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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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013



There are a lot of iggerant people in this country.  This thought occurred to me when I saw the Ambassador from the Czech Republic explain to a TV newsman that the accused Boston Marathon bombers were not from his country, but from Chechnya, a federal republic within Russia, almost two thousand miles from his country.  Apparently, in addition to confusion between the two places circulating on Facebook and on Twitter, there had been a satirical article on the internet suggesting that in retaliation for the bombing, the United States should attack the Czech Republic!   How can people be so iggerant?  Certainly, the publishers of the article were joking, but I am certain many believed them, enough to warrant a Czech diplomat's reply.  How can people be so iggerant?

Benjamin Franklin

And while speaking of the internet, I am reminded of a teacher back in high school who frequently quoted Benjamin Franklin’s famous words to us: “Once something is kissed by printer’s ink, it lives forever.”  And it misleadingly follows in the eyes of some that if something is printed in a book, magazine or newspaper, it must be true!  Today, with print media on the decline, that erroneous conception of truth is being extended to the internet where the resources needed to spread lies are far less than in any print media.

Getting back to the Boston bombing, the question has been raised as to who “radicalized” Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  Some claim he did it himself through a process of “self-radicalization,” without a mentor or “handler.”  There certainly is enough material on the internet (remember the first two words represented by “www” are “world wide”) about “Islamic Jihad” to begin one’s indoctrination into that extremist aspect of Islam. And once a person visits such web sites (where bomb building among other things is taught), he is led to similar sites where, before long, he is able absorb hours each day of foul thoughts bolstering his self-radicalization.  And Tameran amplified those thoughts with his own online site, confirming his radicalization. Yes, that is the way it happens.

Of course, it is much easier if the person radicalizing himself is “iggerant” to start with and who is willing to accept without question whatever Jihadist web sites present as the truth, the same kind of person who in another context, doesn’t know the difference between Chechnya and the Czech Republic.  (I had a professor back in college who described the kind of person I call “iggerant” as not knowing the difference between beans and split popcorn.)

I know some otherwise intelligent individuals who still doubt President Obama’s birthplace and who believe he actually is a “closet” Muslim with unspoken plans vaguely connected to either Jihad or Socialism.  There are some people who actually and sincerely believe that the 9-11 bombings of the World Trade Center, the Boston bombing and events like the Newtown school shooting or the Aurora theatre shooting were staged by the United States government in an effort to push through restrictive measures which, in the guise of protecting citizens, would turn America into a totalitarian state.  How can people be so iggerant?  How?  Simply, if they see it in print or on the internet, they assume it is credible information, just as the “self-radicalized” Boston bomber absorbed the lies from Jihadist web sites piled one on top of the other. 

Almost all of the extremist Islamic information on the internet starts off with something that is “true” before it works its way into radicalization.  Similarly, some right-wing conservative web sites start out with the truth before they lead one into a gentle tumble down the hill into extremism.  Try an experiment.  Visit the web site of Newsmax magazine, a straightforward, credible conservative publication (www.newsmax.com), and you will find a lot of accurate reporting, usually slanted to the right, but not necessarily misleading.  But take careful note of the advertisers on that web site and the occasional links provided to other web sites. Click on a few of them and see where it will lead you. This is an example of the beginning of the process of “self-radicalization” involving extremist views of all kinds, and it is applicable to anyone who doesn’t use their head discerningly and is “iggerant” of the world around them.

Question for the “Iggerant”:  What university is state-run and located in Moscow?  Should American citizens’ tax dollars go to support such an institution?   

(Answer will be in the next posting.)

Jack Lippman


What’s in a Name? 

The last name of the Boston terrorists is Tsarnaev.  Many times, when names are translated into English from a foreign tongue, particularly one using a different alphabet, liberalities are taken with the spelling of the name.   

The first syllable of “Tsarnaev” is probably derived from and pronounced the way the title of the former ruler of the Russian Empire was pronounced in English, “Zar” or “Sar.”  As for the last syllable, “naev,” that is possibly the Chechnian version of the Russian endings “nov” or “noff.”  Conceivably, if the Tsarnaev family had emigrated to the United States and decided to simplify their name, as many immigrants have done, is it possible that they would have changed it to “Sarnoff”?   

David Sarnoff
David Sarnoff, Founder of RCA, who emigrated to the U.S. from Byelorussia (now Belarus) many years ago.

Doesn’t this make these Chechnian terrorist brothers seem somewhat less alien?  It shouldn't.  Don't be fooled.  The motivation of those who emigrated to the United States a century ago was different from some of the more recent immigrants to this country.  

Small World Department

Mobile, AL street scene

A lady in Alabama had been doing some genealogical research in regard to the family name of her long-time significant other.   She frequently had shared the fruits of her research with a close friend in Illinois, whom she actually considered as "family."  One day she mentioned some of the descendants of her significant other's family to the friend, specifically the names of the grandchildren of one of his own grandfather's brothers.  The names of two of these grandchildren rang a bell with the friend, whom I have neglected, thus far, to say is the daughter of a late first cousin of mine.  These two children, it became clear after an exchange of Emails, are my two children! It turns out that the Alabama lady's significant other's grandfather and my father-in-law were brothers!  My wife, who passed away in 2010, would have loved this!   I am glad that I am not on Facebook nor do I get involved with www.Ancestry.com.  If I were, I suppose I wouldn’t get any sleep for the next few weeks.  I wonder how many of you, in digging through your family ancestry, have encountered situations like this.


ANGELS AMONG US???                        

Sid Bolotin

A friend of mine is very much into angels being around us and coming to our aid when least expected.  He recently wrote of such an incident he experienced and asked me to recount any of my own.

(That incident is featured in the April 25, 2013 posting of this blog.)

Although I’ve been a Newager for years and have explored mysticism and religious beliefs, I’ve never embraced his concept of angels among us, but his request set me thinking.

Because I’m recuperating from a recent hip-replacement, my thoughts flickered back to my hospital stay and its unpleasantness re TLC being sporadically provided by the over-worked nursing staff.

My wife was my advocate in seeking care for me arising from a complication re bladder function that arose as a result of the use of general anesthesia in lieu of the planned spinal block.  I had to stay extra days and was clearly a glitch in the schedule.  Her complaints to the charge nurse re my needs…especially a sponge bath produced my “angel”.

Because tall, blond Jonna just happened to be there that day for a training session as a nursing student, her nurse-trainer volunteered her to help me as part of her day’s duties.  Jonna turned out to be a poster child for nursing as it should be…as an icon of TLC.

She assessed my condition, listened to my wife’s complaints of my not having a sponge bath for days, and noted my soiled johnny and rumpled bedding.  She helped me into the bathroom, stood me at the sink, and stripped me naked.  Gently she washed all the parts of my body that I could not reach…considering that this was Wednesday, only two days since my operation on Monday.  She even shampooed my hair.  It was a tad awkward for me being in the all-together with this rather attractive, mid-thirties charming woman.

After dressing me in a fresh, clean johnny she guided me back to my bed, sat me in a chair and proceeded to completely change my bedding…a task overlooked by the regular nursing staff…maybe because I was supposed to have gone home in two days.  She then ran ‘round to provide me with two pitchers of water so that I could better increase my fluid intake re my bladder treatment.  She never once shied from these duties because they were usually the responsibility of a CNA (Certified Nurse’s Assistant). 

Although many of the nurses and their assisting CNA’s were attentive, they were assigned six rooms each shift making it difficult for them handle a patient’s needs when tied up with one patient’s immediate requests.  Therefore my phone calls to the nurse, the CNA, or even the charge nurse too many times brought a frustrating response of: “Yes, yes, Mister Sid, someone will be there soon.  We’re busy with another patient right now.”

Jonna’s materialization “out of the blue” provided me with the physical and emotional support that I desperately needed.  The hip was doing fine, but the bladder problem was an unexpected hiccup that was so very troublesome for me and my wife.  

According to my friend’s belief Jonna was an angel…my angel sent to help me in my hour of need.


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1 comment:

Odilon said...

It is indeed a small world!!!!

Jane A.