About Me

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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024 - Republicans and a Recommended Book

 

                               * * * 
The Truth About Republicans


For many years, the Republican Party was the party of respectability. It stood for what most Americans saw as traditional values.  It was graced by the memory of Abraham Lincoln, probably our greatest president.  It favored healthy small town and rural values, and avoided being associated with urban problems, which even immigrants who initially settled in cities tried to escape.  It championed individual accomplishment and tried to discourage foreign influences as well as foreign involvements. Any hints of radicalism were left to the Democrats.  When crooked politicians turned up, they were not found in the Grand Old Party. That was the stuff of Democrats, rumored to be in cahoots with organized crime.  Choosing to be a Republican was the safe, honorable, and respectable way of being an American!

Republican women were sometimes known as ‘cloth coat Republicans’ because they preferred a durable, stylish, cloth coat rather than furs, and that symbolized to many the party’s ties to the common working person.  I recall, when growing up, that my father, a unionized salesman, selected the New York Herald Tribune as his Sunday newspaper of choice. I doubt that he agreed with its editorial page but that was the respectable thing to do in those days. He liked being seen as the reader of the Trib. (During the week, he stuck with the Newark Evening News, another conservative paper.)

But here’s the big news!  It is no longer respectable to be a Republican. It has become the party of permanent opposition.  Even worse, it treats those on the other side of the aisle not as opponents but as enemies.  Its strategies are based on lying and cheating. 
  • It opposes a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.  
  • Its members oppose immigration policies that brought their own parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents here.  
  • It opposes government support of health care for all Americans and even minimal retirement benefits. 
  • It readily accepts those who are against efforts to achieve racial equality and regulations to protect the environment.  
  • It favors reduced taxation of the wealthy and businesses believing in the fairy tale that their wealth will ‘trickle down’ to those their businesses and investments employ. 
  • It thinks isolationism is a valid defensive strategy 
  • It says ‘no’ to regulating the proliferation of weapons among civilians. 
  • It claims a close relationship to the Bible and wraps itself in the American flag, when in reality, its actions daily deny what the the Bible and the flag represent. 

But even then, it manages to maintain a patina of respectability.  Really though, that is just an illusion.  Some Americans, because of greed, selfishness, and possibly even fear of their innate prejudices being exposed, despise a democracy chosen by all the people, and most importantly, one that works to serve the interests of all of the people.  They ignore the equality of all men promised in the Declaration of Independence. These people have found a home in the Republican Party and have taken it over.  They are today’s Republican Party. 

HOW DID THIS HAPPENAt first tolerated because they produced votes, the bait that attracts all politicians, some unruly and dissatisfied Americans turned to the Grand Old Party and soon they became crucial to its electing its candidates to any office whatsoever and had no scruples about lying to accomplish that.  Without them, Republicans found they could not win elections.  

Violence is not excluded from their tactics. Think of the rioters at the Miami Board of Elections in 2000, trying to stop the count of Florida’s vote there in the election that took the Supreme Court to put George W. Bush into the White House.  Think of the rioters who stormed the Capitol in January of 2021 to stop the electoral vote count. Think of the demonstrators in Charlottesville a few years ago screaming antisemitic slogans whom then-president Trump included among the ‘good people on both sides.’ Think of those feared by the witnesses, jurors, and Court officials in the current litigation concerning the defeated former president, defenders of whom are not beyond stooping to violence.  These are today’s Republicans!  Watch them gloat and threaten nightly on Fox News!  

They are not just blowing hot air. The stage for their acceptance of violence was set late in the last century with the rejection of government authority by the armed Branch Davidians in Waco who died fighting the enforcement of Federal laws, inspiring the terrorists who later blew up the Federal Building In Oklahoma City with great loss of life, and even some of the subsequent shootings at schools and entertainment venues. It was reinforced by the gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court in D.C. vs Heller in 2008 allowing the proliferation of weapons in this country, bringing about thousands of deaths in this country over the years since then.  The pro-gun opinion of Justice Scalia (another flawed Republican idol) in that case will be remembered along with the Dred Scott pro-slavery decision in 1858 as one of the depths of American history.

These ruthless people have gotten control of local governments, school boards and many State legislatures and their influence has crept into the Federal government as well. 

You can find it, tragically, among some in law enforcement and in the military who confuse patriotism with Republican opposition to those they personally see as political enemies.  Some were even among those arrested for their participation in the January 6 rioting! 

They even elected a lying and cheating snake oil salesman to the presidency in 2016, who supposedly unknowingly, has been used by the nation’s enemies to further their causes.  Russian propaganda is voiced on the floor of Congress by those who couldn’t locate Russia on a map. The forty-fifth president still does not, along with many of his supporters, accept the fact that he was defeated in  2020! These are the people who pass as Republicans today. 

Republicans no longer condemn the world’s despots and dictators but seek to emulate their efficiency.  With the three politically motivated Justices that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell shoehorned into the Supreme Court during Trump’s presidency, Republicans try to twist our laws and legislative bodies to serve their purposes, many of which seem aimed at weakening our Federal government’s role in best serving the people, replacing it with easily manipulated State laws.

It does not matter that some Republicans are not as bad as others, because when push comes to shove, most hold their noses, and nonetheless, stick with their corrupted party.  While those Republicans who choose not to run for re-election, retiring from corrupted Republican politics, are to be commended, their replacements usually come from the ranks of the very extremists whose presence brought about their retirement.

 ‘Respectable’ Republicans like New York’s Jacob Javits or Nelson Rockefeller of the last century no longer exist.  At the G.O.P.’s 1964 Convention, Rockefeller was humbled by the supporters of right winger Barry Goldwater, where physical violence almost erupted.  Goldwater preached the backward looking, ‘off the wall,’ conservatism of author William Buckley (who was the ghost writer for Goldwater’s book, ‘The Conscience of a Conservative’).   Really, very few Republicans today have what is considered a ‘conscience.’  Or a heart for that matter. That year, 1964, marked what really was the death of respectability for the Republicans, despite traces of sanity sometimes being detected occasionally, such as when the Republican-controlled House depends on Democratic votes to act on crucial legislation, or in the personages of those like the presently ostracized Liz Chaney.   

That is why Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and even the na├»ve Ronald Reagan, who didn’t know what he was buying into when he accepted the support of these vile interlopers into the G.O.P., would roll over in their graves if they knew that Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed to be Republicans.  It is very simple, folks …

 

Do Gaetz and Greene Call fhe shots for the GOP?

To be a Republican today is a disgrace.  

JL                                        

 

                                                      *   *   *

A Book to Read

Portions of my piece about the Supreme Court in the previous posting of Jackspotpourri were inspired by scholar Louis Menand’s review in the April 15 issue of the New Yorker magazine of retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book, ‘Reading the Constitution: Why I chose Pragmatism, Not Textualism.’ The book, Menand points out, ‘is accessible, rather repetitive, and neither theoretical nor technical … and addressed to non-lawyers.’  I’ve added it to my reading list.

JL                                        

 

                                                      *   *   *

Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com. 

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting.

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

JL

                                                    *   *   *

 

 

 




Thursday, April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024 - Supreme Court Reform, Dead Ends, a Published Letter, Shakespeare's Input, and Iranian Troublemaking

 

                                                                         * * * 

Supreme Court Building


Fixing the Supreme Court – The Politics of the SCOTUS

The Justices of the Supreme Court have their personal political opinions and that is the key to the way they vote. They can find a reason to justify whatever they choose to do. They can stick to any statute's precise wording or expand upon it, go back to the intent of the framers of a Constitutional provision, pay attention to or choose to ignore 'stare decisis' (previous decisions), or even base their decisions on their foreseeable future consequences, not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution or in any statute. There is no rule book by which they always play. They do what they want to do, what their politics dictate, and find a way to justify their action. That's why Donald Trump might enjoy a pleasant retirement playing golf and hosting events at Mar-a-Lago, unless President Biden is re-elected along with a Senate majority, enabling him to add four Justices, changing the politics of the SCOTUS. 

Right now, if re-elected along with a Democratic Senate, I support Biden doing precisely that, because today, the present political orientation of the SCOTUS has been extremely damaging to the country.  A new majority must be created to undo the harm done by the three political appointments of Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett.  The SCOTUS was never intended to be a political football until the Republicans made it into one under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, in obedience to Donald Trump’s wishes.  That’s the game they played, so the Democrats must play it too, at least at this time. 

But such Court expansion should not be a permanent solution, something to be frequently turned to when the presidency and Senate make it possible.  That would not be good for the country either.  

The politics of the SCOTUS Justices reflect the mood of the country, and because Justices are given a lifetime position, what they reflect is rarely the current mood.  No SCOTUS Justice is apolitical. They reflect what the nation's mood was at the time of their lifetime appointments.  I believe that while SCOTUS’ politics should take that past mood into consideration, there should be significant limitations regarding the weight it should be given.  The problem is how to accomplish that.  Doing so via Constitutional amendments would take far too long, so periodic Judiciary Acts, passed by Congress would seem to be the best course of action. 

I suggest that once President Biden is able to expand the SCOTUS to undo the terrible harm the present majority has caused, especially in the areas of womens’ rights, gun violence, voting rights, environmental protection and business regulation, its number of Justices should be fixed to a permanent number, with no further expansion.  I also think we need to limit the terms of SCOTUS Justices to about a dozen years, so that appointees come closer to reflecting the nation’s political mood and not what it was generations ago.  Further, I would  limit the nominating abilities of a president in his second and final term in office to less than that, perhaps with Justices then appointed to serve for half that period, so that he or she cannot ‘load the Court’ during their last days in office with Justices who would be around for a dozen years.  

The past then would be honored and respected but not dominate the Court’s decisions, as it does today where it is far out of step with the political mood of the country, made possible by Justices appointed decades ago, reflecting the nation’s mood at that time.                                   

 JL                                        

                                                   *   *   *

Trumpublican Dead-Ends

Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s Substack posting on ‘Letters From an American,’ dated April 13 thoroughly describes the dead-ends into which their bankrupt policies have led both Donald John Trump and the Republican Party. 

Yet there are, as I have often pointed out, a significant number of voters who because of their bigotry, selfishness, greed, ignorance, gullibility, or just plain stupidity (or varying combinations of these qualities) seem comfortable in that ‘dead-end’ cul de sac where autocracy and dictatorship fester.  You cannot ignore their presence.  They are there, just as they were in other ‘democracies’ where noble endeavors were thwarted by those of evil intent whom democracy allowed to take charge. Examples?  The French Revolution, the Weimar Republic, and the Russian Revolution. We must be eternally vigilant.

You can find Professor Richardson’s daily (they are written the prior evening) postings at  https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ where I recommend you check them out each morning.  They are free unless you want to comment.  Give it a try by CLICKING HERE.

JL                                        

                                                      *   *   *

Another Letter of Mine Published

The Palm Beach Post, which has an infinitely wider circulation than Jackspotpourri, published another letter from me, with just a few very minor changes, this one on April 17.  The editorial to which it refers described the many shortcomings of Florida’s Governor and Legislature.  The letter was brief but to the point, making it very simple:   

“Sunday’s Post editorial, ‘We’re heading in the wrong direction; fix it, DeSantis,’ was aimed at the wrong person.  The Post knows that he will not ‘fix it.’  The editorial should have been directed toward those who have the ability to ‘fix it,’ the voters of the state of Florida.  All they have to do is to avoid voting for Republicans, especially those running for seats in the Florida Legislature.”

I encourage followers of this blog to write letters to whatever newspapers, magazines, or social medial sources they follow.  You have a voice.  Use it. 

 JL                                        

                                                   *   *   *

Israel vs Iran - an Open Secret

The strangest thing about the Iranian drone and rocket attack on Israel was that it was neither a secret nor a surprise.  Iran had said that it would do something when Israel bombed a meeting of its generals in Damascus involved in organizing Hamas and Hezbollah attacks on Israel, killing a few of them.  And Iran let Turkey know what it was about to do as revenge for that, who passed the word on to the United States, which told the Turks to tell Iran to keep their operation ‘within certain limits.’  Which they did. 

It is safe to conclude that Israel was made fully aware by Washington of what Iran was about to do, enabling them (with British, French, and Jordanian assistance) to disable 99% of the Iranian drones, missiles, and rockets.  Iran was able to say they had retaliated for the Damascus bombing and Israel was able to say they had successfully survived that Iranian retaliation, satisfying both governments’ need to declare their successes. Both sides were playing to their political audiences.   But more than that was at stake.  Muslim nations are quick to see that Iran is a far greater threat to them than is Israel.  That recognition is what this was a part of. 

Meanwhile, Israel was still trying to recover the hostages held by Hamas, simultaneously working to destroy that group’s military presence in Gaza, losing support of many in Israel and elsewhere along the way, and dealing with significant domestic disagreements, primarily centered on the right-wing support essential to Bibi Netanyahu’s survival in office.  Diversion of their energies and resources to Iran and its Hezbollah followers can wait for the time being.  But it will come at a time of Israel’s choosing.

JL                                        

 

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Shakespeare In the Criminal’s Mind – Listen to the Lawyers

There are two generally accepted interpretations of Shakespeare’s lines from Act IV, Scene II of his play, Henry VI, Part II.  The words ‘The first thing we do is, let’s kill all the lawyers,’ are spoken by Dick the Butcher, and from one viewpoint, paints lawyers as part of, and supporters of, a corrupt legal system that prevents the people from receiving justice, and as a profession that favors the powerful and wealthy, justifying in his eyes their being ‘killed.’  This viewpoint omits the fact that Dick was an admitted criminal, if not a terrorist. 

On the other hand, however, another interpretation recognizes that omission and suggests that Shakespeare is saying that lawyers should be praised because they stand in the way of such criminals as Dick the Butcher who understandably, from a law-breaker’s standpoint, would want society to be rid of lawyers who supposedly work within the existing framework of laws.  This paints lawyers as a great benefit to society. 

I am pretty sure that both the lawyers defending Donald John Trump and those prosecuting him in his New York ‘hush money’ trial all agree with the second interpretation, believing they are doing the right thing in the pursuit of justice.  But in listening to their arguments, particularly those of the former president’s defense attorneys, the non-lawyer public might be more sympathetic to Dick the Butcher’s position, even though he is a scoundrel and criminal. 

I suppose the audience in those days saw both sides of the coin, depending on where they stood politically, because then, as is the case today, current political issues lurked in the background, with the well-meaning but dangerous dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell taking power a few decades after the play was written. 

Follow the lawyers, on both sides, carefully, and decide if their actions warrant anything near the level of punishment Dick suggests. In Seventeenth century England, they weren’t ‘killed,’ but certainly some were thought of as an obstruction by a less than democratic government. 

JL                                        

                                                       *   *   *

Playing in the outfield for the San Francisco Giants is Mike Yastremski.  I had assumed he was the son of acclaimed Boston Red Sox ballplayer, Carl Yastremski, but I was wrong.  He is his grandson.  Oy!

JL                                        

 

                                                   *   *   *

Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com.

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

 JL

                                                    *   *   *

Saturday, April 13, 2024

April 13, 2024 - Two Soccer Shoe Makers, Russian Manipulation of Republicans, Arizona's Confusion, and a Wrap on Basketball

                                                                *   *   *

Adidas and Puma
Then














Back in the 1950s, when I was stationed at an army base just outside of the German town of Herzogenaurach, about a third of the way between Nuremberg and Munich to its south, I was aware that most of Herzo’s inhabitants worked for either one of two brothers, each of whom had a small factory there manufacturing soccer shoes.  One was Adolf I. Daesner, whose firm survives today as Adidas, playing off of his name, and whose international headquarters now occupies my old army base, along with an office complex, a shopping mall, and a hotel.

Now

 



  

    


I don’t know the subsequent history of his brother’s firm, whose soccer shoes were labeled ‘Puma,’ other than that name is still around in the sports footwear business.  I recently read that Puma was making an effort to compete with the industry’s giants, Nike and of course, Adidas, in getting athletes to wear their products in the upcoming Paris Olympics.  

It’s interesting that both Adidas and Puma had their origins in that sleepy Bavarian town, down the hill from the old U.S. army base (before that it was a Luftwaffe training facility) where we were told not to drink the water, but that the beer was okay.

JL

                                                       *   *   *

 

Russia Still Manipulating the Trumpublicans

The Russian government is constantly grinding out propaganda, injecting it into social media and news reporting in this country.  Republicans who are fooled into believing this stuff are sometimes aware of its source, but usually not.  It seems that they just don’t care.  It is as if they have been hypnotized.

In ‘The Bulwark,’ while pointing out that Republicans are still pushing their big lies (including their disputing the indisputable results of the 2020 presidential election), conservative commentator Mona Charen noted that Ukraine president Zelensky this week warned the U.S. that Ukraine will lose the war against Russia’s aggression if it does not get U.S. aid.  House Speaker Johnson is allied with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in trying to make sure that they do not get this aid, Putin as part of his agenda to revive the old Soviet Union and Johnson (as ordered by Trump) as an attempt to lock in isolationist votes. 

‘Putin seems to have pulled off the most successful foreign influence operation in American history,’ Charen wrote. “If Trump were being blackmailed by Putin, it’s hard to imagine how he would behave any differently.  And though it started with Trump, it has not ended there. Putin now wields more power over the Republicans than anyone other than Trump…. They mouth Russian disinformation without shame. Putin,” she said, “must be pinching himself.”  He cannot believe Americans are that dumb, but he really doesn't understand Republicans, or maybe he just does. 

And Zelensky wasn’t alone in recognizing the importance of the role of the United States.  Japanese prime minister  Kishida, who met with President Biden this week, said that ‘the leadership of the United States is indispensable,’ and asked ‘Without U.S. support, how long before the hopes of Ukraine would collapse under the onslaught from Moscow? ‘Without the presence of the United States, how long before the Indo-Pacific would face even harsher realities?’ 

The answer to Zelensky’s and Kishida’s questions is simple.  Most of the Republicans who believe these lies are either bigoted, selfish, gullible, ignorant, stupid, or combinations of these categories in varying degrees.  When their likely presidential candidate mouths Russian lies, draped in the American flag, they fall into line like the puppet he himself is, and this includes the pathetic Speaker of the House, who confuses Trump with Moses and leans on a religious crutch to mask his ignorance, either real or feigned.

This is the Achilles heel of democracy.  And is all the more reason for those who are not thusly misinformed and misdirected (hopefully you, dear readers) to fight hard to preserve representative democracy in this country.  That is your job leading up to the election on November 5!

JL

                                                      *   *   *

Arizona is a State of Confusion

Even Donald Trump recognized that Arizona’s citing 1864 legislation prohibiting abortion in a court action in that State, dating back to before it even was a State, is crazy.  But he didn’t come out for Federal legislation banning abortion either, and said 'to leave it to the States.'  That was the unfortunate decision the Supreme Court, bolstered by his three handpicked appointees, made when they reversed Roe vs Wade.

This shifting of the question from a woman’s body to ‘States’ rights’ annoyed the Republican right, of course, because they want a national ban, and leaving it to the States might result in far less than that.  When put to them, voters usually favor leaving such 'choices' to the woman involved, even in 'red' States. Usually, Trumpublicans oppose anything Federal (or national) in scope, so this amounted to their disliking an approach they typically would endorse.  Meanwhile, Trump fancies he can have it both ways.  To say there is disunion and confusion among the Republicans is a gross understatement.

This will all be settled in the November elections when I believe pro-choice candidates will rout those who want to limit women’s rights all over the country.  That will be the death knell of the Republican Party, moving them to the oblivion where the Whigs ended up about 170 years ago. It is your job to make that happen!  That is worth repeating.  It isn’t automatic.   It is your job to make that happen

JL

 

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Wrapping Up March Madness

So my prediction for the men's NCAA basketball final was wrong.  Zach Edey played a great game but the rest of the Purdue Boilermakers didn’t show up, at least the ones that so well backed him up during the season.  Incidentally, more TV viewers watched the women's final game than watched UConn's victory over Purdue.  South Carolina defeated Iowa, despite the performance of Caitlin Clark, whose popularity (but not her wealth) is approaching that of Taylor Swift.

Congratulations to the UConn Huskies and of course, to the transfer portal, which played a significant role for many of the teams playing in this year’s March Madness, helping to destroy college sports in the process.

JL                                     

                                                       *   *   *

If today’s postings have a pessimistic tone, what else should we expect in a culture that values the meaningless simplicity of country music lyrics and the violence of pro football over more searching ideas and more peaceful pursuits?

JL                                        

                                                       *   *   *

Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’!  The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com.

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting.

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

JL

                                                    *   *   *


Monday, April 8, 2024

April 8, 2024 - Antisemitism, Winning Florida in November, What Shakespeare Knew, Letters from an American, and Basketball Advice.

 

                             * * * 
Antisemitism and Israel

In dealing with antisemitism, the Anti Defamation League is an invaluable resource.  Check their site out at https://support.adl.org or CLICK HERE.  The ADL monitors, documents, and opposes antisemitism in this country and elsewhere and is well worth supporting.  

The increase in antisemitism in the United States since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 can be attributed to those who for various reasons, criticize Israel’s understandably powerful reaction to that attack, and who wrongly extend that criticism, sometimes violently, to Jews everywhere, including in the United States.  

Bear in mind that opposing some policies of the government of Israel does not make an American (or an Israeli for that matter) an antisemite!  

Unfortunately, antisemites (generally defined as those with a hatred of Jews) do not make that distinction and take the opportunity to associate all Jews, wherever they may be, with policies of the Israeli government concerning conduct of their war against Hamas and Palestinians in general, to which they object. 

Two State-Solution Possibility


(On several occasions, I have pointed out in Jackspotpourri (1) that proposing a ‘one-state’ solution' is the position of both the present Israeli government and Hamas, but for diametrically opposed purposes, and would only serve to increase the animosity of those that 'one state' would not represent, (2) that only a ‘two-state’ solution with a peaceful Palestinian state existing next to its Israeli neighbor will lead to peace there, and (3) that should be the goal of those seeking a peaceful solution.  I also pointed out that all Muslim states in the area, including those under the influence of Iran, must willingly cease their opposition to such a peaceful ‘two-state’ solution, accepting the permanent existence of the State of Israel, and that Israeli settlements in the area that would form a Palestinian state are an impediment to such a solution and must be ended. It is my opinion that the resolution of these two issues is  the crux of the problem.)

JL                                     

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There’s More at Stake than Electing a Senator in November

If you live in Florida, it is important to donate to Democratic candidates who are in close races where your support is crucial.  That means voting for Debbie Muscarsel-Powell for the United States Senate.  She has a great chance of putting Rick Scott (who seems to be against everything good and decent about America) out to pasture.  Learn about her, and donate, at https://www.debbieforflorida.com/ or JUST CLICK HERE . Doing so can help maintain a Democratic majority in the Senate, and defeat a long-time opponent of Social Security, Medicare, and Abortion rights.

Because there will also be a State constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in November, the passage of which will guarantee women the right to make their own choices concerning abortion, canceling the Florida legislature’s strict anti-abortion laws, I believe that it is likely that Ms. Muscarsel-Powell will, because of the large voter turnout that question will bring about, be elected to the Senate!  

But that turnout might accomplish a great deal more!  

It is conceivable that the Florida legislature might end up with Democratic majorities as well, coming into office on her coattails!   Florida’s electoral votes might even go to President Biden!  All of this might be far too much to hope for, but some of it should certainly happen!  But you must do your part to make any of it happen!  On election day, and every day until then!

Wherever you are, please make sure that you are registered to vote, and you have taken the necessary steps to 'vote by mail.'  Who knows?  We might have a late season hurricane on November 5.  In Palm Beach County, call the Supervisor of Elections at (561) 656-6208.  

Take on the responsibility of checking to see that your friends and neighbors are similarly registered to vote, and of course, by mail!  That is the very least you can do!

JL                                      


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Shakespeare, Macbeth, and Donald Trump

Here a quote from Maureen Dowd’s weekend New York Times column, which deals with Shakespeare and Trump:

‘As Stephen Greenblatt writes in “Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics,” usurpers don’t ascend to the throne without complicity. Republican enablers do all they can to cozy up to their would-be dictator, even introducing a bill to rename Dulles airport for Trump. Democrats responded by introducing a bill to name a prison in Florida for Trump.

“Why, in some circumstances, does evidence of mendacity, crudeness or cruelty serve not as a fatal disadvantage but as an allure, attracting ardent followers?” Greenblatt asked. “Why do otherwise proud and self-respecting people submit to the sheer effrontery of the tyrant, his sense that he can get away with saying and doing anything he likes, his spectacular indecency?”

 

Like Macbeth’s castle, the Trump campaign has, as Lady Macbeth put it, “the smell of blood,” and “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten it."

 

Dowd doesn’t answer the questions posed in the second paragraph reproduced above.  Can you?

JL                                        

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A Great Start to Each Morning

History tends to repeat itself.  That’s why a historian’s view of what is occurring today is important.  Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson, whose specialty is American history during the last half of the Nineteenth century, posts her *free ‘Letters from an American’ late every evening.  It touches all the bases that comprise the day’s news with links to her source material provided.  As philosopher George Santayana (and probably others as well) said, Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.”  Find her postings at https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ or JUST CLICK HERE.  This is an extremely valuable source of information today!  Try it today!

Professor Richardson’s April 5 posting quotes President Biden’s comment on the economy (‘My plan is growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, investing in all Americans, and giving the middle class a fair shot') and points out how dependence on the private sector benefits only the wealthy and that crucial tasks, such as dealing with the Baltimore bridge collapse, are best done by the government.  It is well worth reading.

*(If you wish to add your comments, as hundreds do every day, that costs $5 a month.)

JL                                        

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How to Predict Winners of College Basketball Games - (including Purdue vs UConn)

When college basketball reaches the tournament stage, with most teams reaching that point having excellent shooters and ball handlers, it’s no longer a matter of which team makes the most baskets.  That’s what shows up in the final score but that number is not entirely the result of ‘shots made’ but also depends on what occurs after the ‘shots that miss the basket.’  The ability to seize the rebound and make a successful follow-up basket is what counts.  Failing to do that lets the other team recover the ball immediately after the missed shot. 

The women’s final in which South Carolina defeated Iowa illustrates this, with South Carolina out-rebounding Iowa by 61 to 29!   Too often, when the Hawkeyes missed a shot, that was it, and South Carolina immediately went on the offense, and usually had more than one shot at the basket due to their rebounding skill. 

I directly attribute that to the height edge that its players had, and why I had picked South Carolina to win that game.  Using that same logic, Purdue will defeat Connecticut in the men’s final tonight because their center, Zach Edey is 7’4’’ while the Huskies’ center, Donovan Clingan, is a mere 7’2”.  Otherwise, the two teams’ starters are similar, height-wise.  But that two-inch difference between the two centers means a lot and that is why I predict a Purdue victory by about two points, possibly increased by intentional UConn fouling in the final thirty seconds of the game. 

Edey at Work


Someday, recruiting for college basketball players might be directed exclusively toward seven footers.  I think that would be a disaster.  Imagine a team of five Zach Edeys or Donovan Clingans.  A good solution for this might be for there to be a limit, somewhere around 6’6” for college basketball players. Those taller than that would be relegated to using their education to prepare for the challenges of life, as those students not in competitive athletics already are doing.  Or they might build up their musculature and consider becoming wide receivers on a school’s football team.  

JL                                        

 

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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them.  

Email Alerts:  If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted. You can pass those email addresses to me by email at jacklippman18@gmail.com. 

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc.

If you want to send someone the blog, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.

JL

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