Tuesday, February 6, 2018

More on Adjectival Nouns, Where Trump is Going, Advice for Democrats, an Accident and a Short Story from the Archives

More on Adjectival Nouns

In the last posting, I commented on the pejorative use of nouns in the place of adjectives. (Go back and read the posting).  I discussed the latent anti-Semitism which calling a Jewish businessman a “Jew businessman” involves and the subtle downplaying of the Democratic Party which calling it the “Democrat Party,” effects as it cancels out the any favorable vibes the word “democratic” carries with it.

Hence, I was surprised when I caught Democratic Representative Adam Schiff (leader of the minority on the House Intelligence Committee) referring on TV to the memo his party had prepared (see following article) as the “Democrat memo.”  I suppose that’s what comes with associating with all those Republicans in Congress.

And a Jewish physician (a follower of this blog) who had practiced in an area with a minimal Jewish population commented to me that some of his patients, in asking him for a referral to a specialist, specifically asked for a “Jew doctor.” I recall the episode of “Those Were the Days” where 

that great American lovable bigot, Archie Bunker, on seeing that an Asian surgeon was about to operate on his hernia, called out from the operating room table, “Stop, I want a Jew doctor.”

Yes, gentle anti-Semitism still lives as does the demonizing of the Democratic Party.
Jack Lippman

Where is He Going?

We all know that the President is “going down.”  It’s just a matter of time. Most Republicans do not yet accept this fact and are doing their utmost to prevent it from happening because they know they too will “go down” with him because of the support they have given to him up to now if only to secure the votes of his loyal base.  

In the final days it will come down to a law enforcement officer from the FBI or the Dept. of Justice coming into the Oval Office with a subpoena, or worse, and the President shooing him out, telling him that “you and those in your Agency who sent you here are hereby fired.”  Push will then come to shove. With whom will the armed White House guards, who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution, side?  The “law” or the President?  That critical day is not far off.  It will not be pleasant.  By the time the matter gets to the Supreme Court, Trump will still have his support from that consistent 38% who are the gullible ones and as Hillary said, the “deplorables,” but little else.  The rest of the Republicans will have disowned him by then (including the Supreme Court.)

It is already starting.  Once a Republican decides he or she doesn’t need the votes of the President’s base, they start to talk differently. Once they decide that they won’t be running for re-election, they suddenly see the light!  While the President was busy claiming that Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ memo unequivocally cleared him of any involvement in the Russia probes, Republicans who weren’t running in November are now saying otherwise.  It was another of his lies, of course, but it was one with which they chose not to go along.
For example, CNN reported that South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy said the recently released, controversial GOP memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority does not have "any impact on the Russia probe" and even without the Steele dossier, there still would be a Russia investigation.  "There is a Russia investigation without a dossier," 
Gowdy said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." Of course, this was after he had announced his decision not to seek re-election.  Sounds like a Democrat talking, or rather, a Republican who no longer feels it necessary to kiss the President’s butt.  And there are more like him. Even some who are running for re-election!
They know the President, sooner or later, is “going down,” and they don’t want to be there when the excrement hits the fan.  They might get splashed.

A Letter About an Accident

Here's the text of a letter I wrote the other day to the Palm Beach Post. Doubt that they will publish it so I'm putting it in the blog.  Living in Florida, one gets used to these kinds of things, but it's always good to remind people why this place is so backward.

"In reporting a fatal accident at an I-95 exit in Tuesday's Post, the article went on to point out that there have been 151 crashes since 2011 at that location, three fatal and 62 involving injuries! To my knowledge, that exit is still operative.  Why?  This is why many folks refer to this state as "Flori-duh."

The real answer is that a politician or someone in his family has to be involved in an accident there for anything to be done about it.

Advice for Democrats ... Again

There’s a lot of talk about the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate in the November elections.  Again, I offer my advice.  As worthy as the Democratic Party’s positions on taxes, health care, women’s rights, minority rights, immigration, the environment, education, the economy, international trade and national security are, these will not decide the election. Most voters don’t understand these issues and those that do often just don’t care about them.  

The only issue which will turn the House and hopefully the Senate “blue” is whether the Republican candidate supported the incompetent, unqualified, uneducated, coarse, unethical adulterer 

in the White House or even worse, still does.  That is the only issue which will win Congress for the Democratic Party.  It must be driven home relentlessly by Democratic candidates. 

Donald J.Trump will be the only issue in the 2018 election.  Of course, the Republicans will do everything they can to steer away from that issue, and the Democrats should not take the bait.

The South Fountain

Here's a short story I wrote several years ago.  Now that Cascade Lakes, the place in South Florida where I live, is once again encountering costly problems with the South Fountain at the community's front entrance, it's time to repeat it.  The names (except for "Buck") are fictitious but the rest of the details could very well be true.  Can there be any other explanation for the ills that fountain has suffered?  Read the story. You be the judge.

                                                  Inner Satisfaction

                                                        Jack Lippman

Julien Bonhomme was one of the workmen employed in the construction of Cascade Lakes back in 2000.  Actually, he worked for Bongiovanni Tile & Mosaic, the subcontractor which did the ornamental tile work decorating the fountains at the community’s Military Trail entrance
Julien was very angry.  His employer had paid him every Friday during the first three of the four weeks he had been setting tiles on the fountains, but when payday came during that final week when the work on the last fountain, the one to the left of the entranceway, had been completed, Bongiovanni had disappeared.  Apparently, once the developer had paid him, he had taken off, leaving unpaid bills and unpaid employees behind him.

Bonhomme and some of the other workers took their complaint to Buck, the construction foreman for the whole job.  Buck felt badly about it but explained that there was nothing he could do for them.  The developer had already paid Bongiovanni, and if he had taken off without paying his employees, it was their problem, not his.  Buck suggested they get a lawyer but since most of them were in the country illegally, going to court was the last thing they wanted to do.

That night, in the apartment he shared with a half dozen of his relatives, Julien explained what had happened.  His uncle Pierre smiled at him.

“Why are you smiling, Uncle,” Julien asked.
“Because I think I can help you.  You will never get the money from Bongiovanni, or this Buck fellow for that matter.  I do think, though, that I can tell you what to do so that you will feel better about the whole thing.   It’s the way we dealt with things like this back in Haiti.  The important thing is that you get some kind of inner satisfaction, even if it isn’t money.”

And so it was that over the next few weeks, on the kitchen table in the apartment, Julien and Pierre built a clay model of the fountain which stood at the left side of the Cascade Lakes entrance.  They put as much detail into it as they could.  The family members in the place thought it looked remarkably like the actual fountain which some of them had seen while driving by on Military Trail and offered words of encouragement to the pair.

“Now that we’ve built this model, Uncle, what are we going to do with it?” Julien asked.

“It’s hard to explain,” Uncle Pierre, suddenly very solemn, intoned.  “I will recite some words in an ancient language which you will not understand.  I learned these incantations from my father, words which have been passed down through generations of Haitians.  They are very powerful and when you see me about to lapse into unconsciousness, and that is the effect saying them will have upon me, you must take this metal spike and this hammer, and drive it into the clay model. Trust me!”

With that Uncle Pierre handed a spike and a hammer to Julien, closed his eyes and started uttering an incomprehensible babble in a singsong manner.  After a few minutes, Julien did what his uncle, whose body was now twitching uncontrollably, had told him to do, and the South Fountain at Cascade Lakes has never been the same since.

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