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 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.

Monday, October 31, 2022

10-31-2022 - Ron DeSantis, Voting, Walking the Walk, Pelosi Assailant, a History Lesson, my Media Inventory, and Jewish Halloween Mysticism

 

Eight Days to Election Day!

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It matters not whether you vote at an early voting location or wait until November 8, at your assigned voting precinct location, the important thing is that you 

                               Vote*

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Important:  At this point, I wouldn’t risk sending a mail-in ballot by mail.  It might not make it in time.  Instead, drop it in a drop box, if one is available, or be sure to bring it with you to an early voting location or your actual polling place. (Otherwise, your vote might have to be a ‘provisional’ one.)

Please Forward this Blog posting to your friends, relatives, and neighbors, or direct them to visit

https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com

JL                                      

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As I have repeatedly pointed out on this blog, there are many important things at stake in this election:   

1. The right of women to choose an abortion, 

2. Keeping military-type weapons out of civilian hands, 

3. Guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans, and most of all

4. The preservation of American democracy 

 

Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are needed.  Your votes are crucial!  The votes of women and persons of color may decide the future direction of America.  Vote!  And get others to do so, as well!

JL

 

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 Reasons NOT to Vote for Ron DeSantis

‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ were the words of English historian, parliamentarian, and philosopher Lord Acton back in 1887.  They seem to well describe Floriduh’s Governor Ron DeSantis. 

By now, if you follow this blog’s postings, I have made it clear that voters should reject Governor Ron DeSantis’ bid for re-election as Floriduh’s governor.  But let’s get specific as to why.  Here are fourteen reasons. 

DeSantis has made it clear that he is:

(1) opposed to a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion,

(2) opposed to stricter gun control measures in a State where Parkland and Pulse massacres took place,

(3) opposed to teaching American history as it actually happened in the State’s public schools, condemning what he considers ‘woke,’ preferring that students be asleep to the existence of documented facts,

(4) opposed to recognizing gender issues in public schools, again condemning what he considers ‘woke,’ again preferring that students remain asleep to the existence of documented facts. 

(5) actively endorsing those who would ban books in local school districts, as is done in most totalitarian countries.

 (6) He has appointed as State Surgeon General a physician poorly regarded by the medical profession, also securing him a lucrative position on the University of Floriduh’s medical school faculty.

 (7) Currently, he is appointing a conservative Republican senator from the Midwest, with minimal academic experience, as president of that university, seemingly without competition.

 (8) He prides himself on keeping Floriduh ‘open for business’ during the Covid pandemic, discouraging masking as well as vaccinations with thousands of avoidable deaths directly resulting from his actions. 

(9) Not recognizing the legal limits of his powers, he has suspended a twice-elected State Attorney who broke no laws but politically disagrees with him, as well as interfering with legally elected school boards throughout the State. 

(10) He has illegally arranged to fly migrants, in this country legally awaiting action on their asylum requests, from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard to embarrass Democrats, at State expense.

 (11) He has single-handedly erased two Congressional districts that usually elect candidates of color, by pressuring gerrymandering by the Republican legislature which behaves as his lapdogs. 

(12) He has formed an ‘election integrity’ police force, whose aim seems to be to frighten away those who might vote against him. 

 (13) He ordered the arrest of former felons who voted, after being advised that they might vote by County authorities which provided them with voter ID cards. His actions are currently being reversed by courts that recognize them as illegal.  True incidents of election fraud (like voting twice), such as those in the always-Republican Villages area, are treated lightly and barely punished. 

(14) He has refused to state that, if re-elected, he will complete his term of office, clearly putting the capture of right-wing support from the defeated former president ahead of his State responsibilities as governor.  He tries to paint himself as espousing similar ideas but without the defeated former president’s numerous and conspicuous flaws.  In fact, his phony facade of legitimacy makes DeSantis worse than him!


Yes, as Lord Acton put it, ‘Absolute power corrupts’ and that is what a compliant State legislature has given to DeSantis.




JL

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The next posting of Jackspotpourri will provide reasons NOT to vote for Marco Rubio who is running for re-election to the Senate.

JL

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 ‘Walking the Walk’ and Worse

 The Pelosi Assailant

Here’s a reprint of a posting from this blog three days ago!

 ‘Talking the Talk’ vs ‘Walking the Walk

“In the news about the conviction of several men who helped train those planning to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer whose policies they opposed was this quote from one of their defense attorney’s arguments to the jury: ‘In this country, you are allowed to talk the talk but you only get convicted if you walk the walk.’ To some extent, this is true. 

But ‘talking the talk’ can also inspire others to ‘walk the walk’ and that is where they cross the line into actually ‘aiding and abetting' the carrying out of a crime.  Does this also describe the defeated former president on the morning of January 6, 2021?”

Well, as I asked then, does this also describes the lies and misinformation which led thousands of right-wing supporters of the defeated former president to attack the Capitol on January 6, 2021?  Sure it does!

To that, I must add that such misinformation, lies, and extreme conspiracy theories also were the ‘talk’ that seduced the pathetic misfit who broke into Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco home and attacked her husband, while seeking Speaker Pelosi with the aim of murdering her, just as the invaders of the Capitol had sought to do on January 6. 

Such ‘talk’ is not free speech. It is far beyond any protection provided by the First Amendment.  It is poison designed to destroy democracy in the United States. And while the assailant ‘walked the walk,’ those who ‘talked the talk,’ inspiring him are equally guilty.

Our government knows the sources and the individuals behind them inhabiting the crevices in the deep ‘rabbit holes’ into which millions of gullible and ignorant people have crawled and come up from, infected as the person who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband was, contaminated by these lies, misinformation and phony conspiracy theories.

It would not be a violation of the First Amendment for Congress to pass legislation permitting the Department of Justice to drop the legal equivalent of a nuclear weapon down those ‘rabbit holes,’ incinerating the putrid ideas found there and indicting those that originate and spread them.

  • Just for the record, the Freedom Forum Institute lists the following as legitimate areas where the First Amendment does NOT provide protection:
  • Obscenity
  • Fighting words
  • Defamation (including libel and slander)
  • Child pornography
  • Perjury
  • Blackmail
  • Incitement to imminent lawless action
  • True threats
  • Solicitations to commit crimes

 

 JL

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A History Lesson

Here is a lesson in American history from Boston College’s Professor Heather Cox Richardson that appeared on her daily online newsletter, ‘Letters from an American,” on October 29.  (Check it out.  It’s free to read each day.)  It well illustrates how Republicans spread misinformation and gives those who want to preserve democracy in the United States more than adequate reason to avoid voting for them.  It lays out the historic facts. 

It is difficult not to conclude that In 2022, Democrats are the ones defending the Constitution and the values that Americans believe in, and the Republicans are the ones representing the malignant forces intent on tearing them apart, forces to which the Republican Party has succumbed in order to get their votes.

The positions of political parties have shifted significantly over the years since the mid-nineteenth century.  Read on.  If you agree, please forward this posting to voters whom you think her words might help educate. 

Here is that excerpt for ‘Letters from an American,’ written by Professor Richardson.  It’s a great short course in American political history.  (It’s worth three credits in the ‘University of the Mind.’)

 

Professor Heather Cox Richardson

'This week, news broke that as a guest on the right-wing Real America’s Voice media network in 2020, Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon said that the Democrats have planned for decades to topple the United States because they have not gotten over losing the Civil War. According to Dixon, Democrats don’t want anyone to know that white Republicans freed the slaves, and are deliberately strangling “true history.”


Dixon’s was a pure white power rant, but she was amplifying a theme we hear a lot these days: that Democrats were the party of enslavement, Republicans pushed emancipation, and thus the whole idea that Republican policies today are bad for Black Americans is disinformation.

In reality, the parties have switched sides since the 1850s. The shift happened in the 1960s, and it happened over the issue of race. Rather than focusing on party names, it makes more sense to follow two opposed strands of thought, equality and hierarchy, as the constants.

By the 1850s it was indeed primarily Democrats who backed slavery. Elite southern enslavers gradually took over first the Democratic Party, then the southern states, and finally the U.S. government. When it looked in 1854 as if they would take over the entire nation by spreading slavery to the West—thus overwhelming the free states with new slave states—northerners organized to stand against what they called the “Slave Power.”

In the mid-1850s, northerners gradually came together as a new political party. They called themselves “Republicans,” in part to recall Jefferson’s political party, which was also called the Republican party, even though Jefferson by then was claimed by the Democrats.

The meaning of political names changes.

The new Republican Party first stood only for opposing the Slave Power, but by 1859, Lincoln had given it a new ideology: it would stand behind ordinary Americans, rather than the wealthy enslavers, using the government to provide access to resources, rather than simply protecting the wealthy. And that would mean keeping slavery limited to the American South.

Prevented from imposing their will on the U.S. majority, southern Democrats split from their northern Democratic compatriots and tried to start a new nation based on racial slavery. They launched the Civil War.

At first, most Republicans didn’t care much about enslaved Americans, but by 1863 the war had made them come around to the idea that the freedom of Black Americans was crucial to the success of the United States. At Gettysburg in 1863, Lincoln reinforced the principles of the Declaration of Independence and dedicated the nation to a “new birth of freedom.” In 1865 the Republican Congress passed and sent off to the states for ratification the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ending enslavement except as punishment for crime (we really need to fix that, by the way).

After the war, as southern Democrats organized to reinstate white supremacy in their states, Republicans in 1868 added the Fourteenth Amendment, giving the federal government power to guarantee that states could not deny equal rights to American citizens, and then in 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment, guaranteeing Black men the right to vote. They also established the Department of Justice to defend those rights. But by 1871, white Republicans were backing away from federal protection of Black Americans.

Democrats continued to push white supremacy until 1879, when former Confederates took over Congress and threatened to destroy the government unless the federal government got out of southern affairs altogether (it’s a myth that the army left the South in 1877). Voters turned so vehemently against the former Confederates trying to impose their will on the nation’s majority that national Democrats began to shift away from their southern base, which dominated the southern states. In 1884 they ran New Yorker Grover Cleveland for office and won.

For the next fifty years, both national parties would waffle on race, trying mostly to ignore it.

But World War II changed the equation.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt had begun to offer some economic protections to Black Americans with the 1930s New Deal, but Black soldiers coming home from the war demanded true equality. The blinding of Black veteran Isaac Woodard in 1946 by South Carolina law enforcement officers woke Democratic president Harry S. Truman up to the need for equal protection of the laws.

Unable to get civil rights laws through Congress, Truman worked to desegregate federal contracting and military installations. Immediately, racist southern Democrats, led by South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, broke away from their own president to form their own short-lived “Dixiecrat” party backing racial segregation.

Then, in 1954, Republican Dwight Eisenhower put Earl Warren, the former Republican governor of California, at the head of the Supreme Court. It promptly used the Fourteenth Amendment to declare the segregation of public schools unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. It seemed both parties had come around to supporting racial equality.

But white supremacists in the South responded to desegregation by attacking their Black neighbors. So in 1957, with a bipartisan vote, Congress passed a civil rights act to protect Black voting. Thurmond launched the longest filibuster in U.S. history to try to stop it.

Republicans who hated the government’s postwar regulation of business saw an opening to get the Dixiecrat contingent on their side. In 1960, The Conscience of a Conservative, published under the name of Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, called for getting rid of the business regulation and social safety laws passed since 1933, and claimed that the Supreme Court’s protection of civil rights was unconstitutional.

When Democrat John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, he gave a rousing inaugural address promising to bring freedom to the world but, afraid of alienating southern Democrats, didn’t mention race at home. World War II veteran James Meredith promptly decided to test just how committed to human rights Kennedy actually was. Meredith sued for admission to the University of Mississippi, and when the courts ruled the state had to admit him in 1962, Kennedy had to choose between the northern wing of his party that supported civil rights, and the southern racists. Pushed by his brother and attorney general Robert, Kennedy backed Meredith’s registration with federal troops.

Republicans already mad at business regulation now worked to pick up the white supremacists who had backed the Dixiecrats and who, by 1964, were attacking Black Americans and their white allies as they tried to enroll Black voters. In 1964, Republicans ran Goldwater for president on a platform calling for slashing federal power and empowering the states to run their affairs as they wished. Goldwater lost the election, but Strom Thurmond publicly switched parties, and Republicans picked up the five states of the Deep South (as well as Arizona) for the first time since Reconstruction.

Democrats, meanwhile, went all in on racial equality. Kennedy had come around to calling for civil rights legislation, and after his assassination, his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, pushed hard first for the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which Congress passed while FBI agents were searching for three murdered civil rights workers in Mississippi—and then, after law enforcement officers in Selma, Alabama, attacked voting rights advocates as they crossed a bridge named for a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Democrats had become the party of equality. But the votes for the civil rights laws had been bipartisan, and it was not at all clear that the Republicans wouldn’t also back civil rights. After all, Goldwater had gotten shellacked when he made common cause with white supremacists.

But in 1968, Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon knew he had a hard fight ahead of him. He figured he needed to pick up the old Dixiecrats, who were now politically homeless. He went to Thurmond with a quiet promise not to use the federal government to protect Black rights in the South in exchange for his support. This “Southern strategy” worked. Thurmond publicly backed Nixon.

From then on, white supremacists made up a key part of the Republicans’ base, and the party increasingly pushed on old racial themes—Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen, for example, or George H.W. Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad, or the trope of “makers” and “takers”—to keep them on board.

The parties had switched positions over equality and hierarchy. Since 1964, Republicans have always won the majority of the nation’s white vote, while Democrats rely on Black voters, especially Black women.

And that is the actual true history of how it happened that a Republican candidate for office, representing a party that once defended civil rights, made white power rants on public media.

 

JL

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After reading that, to How Many People Have You Forwarded This Blog Posting? 

 

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Where I Get My Information

Media is very important.  It is essential to know at least something about what is going on in the world, the nation or even just locally.  We depend upon such information coming to each of us through various kinds of media because physically, it is too big a job for anyone to become personally familiar with all that is going on. Let me identify the media from which I get my information (In fact, it would be a good idea for everyone to make such an inventory of the sources of their information.)

Every morning, over my breakfast, I read a print edition of a newspaper.  Currently it is the South Florida SunSentinel I occasionally refer to the online edition of the Palm Beach Post to which I also subscribe.  I also get daily headlines and access to some articles and columns from the New York Times.   None of these sources are free.  I also faithfully read Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s daily newsletter, ‘Letters from an American,’ and occasionally look at Bari Weiss’ more conservative ‘Common Sense’ blog to help balance things.  I do watch news and current affairs programming on television, mostly on MSNBC, but occasionally on CNN as well.  I also admit to reading books.

Although I used to post occasionally on Facebook and its photo subsidiary, Instagram, I have made a point of ignoring both for the past few years.  Similarly, although I once signed on to Twitter, I never look at it.  And as far as TicToc goes, I have never accessed it.  Until recently, I thought it was the sound a clock makes.  All of these are gateways to misinformation but without the warning signs a precarious roadway along the edge of a cliff usually has. 

I do communicate with a few people via traditional email and might look at what they may attach to an email, but that is a very minor part of the media to which I am exposed. Some of it appears to come from areas of social media with which I am totally unfamiliar and accordingly, I give it little if any weight.  If I am unfamiliar with the details of a particular subject, I usually ‘google’ it to try to learn something but am careful of the links to which such a search leads me. 

These are my media sources, and what I glean from them is reflected in my blog postings on Jackspotpourri.  I suppose that in the first quarter of the 21st century, where everyone else seems to be infatuated with social media (which usually comes without a charge), that makes me a dinosaur.  Well, at least I am a happy dinosaur and hopefully, a creditable one.

JL

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Halloween Addendum:

Many people of the Jewish faith do not observe Halloween, which is actually a Christian religious holiday, the eve of All Saints Day.  Some believe that it was an occasion when supernatural demons roamed the earth and spirits rose from their graves.  Historically, in Europe, this was also a time when Jews hid in their homes, fearing pogroms that sometimes took place on Halloween.  

But this should not stop Jewish children from dressing up in costumes and joining in Halloween fun.  There is much in Judaism dealing with supernatural beings, ghosts, etc. which roam the earth.  Find out more by checking out an interesting article on 'My Jewish Learning' all about such goings-on.  It can be found at:

Visit https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/monsters-demons-and-other-mythical-creatures-in-jewish-lore/  or just try Clicking Here.

JL


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* As I have repeatedly pointed out, there are many important things at stake in this election:   

1. The right of women to choose an abortion, 

2. Keeping military-type weapons out of civilian hands, 

3. Guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans, and most of all

4. The preservation of American democracy 

 

Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are needed.  Your votes are crucial!  The votes of women and persons of color may decide the future direction of America.  Vote!  And get others to do so, as well!

                                          *   *   *   *

                               * Vote

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Okay, one last time ...To How Many People Have 

You Forwarded This Blog Posting? 

 

            That’s Not Enough!

    https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com


 


 



Friday, October 28, 2022

10-28-2028 - Inflation, Crime, Aging Leaders, Hurricanes, Polls, 'Talking the Talk,' and Reasons to Vote

 

 

Eleven Days to Election Day!

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It matters not if you vote by mail, at an early voting location or on Election Day.  The important thing is that you …

                               Vote*                                                                                              *   *   *   *                          

                                    


Please Forward this Blog posting to your friends, relatives, and neighbors, or direct them to visit https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com

                                                

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The Real Issues are Not Inflation and Crime!

Even though the real issues in the upcoming election are abortion rights, gun violence, voter suppression, and the preservation of democracy in the United States, Republicans are trying to center their campaigns on inflation and crime.  These issues, while dwarfed by the four mentioned above, deserve to be addressed ... and that is what I will attempt to do.

JL

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Republicans Misplace Blame for Inflation on Democrats -

What Democrats are Doing About It

The Republicans seem to think that they can use inflation as an argument in the upcoming elections.  Democrats must make it clear that inflation is a worldwide challenge today, to some extent resulting from the economic slowdown precipitated by the Covid pandemic as well as by worldwide food and energy shortages brought about by the war in Ukraine.  It is not just our problem.  It is the world's.  And it isn't as if the Democrats were not doing something about it.  They are not sitting idly by!

Price increases here are being actively counteracted by (1) the country's growing economy (2.6% GDP just announced) for which the Democrats deserve credit, by (2) the Federal Reserve’s increasing the prime rate, and by (3) a substantial decrease in unemployment made possible by the policies of our Democratic president and Congress, including the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act. (Isn't having a job with a paycheck providing income to a family, even in an inflationary economy, better than not having a job at all?) These are reasons to vote Democratic next week, or sooner.

But getting back to the Federal Reserve, when it charges banks a higher interest rate to access the federal money they need to operate, that in turn supposedly makes mortgages and carrying credit card balances more expensive, resulting in less spending, reducing demand.  That, eventually. should lower prices, combatting inflation.  Avoiding going too far or too fast with such monetary steps risks a recession so it is important to proceed very carefully with them.  Treasury Secretary Yellin won’t make any specific promises as to how long this will take but cautiously anticipates that it will eventually bring inflation under control.  

No Republican, in blaming Democrats for inflation, ever offers a better solution, or any solution for that matter.  In fact, the Fed’s actions are bipartisan. 

Republicans just continue to preach the reduction of taxes on the wealthy and businesses, hoping they will invest the money thereby pocketed into new ventures, the profits from which will ‘trickle down’ to those lower down on the economic ladder.  This has nothing to do with fighting inflation and has never worked and never will because the wealthy and businesses find other uses for these funds, uses which do not benefit American working people and farmers.  These include overseas investments where labor costs are lower, investing in ‘hedge funds’ which are based on betting that the economy will not improve, and corporations buying back their own shares.

JL

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Republicans Grasp to Blame Democrats for Crime

Republicans also blame a supposed increase in crime on Democrats.  They latch on to isolated incidents and try to use them to claim crime is out of control and blame it on Democrats.  Crime is not 'out of control.' They seem to think that robberies, assaults, and worse are rampant, taking place daily all over the land.  That is not the case.  No one that I know is hiding at home to avoid crime. 

But let's get to those 'criminals' whose acts Republicans are blaming on Democrats.  Often, they blend this with their attacks on immigration and often covertly, on minorities. In doing so, they seem to forget that in our country,  one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that bail and probation are legitimate aspects of our legal system, which even includes the opportunity to seek asylum here.  

Democrats are not just turning ‘criminals’ loose on the streets as Republicans suggest.  Republicans see our justice system as 'coddling criminals’ despite the fact that many Republicans, including the defeated former president, take advantage of the benefits of our legal system, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, to stay out of jail.  They don’t understand that they cannot have it both ways.   

And guns are part of it since many crimes involve weapons. There is an inconsistency there on the part of Republicans who while opposing ‘crime’ (and blaming it on Democrats) at the same time also oppose gun control legislation that would disarm some criminals.  In doing so, they support the misinterpretation of the Second Amendment which our politicized Supreme Court has endorsed.  Criminals are not deterred by the possibility of potential victims being armed so much as they are pleased by laws allowing them to legally walk around with guns.  (And this includes the gun-toting Proud Boys and Oathkeepers attempting to scare voters away from drop boxes and voting locations.)

Republicans claim that even with stronger gun control laws, criminals wouldn’t be affected since they get their weapons illegally anyway.  Even if that is the case and indeed is the way they acquire guns, the vast, uncontrolled, proliferation of weapons in this country, made possible by the misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, is what makes so many of them available illegally in the first place. Weapons leave the factory, starting out legally, but once out there, are easily available to criminals illegally.  We need legislation to prevent once ‘legal’ weapons from becoming ‘illegal’ ones, via gun shows and personal sales. Excluding law enforcement and the military, there are more guns in the United States than there are people!  That is not good.

(A significant footnote to this is that the Second Amendment deserves to be repealed.  It originally was a ‘trade-off’ to get support for the new Constitution back in 1789 from the slaveholding States.  Its purpose was to enable them to easily raise an army in the event of either a slave revolt or Federal troops someday interfering with the practice of slavery within their borders.  These conditions no longer exist so there is no purpose for the Second Amendment any longer.  Sooner or later, its gross misinterpretation by the Supreme Court [D.C. vs Heller - 2008 - opinion written by Justice Scalia] guaranteeing citizens the right to bear arms will be reversed.  That, or its total repeal, would not prevent Americans from still having weapons for hunting, sports activities, and personal protection as made legal by State laws. That would serve to reduce the availability of weapons used in crimes far better than accusing Democrats of coddling criminals.)

 JL

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Aging Leaders and a Young One to Watch

Vladimir Putin is 70. Xi Jinping is 69. Neither has planned for their successors and must consider aging a challenge if not an adversary. In fact, it might be an asset for us.  Contrary to their problem, the United States has definite and specific Constitutional plans for succession should our president be unable to complete his or her term in office.  

China and Russia, however, are democracies in name only and the passing of their leaders will open the door for change, whenever it occurs. That will happen eventually.  It will in Cuba as well.  As for North Korea, Kim Jong Un is only 38, and therefore, there's a lot of years ahead of him during which history is yet to be written and cannot be predicted.

 JL

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Polls?

Here’s an interesting column from the Los Angeles Times pointing out the unreliability of pre-election polls.  Check It out at

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-10-25/midterms-polls-predictions

 JL

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Hurricane Categories Can Be Misleading

For years, hurricanes have been categorized by the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, which is based entirely on wind speed (five categories numbered 1 to 5).  Meteorologists know there are better ways of classifying a storm’s danger to people, property, and the environment.  Just as important are the overall size of the storm, its speed and direction in which it is moving, and the amount of rainfall, flooding, and storm surge it might produce.  A category 1 hurricane spread out over hundreds of miles, creeping along at a snail’s pace, can be far more dangerous than a category 4 hurricane covering a very narrow area, and whipping through it at great speed.

Meteorologists have developed newer metrics that tell us much more. One is the ‘Integrated Kinetic Energy’ (IKE) which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has been using since 2007, and which incorporates some of  these additional factors.  It states a storm’s total energy in ‘terajoules’ (TJ).  In addition to storm categories, weather reports should include predictions of likely TJs as well.  Here are some examples: Ian (2022) – 47 TJ, Andrew (1992) – 20 TJ, Katrina (2005) – 121 TJ, Sandy (2012) – 141 TJ.  Sandy, when it hit New Jersey’s shore and New York City was just a category 1 storm, but its TJ number was far more indicative of its severity!

Another valuable metric is the ‘Hurricane Severity Index’ (HSI) developed by a private company, which combines wind speed with the size of the ‘wind field.’  Certainly, when another hurricane is predicted, these tools should be used and more importantly, publicized. (Source of this material is the Citizens Climate Lobby which provided an ‘Another Viewpoint’ piece to the South Florida SunSentinel recently.)

 JL

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 ‘Talking the Talk’ vs ‘Walking the Walk’

In the news about the conviction of several men who helped train those planning to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer whose policies they opposed was this quote from one of their defense attorney’s arguments to the jury: In this country, you are allowed to talk the talk but you only get convicted if you walk the walk.’ To some extent, this is true. 

But ‘talking the talk’ can also inspire others to ‘walk the walk’ and that is where they cross the line into actually ‘aiding and abetting' the carrying out of a crime.  Does this also describe the defeated former president on the morning of January 6, 2021?

 JL

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Voting Reminder

 * As I have repeatedly pointed out, there are many important things at stake in this election:   

1. The right of women to choose an abortion, 

2. Keeping military-type weapons out of civilian hands, 

3. Guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans, and most of all, 

4. the preservation of American democracy!  

 

A Democratic majority in the House would help preserve democracy.
A Republican speaker, replacing Nancy Pelosi, would not.

Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are needed.  Your votes are crucial!  The votes of women and persons of color may decide the future direction of America.  Please

        Vote!

JL

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