Sunday, October 28, 2018

Election Day Approaches - Some Thoughts

More than ever, I ask recipients of this blog to pass it on to others.  Give them the link (www.jackspotpourri.com) ... or just copy and paste into your own Emails.  Unabashedly, this posting is entirely political.



Some of it had already been distributed in various forms to politically active friends, but all recipients of this blog are still asked to pass it on to at least half a dozen contacts.  Please.   It can make a difference on Election Day.   To paraphrase John Donne, "Ask not for whom the rooster crows.  It crows for YOU.  Wake up!"


Republicans!  Please Read This

A word of advice to Republicans in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as to those who, for one reason or another, vote Republican:  When You Sleep With Dogs, You Get Fleas! 

The President, by virtue of his vicious and irrational attacks on those who legitimately disagree with him, gives encouragement to seriously disturbed individuals who go on to commit violent acts, and therefore, he cannot escape sharing in their guilt!  He cannot take back the words he speaks and the gestures he makes when he addresses 
“his base” at rallies.  Donald J. Trump is their accomplice, whether or not he likes it and regardless of whether or not he is ever indicted for his encouragement of their illegal actions.

Wise up, Republicans!  You have sold your party to the devil!  Evangelical Christians, especially, should be well aware of this and repent before they too are consigned to join with him in Hades for eternity.  

Remember, Republican voters, when you sleep with dogs, you get fleas! 

From a recent posting on this blog, I include the following:  "After the February 2018 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in a New York Times op-ed piece, advocated the repeal of the Second Amendment with these very logical words:

“Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that ‘a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.'  Today that concern is a relic of the Eighteenth century.”


Now, don't Stevens' words make sense in 2018?  A Supreme Court which continues to believe otherwise is also complicit in the violence made possible by their gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.
Jack Lippman




Health Care is the Decisive Issue!

Things all Americans should know about the most important issue in the 2018 mid-term elections which is, according to almost all polls, HEALTH CARE:

A Nine Point Primer on Health Care in 2018

1. MEDICARE - In 1965, Medicare came into being for seniors.   It is now taken for granted.  But Republicans want to chip away at what it provides, because they say it costs too much and creates a deficit.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has targeted it (along with the Obamacare, Medicaid and Social Security) in speeches on the Senate floor!  I am not making this up. Take his word for it!  Republicans will not admit that increases in the deficit are the result of 2018 tax cuts for business and the wealthy.  These are what has ballooned the deficit, not Medicare! 

2. MEDICAID - Medicaid provides health care for mostly poor people through state programs.  The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) offers states money to improve their Medicaid programs.  This offer has been refused by many States because it is an “Obama” program.  Although it costs the states nothing, many (including Florida) refuse to accept this added money, preferring to allow the poor to suffer.

3. SINGLE PAYER - Most Western industrialized countries have a “single payer” health insurance program (call it “Medicare for Everyone”) with the government as the single insurer.   The taxes to pay for these “single payer” plans are far less than the money we currently spend on our patched-up program of health insurance from private companies and the government which is paid for by the premium payments of insureds, their employers and taxation!  But these countries’ “single payer” programs are not “socialized medicine.” That would involve their doctors being government employees and their hospitals being owned by the government.   With some exceptions, that is not the case.  (Actually, our own Veterans Administration programs fit that definition and are “socialized medicine,” and most veterans in that system praise it.)  But ”single payer” plans are not “socialized medicine” despite what chronic liars like Trump and most Fox News people say.   They lie.  

4. G.O.P. ATTACKS ON OBAMACARE - Republicans in Congress have chipped away at the Affordable Care Act by (a) doing away with its mandatory provisions (tax penalty for non-participants) eliminating many young healthy people from the pool of insureds, resulting in the insurers increasing the cost for everyone else, (b) made it more difficult for Obamacare’s insurers to collect what is due them from the government, and (c) made it more difficult for people to sign up for “Obamacare.” 

5. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS - Republicans now claim to be in support of giving coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, as the Affordable Care Act (and also Medicare) does, despite their voting to repeal it 70 times over the past few years!  Pure hypocrisy!  They lie! With “pre-existing condition” policy provisions, people with heart, kidney and cancer histories would be left uninsured.  Republicans, including the President, are bald-faced liars, and have fought giving coverage to those with pre-existing medical histories at every possible opportunity.  They are now lying, saying they support what they have fought against for years, because it is dawning on them that providing such coverage is extremely popular with most Americans.  They feel that it is better to lie than to lose.  That’s the Republican way.

6. THOSE WHO "DO WITHOUT" - Minor health issues become expensive major ones when people without insurance don’t get regular health care due to not having the money to pay for it.  Emergency Rooms are no substitute for health care (as Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis suggests) and their routine use increases hospital costs and insurance premiums for everyone else. 

7. WHO PAYS FOR HEALTH CARE - Employers got into the habit of providing health insurance during the Second World War when salary increases were limited.  They gave employees health insurance instead!  Now they find this to be a tremendous financial burden and are stopping doing it, leaving many uninsured.  Otherwise, its cost risks putting them out of business. What was once a drop in the bucket is now a major budget item for them.  Who will pick up this burden now?  Tax-supported “single payer” insurance such as “Medicare for All,” would be the solution.  Most Americans recognize this.   Most Republicans do not.

8. BANKRUPTCY - The greatest single cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is a family’s losing its money, savings and home (through foreclosure) because of having to pay medical bills.  This is even true of people with some insurance!   A single payer “Medicare for All” program would help resolve this.  Expensive private Medicare supplements are too expensive for many.  While Medicare Advantage Plans, which are an essential part of Medicare, may provide a financial solution for many, they severely limit a patient’s choice of doctors and hospitals.

9. CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE - Republicans, including the President, are pushing skimpy, cheap short-term health insurance plans to replace the Affordable Care Act’s plans.  These plans, originally intended for people who were between jobs, do not cover pre-existing conditions, must be reapplied for every year, are cancellable and have extremely limited benefits.  They are, indeed, better than nothing, but even suggesting them as a solution to our health care challenges is a sorry statement to pitch to citizens of the world’s richest nation.  But that is exactly what the Republicans are doing.

                                                                    *  *  *  *  *

After reading this, there is no alternative for Americans who recognize Health Care as the pre-eminent issue in the 2018 Mid-Term elections but to vote for every Democratic candidate on their ballot and reject any Republican candidate.  It is that simple.

If any Republican, including Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan or even Donald Trump wishes to contest anything appearing above, they can Email or telephone me.   My number is in the book.  Their response (or those of anyone else) may appear in a future posting.  I know they will not, however, because what appears above is the truth, and Republicans are well aware that their positions are based on lies.
JL




The Grand Tsunami

As we get closer and closer to the mid-term elections, it becomes clearer and clearer that the important issues which will draw Democratic and independent voters to the polls are (1) Health Care, (2) An economy producing “real jobs,” not just minimum wage dead end positions and (3) Reducing gun violence

But there is a strong and powerful current energizing Democratic efforts in all three of these areas.  It is the participation of the many women who are feeling, for the first time, a sense of empowerment which extends into the voting booth.  There are more women running for local, state and national office than ever before.  Women far outnumber men among the volunteers making telephone calls, registering voters, knocking on doors and participating in demonstrations.

Historians will note that this is the time when women stepped out of the background and assumed a role equal to men in our society.  Look at the women in high corporate positions such as Susan Sandberg at Facebook and Mary Barra at General Motors.  Look at the extreme popularity of the Hulu TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the novel which inspired it, surgically analyzing the role of women in society.  Look at important films such as “The Wife” where the title character played by Glenn Close is identified as the real writer of her Nobel Prize winning husband’s books and “A Star is Born” where the woman ultimately displaces the man as the leader in their artistic partnership. All of these represent the end of the era of women being “used” and the recognition of their innate talent and power.

Look at the correspondents, anchors and panelists on TV news programs.  Many, if not most, are now women where years ago, men prevailed.  At the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, recall the roles played by Democrats Diane Feinstein, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar.  Contrast this with the stubborn and graying old men who represented the Republicans on that Committee.

During the 2016 Republican nominating process, Donald Trump repeatedly insulted former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and got away with it.  He didn’t like the way she looked.  His continuing disrespect for women is well documented, and his Republican colleagues and lackeys just look the other way.  Well, they cannot get away with that with the women who are voting in 2018.  No way!   It’s a tough new world in which backward looking conservative Republicans cannot stop the grand tsunami of woman voters which will turn the tide in the 2018 mid-term elections and help to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from being attacked, along with “Obamacare,” by reactionary Republicans.

This will be “the Year of the Women” at the polls.  BE PART OF IT.  Mentooare invited.
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 
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.

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 





Sunday, October 14, 2018

MSNBC & CNN Don't Get It, Newspapers, a 2009 Idea Revisited, Feminist Dystopian Fiction, Weather, and a Bit of Electioneering and Geopolitickling




A Message to My Friends at MSNBC and CNN

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow
I watch cable news channels on TV quite a bit.  I mostly watch MSNBC but I don’t neglect CNN either.  I even tune into Fox to see what those with whom I generally disagree are saying.  But really, it’s the guys and gals with whom I agree that I want to address right now!

You guys don’t get it!

Of course, Donald Trump tells lies.  All the time, and the documentation is there.  He breaks the law all the time and the evidence is right there.  His hotel in Washington is a good example.  His financial history is a disaster, an epitome of failure and finagling, and he has good reason to hide his tax returns because they would reveal, if open to public scrutiny, what a scoundrel he is.  New York State is investigating his foundation which they believe to be crooked.  He had no respect for women, is an admitted adulterer and is semi-literate.  He doesn’t read books nor newspapers and a close investigation of his alleged academic history would probably cause both Fordham and the University of Pennsylvania to hide their heads in shame.  He spells like a fifth grader and probably is a lousy golfer too, despite all the time he spends on the course. Probably one “mulligan” per hole.

He insulted his Republican competitors for the presidential nomination and he daily insults those with whom he disagrees.  He demeans the office of the President during all his waking hours.  Foreign heads of state consider him, as do many of those with whom he works, to be a boor, an idiot, a moron or worse.  Take your choice. Some of his erstwhile colleagues, to get a better deal for themselves, are now willing to “cop a plea” and talk about his dark past.  In future years, we might learn what his current wife thinks of him.  She’ll probably write a book.  He is like the carnival barker convincing the rubes to plunk down their money to come into the darkened tent to see the two-headed dog.  That’s his skill level.  He also claims to be good in bed.

But you know all of that, don’t you?  And you all talk about it incessantly and bring on panels of experts who agree that he’s the worst President we’ve ever had and is destroying democracy in our country.  Hey, I agree with you.

What you don’t get is the reason why Donald Trump was legally elected to the Presidency of the United States!  If Russia gamed social media on the internet to help in accomplishing that, it is only because there were enough Americans out there ready to believe whatever misleading information was fed into their eyes and ears, and the Russians weren’t the only people doing that.  We have our own domestic charlatans, like the low life who claim on the sewer of talk radio that the Newtown massacre was staged.  And people believe them.  You and I know that the moon is not made of green cheese, but there are many who aren’t so sure about that, and if someone with a phony authoritative label says that it really is, enough of them believe it and that “enough number” is sufficient to change history.

Down deep, many Americans dislike people of color (all colors), immigrants and those who talk and look and pray differently.  Really, they are afraid of them and fear they may end up with what they themselves already possess, of which there isn’t quite enough, in their little minds, to go around.  Some are still fighting the Civil War. They say they love their freedom and liberty, great words for Americans since 1776.  But they take that freedom and liberty to mean they are free to do any damn thing they want, and any government which tries to put a lid on that or take money out of their pocket to help those damn immigrants and lazy descendants of slaves, is no good.  And that goes for taking away guns too! 

Wayne
We should have elected John Wayne as President years ago, they think.  To them, the “reality” of his World War Two films and western movies has merged with true reality.  Trump capitalizes on their confusion over this too.  That’s why building walls and draining swamps sounds good to them.  Their perception of everything is barely skin deep. And they don’t read books, magazines nor newspapers either.  Just TV and the internet.

But you guys don’t get it.  All you’re doing is preaching to the choir.  You can never convince these people to change. The Republicans have proven themselves to be scared stiff of them, knowing that if they acknowledged the truth about the President, the real truths you talk about every day, these folks would replace them in an instant with someone who was a true believer in all that phony baloney stuff about freedom and liberty in which they believe.  It happened to Congressman Mark Sandford from South Carolina.
 
Years of watching junk on TV, attending dumbed-down schools, going to supposed colleges where learning is secondary to football and partying, listening to Rush Limbaugh (who has more followers than you have viewers), going to houses of worship which are sometimes more businesses than churches, and constantly looking back, never forward, have made them that way.  And anyone who disagrees with them is an elitist or a globalist, which to them is un-American.  

They talk a good game about the Constitution, but none of them have ever read it, and if they did, they wouldn’t understand it.  They equate anything “government” does with socialism or communism (they don’t know the difference) where the government supposedly owns everything and as one of their prophets once said, agree that it should be drowned in a bathtub.  Private is good.  Public is bad.  Smells of those “other” people.  Just look who is behind the counter in those government offices. That they understand.

But I still don’t think you guys and gals get it.   You’re beating your heads against the wall.  America has turned into a country which doesn’t have the brains to function as a democracy any longer.  That Donald Trump is not wearing an orange suit in a jail somewhere is proof of that!   I guess he had better lawyers than his son-in-law's father.

If by some miracle, the Democrats win the House of Representatives in November (the Senate would be too much to hope for), a lot of these issues will come to a head. Resolving them peacefully, so long as Trump is still President, will be difficult.  I hope there is no bloodshed and that any revolution we have will be within the framework of the Constitution of the United States.

Jack Lippman


 Newspapers

I grew up reading at least one newspaper every day.  My father brought the Newark Evening News home from work every evening and it was read from cover to cover.  Occasionally, the late-night edition of the next morning’s New York Daily Mirror or the morning Newark Star Ledger found their way into our home, but that was it.  Radio news was no more than headlines and TV didn’t exist then.  (Of these papers, only the Star Ledger survives today.)

Today, most people get their news from TV or the internet.   Neither can hold a candle to the in-depth coverage, and the local, national and world-wide scope of news provided by most newspapers today.  But one need not read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal nor the Washington Post to keep up with what is occurring. 

Good local papers (I have subscribed to the Palm Beach Post for eighteen years)
provide you with more information than you can handle on any day of the week.  And I haven’t even mentioned (of course, I now will) the mental exercise provided by the crosswords and other puzzles plus the insights provided by the comic strips, many of which, such as Doonesbury, Dilbert and Non-Sequitur, are aimed at adults.   

I guarantee you that anyone who sits down with a good local paper, like the Post, and spends thirty minutes reading it while sipping their morning coffee, will be better informed than someone who gets their daily news fix from the internet or any cable news channel or even worse, the “regular” TV channels which like radio in the old days, offer little more than headlines, without any depth. 

Read books, read magazines but most importantly, read a good newspaper every day.  Once you get the habit, you’ll recognize how little those who don’t read a daily newspaper really know and understand.  And to borrow a biblical injunction (Deuteronomy 11:19 ), “teach this to your children.”

JL


 Health Care is the Key to Solving Economic Problems

Back in 2009, I included this original piece in an early posting of this blog.  We were going into a recession at that time, brought about by an unregulated Wall Street investing in sub-prime mortgage-based derivatives.  Barack Obama’s economic policies rescued failing banks and insurers from disaster and saved us from an even worse economic crisis at the time.  This piece shows how little things have changed since then.  This was written in 2009.

The more I look at our economic crisis, the more I am convinced that the cost of health care is at its core.  We do not have enough jobs in this country to provide our workers with the money they must spend, as consumers, to nourish our economy.  No jobs, no money, no consuming, retail stores close, service businesses close, the few remaining manufacturers close, more people are laid off … and bingo, the economy is destroyed.

This vicious cycle starts with the lack of jobs and considering that our workers compete with workers all over the world, there is no reason why any sane businessman would offer a job calling for a benefit package including health care to an American worker when he could hire a worker somewhere else in our global economy for whom he does not have to provide that benefit.  That explains the lack of jobs in this country.

Okay then, if employers are to be relieved of providing health care (and other benefits) to American workers in order for the cost of labor in the U.S.A. to be competitive with the rest of the globe, who then is going to provide it?


Well, workers pay for their own homeowners or renters’ insurance, their own life insurance to protect their families, their own automobile insurance so why shouldn’t they pay for their own health insurance?  The answer is simple:  life insurance is a wise investment, but not a necessity… automobile insurance is required if you own a car, but you can always rely on public transportation and you can do without homeowners or renters’ insurance, moving in with a friend or relative and getting clothing at the Goodwill Store if your home burns down.  But the alternative to having health insurance is untreated sicknesses or death or turning to the government for help.  Because we are talking about employed people, hopefully with decent jobs (which they were able to get only because their employer ditched his health insurance program, thereby remaining competitive), we are not talking about dumping them into the Medicaid program. And today, our government is not financially set up to provide the health insurance American employers must stop providing to employees if they are to remain competitive.  (Chinese employers, incidentally, do not provide health insurance for their workers and surprisingly, their government does not either.  The responsibility is shifted to the family!  That is one of the reasons the cost of labor is low there.)

So long as health insurance is tied to employment (as it has been in this country since World War Two), that arrangement should be disturbed as little as possible.  The employer, however, should be reimbursed by the government for providing any such health insurance.  If an employer does not provide health insurance or if the worker is “self-employed,” access to one of the established government health insurance programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans’ Administration, Government employee plans) should be made available to these workers.  This will necessitate a tax increase for all Americans, bringing the percentage of our income in various kinds of taxes we pay up to the level which people pay in other Western nations.  This increase, however, may be less than the amount of money paid for health insurance by employers and individuals in this country today. 

There will be those who will scream, “Socialism!” when ideas like these are presented.  But this is no more socialistic than having government financed police and fire departments, public schools and military services.  I envision a campaign involving billboards and bumper stickers asking:


WHO WILL PAY FOR YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE IF YOUR EMPLOYER CAN’T?


Once you stop to think about it, there is only one answer.  And I hope that should even be clear to conservatives.
JL



Feminist Dystopian Fiction or the "Handmaid" Strikes Back

Fiction is usually more than just an interesting, often captivating, story.  It can be allegorical, philosophical or political, as well as “just a story.    Think of “Farenheit 411,” “1984,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” or even “Crime and Punishment.”  Science fiction (which the first two just mentioned are) allows the author to escape the boundaries of reality, at least today’s reality, and soar into the realm of ideas.

In today’s world, headlines focusing on women’s rights, sexual harassment and most recently, the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, are inescapable.  The role of women in today’s world has become a common topic of discussion.  (One posting back, this blog discussed “sexual drive,” a not unrelated subject.) 

Lately, science fiction taking place in a dystopian (imaginary, futuristic and unpleasant) society seems to a tool used in addressing the question of the changing role of the sexes.  Alexandra Alter, who covers publishing and literary matters for the New York Times, recently wrote a very interesting article on the subject, reprinted a few days later in the Palm Beach Post.  Plan to spend a few minutes reading this article and much more time reading and discussing the books she mentions. This is important stuff!  Start by clicking  RIGHT HERE.

JL


Weather Report

An almost category five hurricane hit the Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday, creating massive flooding and bringing hurricane level winds far inland as it sped northward through Georgia and the Carolinas, hitting places which had never experienced anything like it before.  This was an major emergency, but not a big enough  one to warrant the immediate attention of the P.O.S. (see earlier blogs for what these letters stand for, but here’s a clue … the first word is “piece.”) occupying the White House who was busy heading for a rally in Pennsylvania to speak to his loyal followers there.  A good campaigner, a terrible President, he really couldn’t care less.  Nor could his gullible, stupid and deplorable (there I said it!) base which is carefully described in the lead article on this posting.  We don’t have to relive Roman times to know what it was like as Nero fiddled while Rome burned.  At least Nero could play the violin.  All Trump can play is golf.
JL


A Little Electioneering

Only four states do not restore the right to vote to convicted felons after they have served their time in prison or on probation.  Florida is one of them.  An Amendment (Number Four) will remedy this, restoring the right to vote to felons who have fully paid their debt to society (except murderers and sexual offenders).  

At present, there is a circuitous and complicated procedure in effect, usually taking years to navigate and ultimately requiring the Governor’s signature which does address this situation.  Understandably, only a miniscule number of felons have benefited from it.  Republicans Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott, running for the governorship and for the Senate respectively, oppose this Amendment as being too lenient.  That is why most thinking Floridians will be voting “Yes” on Amendment Four next month as they also make Scott and DeSantis available in the job market for any lobbying firm which wants to hire them.
JL

A Little Geopolitics

Since the demise of the Ottoman Empire after World War One, there has been a conflict among Muslims as to who would be the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East.  Would it be the extremist Shia Muslims centered in the land that was ancient Persia or would it be the Sunni Muslims, everywhere else in the Middle East, but becoming increasingly dominated by the influence of the extremist Wahabi clergy on the Arabian peninsula?


The Persians, or Iran, at least had a historic identification with “nationhood.”  The others were no more than Arab nomads, with no basis for a common identity other than the artificial states, like Saudi Arabia, which were carved out of the sand (which turned out to be covering vast petroleum deposits) after World War One.

The Shah was our puppet in Iran since after World War Two when we helped defeat a Russian-backed Communist takeover there.  Shia Muslim extremists overthrew him in 1979, eradicating whatever influence we had there, and since then, the United States has leaned more toward friendship with the Sunni Muslims whose center of power is Saudi Arabia, a relative newcomer to the family of nations, not even existing until after World War One.

Once one thinks beyond the religious aspects of a choice between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it becomes clear that the Persian people of Iran are more western-oriented than the Arabs throughout the rest of the Middle East, still evolving from their nomadic state of a century ago.   But Iran’s extremist leadership, their expansionist plans, their hostility toward Israel and their nuclear ambitions clearly make a normal relationship with Iran impossible for the United States at present.  This leaves us with the Arabs as our best Muslim friends in the Middle East.  Even Israel favors them over Iran.  Few remember that prior to 1979, Israel was actually more friendly with Iran, even arming them in their war with Iraq!

Similarly, prior to 1979, Iran had a closer relationship with the United States than any other state in the Middle East did, excluding Israel.  Indeed, this was advantageous to us because the geographic position of Iran served as a buffer between Russia, always looking for an outlet to the sea, and the Middle East.  Right now, Iran and Russia are uncomfortably close politically, to our disadvantage.

Khashoggi
The assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a legal resident of the United States, brings into question some realities concerning our relationship with Saudi Arabia, and where are alliances should be placed.  Certainly, the present Administration does not favor Iran, primarily because efforts to better our relationship with that country through the Nuclear agreement signed onto by half a dozen other major powers, was the product of the Obama Administration, none of whose actions the present Administration approves. 

But Middle East alliances, economic and political, are not permanent nor immutable things.  Everything is always in flux.  Russia, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the rest of the Middle East are involved in intertwining and changing relationships, which ultimately affect these nations’ relationships with the United States.  It is not inconceivable that someday our Muslim friends in the Middle East will be in Teheran, once the extremist Shia clergy lose power there, which they someday will, and reduced worldwide dependence upon petroleum has left the Saudis as just a desert kingdom run by a family of extremely wealthy nomads.
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 
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.

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