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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.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

September 2, 2023 - Weaponization, Aging Senators, Singlish, Florida Homeowners' Insurance, Baseball, and a TV Commercial

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Weaponizing Baloney 

When, oh when, will the foes of democracy, their lawyers, and their publicists learn that merely enforcing laws is not 'weaponizing the justice system.'

If one's digestive system reacts violently to something totally indigestible by vomiting, I suppose that amounts to the 'weaponization of the digestive system.' 

What those accusing others of ‘weaponizing’ are really criticizing is the selective enforcement of laws. That is a valid objection to make, but only if there is real evidence to back it up. Without such evidence, it is just legalese baloney, something not learned in butcher shops but in law schools.


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Wine Improves With Age - Senators Do Not Necessary Do So 

Putting political considerations aside, isn’t it time for both Diane Feinstein and Mitch McConnell to resign from the Senate? She is too feeble to serve on her important committee assignments and he has been subject to falls and several bouts of aphasia. Their presence in the Senate, no longer able to fully fill their positions there (McConnell is the G.O.P. leader), is cheating the people of California and Kentucky of adequate representation in that body.

Replacing Mitch will be a greater challenge for Republicans than Californians will have in replacing Diane. And although Democrats avoid talking about it, this sheds a shadow on President Biden’s re-election campaign as well. 


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Singapore’s ‘Singlish 

Jackspotpourri continues to get a tremendous number of ‘hits’ from Singapore, and now I think I know why. 

English is one of Singapore’s official languages,(the others are Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil) but it often is combined with them and parts of other ‘unofficial’ Asian languages to form what is known as ‘Singlish.’ I suppose it is something like the relationship of the Creole language in Haiti to French, but only more complicated. 

I believe Singapore’s government frowns on Singlish and encourages the use of official languages, particularly English, and that may be a reason for the Jackspotpourri’s popularity there, possibly as a learning tool that Singaporeans have discovered. 

Here is a sampler of ‘Singlish’ words from a New York Times opinion piece published seven years ago. 

Pokkai (Pork-car-ai) Translates as “drop dead.” Means to go broke, e.g. “Aditi shops at Gucci until she pokkai.” 

Bo hee hae ma ho (Boh-hee-hay-mar-ho) - Equivalent to “Beggars can’t be choosers,” it means “When there's no fish, prawns are good too.” 

Gone case - A lost cause. 

Very the - To say “very” in an incredulous way, e.g. “You know, you look smart but you talk very the stupid.” 

Buay tahan (BOO-ay tar-hun) means that you cannot tolerate something, e.g. “I buay tahan the weather these days.” 

Kiasu (KEE-ya-soo) - To behave in a competitive, self-serving way, e.g. “Those kiasu people have been outside the Apple shop since 3 a.m.” 

These Singlish samples don’t sound very much like English to me, but I understand at least one. The other day when one of our defeated former president’s lawyers said her client was ‘incredibly intelligent,’ those who strongly believe otherwise might have responded in Singlish ‘that he was very the unintelligent.’ Perhaps the English word ‘rather’ would be better than ‘very the.’ (Am I getting that right?) 

And speaking of our defeated former president, eventually many of his supporters will recognize that he is a ‘gone case.’ That makes sense, even in English. 


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Florida’s Homeowners’ Insurance Crisis Revisited

We don’t have private police forces or private fire departments (although we once did!) any longer. That’s because it is the government’s responsibility to step in and provide these necessary services that cannot be provided adequately by the private sector of our economy. That is where we are right now in regard to homeowners’ insurance in Florida. 

The closest thing we have to such ‘socialized homeowners’ insurance’ in Florida is the Citizens Property and Casualty Insurance Company, set up by the State in 2002 as a ‘not-for-profit’ operation, designated as the ‘company of last resort’ for Florida homeowners who could not secure coverage elsewhere. The State's limit on the number of such policyholders who have nowhere else to go except to Citizens has already been adjusted upward, despite the high cost of insuring with them. It now exceeds one million homeowners! 

I understand that because coverage less expensive than what Citizens charges might soon be available from some companies in the private sector, about 200,000 Citizens policy holders may soon be dropped from that total, but that leaves many still with Citizens, a number increasing each year as the State’s housing stock ages and becomes more expensive to insure. 

So long as private insurers limit access to their product or, when available, based on their experience, price it out of the range of most of their customers, it is time for homeowners’ insurance to be entirely withdrawn from the private sector and made a government responsibility for all homeowners, like policing and fighting fires, services without which very few buyers would purchase a home. 

This would make all homeowners in Florida, like it or not, Citizens policyholders. Right now, so long as Citizens insures only those who cannot get coverage elsewhere, their prices are very high. But if the ‘cherry-picked,’ more desirable homeowners that are still presently insured by ‘for profit’ private companies, were forced to switch over to Citizens, which would then become the only source of homeowners insurance in Florida, the cost of its policies would be lower. 

The desirable homeowners and the less desirable homeowners would be pooled together, rather than the situation today, where the owner of a newer home pays far less for such insurance than the owners of ten, twenty, or thirty year-old homes do, left with Citizens as their only alternative. 

How long will it take for the residents and legislators of the State of Florida to come to this conclusion, and start to treat homeowners’ insurance like a publicly-owned utility, and of course, one potentially subsidized by the State’s entire taxing base where necessary to assure its availability? 


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Baseball – Rooting For the Home Team

(Take me out to the ballgame, Take me out with the crowd, Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks, I don’t care if I ever get back, For it’s root, root, root for the home team, If they lose, it’s a shame, For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, at the old ballgame.)

That’s the way the old song goes. It mentions rooting for the home team and that’s what I have always done. 

Raised in North Jersey, where there were no major league teams, I had a choice of the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Dodgers, or the New York Giants. I ended up rooting for the Giants, if only because my portable radio picked up WMCA, which carried the Giant games better than WHN or WINS where the Dodger or Yankee broadcasts were. Years later, with the Giants in California, I switched to being a Mets fan, my new home team, because we then lived on Long Island, adjacent to Queens where the Mets played.

Let me point out that I’ve never considered being a Yankee fan because their hubris, an example of which is their not putting players’ names on the backs of their jerseys, annoys me. Notably, Rudy Giuliiani, when NYC mayor, was a big Yankee fan, often seen in a box seat there. (He rarely went to Mets games.)  Who really wants to be associated with fans like that? 

And now here in Florida, I still root for the home team, the Miami Marlins, as pathetic as they are. It’s sort of like the historic loyalty that those on the north side of Chicago have for their Cubs, who are much better now than they traditionally were, year after year. But let me say one thing, having the Marlins as one’s ‘home team’ is much more difficult than rooting for the old N.Y. Giants or the Mets. Every day they try to demonstrate a new way of blowing a lead or losing a game, but that is what makes baseball more interesting than all those other team sports that are just variations on soccer (called 'football' in the rest of the world) that simply involve getting a ball, or a puck, over a line, through a hoop, or into a net.


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Am I Being Too Political? 

One of the TV advertisements for a prescription drug, Rinvoq, used to treat rheumatic arthritic psoriasis really bugs me. It takes place in a college swimming pool where the swim team's coach is on that medication. 

Actress Alexandra Fatovich plays the coach

As she leaves the locker room, she puts in a plug for the drug (or something), saying, ‘It’s time to take back what’s yours.’ This implies that something, or someone, must have absconded with something that you originally possessed, probably clearer skin, and by taking Rinvoq, you can get it back.  But the way she says these words is not dissimilar to the taunts of the extremists at the 2017 Charlottesville fascist demonstration.

Do I sense racial overtones in her words? From the look in her eyes as she speaks them, my politically attuned hearing aid causes me to wonder if she really is running out of the locker room to attend something like the Charlottesville demonstration? 


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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri 

Email Alerts: If 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 do. And 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: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. Friends, relatives, enemies, etc. 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. I think this is the best method of forwarding Jackspotpourri. There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though! Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible. If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which that blog posting will be forwarded, along with a comment from you. Each will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, variations in typography, or the 'sidebar' features such as access to the blog's archives.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com, or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting, but I recommend sending them the link. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. JL * * *

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