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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.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

3-05-2022 - Benjamin Franklin, a Maureen Dowd Column, the President's State of the Union Address, Ukraine and a Question



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The Dowd Column and Ukraine


The struggle goes on in Ukraine.  Check out Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column comparing Ukraine’s president,  Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with our defeated former president.  To reach it, JUST CLICK HERE or visit 


And while on this subject, I hope that the 1940’s quote attributed to Dodger manager Leo Durocher (referring to the New York Giants  … ‘Nice guys finish last’) is wrong when applied to the president of Ukraine.  

Supporters of democracy should support Ukraine in its struggle to retain its independence.  But we must carefully avoid actions that would ignite a nuclear war that might decimate most of our population and that of Europe.  And of course, donations to legitimate humanitarian organizations should be made by individuals here.


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A Republic. 'If You Can Keep It'

Benjamin Franklin, when asked what kind of government the Framers had given us in 1789, replied, “a republic, if you can keep it.”  By this, I believe, he meant that a democracy, of which our republic is a form, might be difficult to maintain.  To do so, democracy must be accompanied by an educated population.  Thomas Jefferson, who emphasized education, strongly believed this.  

Not having such a population opens up the door to authoritarians being put into power by poorly informed voters. To deal with this, the Founding Fathers initially did not give everyone the vote, attempting to limit it to propertied, supposedly educated, Americans.  Over the years, such voting restrictions have disappeared, but its requisite accompaniment of broader civic education has not kept up.  We must address that problem or face a dismal future where voters choose to believe charlatans as they did in 2016 and usually still do in Texas and Florida.


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President Biden's State of the Union Address

While I agree with the President's message of unity, I must criticize his staff for the sloppy manner in which they prepared his 'script' of his SOTU address. 

When he completed addressing the Ukraine issue and moved on to domestic priorities, he jumped from one to another without a pause between them. His script ought to have indicated, before he went on to the next item, 'pause for applause' or 'pause and make a hand gesture' ... anything to put a space between talking about separate things like increased domestic manufacuturing and 'defunding police' and drug prices, for example. cheek to jowl, one after the other. By jumbling everything together, like a waterfall, proper emphasis on each item was lost. 

The White House lacks a professional speechwriter.  Or as a critic of mine said, “Maybe that’s the way he wanted it, and nobody argues with the President.”


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A Short Q and A

Question:  When will the remnants of the Republican Party wake up to its seizure by the radical right, including white supremacists and the snake oil salesman they put into the White House for four years and repudiate all of this shit, pardon the expression, which is destroying it?

Answer:  I think that will occur at about the same time as the Russian people, including the rich oligarchs who stole whatever assets the USSR’s economy had left when it collapsed in 1990, repudiate their supposed protector, Vladimir Putin, who thinks he is the second coming of both Lenin and Stalin  and send him packing. 

Somehow, I think these two ‘repudiations’ are somehow connected.



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