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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, May 6, 2012

A Passing, Election Issues and What's with Newspapers?

We join with Sid in mourning the untimely passing of Helene Tendrich, our friend and reader of this blog.

Sid Bolotin

My dear friend Hélène passed yesterday
No, not passed, she fucking died
Too young
Too soon
And I am pissed
Eight years of volunteering at hospice
Endless studying of Zen Buddhism’s
Principles/tenets of life being what it is
Countless workshops/studies of spirituality
Are not enough to quell my sorrowful anger
Like Job in the bible
I rage at God as to why
No answer is forthcoming
The question is meaningless
A non-question can have no answer

                       Helene and Lew


Mika’s I-Pad

The other day I was watching “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.  Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were talking about something which was in the news with their guests and as is usual on this program, all of the day’s papers (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Daily News, Washington Post, USA Today, etc.) were spread out on the table before them.

Mika and Joe on "Morning Joe"

“Wait,” Mika interjected.  “I just read a column about that.  Let me get it and show it to you.”  But instead of reaching for whatever paper the column was in, Mika pulled out her IPad and started looking for the article on line.  Within twenty seconds or so, she had it and was quoting from it.

It was then that I knew that newspapers were really finished.  Americans will have to find something else to spread on the floor when they are painting or something to crumple up and stuff into the box along with the dishes they are packing away.  But if these newspapers go out of business, as many have, what news sources will be available on your IPad, laptop or desktop?  Unreliable blogs like the one you are reading?  I hope not. Or will the surviving newspapers become online publications for which you will be paying a subscription price not unlike what you are now paying for a printed publication to be delivered to your doorstep?  Within a few years, that may be the only alternative.  

When that day comes, there will be just a few reliable major national news sources and numerous local news sources.  None will be printed on paper and we will make our online choices and pay for them, just as we pay for paper subscriptions today.  Or else go “uninformed,”  “misinformed” or dependent on the snippets of news which TV provides. 
Jack Lippman


The Real Issues in the Presidential Race


There are real issues involved in the Presidential election.  You wouldn’t know it, however, from listening to what the President and Mitt Romney are saying, whenever they get near a microphone.    The real issues include:

1. People must be put back to work.  Jobs must be created.  Jobs must be recaptured from overseas outsourcing.  Employed people spend money,  pay taxes and don’t collect unemployment benefits.

2. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (as much as those receiving benefits love these programs) and other “entitlement” programs must be revamped before they bankrupt the nation. 

3.  Sources of revenue to fund these things and the rest of what the government does, including a reduced military establishment must be found.  There are only so many spending cuts that are possible and tax loopholes that can be closed, so new sources of revenue must be found, including increased taxes.  

4.  The nation’s exploding debt must be realistically managed, just as personal debt, including credit card debt and student loans must be put under control.  They are both manifestations of the same problem:  How far beyond one’s current means can an individual or a nation spend through the miracle of borrowing without courting disaster? 

5.  Regulation of Wall Street and the banking industry must be tightened or loosened, depending on where you stand.  

6.  The real estate crisis, involving many Americans losing their homes, and reducing the value of the homes of those who aren’t losing them must be solved. 

7.  Our infrastructure is in dire need of repair. Roads and bridges are crumbling.  

8.  Whether belt-tightening austerity is the solution or government pump priming to boost the economy is the answer must be decided.  You can’t have it both ways.

9.  Does tax relief for the wealthy and businesses enable them to invest in job creation or is trickle-down economics a fairy tale?  

10. Our educational system must be revised so that American kids are competitive with those from other nations in science, technology, engineering and math.  

11.  No American should ever go to bed hungry.

12.  No American should go without health care.

13.  Go back and read Number 1 on this list.  That’s where it all starts.

Basically, both parties agree about foreign policy, so these are the only things which the Presidential candidates should be talking about.  Anything else is hogwash.  Over the next few months, this blog will address these issues.  Your ideas are welcome.  Mine will be Keynesian.

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Most 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 contacting me at Riart1@aol.com.  

Also, be aware that www.Jackspotpourri.com is now available on your mobile devices in a modified, easy-to-read, format.

Our family of web sites includes:   www.computerdrek.com  - www.politicaldrek.com  -  www.sportsdrek.com  -  www.healthdrek.com
Check all of them out, find out what “drek” really means and feel free to submit your thoughts and articles for publication on these sites, which, while still “under construction,” already contain some interesting content.

Additional new material will continue to be posted on www.politicaldrek.com until the Presidential election.  New material will resume being added to the other three “drek” sites after November of 2012.

Jack Lippman
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