the “nice” Germans who didn’t like what Hitler was doing in the thirties to Jews, but stood by doing nothing, looking in another direction.  We are better than that and MUST act accordingly, despite the lies about what is going on coming from the mouth of the P.O.S. in the White House.

(What would be your attitude if a boatload of illegal immigrants seeking asylum attempted to land on our shores today?  The steamship St. Louis was turned back in 1940 and many of its passengers ultimately died in concentration camps.)  

We need a humane, intelligent examination and revision of our immigration laws, including a better definition of asylum, not the heavy-handed  approach of the P.O.S. in the White House, the Attorney General and some of the P. O. S.’s in Congress.  And of course, an immediate stop to the separation of children from parents until this issue is resolved.  Whether laws should be enforced 'to the letter" is up to the government.  Contrary to earlier administrations, our government has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy.  P.O.S. Trump and P.O.S. Sessions can change that by just saying so.  Instead, they blame it on the Democrats. 

And how “legal” was the basis of the entry into this country, a nation of immigrants and their descendants, of those in YOUR family from whom YOU are descended? Hmm.  To the Native Americans, the original colonists all were “illegals” as would have been most immigrants to this country throughout the nineteenth century, if present standards had then been in existence.  But we welcomed them.  We needed them.   Did you know that many Italian immigrants came here "Without papers," and became known as Wops?   Look at the names of many of America’s business leaders and CEOs today.  Their names do not reflect their ancestors having been passengers on the Mayflower.  That’s what immigration is all about, and it has always given strength to this country.


What the P.O.S. in the White House says about “sanctuary cities’ (places where local laws prevent local police from taking on the immigration law enforcement work of the Federal Government) and terrorist gang groups are just cheap attempts to distort the role immigrants have played in this country, including the many who arrived here in the 19th century, including the aforementioned P.O.S’s grandfather who came here from Germany in 1865, before the age of tight immigration restrictions began.

And while on this subject, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, another P.O.S., in supporting the strict enforcement of laws resulting in children of immigrants seeking asylum being separated from their parents, recently referred to the Bible (Romans 13) to a group of believers.

That passage reads: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. ... Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” 

Sessions joins that noteworthy group of pseudo-religious phonies who used Romans 13 to justify the Thirteen Colonies NOT rebelling against the British Crown and those who quoted it in defense of slavery in the United States.  Better obey the laws folks, or you’ll go to Hell! The Bible (duh) sez so.  Sessions should close his Bible and start reading the Constitution. The First Amendment would be a good place for the Attorney General to start.  (These Bible-quoting zealots like Sessions are the best argument athiesm and deism can have.  On this subject, Thomas Jefferson had the correct approach, but that's a story for another posting.)

JL






Our Founding Fathers Distrusted Democracy


Back in 1776 and 1789, the “Founding Fathers” of our nation were working on something new, a free country without a nobility or aristocracy, where democratic principles, as enunciated by English philosophers of the previous century (such as John Locke) would be followed.  But they walked very cautiously, knowing that fully including “everyone” in the democratic process could have dangerous results. With this in mind, they limited democracy to keep it out of the hands of the masses which if they were allowed to participate in it, would quickly become the ruling majority.  It worked well, at least for the country’s first six presidencies, because most States limited the vote to property owners. While this already select group voted to elected the House of Representatives, they didn’t get to vote for Senators who were not elected but appointed by the State Legislatures which this limited group of voters had put into office.  Of course, the Presidency itself was not decided by voters.  Those entitled to vote cast ballots for “electors,” usually from the propertied classes, who chose the President.  

So much for the “democracy” of the “Founding Fathers.”  What were they afraid of?  Well, Southerners felt that a broad enough electorate might take their slaves away.  Some felt they might take their guns away. The two fears were related of course because guns were necessary to prevent slave rebellions.  Sound familiar?  And they all knew what pure democracy had done to France, leading to bloodshed, 

The French Revolution, going on at the same time our Constitution was being developed, was bloody.  Many lost their heads.

terror and ultimately, a Napoleonic dictatorship.  Yes, to our “Founding Fathers,” democracy could be very dangerous.


By the time six Presidents had been in office, the States had broadened the electorate.  Property was no longer a pre-requisite to vote, just being a white male being sufficient.  Many of them worked in factories, coming into existence as the Industrial Revolution reached the United States.  And lo and behold, the very popular war hero, Andrew Jackson, was elected President.  In the eyes of many, putting him in the White House illustrated the evil which letting almost anyone vote could cause. The English were gleefully anticipating the collapse of the United States, brought about by giving the vote to the gullible, unsophisticated and ignorant masses who put “Old Hickory” into office. 

But Andrew Jackson worked out just fine.  He juggled the issue of slavery, encouraged westward expansion (at the expense of the Indians), and convinced the farmers and working people of the country that he would make sure they were not taken advantage of by banks and manufacturers, for whom many worked.  Truly, he was pro-people and anti-establishment.

The country was very lucky in having Andrew Jackson as its seventh President.  Although he had his "warts," still he was a war hero, involved in government for years and a man of principal. Undeniably, the "gullible, unsophisticated and ignorant" voters who put him into office were not unlike the "gullible, unsophisicated and ignorant" voters who put the totally inexperienced and unprincipaled Donald Trump into office in 2016.  The comparison ends there, however.   Trump is neither anti-establishment nor pro-people. He's just pro-Trump, a narcissistic P.O.S.  

If the electorate had not been expanded by the States, we probably would have had John Quincy Adams re-elected in 1828, and gotten Henry Clay and John Calhoun, both Whigs … aghast at Jackson’s neo-Jeffersonian democratic tendencies ... as subsequent Presidents.  

After Jackson, and his liberal successor, Martin Van Buren, the old gang of northern factory owners and southern slave holding plantation owners tried to retake control of our democracy, taking it out of the hands of the people.  They failed, but sadly, it took the Civil War and 630,000 deaths to get us back on track.

When you see things going on TODAY which you dislike, remember that the roadway democracy travels has never, historically, been a smooth one.  But ultimately, if the people care enough for one another, it succeeds.  

JL


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Monday, June 11, 2018

Gronkowsi (the horse), Easy Life Insurance, a Kathleen Parker Column, a Kentucky Valedictory and a 2011 Posting Revisited


A Lesson from the Belmont Stakes

It's no surprise that Justify won the Belmont Stakes, completing his attaining the Triple Crown of horseracing.  My pick in the race indeed was Justify, with the caveat that if he hadn’t gotten the lead by the half-mile pole, he would have a hard time winning, but would still win.  Well, he had the lead, as we all saw, from the minute he left the gate and the issue was never in doubt.

The most interesting story to come out of the race is the second-place finisher, long shot Gronkowski (named after and partially owned by the Boston Patriots receiver).  After a quarter mile of the one and a half mile race, shown below, Gronkowski was last by almost twenty lengths, about ten lengths behind the next to last horse.  But during the final half mile of the race, he took off from way back there passing everyone except Justify, the easy winner.  Gronkowski’s race is the race to watch, when looking at replays of the Belmont Stakes. 





There’s a lesson in life in there somewhere, particularly for those distressed by being in last place, in horseracing or wherever else.  (Gronkowski, a 23-1 shot, paid $13.80 for those who puchased a $2 "place" ticket on him, hoping he would come in second.)

Jack Lippman


A Little About Life Insurance

I frequently see an advertisement on TV whereby life insurance with no health questions asked is offered to seniors up to age 85 at the amazing price of $9.95 a month regardless of age.   Sounds pretty good, but here are the facts which the guy doing the pitch leaves out.  It probably is in the very, very  small print on the screen for a couple of seconds which no one ever has time to read. 

Fact 1:  The premium may be the same regardless of age, but the amount differs since it depends on how large a permanent death benefit that premium will purchase, and of course, the older one is, the smaller the face amount of the insurance policy is.

Fact 2:  True, there are no health questions to answer, but to avoid people on their deathbeds loading up with this insurance, the death benefit is limited to a return of the premiums paid, plus a little interest, during the policy’s first two years.

Fact 3:  The policies sold are traditional “whole life” policies where the cash value (roughly what you can cash in the policy for) grows over the years and finally, at age 95 or perhaps 100, is equal to the death benefit itself or at least forms a great part of it.  Thus, statements to the effect that the death benefit can never be reduced sound good but really are meaningless.

Fact 4: (And this is the hard one) All life insurance policies, whether they are “whole life,” universal life or endowment policies, are based on mortality tables which tell the insurance company how many people at any given age will not survive to make the next year.  Whatever the structure of the policy,  there has to be enough money to pay death claims on those that are anticipated to die within any policy year according to these mortality tables.  Example: At age 75, assume the tables say twenty people out of 1,000 will not make age 76.  At age 85, assume they say 40 people out of 1,000 will not make age 86.  From these numbers, a price per $1000 of insurance at every policy year is determined and built into the level premium of the permanent policy to pay for whatever death benefit amount the cash value of a typical whole life policy is insufficient to cover.  For what it is worth, that price is called the “one-year term rate,” even though the policy is not a “term” policy. 

But these prices assume the insureds are healthy and have answered health questions to prove it!  And that is not the case with these kinds of insurance policies! So, if insurance companies sell life insurance where they have no idea of the condition of the insureds’ health, they must jack up the ever-increasing one-year term rate per $1000, perhaps as much as 100%, to cover the extra deaths which are sure to occur.   That’s why someone who can answer health questions and can qualify for a “regular” insurance policy, and who might have a need for life insurance, should purchase a “regular” policy, and not one of the cockamamie plans touted on TV.

(For those of you who were able to digest this, here’s one more thing to think about.  All level premium “whole life” type insurance involves overpaying in the policy’s early years, paying more than that internal one-year term rate mentioned above for those years, and underpaying, paying less than that one-year term rate for those years, in the policy’s later years.  By the time the “underpaying” starts occurring, there is sufficient “cash value” built up by the “overpaying” so that less one-year term insurance need be purchased internally to provide, along with the accumulated cash value, the policy’s death benefit.  By age 95 or 100, there is usually no need for the internal purchase of very much one-year term insurance at all to flesh out the death benefit.  By then, it’s usually all in the cash value.  That’s what “whole life” insurance is.  Don’t blow this by the typical insurance sales person.  He or she won’t understand what you’re talking about.  But at least you should know the facts.)
JL






Kathleen Parker on Barr and Bee 

Rosanne Barr was fired for what she tweeted and Samantha Bee was chastised for what she said on her TV show.  Barr is a bigot and her tweet showed her to be one.  That’s easy to understand whether one agrees with her or not.  But Bee was chastised for using the “c _ _ _” word in relation to Ivanka Trump.  With her late evening program entitled “Full Frontal,” what can viewers expect?  Mr. Rogers? Sesame Street?  Analyzing it is not so simple.  It goes a little deeper into the question of vulgarity and more importantly, femininity.  Only a woman can be called a “c_ _ _.”   And there is no better woman than Kathleen Parker to get to the bottom of this.  Don’t pass judgement on anyone until you read this moderate, sane, Republican woman’s recent Washington Post column.  Click here to read her column.
JL


 
Down in "Old Kaintuck" 


I read the other day where this kid, the valedictorian of his high school graduation class in a town deep in the coal country of southeastern Kentucky, included the following quote in his valedictory speech. 

“Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”  

The crowd cheered when he announced these words of Donald J. Trump!  Surely, it was quite inspirational to the graduates!  As he concluded his address, though, he apologized to the audience.  The quote, he explained, was not from the President, but actually were the words of his predecessor, Barack Obama.  The audience was puzzled.  Some even booed.  Hey, don’t worry.  It happened in Kentucky.   There’s hope!  Sort of like the horse that ran a surprising second in the Belmont Stakes.
JL


Sound of Thunder 

(Originally posted on this blog in 2011)

Most of you have probably heard of, if not read, Ray Bradbury’s 1952 science fiction short story, Sound of Thunder, probably the most widely circulated piece of that genre ever written.  In it, men travel back in time on a hunting expedition and are offered the opportunity to kill dinosaurs, but only carefully selected ones which the “tour guides” know are about to die of natural causes anyway.  The hunters are cautioned not to step off the walkway along which they have been guided because if they did so, they would be stepping back into a pre-historic time where they unknowingly might do damage which could affect the future.  One hunter panics, veers off of the walkway crushing a butterfly with his boot, an act which so alters evolution that when the group returns to the present time, everything is slightly different, words are spelled a little differently, the world seems harsher and most importantly, the potential despot who was about to lose a Presidential election wins it.  If this whets your appetite, read the story.

I relate this because every time I visit our nearby nature preserves and refuges (Green Cay, Wakodahatchee, Loxahatchee or Gumbo Limbo) which permit you to walk through their flora and fauna on elevated wooden walkways, I am reminded of the walkways in Bradbury’s story.  For example, as you walk along the Green Cay walkways (particularly toward sunset), your surroundings cannot be very different than those surrounding the hunters in Sound of Thunder on that day when one of them stepped off of the walkway and killed a butterfly.
JL





HOW TO BE ALERTED TO FUTURE BLOG POSTINGS.
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Jack Lippman 



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Issues Take a Backseat, States' Rights, Pardons, Patriotism and Asbetos Weavers

A Letter and a Course for Democrats

Here’s a letter I wrote to the Palm Beach Post last week that I doubt they will print.  It commented from a historical viewpoint on what Times columnist Ross Douthat suggested in a recent column (highlighted below in my letter). I now see that Tom Friedman, in a column last week in the Times, is following the same route.  Read Friedman's thoughts by  CLICKING RIGHT HERE.   


                                                         Two Times columnists: Friedman and Douthat

The message is clear.  In 2018 and 2020, issues must take a backseat to instituting damage control against the harm being done to our country by the terrible individual currently occupying the White House.

My Letter to the Post:  Ross Douthat’s column on the course Democrats should follow in 2020, and initiate in this year’s mid-term elections, reminds me of the way the Whig Party defeated the Democrats in 1840, replacing incumbent President Martin Van Buren with General William Henry Harrison (who died shortly after being inaugurated). They just attacked Van Buren at rallies where they screamed out “Van, Van, is a Used-up Man” and which featured a politically inspired hit song of the day, “Tippecanoe (Harrison’s nickname) and Tyler Too.”   And that’s the way they responded when the Democrats vainly attempted to discuss the real issues of the day of which there were many, including a nationwide economic ‘panic’ caused by a collapse of credit in 1838 and the insidious spreading of slavery westward.  The 1840 Whig campaign was almost as shallow as today’s “Make America Great Again” mantra of Trump supporters, but both succeeded in putting their party’s candidate into the White House.  Douthat suggests the Democrats avoid issues now and simply focus on “Trumpian corruption, the sleazy, sordid, self-dealing side of his administration and the obvious reluctance of congressional Republicans to execute more than a cursory oversight.”  This is a sad commentary on American voters today, as well as those who elected Harrison back in 1840, but he is correct.

Sure, health care, the environment, the economy, trade, China, Russia and North Korea, the Middle East, women's rights, jobs, racism, etc. are all important, but they are far overshadowed by the need to put a leash on Trump until 2020 when, as Tom Friedman puts it, "our next presidential election gives us a chance to end this cancer."   I believe (please read the article - Click Right Here ) Friedman even goes so far as to say that "voting for the worst Democrat is preferable to voting for the best Republican."  Obviously that party's reluctance to denounce the President deserves such treatment.

As I have said on this blog innumerable times, Democratic candidates at all levels must challenge their Republican opponents with the question, "Do you support the President or not?"  If they answer in the affirmative, they will lose the votes of many independent voters and Republicans who cannot stomach the President's mishandling of his office.  If they answer in the negative, they will lose the votes of the Trump base.  Either way, the Democratic candidate will benefit.  Nationwide, along with a massive voter registration drive, this is the pathway to Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020.  Douthat and Friedman get it.  Do the Democrats?
Jack Lippman


From Monticello to Guantanamo

WhileThomas Jefferson believed that the nation should follow the leadership of their democratically elected leader, the winner of the majority of votes (in the Electoral College, that is), he also believed that there should be rights reserved to the minority, so that they might be protected from autocratic rule by the majority.  The Bill of Rights spells out some of these rights. There are others.  The problem is that they are individual rights and a member of the losing side in an election, a member of the losing minority, could achieve little by exercising these rights.  

Some however, believed that when these individual rights were combined into a collective mass reflecting a large group with common interests who wanted to exercise them against the democratically elected majority, they could be more effective.  And the logical instrument to use to combine these individual rights turned out to be the individual States.  This is where the idea of “States' Rights” comes in. 

After the Democratic hand-wringing and recriminations resulting from their defeat in 1840, such ideas, frequently voiced by Senator and former Vice President John C. Calhoun, became quite prevalent, and ultimately led to a belief that an individual State had the right to secede from the Union if they were dissatisfied with majority rule.   This resulted in the Civil War.  True, it ended slavery ... which would not have survived very much longer ... but it also resulted in 630,000 American deaths.

So when you look at the present situation, and wonder how the hallowed democratic process in this great country of ours actually voted to put an unqualified real estate wheeler-dealer in the White House, be careful what you wish for.  The remedy might be worse than the malady, as it was in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Okay … That’s enough History for now.


Convicted Arizona Sheriff Joe Arapaio committed crimes of which the President approved ... and was pardoned for that reason, leaving the impression that the Courts were wrong and he was right.

But Trump gets worse and worse with each passing day.  His use of the power to pardon for political reasons, bypassing the usual Department of Justice guidelines for pardons, is horrendous.  In his imbecilic mind, he is not compassionately pardoning guilty people CONVICTED of crimes by our legal system. Rather, he is pardoning those who were convicted by a court, judge and jury with which he DISAGREES! 


He is granting pardons based on his illusion that he is above laws and court actions with which he disagrees.   And most Republicans, including those who went to law school, sit by doing nothing.  


There are those who believe Trump will be impeached.  I don't think that will happen.  There are those who think that sooner or later, the Republicans, whose party he stole from under them, will wise up and desert him and that will force his resignation. That may happen because all Republicans are not gullible and stupid.  But I think he will leave as the result of the 2020 election which the Democrats will win.  Once he is out of office, however that may come about, he will have to pay a price for his dishonesty.  

He doesn't understand that getting away with what the law allows by any means, however unscrupulous and acceptable in the darker parts of the business world, is not the way it is in govenment.  While not totally unaware of the checks and balances naturally established between the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial Branches of our Government by our Constitution, he is willing, like the unscrupulous businessman he was up until his election, to stretch them to the breaking point!  Look at all of the politicians (Illinois governors for example) who failed to understand the wrongness of such a position and ended up in jail.  That is possibly what is going to happen to ex-President Trump.  Also, it is not inconceivable that his future might end up similar to that of Bill Cosby.  Who knows how much Michael Cohen will reveal?

Rather than incarcerate him, I think the option of "exile" will be offered to him, and when I suggested, a few postings ago, that Guantanamo might be an ideal site for such an exile, I was joking.  I am no longer joking.  Unless he is "evil incarnate," Donald J. Trump is just too dumb to understand what he is doing. Tillerson, Masterson and occasionally even Kelly, who is still around, got it right ... and said so. ("Idiot, Moron," etc.). "Anything to Make a Sale" may work in real estate, but not in government.  That says a lot for New York Military Academy, Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania where he supposedly was educated.  I am sure his father made generous donations to get him  through these otherwise creditable institutions.    
   
        
  
                                                                  Guantanamo Beach Scene



Were it not for such a possible boost to get him some educational credentials and a million bucks to get him started in business, Donald Trump probably would be sitting in a boiler room somewhere today, making blind phone calls to innocent old ladies threatening that the IRS was about to come knocking on their door unless they immediatey provided him with their credit card and social security numbers.  And he would be very, very good at it. 
JL



Patriotism and Old Glory

In a recent Washington Post column, E. J. Dionne quoted Samuel Johnson's famous description of patriotism as "the last refuge of a scoundrel."  Dionne qualified that by adding that "an honest love of country is a virtue, not a vice."  He went on to say (and this was but a small part of his Memorial Day column) that "Johnson was on to something because patriotism often is manipulated in the name of power, advantage and, in the case of the National Football League's wealthy overseers, money."

Good point. Why do all those Washinton people, in Congress and in the Administration, wear those American Flag pins on their jackets?  Why do some college and pro football teams have the American flag on their helmets?  Why do our local garbage trucks have an American flag emblazoned on them?  

In a marina, one can identify the home port of many of the yachts there by the flag they are flying.  Gee, that one is from the Bahamas, that one is from Jamaica, and so forth.  Why does a Congressman or a quarterback or a garbage truck have to show the flag?  Is the Congressman worried that he might be mistaken for a non-citizen?  Is the quarterback worried that he might be a ringer brought in from overseas (like many of the Russians on our pro hockey teams)?  And is our garbage company worried about their trucks being used for nefarious un-American purposes once they drop their loads?  

I have an American flag pin that I wear on my lapel when I am wearing a suit or sport jacket.  I started wearing it in 2016 and people ask me why I wear the flag "upside down."  I explain why and tell them that after 2020, hopefully, I won't be wearing it that way, if I continue to wear it at all.  I am an American and I do not have to wear a flag to attest to it.  Wearing one does not make me more patriotic.  In fact, those who find it necessary to wear one may be doing so because their real patriotism may not be all that it is cracked up to be.

A word to my critics, and I have a few:  True, there is an American flag displayed in the garden in front of my home.  It is, however, 



the Betsy Ross flag, which George Washington fought under, and I display it as being of historic interest, although any version of the American flag (and "Old Glory" has undergone many modifications over the years) is acceptable as our national emblem.  


(One of the residents of the community, mostly retirees, where I live once asked me why I have a Confederate flag in front of my house.  What can I say?  It is difficult to talk politics to these people.)
JL
 





In Homage to our "Prevaricator-in-Chief"





















Unlikely to happen to Donald Trump in the near future because his trousers (and underwear as well) include an asbestos fibre carefully woven into their fabric by his Republican tailors in the Senate and the House.  

The day they no longer provide him with such garments ought to be the day he bursts into flame, for he lies every day.  But that day is not yet on the horizon.  The limit of the blind gullibility of the Republicans was reached by former Speaker Boehner who said "bye, bye" and by current Speaker Paul Ryan who is also leaving.  

Many more will follow, recognizing that whatever accomplishments Trump has enabled the G.O.P to chalk up are far, far, outweighed by his dishonesty, his disrespect for the rule of law and the damage he is doing to our country at home and abroad.  

But this will leave the Republican Party in the hands of the "asbestos weavers" on the far right. That is why Democratic Congressional victories in 2018 are so, so, important for the salvation of American democracy.
 JL



             


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Jack Lippman