Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Guilt, Police Blotters, the Iran Treaty, Our Environment, A Cerabino Column and Advice for Democrats



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.

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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 

Our "Mascot" this week is the ever-present dragonfly, a break from alligators, butterflies and turtles



When Innocence is Clouded Over


Guilt!  A person is presumed to be innocent when accused of something until they are proven guilty. That’s the way it is … and the way it should be!

Therefore, when one is accused of doing something they did not do, they start out from a position of innocence.  It is up to the accusers and the courts to establish their guilt.  Until then, they are innocent.

When one is accused of being guilty of doing something wrong which they actually did do, it’s still the same. They start out from a position of innocence.  They can lie and try to maintain that innocence, and let the courts, the jury system and the public make the decision, recognizing that there is a chance that they can get away with whatever they did.  Many take that chance, causing a cloud to sometimes hover over the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty.”  Let’s look at such “clouds” and think about whether they will blow away or result in a torrential downpour, significantly weakening but not destroying their presumption of innocence.

Admiral Ronnie Jackson, MD, nominated to head the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, was accused of all kinds of nefarious things by unnamed informants.  This was despite his serving two prior Presidents as well as President Trump as White House physician, with these questions never before having been raised.  So he claims his innocence … but in doing so, is he lying or telling the truth?   Yet, still claiming his innocence, he withdraws his name from consideration for the VA job.  Conclusion.  The cloud remains but the man must be considered innocent of the charges which led to his withdrawal of his acceptance of the nomination.  But why then did he withdraw his acceptance of the nomination? Hmmm.

Michael Cohen, the President’s fixer and sometime attorney, being investigated for various criminal acts, announces that he will refuse to testify under the privilege provided by the Fifth Amendment, to avoid incriminating himself.  Unless a person is a high-minded worshipper of Constitutional rights, this places a cloud over his presumption of innocence, to the extent that he can’t be proven to be guilty by his own words.  The evidence will have to come from elsewhere.  Until then the man must be considered innocent.  Hmmm.



Bill Cosby … Finally, Guilty, Guilty and Guilty. 
This was the jury’s decision in the face of his claims of innocence.  But how many other men, in all lines of endeavor, committed similar acts in varying degrees, but will never be called to account for their behavior?  Until then, and until our legal system finds otherwise, they are presumed to be innocent, regardless of the extent of any claims which might cloud that innocence.   Hmmm.

Innocent until proven guilty is the law.  And if that innocence is perhaps obscured by dark clouds, carrying an umbrella might be a good idea. 
Jack Lippman  





Police Blotter "Humor"?

Each Thursday, the Palm Beach Post (to which I subscribe) publishes a “Neighborhood” section.  My paper includes the “South County” version.”  I believe that people should read a local daily newspaper, wherever they live.  It connects them with what is going on in a manner that TV and the Internet cannot.


Anyhow, the aforementioned “Neighborhood” section always includes excerpts from the “Police Blotters” of the Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach Police Departments.  (Unfortunately, they do not include similar information from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which polices the non-incorporated areas of the county.)  Post reporter Sy O’Neill writes this page in a manner which captures the earthy verbatim manner in which police officers report varied incidents.  I include three from recent papers for your information and amusement, all from the Boynton Beach “Police Blotter.”

“Indecent Exposure:  A man was arrested and taken to the county jail after a city worker saw him drop his pants and defecate on City Hall property in the 100 block of East Boynton Beach Boulevard.” (My comment – Could he have been expressing his First Amendment rights about City government?)

“Suspicious Incident:  A man told police he was in the 1000 block of North Seacrest Boulevard when a man cam up to his vehicle and asked, “What you got?”  He said he got out of his vehicle and “boxed” the man for about 15 minutes.  Then they had a few drinks together.  Then his new-found pal pulled a gun on him and robbed him, he said.” 

“Disorderly Intoxication:  Police went to a store in the 100 block of West Woolbright Road where a customer created a disturbance by chugging beers from the cooler without having the money to pay for them.  An old acquaintance happened to enter the store, assessed the situation and paid for the man’s beverages.  Another man gave the beer drinker a ride home, but on the way, the intoxicated man decided to exit the vehicle while in the traffic lanes on I-95.  He was arrested and taken to the county jail.”  (My comment –  As the song goes, “That’s what friends are for.”)

Of interest is that in these “Police Blotter” reports, precise addresses are not included.  Instead, the location is always given as, for example, “the 2000 block of Earthquake Road.”  A recent Thursday’s “Police Blotter” for Boca Raton listed nine “Theft” incidents.  It is clear that four of these “theft incidents” actually took place in the Town Center Mall, which was never mentioned, but which obviously was where the thefts occured from the street locations provided. 
JL 







 
The Iran Nuclear Treaty


Donald Trump constantly derides the Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty which the United States and most of our allies, plus China and Russia, signed with Iran.  

He wants to tear it up.  Some, including Benjamin Netanyahu, agree with him.  Some feel revising it is necessary.  Some feel it should be left alone because it is doing what it was intended to do.  Iran does not have nuclear weapons and will not for almost a decade into the future because of the treaty.  That is good.  True, Iran was relieved of some economic sanctions as part of the treaty, but that is what diplomacy is all about. Give and take. Meanwhile, peripheral to the treaty but not part of it, they continue to develop missile technology and aid terrorist movements in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon (they already have sufficient influence in Iraq) in furthering their geo-political aims.  But that isn’t part of the treaty. 


We know that Iran is lying about its compliance with the terms of the Treaty.  I believe It would be better for all of the signatories to that treaty to attack these violations within the treaty rather than to walk away from it, thereby letting Iran do whatever it wants to do.   But if we do that, and the rest of the signatories agree with us (unlikely), Iran will undoubtedly quickly develop nuclear weapons.  Then, maybe, they will be able to pressure us into sitting down and discuss how to have them get rid of them, just as we are planning to do with North Korea.  But do we have to let Iran get nuclear weapons before we reach that point, as we did with North Korea?   Getting rid of the treaty will strengthen the bargaining position of Iran in future negotiations, because they will then have nuclear arms. The treaty should be amended to include missile development and strengthening of inspection procedures, but abandoning it would be a bad move.   (And as a side issue, if we tear it up, or drop out of the existing accord with Iran, how much faith will North Korea have when we sit down and negotiate “denuclearization” with them?)

JL 




A Choice for Westerners 

Americans in the states out there in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains love their magnificent scenic environment, the preservation of which has been a government aim since the days of President Theodore Roosevelt.   They also despise government regulations.  That’s why they vote Republican.  But they cannot have it both ways.  Eliminating the regulations which keep our Western environment safe and pristine opens it up to exploitation and ultimate destruction.
JL 



A Column to Read 

Frank Cerabino had a recent column in the Palm Beach Post about the poor taste exhibited by a comedienne at the recent conclave of reporters in Washington.  One of her jokes, about abortion, prompted Cerabino to comment upon how the present administration is bent on destroying programs endorsed by physicians, scientists and educators to deal with teen-age pregnancy, replacing them with dependence on premarital sexual abstinence.  Absurd … unless you are a right wing evangelical Republican, and that’s who they have now running the program.   Cerabino is always a pleasure to read (in the Palm Beach Post) where you can read this column by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.  
JL 






 Advice for Democrats Who Usually Don't Listen


The Democratic Party has to get one thing straight as they enter the 2018 elections, and plan for the 2020 elections.   Should their primary thrust be at the President, accusable of all kinds of many negative things, or should it be toward the programs of the Republican Party, enacted by a Congress and carried out by the administration?

Imagine that we had a “proper” Republican President in the White House, one as respectable as Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney might have been, one that did not lie repeatedly, send off childish “tweets” in the middle of the night, did not have a history of womanizing and had a solid idea of what the job of being President required, and how to go about carrying out its duties as well as a sense of history, which I feel is a necessity for any President. 

Under such a Republican administration, the same tax reform law would have been passed, the same destruction of long standing regulatory procedures would have taken place, the same weakening of the socio-economic “safety net” would have occurred and some of the same unqualified hacks appointed to Cabinet posts.  These are Republican things, regardless of who is in the White House.  But the Democrats would not have so prime a target as Donald Trump to blame for all of this.   These things would be far more difficult for Democrats to attack in 2018 and 2020 without having Donald J. Trump, with all of his warts, as their campaign’s target tied to Republican misdeeds. 

Democrats must attack Trump, or Trumpism, in addressing any and all of these issues.  The tax reform act is the “Trump” tax reform act, benefitting the wealthy far more than everyone else.  Pruitt, DeVos, and Bolton, and their ilk, should always be referred to as “Trump” appointees.  Tariff reform must be referred to a “Trump’s” ill-conceived tariff reform.  Deterioration of our relationships with foreign powers must be blamed on “Trump’s” inconsistent foreign policy.   Criticism of the G.O.P for these things won’t work unless it is paired with that party being led by the most dishonest, vulgar, ill-prepared, weak-minded, nepotistic, ego-maniacal President the country has ever suffered under.  

People who support what Trump stands for, yet who may be bothered by his obvious excesses, must not be allowed to disassociate the Republican Party from Donald Trump.  Today, he owns the Party and therefore, the Republican Party should not be allowed to escape from the stigma of Donald Trump.
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 sending me an email at Riart1@aol.com.

HOW TO CONTACT ME or CONTRIBUTE MATERIAL TO JACKSPOTPOURRI.com 
Just send it to 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.)

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.

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 

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