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.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Election Update on Romney Campaign, Jewish Voters and Women Voters - - - Sid "On Technology," a Visitor to the Butterfly Garden and a Conclusion to the Classical South Florida Affair

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The following question has been added to this blog posting which was published two days ago, October 29.  All other material in the posting remains unchanged.

Jack Lippman 10-31-12

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Should Election Day Be Postponed?

Hurricane Sandy and the Potentially Flawed Election

Can the damage done by Hurricane “Sandy” influence the Presidential Election?

Will storm damage make some voting locations unavailable due to damaged equipment or lack of power?  Two week power outages have occurred in the past in the Northeast.

Will reduced transportation in hard-hit areas limit access to voting places?
NYC Subway

Will information regarding alternate voting places be properly disseminated in view of the many people without electrical current to power TVs, computers and telephones?

Will people not bother to vote since they may still be fully occupied with the more important tasks of repairing storm damage, possibly moving into temporary living quarters and getting their lives together after the storm?

One or more of these factors can influence the results of the Presidential Election.  They might play a role in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and possibly in other states where the storm had a significant effect. Therefore, the possibility of a “flawed” Presidential Election exists as well as unexpected results in other races.  


Breezy Point, NY, after storm-lashed fire and homes in Seaside Park, NJ

By now it is clear that storm-related impediments to voting will not be resolved by Election Day and that voting should be postponed nationwide at least one full week until at least November 13, and if there still are problems at that time in certain locations, voting should be allowed on the following day as well.  If you reside in Lower Manhattan or in any of the four counties on the New Jersey shore, for example, your voting location may be changed and without a restoration of power, proper notification of such changes will be difficult, if not impossible.
If Election Day is not postponed, the vote’s outcome will be forever  tainted by the effect of Sandy on the election process. 


It's a Week Until Election Day.  Vote Early if You Can!

Any Port in a Storm

The winds of tropical storm Sandy must have disoriented a beautiful Malachite butterfly.  But it knew a good thing when it saw one and stopped off at my butterfly garden.  Here is a close-up picture of this relatively rare sighting as he (or she) waits for the sun to come out again on my Passiflora Juliette.  (Malachite butterflies are named for the green coloring on the bottom portion of their wings; the top of the wings, however, are usually colored as in the above photograph.)
Jack Lippman


More on Romney's Tactics and a Word about Sheldon Adelson

The only issue which Mitt Romney can use as Election Day draws near is the economy.  Although the solutions he offers have been proven historically not to work, he still offers them in the face of continuing unemployment and a very slow growing economy, both of which enable him to claim that the President didn't deliver on what he said he would accomplish back in 2008.  But Romney himself has nothing to offer except discredited "trickle down" remedies.

This is the G.O.P.'s only available strategy.  On all ofher issues (foreign policy, the debt, health care, immigration, womens' rights), Romney has a poor hand to play.  So he's not playing it.

That is why, even though he had earlier stated foreign policy positions contrary to those of the President, he seemed to be agreeing with those positions at the last debate.  He knows that foreign policy isn't the crucial issue.   And so it is with the other issues, where he seems to be heading toward a more centrist position, if he bothers to address them at all, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ECONOMY.  All other issues he has marginalized, in his efforts to attract the votes of the undecided.

He is trying to present an image of being pretty close to the political center, with some modification to mollify the right wing of his party, EXCEPT IN REGARD TO THE ECONOMY.  The TeaParty people know this and are willing to tolerate it in order to win the election. 

The economy is the only issue on which he wants to contest the presidency. Otherwise, he is giving the appearance of being more moderate and likeable than he was a month ago. He wants us to believe that RomneyCare won't really differ very much from ObamaCare, except in how it is funded. He likes women.  He likes teachers.  He likes Detroit.  He wants the troops home.  As Bill Clinton is reported to have said, "It's the economy, stupid."  And that is all Mitt will be talking about from here on in.  Forget everything else.  And in doing so, he will take the confident attitude of someone who believes he is ahead.  That's why the polls on Fox News differ from those from other sources, serving to instill confidence in their candidate and his supporters.  Don't believe them and don't believe him.

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Here in South Florida, things are a bit different.  The state's electoral votes are important to both candidates.  They could prove, as they did in 2000, decisive.  And the "Jewish" votes in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties could make the difference in 2012.  That is why the SuperPac funded by gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson has poured so much money into organizations like the Republican Jewish Coalition to dupe these voters into thinking that President Obama is not a friend of Israel.  He is! The President has provided Israel with more high tech military defensive material than any other President.  He will not permit Iran to have a nuclear weapon.  Even Mitt Romney, at the Lynn University debate, concurred with the President's approach to dealing with Iran and his policy toward Israel.


Both candidates believe a two-state solution is the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli problem.  Obama has improved relations with the Arab world so that such a solution at some time in the future may actually happen.  Romney, on the other hand, in a shameless effort to win over voters and attract campaign contributions, has flirted with the kind of one-state solution that only the Orthodox and Sheldon Adelson advocate.  Such a solution will never work and guarantees centuries of a perpetually dangerous garrison state mentality for Israel.  

Adelson, whose dealings with the Chinese in regard to his casinos there have drawn the attention of regulatory authorities in Washington, has a good reason to donate money to elect an administration favorable to his position in the gambling industry world-wide.  And he is willing to buy the "Jewish" votes in Florida to help accomplish this.  Don't be fooled. The President is a great friend of Israel.  Ask any politician there, with the exception of Bibi Netanyahu, whose private views are probably different from his public political exhortations, made to keep his governing coalition, which includes hawkish right wing religious parties, in his corner.  


Attention Women (and others)

If you sat Mitt Romney down at a table with Indiana Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock, Missouri Senatorial candidate Chad Akin (both of whom he has endorsed) and of course, G.O..P. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and got them into a discussion of
(a) a woman's right to decide for herself if she wants an abortion, 
(b) under what circumstances abortion should remain legal, and 
(c) Rowe vs. Wade, 
Mitt Romney would probably be the most sympathetic to women's rights of the four of them.

But that is, as they say, damning with faint praise.  The fact that he has endorsed Mourdock and Akin, and shares his ticket with Ryan, all of whom have dedicated themselves to working to severely limit a woman's right to an abortion, is reason enough for any self-respecting woman to refuse to vote for him.

Mitt Romney with Mourdock -  Paul Ryan with Akin.  Birds of a Feather Flock Together. 


The End of the Classical South Florida Battle

Wrapping up my long-standing battle with Classical South Florida, on October 12 the Federal Communications Commission finally denied my “Informal Objection” to the application for renewal of the license of WPBI-FM, CSF’s FM station in West Palm Beach.  This action on their part was not unexpected, but I hope that the fact that I was able to delay the Commission’s approval of the license renewal for more than nine months should make the station aware of opposition in the Palm Beach County community to their programming practices.

My objection to the elimination of news and information programming from WPBI’s total classical music format at 38,000 watt 90.7 FM was answered by the Commission which quoted the United States Supreme Court in saying that “a change in programming is not a material factor that should be considered by the Commission in ruling on applications for renewal.”

I also had objected to the absence of a listing of the “issues” with which WPBI’s public interest programming dealt, as required by the Rules governing the Commission. The Commission felt that the required quarterly listing of such programs “is sufficient to fulfill the Commission’s goal of giving the public substantial and sufficient information about a station’s issue responsive programming,” despite the absence of a specific section or heading specifically entitled, “Issues.”  

Finally, my objection to CSF’s transmission of their hybrid digital subchannel (carrying WPBI-News) on a 250 watt translator transmitter at 101.9 FM was met by the Commission holding that “there is no prohibition on the use of FM translator stations to re-broadcast a station’s digital programming stream.”

Okay then, here is the bottom line:

WPBI broadcasts classical music at 90.7 FM, easily heard in all of Palm Beach County.  Enjoy it!  It is a broader menu of music than the late WXEL offered.

WPBI-News broadcasts public radio news and information at 101.9 FM which can  easily be heard within the City of West Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach, somewhat more widely on car radios and is generally available on HD (hybrid digital) radio, the internet or on smart phones.

I recommend that Palm Beach County listeners who cannot access WPBI-News through any of these avenues tune into Miami’s WLRN at 91.3 FM which is an excellent source of public radio news and information programming during daytime hours, providing good jazz in the evening hours.  It can be easily heard in central and southern Palm Beach County.  

Actually WLRN is a far better source of news and information programming than WPBI-News which depends to a greater extent on hour-long BBC newscasts, which probably are less expensive to the station than public radio programs produced here in the United States.

Both WPBI and WLRN are to a great extent "listener supported."   I used to support WXEL in this manner but since I listen more to news and information programming than to classical music, I now donate to WLRN.

Jack Lippman

Sid's Corner

Technology Versus Function

When our daughter-in-law bought a new LG washer and dryer, my wife’s me-too-ism lit off like a rocket.   Although our tired, eleven-year-old units still functioned, they were noisy and temperamental she argued over my protests that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

During our subsequent shopping safaris her eyes sparkled at the latest, high-tech offerings while I dragged her from the winking, blinking control panels desperately praising the functionally adequate, impeller-equipped, minimal cycle-choice models that had served us admirably for fifty-eight years.

“After all,” I implored, “cold, warm, hot, small, medium, large, and slow, medium, high speed is all you’ve ever selected.  Why spend twice the dollars for options that you’ll never use?” 

So, I chuckled to myself as I overheard her on the phone with tech support in Panama (where else?) struggling again to learn how her new high-tech washer could be made to obey her desire to just spin-dry her hand-washed articles.  She begged me to try to interpret the exchange between her and two different English-challenged techs…unplug the power cord, hold the start button to reset the electronics, select different cycles, etc., etc., etc.  When we requested to speak to a tech in America, we were told that there is no such support available.  The Panama crew is it.   

Holding back any indication of “I told you so”, I consoled her and promised to try to figure it out for her.  After all, I was a design, project, manufacturing engineer in my former life.

The next day while she was out playing cards, I studied the beast.  Twenty eight choices controlled by five different push buttons plus five indicator lights stared at me from the control panel.  A quick survey of the panel and a review of the manual produced no discovery of “just spin”. 

Googling my way through LG issues and questions on the internet disclosed that we were not alone with our frustrating tech support; and that other consumers were having misgivings about the product itself.  My search for an LG telephone number in America led to the customer service number in Panama or corporate in South Korea. 

Having no other choice I called Panama, told the tech my tale of woe, and gently, kindly, insisted that I be connected to someone in America.  Jenna reluctantly finally agreed to do so, and some minutes later, Ashley in South Atlanta picked up.  I was euphoric…until Ashley advised me that she was in Administration, didn’t know squat technically, and that Panama was the only game in town.  After groveling for her to ask someone there for a glimmer of guidance for my dilemma, she relented.  After more minutes on hold while I was sure she had hung up, she returned with some useful info and stayed on the line while I used it to navigate the control panel’s maze of options. 

After thanking her profusely I recalled Panama to get the missing details.  The Gods were smiling because this time I got Matt who spoke and understood English.  “There is no ‘spin only’ just a ‘rinse+ spin’,” he finally concluded.  So my wife will have to adjust herself to accommodate the high-tech monster.  

He even explained the five water temps…tap cold, cold, eco-cold, warm, and hot…each only 20 degrees apart.  Ah, sweet, useless technology.
Sid Bolotin


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Jack Lippman
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