About Me

My photo
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 for 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.

Friday, February 25, 2022

02-25-2022 - Comments on Ukraine

 

IF YOU LIKE THIS BLOG, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND OTHERS YOU FEEL MIGHT ENJOY READING IT. (The address: jackspotpourri.com)
JL 
                               *   *   *   *   *

Comments on Ukraine Crisis                                     

Momentarily putting aside the Russian invasion of Ukraine until the last paragraphs of this posting, let’s first look at its demographic and geopolitical aspects.  The two regions of Ukraine which have declared themselves to be independent, Donetsk and Luhansk, and which Russia promptly recognized, present an unusual demographic challenge to Russia.  

A friend who was born in Russia pointed out to me that the two major cities in these two regions are populated by large numbers of Russian-speaking Ukrainians who would welcome inclusion in Russia.  The remainder of these two provinces, the small towns, the farms and the villages, however, speak Ukrainian and would not readily accept inclusion in Russia.  Thus, Russia’s recognizing these break-away regions presents problems for them, despite their acknowledged control of the two major cities. 

The Donetsk region (they call them ‘Oblasts’) has about four and a half million people, of which about only a million live in the city of Donetsk. The Luhansk Oblast has a population of about two and a half million, with only about half a million in the city of Luhansk, the population of which is about evenly split between Ukrainian speakers and Russian speakers. As a rule of thumb, the further east one goes in Ukraine, the more people speak Russian and would not object to being part of that country instead of Ukraine. This is the kind of problem which has plagued Europe for centuries and has led to numerous wars.  Note from the map below that the area held by those desiring permanent separation from Ukraine are only small areas of these two provinces (Oblasts).

Putin wants the region known as ‘the Ukraine’ (as opposed to the nation known as Ukraine) back in what was the Russian ‘empire’ until the USSR broke up in 1990.  He dreams of reconstructing what once was the USSR, with the Ukraine as one of its participating and subservient ‘republics,’ which it had become after the First World War a century ago.  

Although Ukrainian has always been spoken in that region as well as Russian, and Ukraine has always been to some extent independent for periods of time throughout history, even Americans sometimes treat it as if it were part of Russia.  The Yalta conference took place there as well as it being the setting of some of Chekhov’s plays.  Most assume that setting was Russia, but really, it was Ukraine, or ‘the Ukraine,’ as part of Russia or of the USSR, where these events took place. Even Ukraine’s President’s first language is Russian, not Ukrainian!

This all serves, along with its large Russian-speaking population, to diminish Ukrainian identity, which is nevertheless very real and has been supported by its totally independent nationhood for over 30 years since 1991 after the USSR broke up.  Through several treaties, including one giving up its nuclear weapons, Ukraine co-existed with Russia until 2014 when it withdrew from them after Russia seized the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, a violation of these treaties.

In the background of Putin’s moves is the long-standing desire of Russia for a Black Sea outlet to the Mediterranean Sea.  Seizing the Crimean peninsula in  2014 somewhat achieved this but control of the adjacent Sea of Azov is also important to achieving it. The Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts border on that sea providing ports, from which the Black Sea can be accessed through the Kerch Strait, an area of conflict for years between Russia and Ukraine. The Don River empties into the sea of Azov, flowing through Donetsk.

Ukraine was doing a fine job succeeding as a democracy after they, in 2014, threw out Putin’s puppets (the ones Paul Manafort, Trump's 2016 campaign advisor, worked to install there).  Its successful economy exported many products including grains, petroleum and manufactured items throughout Europe and Asia, and included Russia as a customer.  But throwing out his puppet regime was a refutation of everything Vladimir Putin stands for.  The former regions of the USSR that have chosen to ally with the West, like the three Baltic states (Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia) as well as former satellites like Poland, are doing well and Vladimir Putin would not like to see Ukraine follow their path, fearing an ultimate spread of such democratic models to Russia itself. 


On this map, the body of water south of Donetsk is the Sea of Azov. The Crimean peninsula, occupied by Russia since 2014 is to its left.  The Sea of Azov ultimately provides entry into the Black Sea via the Kerch Strait, and ultimately is a route to the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.


As for membership in NATO, which calls for all members to come to the aid of any which might be attacked, that is another matter entirely and raises the question of whether that aid must necessarily be military force with troops ‘on the ground’ or firing from jet planes or sending off missiles or possibly something significantly less, but still potent, such as imposing economic sanctions, along with arming member states whose military might become involved.  Although the U.S.A. is a member of NATO, its degree of actual military participation (Article 5 of the NATO Agreement) is still a matter of debate in this country, particularly after its Afghan and Iraqi experiences.

                                                    *     *     *

At this time, with the uneven military confrontation started by Putin in Ukraine still dangerously fluid, it is hard to see what the outcome will be.  I will take a wild guess though and it is that Putin will ultimately decide that it is not worth the trouble ...

(1) once Western and world-wide economic sanctions begin to be felt, and,

(2) once the Ukrainians prove to be a harder nut to crack than he thought, and,

(3) once his deadly military action against neighbors whom many Russians consider as countrymen or even relatives arouses domestic opposition, and,

(4) once he realizes there is little support for his actions among the world's nations.  

Putin’s calling the democratically-elected Ukraine government a bunch of Nazis manipulated by the United States, an effort to split off the Ukrainian people from their elected government, will not work.  The Ukrainians are too smart to swallow that.  

The question is how long it will take Putin to come to this realization and decide upon a comfortable exit strategy.  There already are whispers about a meeting being scheduled in Belarus’ capital, Minsk, to negotiate an end to hostilities.  Of course, both sides will start with extreme, supposedly non-negotiable positions and the result will depend upon how much compromise can be achieved.

Ukraine will probably agree not to join NATO, at least openly, and Putin will pull his troops out.  The West’s sanctions will be removed.  The Donetsk and Luhansk separatists in the Don River Basin (often called the Donbas) will be given a measure of autonomy, and Russia might even gain access via a treaty to their ports on the Sea of Azov.   But the Ukrainians will retain their independence and will lick their wounds, bandaged with dollars from the West and that is the way it will end.  

Each side will be able to claim victory.  That’s my guess. How long it will take to happen? A week?  A month?  Three or four months?   I don’t know.


JL 
                               *   *   *   *   *

Monday, February 21, 2022

02-21-2022 - The Legitimization of Ignorance, A Gross Understatement, A Letter to the Post and Lurking Anti-Semitism

 

IF YOU LIKE THIS BLOG, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND OTHERS YOU FEEL MIGHT ENJOY READING IT.

Voters Believe Lies and There are Plenty of Liars Out There - The Legitimization of Ignorance

Those who instigated the lawbreakers who tried to overthrow our Constitution on January 6, 2021 are still roaming free because of the legitimatization of ignorance, made possible by the First Amendment as well as the availability of lawyers to delay, appeal and confuse issues. 

Voters readily believe lies, confuse protest with insurrection, refuse to follow CDC Covid19 recommendations, cannot distinguish between opinion and fact, and consider choosing authoritarianism as a legitimate exercise of their inherent freedoms. They attack our schools; they fight to deny women the right to choose to have an abortion; they want everyone to be able to carry a sidearm everywhere, to protect their ‘freedoms;.’ they want to restrict voting by those with whom they disagree.  And the Constitution gives them the right to do all of this!  

Don't kid yourself.  It will get a lot worse for us all before it finally gets better.

 JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *

Joe Rogan 

The big problem with Joe Rogan, whose podcasts were just purchased by Spotify, a giant in the music streaming field, for hundreds of millions of dollars, is that the freedom he allows his guests legitimizes ignorance.  Too many of his listeners can’t tell the difference between truth and fantasy and downright lying which are all mixed together by him.  That is not good.

 JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *

A Gross Understatement

Also in the news this week was the President’s denying the defeated former president's claim of executive privilege in regard to releasing the White House visitors' logs, President Biden's White House counsel asked the National Archives to hand them over quickly "in light of the urgency" of the committee's work and Congress' "compelling need." THAT IS A GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT, IF EVER THERE WERE ONE! 

A new Congress is up for grabs in 33 weeks along with the fate of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 events. Time is running short. Remember it took ten years for Remington's partial responsibility for the Sandy Hook shootings to work its way through litigation. Anytime lawyers are involved, they can reach into their toolkit for ways to postpone and delay. The clock is ticking. Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock!

 JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *


Stop, Look and Listen Department

Here's a letter I’ve sent to the Palm Beach Post after a series of accidents at train grade crossings.  I doubt that they will print it. 

Some Florida Drivers Just Don't Pay Attention


“It is in the interest of South Florida’s residents’ safety to follow Brightline’s very clear warnings at rail crossings. But Brightline seems to have ignored the fact that many Floridians are notorious for not doing things which are in their interest, as clearly evidenced by the folks they repeatedly elect to represent them in Tallahassee and Washington. We also know that it would have been in the public’s interest if the FEC tracks, to accommodate Brightline, were elevated or depressed in urban areas, eliminating grade crossings, as are the tracks carrying the similar Acela trains in the Northeast, but that was far too much to have hoped for in Florida.” 

Incidentally, I am about to cancel my ‘paper’ subscription to the Palm Beach Post due to delivery problems.  I might just go along with the ‘online’ subscription.  It bothers me that they have transferred their customer service to the Philippines, putting local Americans out of jobs, augmenting the millions of ‘retail’ jobs which have gone down the tube, many replaced by internet purchasing. The answer might be a mandatory maximum twenty or thirty-hour workweek, with benefits of course.  While it is true that unemployment is down, the available job openings demand skills the unemployed usually do not have. Even swinging a shovel in a coal mine is being replaced by natural gas pipelines

 JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *

Democrats Don't Get It 

Democrats don't yet get it that the only way they can maintain control of Congress, and to avoid the demise of the Select Committee investigating January 6, is to register massive numbers of women and persons of color, two groups whose interests are specifically targeted by Republicans, putting everything else on the back burner, including intra-party disagreements. That's it. Period.  

Check this New York Times piece on this challenge to them.  CLICK HERE to read the article or visit:  https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/19/opinion/democrats-biden-voters.html

JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *

A Local Tragedy and Lurking Anti-Semitism 

Locally, a seventh grader riding his dirt bike in Boynton Beach was recently killed when his bike rammed a tree.  The boy, who was Black, was being followed by a police car because he evidently was riding in the middle of the street.  Some say the police car was involved in the crash.  No camera evidence is available and the details are still being investigated by City and other authorities.  But this hasn’t stopped protests, including those at City Commission meetings.  After defending the necessity of the ongoing investigations, a member of the Commission was the target of a rant by a resident who addressed him as “buster” and accused him of being “part of the KKK."  He went on to say that “You’re a Jew, you’re racist, you’re all that.” The Commissioner replied, “Did you just say I’m in the KKK and I’m a Jew?”  Things didn’t get much better after that according to the story in the Palm Beach Post.

 

I relate this story because after years of supporting efforts to protect and fight for the rights of people of color by Jewish clergy, individuals and groups, many Blacks with short memories are lumping Jews with the rest of the white community, and not as people who have suffered from the same prejudices that Blacks face.


Add to this the supposed resentment of 'Jewish' landlords and shopkeepers which openly anti-Semitic Blacks have been preaching for years, and of Black support for a Palestinian State to replace a supposedly 'apartheit' Israel, and you can get some idea of the dimensions of this problem. This is not only damaging to the Jewish community, but to the Black community as well.  Unfortunately, this also describes the position of too many Blacks in political office, including the United States Congress.


JL

                                                    *  *  *  *  *

 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

2-13-2022 - Congressman Jamie Raskin, College Towns, Covid19 Update and Handling Classified Material

IF YOU LIKE THIS BLOG, PLEASE SHARE IT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND OTHERS YOU FEEL MIGHT ENJOY READING IT.



Quiz # 4: College Towns
 

We all know that Harvard University is in Cambridge, Massachusetts and that Yale is in New Haven, CT and that Princeton is in, well, Princeton, NJ.  But college men’s basketball’s top teams are somewhere else.  Do you know in what cities Auburn University, Gonzaga University and Purdue University are located?  Answers at the end of this posting, but don’t cheat!

 JL

                                                  *   *   *   *


Love and the Constitution - Why this Blog is 'Political'

MSNBC has produced a two-hour documentary, “Love and the Constitution” that describes Congressman Jamie Raskin’s efforts to bring the defeated former president to justice, or at least some level of accountability for his misdeeds.  During the time he was engaged in that, Raskin also faced a family tragedy, the death of his son.  But this did not deter his dedication to revealing the truth about the defeated former president.   His devotion to this cause is inspirational.  Try to see the documentary, either on MSNBC which occasionally replays it, or online.  Sticking to less controversial matters on this blog might be more fun, but Raskin’s dedication to saving American democracy is one of the things that motivates me to continue posting political items here.

 JL

                                                  *   *   *   *


More Political Stuff

The last thing the Democrats need is to be accused of elitism, which can result from pointing out the gullibility, ignorance, or even stupidity on the part of those still supporting the defeated former president and his beliefs.  Such accusations might be true, but they also can be counter-productive.  I admit that I am occasionally guilty of this, and will try to do better. This is the kind of thing that has aroused Canadian truckers and gives ammunition to right-wingers in this country.   

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell walks a tightrope, recognizing the illegality of the January 6 insurrection, but still not placing its blame where it belongs, on the Republican Party’s right-wing extremists.  One day he says one thing, the next day something else, trying to secure the votes of moderate Republicans who might defect while not alienating those still supporting the defeated former president.  All this is directed to the November elections, in regard to which the Democrats had better get off their butts or else that will be the end of the January 6 investigation and along with it, democracy in the United States. 

  JL

                                                  *   *   *   *

Covid19 is Still With Us

Mask mandates, never popular among Floridians, are slowly being phased out as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is infecting fewer and fewer people, numbers confirmed by the decrease in hospital admissions.  Nevertheless, in areas where vaccination rates are low and people without any symptoms don’t bother to even do simple ‘at home’ Covd19 testing, the coronavirus continues to survive and spread.  This is true to a lesser extent, even among the vaccinated, but it is still true. Therefore, in such environments, continued masking and social distancing are still advisable when out in public. 

The reason for this is simply to curtail the continued spread of the virus.  Besides the obvious benefit to one’s own health, these precautions and Covid19 testing (antigen kits at home or PCR tests administered professionally) keep the spread of the virus under control, alerting those who are contagious to that fact and hopefully resulting in their modifying their behavior.  Reducing the virus’ spread lessens its opportunity to mutate into further variants.

(I have tested myself at home several times with one of the readily available antigen test kits and have had a more accurate PCR test done as well.  It is best to do at least a home test a few days after being out in a crowded public venue such as a theatre, meeting room, museum or indoor restaurant.  These are the occasions that prompted me to self-test at home. You never know who might be spreading the virus, even unknowingly.  Maybe even you.)

  JL

                                                  *   *   *   *

Top Secret


From personal experience in the service 65 years ago, I know that anyone in the military who had access to classified information, on being discharged and 'debriefed,' is made well aware of the penalties (fines and/or imprisonment) to which they would be subject if they did what the defeated former president did, mishandling and even destroying such documents.

Even though the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically excludes the Commander-in-Chief (which sounds like a military title to me) from such penalties, we must do our best to defeat any local, state, or national candidates, who still support the defeated former president and the evil he represents, leaving him to comfortably rot away at Mar-a-Lago.

 JL

                                                  *   *   *   *  

Quiz # 4:  College Towns Answers:

Auburn University -Auburn, AL

Gonzaga University – Spokane WA

Purdue University- West Lafayette, IN

 JL

                                                  *   *   *   *


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

2-09-2022 - Quiz Answers, Democracy, a Book to Ban, and Problems

 

Quiz Answers

At the bottom of this posting you’ll see the answers to Quiz # 3 which appeared in the last posting, in which we asked you to name the two States and their capital cities, other than Hawaii, Alaska and California, whose shores are washed by the Pacific Ocean.  (If you haven’t made your guesses, try now before you look.)

 JL

                                                 *   *   *   *


Whittling Away at Democracy

I read somewhere recently about how democracy was whittled away in Germany during the 1930’s.  Not everyone realized what was happening.  A Holocaust survivor once told me that when his family’s store was broken into and its windows smashed on Kristallnacht, his father actually called the police for help.

First some slight remarks by bigoted shopkeepers, then some supposed vandalism, then some changes in school curriculums, then some real estate regulations suggesting certain people live elsewhere and finally … the gas chambers.  

Are similar forces of autocracy slowly whittling away at American democracy?  Minor actions, bearable in isolation and not all at the same time, when taken cumulatively add up to doing away with democracy. (Examples:  gerrymandering, making voting more difficult supposedly to avoid ‘fraud,’ anti-abortion laws, book and curriculum censorship in schools, politically appointed judges, tougher immigration laws, looser gun controls, private militias, confusing individual rights with public health requirements, misinterpreting or ignoring American history, excessive use of ‘States’ rights’ to justify actions, reduced financial, business, and environmental regulation, etc., etc., etc.)  By themselves just little nibbles, but what does it all add up to?

 JL

                                                 *   *   *   *


Lotsa Problems Confronting Us

It's good to see that the House Select Committee’s pressure on the January 6 insurrectionists and those who instigated their action is still strong and that various prosecutors and the FBI are involved, along with growing dissent within the Republican Party, as reported on TV and in the newspapers. 

Putin
This is contrary to what appears to be the case with the Covid19 pandemic and Vladimir Putin’s aggressive tactics, both of which we seem to be accepting as manageable crises, which they really are not.  Or at least, not yet. 

A question:  How much of this should the Democrats put on the back burner, concentrating energy and resources on maintaining control of Congress on November 8, nine months from now?

JL

                                                 *   *   *   *


Another Book to Ban?

Saw a bit on TV last night where the newsman described Lot's daughters' incestuous relationship with their father and asked a nice lady if a book including that story should be allowed in public schools. "Absolutely not," she replied. The newsguy then pointed out that the story is in the Bible (Genesis 19:30-35). She gasped, "I don't believe that." Republicans know how to reach people like that. Democrats do not. They vote.

JL

                                                 *   *   *   *

 

Quiz #3 Answers:  Oregon, the capital of which is Salem and Washington, the capital of which is Olympia.

JL

                                                 *   *   *   *


Saturday, February 5, 2022

2-05-2022 - Schubert in El Paso (a short story), A Letter to the Post and Some Advice for Democrats

Schubert in El Paso

In the Writers Group in the community where I live, an assignment was given a while back to recall a true incident in your life or that of a friend or relative and develop a fictitious short story from it.  Fictionalize a bit of reality. Here’s what I wrote.   (See the “reality” note at the end.)

Schubert in El Paso
Jack Lippman

“Dr. Saslow, we have a problem.”

“So you’re asking me to help solve it?” Max replied.  During the day Dr. Saslow practiced chiropody (today they call it podiatry) in a downtown office.  Nevertheless, he still found time to play in the second violin section at Murray Hall where the El Paso Civic Symphony performed and practiced.

“Max, our soloist for the concert just cancelled on us. Laryngitis, she says.  It’s too late for us to hire a replacement and the concert is tomorrow night.  What should we do?”

“And why are you asking me,” Max queried. “As if I don’t know.”

“Your daughter still sings, doesn’t she, Max?”

“Yes, she does.  But only in the choirs of two churches and at the Reform temple on Stanton Street during the Jewish High Holidays.”

“Max, the orchestra has been practicing this program for weeks.  Shubert’s Unfinished Symphony followed up by half a dozen of his greatest lieder.  We even booked a special accompanist for the songs too; paying him four thousand dollars just to show up. Look, we just lost our soprano and we just don’t have time to plug in something else for the orchestra to play to fill out the program.  We can’t afford to start refunding tickets.  There’s no other healthy soprano around either, Max. Help me.”

“I’ll talk to her, but no guarantees.  I’ll call you tonight.”  Max packed up his fiddle and his music and went out the door of the rehearsal hall.

Once back in the house which he shared with Grace and her husband, he cooked himself a soft boiled egg which he was spooning out of the shell with a piece of buttered toast when she walked in.

“How was school today, Gracie?  Anyone willing to learn anything show up?”

“Okay, Dad. No reason for your to be sarcastic. But how come you’re home so early?  Wasn’t there a rehearsal this afternoon?”

“Yes, there was.  Went pretty well too.  Gracie, do you remember when you were singing German lieder a few years back?”

“Sure.  I loved doing it.  Do you remember the Shubert we did together with you on the piano and me singing?  But why are you bringing it up?  I see that twinkle in your eye.”

“Gracie, we have a problem with tomorrow’s concert.  Our soloist cancelled out and we need a replacement.  The program is all Shubert, including some of the same lieder you and I did together for years. They have a first-rate pianist to accompany the singer, too.  Do you think you could give it a shot?”

“You’re crazy, Dad.  It has been years … but I think I remember it well enough.  Sure, I’d be willing, and we could use the money, whatever it is.”

For the rest of the evening, Grace and Max practiced the six Shubert lieder which were on the concert’s program.  Fortunately, they still had the sheet music in the piano bench in the front room.  Her voice, kept sharp by its weekly workouts with hymns and harmonic praise of the Lord, was as resonant as ever.

The next evening in Murray Hall, in a white gown with a rose pinned on it, Grace sang Shubert lieder.  The audience applauded.  The orchestra applauded.  Even the accompanist applauded.  She hadn’t practiced an encore, so she repeated the final piece of the program, “Lachen und Weinen,” and again it was met by thunderous applause.  The critics, and even in El Paso they had critics, applauded too.

In about a week, the calls started coming in.  They included one from the New York  agent with whom she had worked when they were living in East Orange.  They wanted her back.  And just like the scenes in those old show business movies showing the names of the cities as the trains rolled through them, she quickly had bookings in Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Washington and finally, at Alice Tully Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center.

That fall, her husband was transferred to his company’s corporate office in Chicago, and Grace, giving up her tour after one season, had a baby, after which she was happy teaching voice and performing in local concerts there as well as in church and temple choirs.   Max moved there too, working on people’s feet part-time, but most of the time playing in two local symphony orchestras and telling everyone how his daughter had filled in with one day’s notice on that wonderful evening back in El Paso. 


Lily Pons
(Reality Note:  My Uncle Max, a chiropodist, played the violin with local orchestras.  His daughter Grace had operatic training but never amounted to much more musically than being a soloist in church and temple choirs.  Widowed, he lived with his daughter and son-in-law in El Paso where the son-in-law served as an Army officer.  Once he was discharged after World War Two, they moved to Chicago where he got a job.  One day, Max played a recording for me, telling me it was Grace singing with the El Paso Symphony, made while they were living there.  I believed him.  He was conning me.  It actually was a recording made by Lily Pons, a prominent soprano of the time.)


JL

                                                              *   *   *   *

A Letter to the Post

After reading a letter in the Palm Beach Post the other day advocating giving more authority to our States, I sent them the following letter:

“The letter writer (Jan. 31) who wanted “to see more authority come back to the states” might not remember that in 1789, we replaced the failed Articles of Confederation with our Constitution, providing the cement which united those separate and disunited states into the United States of America and which in 1861, withstood an unsuccessful attempt to “see more authority come back to the states.”  Actually, the opposite seems to be true since many of our challenges today are the result of those states already possessing too much authority.”

Incidentally, the Post is now but a shadow of the fine independent newspaper it once was.  I recall a winter visitor about ten years ago saying he had little need for the New York Times when he was down here, the Post being an adequate temporary replacement for it.  But things have changed.  Acquisition by the Gannett newspaper conglomerate (whose flagship is USA Today) has left it as an acceptable local (Palm Beach County and the southern part of the Florida Treasure Coast) newspaper, supplemented by usually useless news from other parts of the State.  The remnants of its past excellence are its opinion and editorial pages, Frank Cerabino’s columns, and of course, its occasional investigative journalism.

JL

                                                                                  *   *   *   *

 Advice for Democratic Leadership

Opposition to the presence of white supremacists among the supporters of today’s Republican Party is sometimes oversimplified down to a matter of skin color, making it the basis for defining those who have discriminated, and worse, regarding persons of color for centuries in our country.  But such a generalization, defining a group on that basis, is not accurate.

To some ‘progressive’ Democrats, Jews, who mostly are not people of color, are included among the rest of the whites in this firm dichotomy, ignoring or minimizing the virulent attacks of white supremacist racists upon them. This is often magnified by an already existing pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, aspect to the agendas of some ‘progressive’ Democrats, including members of Congress, which borders on anti-Semitism.  Raising this point with those who might be guilty of this results in belated and usually honest apologies.

Awareness of the history of anti-Semitism, including Holocaust education, must not be ignored in the struggle against racial white supremacists, who certainly do not include Jews among their number. It isn’t just a matter skin color. The Democratic Party should be aware of how divisiveness over this issue can cost them votes.

JL

                                                             

                                                               *   *   *   *

Quiz Answers and a New Puzzler

The answers to our second quiz in the last posting (Name the eight States which begin with the letter "N" and their capitals) are as follows:

New Hampshire         Concord           

New York                    Albany              

New Jersey                Trenton             

New Mexico               Santa Fe           

Nevada                       Carson City

Nebraska                    Lincoln

North Carolina           Raleigh

North Dakota             Bismark

And here's Quiz #3, the final one in our "States" series.

Besides Alaska, Hawaii, and California, two states' shores are washed by the Pacific Ocean. Name them and their capitals.  No cheating! 

JL

                                                                              *   *   *   *                                                                            

Reminders:  

1. Get vaccinated against Covid-19 ... and if you already are, get a booster shot.  

2. Test yourself with readily available 'antigen' home tests to see if you might be infected and capable of spreading the virus.  

3. If you experience symptoms, or test positive on a home 'antigen' test, go for more sophisticated, and more accurate, PCR testing. 

4. Failure to vaccinate or test, even if such inaction is encouraged by Floriduh's governor, guarantees the continued spread and mutation of Covid-19, so please, vaccinate and test!  Ignore the Governor!  For suspicious political reasons, he has allied himself with the virus.  (If the coronavirus were a 'registered voter,' there is no doubt that it would be a Republican.)

 JL

                                                            *   *   *   *

The Blog's Five All Time Most Popular Posts