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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 4, 2023

03-04-2023 - Political Technology, Making Blogs Register in Florida, Israel in Danger and G.O.P. Ignorance

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Political Technology, a Russian Republican Strategy

Here’s a very insightful excerpt from Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s daily ‘Letters From an American’ posting which appeared on February 27.  It explains how democracy was perverted in Russia.  Read it carefully and you will understand how anti-democratic forces are trying to do the same in the United States, where those same tactics are routinely used by right-wing Republicans.

“Also in the news today was the death of Gleb Pavlovsky, former top political consultant to Russian president Vladimir Putin, after a long illness. Before quietly turning away from Putin, Pavlovsky helped to engineer his rise through a concept called “political technology,” a system that uses technology to manipulate voters into rubber stamping the election of favored political leaders.

According to historian and political scientist Andrew Wilson, who specializes in Eastern Europe, “political technologists” in the post-Soviet republics created a virtual political reality by blackmailing opponents, abusing state power to help favored candidates, sponsoring “double” candidates with names similar to those of opponents in order to take their voters, creating false parties to create opposition, and, finally, creating a false narrative around an election or other event that enabled them to control public debate.

Under such manipulation, usually delivered in a firehose of outrageous and competing stories, people lost the ability to tell what was real and lost faith that they could have any effect on the political system.

In the hands of political technologists, democracy was no longer about voters choosing their representatives, but was simply a way to legitimize manipulation by corrupt politicians
to keep themselves in power.”                   

I recall how the Republicans won a 2020 State Senate seat in the Miami area by running a third-party ‘ghost’ candidate with the same last name as the Democratic candidate, to dilute his vote, one of the tactics of ‘Political Technology’ mentioned above.  Like in Russia, it worked.  ‘Political Technology’ is practiced here and now by Republicans! 


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G.O.P. Ignorance – Part 1 - Don’t Blame Georgia Congresswoman Greene

Responsibility for this ignorant, coarse, bigot having a seat in the House of Representatives rests with the voters of her district who sent her there.  They had a choice and they made it.  

Her Georgia district, incidentally, borders on Florida’s panhandle, which is filled with similar voters who, because of gerrymandering,  send a disproportionate number of such Republicans to Congress, Matt Gaetz being a prime example.

Greene and Gaetz,
disgraces to the
letter 'G'

 And speaking of the devil, in questioning an Administration official at a hearing the other day, Gaetz quoted a source that the official pointed out was an official propaganda organ for the Chinese Communist Party.  Gaetz' reluctant response after being told this ('Fair Enough') amounted to ‘Duh’ (which is why I often spell the name of the State in which he represents a district as ‘Floriduh’).  Greene has no monopoly on ignorance.



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G.O.P. Ignorance – Part 2Representative Jamie Raskin Tries to Teach a Lesson

For years, slimy Republicans have referred to the party opposing them as the ‘Democrat’ party, following a tradition established by the perennially unsuccessful seeker of the G.O.P. presidential nomination, Harold Stassen, during the last century.  

Somehow, using the noun instead of an adjective has a pejorative value.  It’s like referring to a store owner who happens to be Jewish as a ‘Jew store owner’ rather than as a ‘Jewish store owner.’ Get it?  It turns a description into an insult.

Well, when Representative Lauren Boebert referred to the other party as the ‘Democrat’ party, Congressman Jamie rose to the occasion, pointing out that ‘Democrat’ is the noun.  When you use it as an adjective, you say ‘Democratic.'  This puzzled Boebert who possibly doesn’t know the difference between a noun and an adjective but certainly knows the negativity switching them accomplishes.  She’s the one that wants to carry a pistol with her in Congressional sessions. 


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A Greater Danger to Israel than Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions!

Some Jews in this country, fearful of growing antisemitism here and attacks on our democracy, have always thought that should worse come to worst, they could always emigrate to Israel.   And this justified their continued support of Israel against its enemies and antagonists. 

Well, now some are having second thoughts about that, in view of the political happenings in that country, where Netanyahu’s right-wing government depends on extremists who talk about expelling  Palestinians and taking over the West Bank.  That would turn the world, including the United States, against Israel, but some in Israel don’t seem to care about where this might lead.

This is the map of Israel some of
Netanyahu's extremist allies envision. 
It will not work.

Find out more by checking out the frightening column from the New York Times by Tom Friedman published on February 28 BY CLICKING HERE or by visiting https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/28/opinion/netanyahu-israel-palestinians-courts.html.  

If that doesn’t work, let me know and I will manage to send you a copy. 


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Making Blogs Register?  Sieg Heil!

One of the nut jobs in the Republican majority of the Floriduh State Legislature is proposing legislation requiring blogs that attack elected officials, like the Floriduh governor, to register with the State. Fortunately, this does not affect JacksPotpourri because it would only apply to blogs that receive some sort of compensation. This blog hasn’t fallen into that category since about 2015 when we gave up running ads, donating whatever compensation they produced to charities, because managing them was too much of a time-consuming bother.

But it still illustrates the anti-democratic propensities of the Republicans in the State Legislature and the Governor as well. They don’t give a damn about the First Amendment, limiting their familiarity with the Constitution to the Second Amendment and the rarely mentioned Tenth Amendment which is the greatest single impediment to democracy in this country since George III.  More about that will appear in future posting.

The full article from 'The Hillabout this totally unconstitutional idea  can be accessed by CLICKING HERE  or by visiting https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3882068-florida-bill-would-require-bloggers-to-register-before-writing-about-desantis/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email 


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Email AlertsIf you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you doAnd if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted.  ( You can pass those email addresses to me by email at             jacklippman18@gmail.com . )


Forwarding Postings: And of course, please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it

If you want to send someone the blog, exactly as you are now seeing it, with all of its bells and whistles, you can just tell folks to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or by providing a link to that address in your email to them.

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it too!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, (it looks like this: ), you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses, along with a comment from you, each of which will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, or variations in typography.

Either way will work, sending them that link or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting.  Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you might think might benefit from reading it. 


         Have a nice day.

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