Monday, January 28, 2019

Roger "Who"?, The Trump "Shutdown," Stuff to Read, including George Will, Malcom Nance's Book and a Peek at 2020






Roger "Who"?

A Letter and a Column to Read

Here’s a letter I submitted to the Palm Beach Post a few days before the Trump Government Shutdown was temporarily ended when the President allowed Senate G.O.P. leader McConnell to bring the necessary appropriations bill to a vote.  That is probably why it won’t be published.  But, who knows, it might become pertinent again if the Shutdown returns in the near future.  Anyhow, here is the letter: 

"We all “negotiate” at one time or another.  It might be when buying (or selling) a car, a house or even asking your boss for a raise. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless of course the person with whom you’re negotiating has your daughter tied up in the basement and won’t release her until you agree to something you otherwise would not."  

And speaking of the Palm Beach Post, that paper carries a column by political humorist Frank Cerabino several times a week.  Those who don’t follow Frank in the Post are missing something.  Here’s his brilliant column from Sunday’s (Jan. 27) paper which ought to be circulated nationally!   (Actually, it's a book review.)


Jack Lippman



Thoughts on the Shutdown and More

Shutting Down the Government 
Many of the 800,000 government employees who went without their salaries during the “Trump Shutdown,” and the owners of businesses which suffered because of the resulting loss of income will never again vote for a Republican candidate.  They know where the blame rests, unless of course their TVs are locked onto Fox News.  They will remember. This includes those who voted for Donald Trump and for Republicans office holders who supported him, even if these legislators did so only because they feared a primary challenge from the far right if they did not.  Voters will remember.

They now know that the President is only interested in trying to live up to the promise to build a wall which he made to his core supporters who saw it as a racial dog whistle.  Of course, there is a need for better border security and a revised immigration policy, but the cosmetic solution provided by building a wall or additional fencing is nowhere near a real solution.  Trump’s childishly petulant insistence on a wall before he would allow the Republican Senate to vote to restore funding for those 800,000 government employees is now history, at least temporarily, but it still is the death knell of his presidency and of the careers of those Republicans who support him.   


We might be back in another “Shutdown” mode after February 15.  But I doubt it.  I suspect that by then there will be an agreement providing money for improved border security measures, a part of which will encompass additional “fencing” of some sort along no more than the two or three hundred miles of our Southern border where it might be helpful, particularly in eliminating gaps in such already long-existing fencing. 
 
Border fencing as it exists today

The Democrats have never been against that and it would enable the President to tell his base that he got his “wall.”   It will be up to the Democrats, of course, to decide whether or not to allow the President to emerge from negotiations wth that “plum,” which would be now shrunken to a prune.  They will have their price, so look for some immigration reform measures as well, including guaranteeing the status of the “dreamers” and those here on a temporary basis to be part of any agreement.

The idea that the “crisis” on our southern border is so severe that it was worth suspending the government’s operation until it is resolved is ludicrous.  And calling it a "national emergency" would be a fairy tale.  Actually, the President himself is ludicrous, or worse.   On a daily basis!   Those Republicans who continue to support him will all go down in flames in the 2020 elections, unless there are some radical changes made before then.  The voters will remember Trump's ego-inspired "Shutdown."

As for the President, a growing cloud is rising on the horizon foretelling that after his departure from office, either by impeachment, resignation or defeat at the polls, his legal problems will only be beginning.  And he will need far better attorneys than Rudy Giuliani


"He didn't but even if he did, it's no crime."
to keep him from eventually wearing a jumpsuit of the same hue as his favored hair coloring.
JL


Reading Suggestions

Be sure to check out Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post columnist George Will's recent column on Lindsey Graham.  It's brilliant!


I had to turn to the dictionary only once to look up one of the words he uses in the column.  That's fewer than usual.  See if you can find it.  Hint: (It's in the last paragraph.)  

And after that, set aside a couple of hours to study what James Madison

had to say in Federalist Papers Numbers 47 and 51.  Every member of both houses of Congress should be required to read it and if they don't, be assigned to bathroom clean-up duties until they do.  (I recognize that the Federalist Papers are beyond the ability of a good number of members of Congress to understand, but they could have a staff member provide a summary for them.)
JL


Input from Putin

I am presently reading Malcolm Nance’s book “The Plot to Destroy Democracy.”  It is terribly written and poorly edited, if edited at all.  Nance comes off much more intelligently when appearing on MSNBC than he does on paper in his book.  But undeniably, the book is filled with facts.


Because Nance comes from the world of intelligence operations, these facts are sometimes visible and connectible with each other only by those versed in the skills necessary in that field, but that’s the way intelligence operates.  (It isn’t a matter of “two plus two equals four.” Rather, it’s more like “2.52 plus 1.34 plus .09 equals 3.95” and that’s close enough to “four” for some conclusions to be drawn.)

Nance’s thesis makes the case that Russia’s actions (all coming at the direction of Vladimir Putin) against the West, and particularly against the United States, are now far more sophisticated and traveling down much more unexpected avenues than they were during the Cold War and during its hotter phases in such places as the Balkans and the Middle East.  More comments will follow when I finish this fact-filled but disorganized book.
JL



The 2020 Election

The race for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination has started.  A few hats have already been tossed into the ring.  

Kamala Harris
A powerful speech by Senator Kamala Harris (D. Calif.) announcing her candidacy set a standard to which other Democratic hopefuls will have to rise.  


Keep your eyes on her as well as on Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Sherrod Brown and even Amy Kolbuchar.  Forget about Bernie and Hillary.  One thing for certain, one of the spots on the Democratic ticket will be filled by a woman.
JL

             


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Jack Lippman 


Monday, January 21, 2019

Politicklers, Chanel No. 5 Aroma for Free and Kipling's "IF"





I apologize.  I thought I would be able to continue this blog WITHOUT including items of political interest.  I suppose I could but that would be like cooking without salt, pepper, cilantro, paprika, oregano, basil, curry, red wine vinegar or extra virgin olive oil … not to speak of true-down-home southern barbecue sauce.  So, this posting resumes the presence of politics on Jackspotpourri.com.
 
I got started doing this with a few friends back in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson was running for President against Barry Goldwater.  We devised a bumper sticker reading “Goldwater in 1864,” implying that the Republican candidate was a century behind the times.  We called our operation “Politicklers,” and actually sold about a dozen stickers, after running an ad in the Village Voice.  Occasionally, I’ve used “Politicklers” as a heading on this blog, and that’s what I’ll be doing in today’s posting.



Politicklers

Is This the Plan? - It’s clear that the new Attorney General will reserve the right to keep portions of the Mueller report, when it comes out, from being available to the public.  I suspect that the only content which might result in his doing that would
Mueller
involve either national security or information involving the President of the United States, the release of which might initiate an unprecedented Constitutional crisis.  When confidentially presented with this possibility, the President might choose to resign, ostensibly for health reasons, in exchange for a pledge that the information be kept permanently from the public, and the Congress not act upon it.  Should he not though, the ultimate result of the release of that information, either officially or through “leakage,” could have unpredictable and heretofore unimaginable results.

Buzzfeed Scoop (?) - Last week, online news site Buzzfeed reported that former



Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s allegation that DJT asked him to lie before investigators regarding his Russian business connections was supported by other evidence Special Prosecutor Mueller’s team had developed.  The Mueller team was quick to break precedent and deny that as inaccurate.  Why?  My gut guess is that Buzzfeed’s informants, probably not part of Mueller’s tight-lipped team, revealed that information without knowing the extent to which the Special Prosecutor had it “nailed down” and Mueller’s people felt its premature release would somehow hamper their efforts to present unchallengeable information in their final report.

Edukayshinal Kredenshils - Although I am a retired senior citizen, I still well remember those years when I was still in school.  I remember much of what I learned at Peshine Avenue School and at Weequahic High School back in Newark and at Rutgers University as well as from assorted other educational experiences I have had.  I remember some of the teachers, instructors and professors as well as a good chunk, I hope, of whatever it was they were trying get me to learn.  I think, to a lesser or greater extent, most seniors can recall the same things.

Fordham University
This causes me to wonder if Donald J. Trump ever actually attended the New York Military Academy, Fordham University, the University of Pennsylvania and its Wharton School, or whether a paid “stand-in” showed up in classes and took exams for him at these otherwise reputable institutions.  No one with this kind of supposed educational background can possibly display the gross ignorance the President exhibits almost daily.  When asked during the 2016 campaign what books he had read, he replied, “All Quiet on the Western Front.”  Conceivably, that might have been a reading assignment he remembered from the military academy he supposedly attended, but I wonder if he even knows its author’s name.  Along the way, should he not have been exposed to required Literature, History and Foreign Language courses at these schools?

Frankly, I doubt that the President has more than an elementary school education.  The other day, in denying the almost daily suspicions voiced that he was illicitly involved with Russia, he said such a claim was “a big fat lie.”  Saying that something is a “big fat anything” comes right out of any elementary school schoolyard.  It is not something adults say.  Ten yearolds use such language. Someday, someone will investigate whether his family made generous donations to the institutions Trump is said to have attended and whether he ever actually showed up there in person.

Adjective vs Noun The presence of an adjective explains or describes a noun’s qualities. A noun itself, without such a modifier, stands alone, even if another noun is tacked onto it instead of an adjective.  When that happens, its meaning is determined by whatever pre-judgements (prejudices?) whomever is using the expanded pair of nouns may have.  If those prejudices are negative ones, they define both nouns negatively for listeners.  Example:  While someone may not be bigoted when he states that he bought something from a Jewish businessman, that certainly is not true when he says he bought it from a Jew businessman.  See the difference?  Get it?  That’s known as the pejorative use of a noun in place of an adjective.
   
Back in 1948, perennial G.O.P. Presidential nominee Harold Stassen started referring to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party, using the noun in a pejorative sense as explained above.  He took away the benevolent sound of the adjective “democratic” leaving the opposing party’s name defined only by the naked noun, “Democrat,” which lacked the expanded meaning of the Party’s true name, which of course is the “Democratic Party.”

To this day, Republicans still do this, and most terrifyingly, its use has crept into use by journalists, particularly on radio and TV, even those favorably inclined toward Democrats. It even occasionally appears in the language of Democrats!  I heard it used recently at a Democratic Party gathering by a high Democratic official.  They should know better.  Its use makes Republicans feel good, particularly when someone other than a Republican is using this kind of pejorative language.


The “Socialism” Myth - Many Republican voters and Trump supporters believe right-wing liars (like *those found daily on Fox News) who point out that the Democratic Party is leaning leftward toward such ideas as Single Payer Health Care (Medicare for all?), free or reduced tuition at colleges and developing tax strategies aimed at wealth redistribution, and that such steps are “socialism” and to be condemned as such. They say they will lead to our country toward becoming another “Venezuela.”

Baloney!  Government at all levels does a lot of things already (our armed forces, interstate highways, financial, environmental and consumer regulation, agricultural subsidies, the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, Medicare, small business assistance, public schools, police and fire departments, parks, zoning laws, water and sewer facilities, drug and food safety regulation, etc.) and these are not considered “socialism” except by those extreme libertarians who want to privatize everything under the sun!  (These buffoons usually claim to have read Ayn Rand, but judging by the length and plodding wordiness of “Atlas Shrugged,” I doubt that they have, even Senator Rand Paul, who is named after her.)

Socialism, by definition, involves the nationalization of a nation’s means of production and distribution of goods.   Note carefully that none of the areas listed above involve producing, manufacturing or distributing anything.  Neither would more government participation in progressive programs improving health care, education or tax relief for the middle and bottom economic classes be “socialism.”  Anyone who claims that it would be, is, in the words of our President, “a big fat liar.”

* (Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson, Pirro, etc.)
Jack Lippman




Free Chanel No. 5 Fragrance

A few years ago, when my son was living with me for a while, he purchased two Ylang-Ylang tree seedlings and potted them on our patio.  After a year or so, he transplanted one out behind our house and it is now about twenty feet tall.  Last year, I had the remaining one moved to the front of the house where it now reaches up about twelve feet. 

In 1921, Coco Chanel introduced what is probably the world’s most famous perfume, Chanel No. 5.  Its unmistakable aroma is derived from roses, jasmine and the blossoms of the Ylang Ylang tree, which seems to be the catalyst in its fragrance. 

Ylang Ylang blossom
Both of my Ylang Ylang trees are now in blossom (they bloom intermittently throughout the year) and those who know where I live are welcome to come and reach for a blossom, gently remove it, sniff it and rub it behind their ears.  

For all intents and purposes, this will accomplish the same results as Chanel No. 5, for which a 3.4 oz. spray bottle of ‘eau de parfum’ is currently priced at $172.  But watch for the bees.
JL




IF

This poem by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was published in 1910.  Many of us were exposed to it back in high school.   Kipling wrote it for his son, but it still rings true today for us.

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
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.)

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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. 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 



Monday, January 14, 2019

Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Gerson on Authenticity and Religion 101





Comprehensive Cancer Centers

I see advertisements on TV all of the time for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  I also note that many hospitals which treat cancer and engage in cancer-related research call themselves “comprehensive cancer centers.”  That’s quite a mouthful, but a meaningful one. The difference between a “cancer center” and a “comprehensive cancer center” is defined in the following quote from the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute website, which lists 14 ‘Clinical” Cancer Centers, 49 Comprehensive Cancer Centers and 7 Basic Laboratory Cancer Centers, all of which have satisfied its high standards.

“Most of the NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are affiliated with university medical centers, although several are freestanding centers that engage only in cancer research. The NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population science. Comprehensive Cancer Centers demonstrate an added depth and breadth of research, as well as substantial transdisciplinary research that bridges these scientific areas. Basic Laboratory Cancer Centers conduct only laboratory research and do not provide patient treatment.”

Any hospital can call its cancer treatment facility anything it wants, including calling it a “comprehensive cancer center.”  The only really meaningful use of that designation, however, is if it is given to the institution by the National Cancer Institute, a part of the government-run National Institutes of Health.  The NIH website goes on to point out that NCI-designated Cancer Centers “are characterized by scientific excellence and the capability to integrate a diversity of research approaches to focus on the problem of cancer. They play a vital role in advancing towards our goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer.”

At present, 63 institutions treating patients appear on the National Cancer Institute’s list of cancer centers meeting these criteria.  Of these, 49 are “comprehensive cancer centers” while 14 are considered “clinical cancer centers.”

Just because a “cancer center” runs ads on TV or declares itself to be a “comprehensive cancer center,” doesn’t make it a member of this elite group of institutions.  A listing of these 63 “cancer centers” follows. (This is not to say that excellent cancer treatment is not available elsewhere nor that other institutions are not engaged in important research. These are, however, the places our government feels are the ones which meet the rigid criteria it has established.)  It is a good list to study in making health care decision if you ever find yourself in that position. 



Comprehensive Cancer Centers
·         Alabama (1): UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
·         Arizona (1): The University of Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona (Tucson)
·         California (8):
·         City of Hope National Medical Center (Duarte) (independent)
·         Stanford Cancer Institute (Stanford, CA)[6]
·         Colorado (1): University of Colorado Cancer Center at the University of Colorado (Aurora)
·         Connecticut (1): Yale Cancer Center at Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven)
·         District of Columbia (1): Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University (Washington)
·         Florida (1): Moffitt Cancer Center at the University of South Florida (Tampa)
·         Georgia (1): Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University (Atlanta)
·         Illinois (2):
·         Iowa (1): Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of Iowa (Iowa City)
·         Maryland (2):
·         University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (Baltimore)
·         Massachusetts (1): Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (Boston)
·         Michigan (2):
·         Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (Detroit)
·         Minnesota (2):
·         Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (Rochester) (independent)
·         Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
·         Missouri (1): Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis)
·         New Hampshire (1): Norris Cotton Cancer Center of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon)
·         New Jersey (1): Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers (New Brunswick)
·         New Mexico (1): University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque)
·         New York (3):
·         Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York) (independent)
·         Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo) (independent)
·         North Carolina (3):
·         Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem)
·         Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University (Durham)
·         Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC (Chapel Hill)
·         Ohio (2):
·         Oklahoma (1): Stephenson Cancer Center at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (Oklahoma City)
·         Oregon (1): Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (Portland)
·         Pennsylvania (3):
·         Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
·         Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia) (independent)
·         Tennessee (2):
·         Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
·         St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis) (independent)
·         Texas (3):
·         Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston)
·         The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) (independent)
·         Utah (1): Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
·         Washington (1): Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle)
·          
Clinical Cancer Centers
·         Hawaii (1): University of Hawaii Cancer Center (Honolulu)
·         Indiana (1): Indiana University Cancer Center (Indianapolis)
·         Kansas (1): University of Kansas Cancer Center (Kansas City)
·         Kentucky (1): Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky (Lexington)
·         New York (3):
·         Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York University (formerly the NYU Cancer Institute) (New York)
·         Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Health System (New York)
·         Pennsylvania (1): Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia)
·         South Carolina (1): Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center
·         Virginia (2):
·         Massey Cancer Center of Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond)
·         University of Virginia Cancer Center (Charlottesville)

Keep in mind that an even more refined list is provided by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network with which only 28 institutions are affiliated.  All of these are, of course, included in the preceding listing.  These institutions are:



Note for South Floridians:  Unfortunately for people who live in Southeast Florida, none of the above listings include institutions in their immediate area, the nearest being the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and the Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville satellite facility.  

There is, however, excellent cancer treatment available in Southeast Florida at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baptist Hospital’s Miami Cancer Institute which is developing a relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (Miami Beach), the Michael and Diane Bienes Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital (Ft. Lauderdale), Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Lynn Cancer Institute and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at JFK Hospital (Lake Worth). It should be noted that the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has several satellite facilities in both Dade and Broward Counties and that Bethesda Hospital and Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Palm Beach County have become affiliated with Miami’s Baptist Hospital system, potentially giving them access to the Miami Cancer Institute.  

Inevitably, with the passage of time, several of these excellent more local institutions will eventually appear in the above listings.
Jack Lippman


Religion 101

The Blog's previous posting included a piece entited "Religion 201."  It dealt with how religion can give "meaning to life."  Really, a prerequisite for "Religion 201" was "Religion 101."  For those who have not taken that course, here it is:  

Some years ago, I was seated in Boca Raton’s massive Spanish River Church for a concert.  The gentleman in the next seat, noting the large cross behind the stage, commented to me, “this is a Catholic church, isn’t it.”  “No,” I replied.  “It’s a Protestant church, probably Baptist.”  He looked at me and answered, “Don’t know the difference.”  And then the concert started. 

Afterwards, sensing that this represented a possible gap in a some of my neighbors’ knowledge, I wrote a piece for our community magazine, explaining the historic differences between the principal religions practiced in this country today.  Here is a rewrite of that article, the original version of "Religion 101" being unavailable.

One God:  Most of us, who identify with a religion, believe in one God as opposed to having faith in many idols, as did the ancient Romans. Although some give credit for belief in one God to the Egyptian pharaoh Iknaton, we usually trace it back to the ancient Hebrews’ eventual religion, Judaism.  That is as good a point of departure as any to explain religion in the United States today.

Judaism:  Today’s Judaism can be divided into several categories.  Orthodox Judaism is closest to the traditional form of Judaism while Conservative and Reform Judaism are Nineteenth century adaptations of it, geared more closely to today’s society’s needs and are relatively uncommon outside of the United States.  Hasidic Judaism is a version of Orthodoxy which follows the teachings of particular rabbis.

Roman Catholicism:  Christianity arose as a sect of Judaism, believing Jesus to be the Son of God, and ultimately identifying God as a “Trinity” encompassing the Father, the Son and after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Holy Ghost.  With the conversion of Rome to Christianity in the Fourth century, Christianity grew to become far more widespread than the Judaism in which it was rooted.  Thus began the Roman Catholic Church, which still exists today.  There are Catholics who have split off from that Church, the prime example being the Greek Orthodox Church.

Protestantism:  In the Sixteenth century, some Christians “protested” certain policies of the Papacy, which led by the Pope, headed the Roman Catholic Church.  These “Protestants” remained Christians but with no allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.  There were many Protestant “denominations,” most of which still exist in the United States.  These include Lutherans, Anglicans and Episcopalians (both ritually close to Roman Catholicism, but minus the Papacy), Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists and many inter-denominational groups.

Islam:  In the Sixth century world consisting of Christians, Jews, pagans and non-believers, Mohammed arose as a Prophet espousing a new religion, based on revelations in the Koran and drawing upon Judaism and Christianity.  This was known as Islam, its adherents being referred to as Muslims.  After Mohammed’s death, Islam split into two branches, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam, which exist today.

There you have it.  Religious belief in the United States is shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims, in their many variations and mutations as outlined above.  And of course, there are other religions, including Native American beliefs and even Satanism. To some “non-believers,” even “Atheism” takes on a form close to a belief.  
Most importantly, our Constitution specifically states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  Even though our currency does state “In God We Trust,” it is left to individuals to define “God” as they wish, or even to deny His, Her or Its existence.











JL




Authenticity, Virtue, Ethics, Aristotle and Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Rousseau
Aristotle


Gerson

All are touched upon in a recent column by the Washington Post’s Michael Gerson.  But it’s not about philosophy, although it starts out there.  It really is about much, much more and should be read by all Americans alive in 2019.  Please note that nowadays, many Americans whose hearts are beating and whose lungs are pumping are not otherwise alive in 2019, brain-wise. But if you are, check out the article BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE.


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. 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