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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.

Friday, November 24, 2023

November 24, 2023 - Some Progress in Gaza and Assisted Living


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Good News: I’ve found the ‘missing’ November 8 posting that I referred to in the November 21 posting! It’s now back there in the ‘archive’ off to the right, among the November postings. The fault was mine, and not being a ‘techie,’ it took me a while to realize that it never had been deleted, but had not been properly labeled, which resulted in it not being included in date order in the ‘archive.’ It’s there now. Sorry about that. 

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As the negotiated pause in the Israeli-Hamas war and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners in Israel for some of the hostages held in Gaza becomes a reality, we cannot ignore the fact that Hamas is still committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and Israel is still committed to the destruction of Hamas.  Although further hostage and prisoner releases will occur, and the pause will be extended, these goals still exist. 

Things will go wrong with the ‘agreement’ along the way but it will mostly work.  It’s a minor miracle that negotiations have even been taking place between parties sworn to each other’s destruction, so don’t be surprised if some delays and snags occur over the next weeks.

Israel cannot allow Hamas to remain a physical threat to its security, although its goal might be altered slightly from the destruction of Hamas to the degrading of their military capabilities. That is why Israel will resume its military actions in the Gaza Strip, between ‘pauses.’  And given the opportunity to regroup its resources, Hamas rocket attacks on Israel will certainly resume.  Hamas leadership is elusive and even difficult to identify, so ‘destroying’ Hamas is not as simple as it sounds. Hamas militants are there in the Gaza Strip but Hamas leadership is not.

Israel is becoming aware that the killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, from whom Hamas militants and installations cannot be readily separated, has a limit beyond which Israeli military actions aimed at destroying Hamas become negatively viewed because of the civilian deaths that accompany such actions, despite the October 7 murderous actions of Hamas.  

There really is no one with whom the Israelis can work in approaching its goals other than the negotiators in Qatar and to a lesser extent in Egypt, who while having ethnic loyalties to Hamas, also are allies of the United States, chiefly because of their concerns with Iran. Meanwhile, Israel will continue to ‘degrade’ the militants’ capabilities within the Gaza Strip, at least between ‘pauses.’ They must do that.

It is clear that the kidnapping of hostages on October 7 by Hamas’ invaders of Israel was part of an overall plan whereby those hostages became Hamas’ chief bargaining tool to eventually use against Israel’s military superiority.  That happens to be against the ‘rules of war’ but they don’t care.

But any progress, however slight or sullied, leading to an overall solution to the Palestinian-Israel problem, as discussed and outlined in three recent postings on Jackspotpourri (Nov. 3, 8, and 21) is encouraging.  Please go back and read them.  In a final analysis, the Israeli-Hamas war cannot be separated from that larger problem.  And I see that President Biden is starting to make that point. 

What is becoming increasingly clear is that everyone's goal should be a 'two-state' solution.  Any other solution can only result in continued conflict.

An Israeli settlement on West Bank. More part of
the problem than a solution to it.

Right now, a 'two-state solution' is NOT the stated goal of either the State of Israel, Hamas, or many Palestinian groups. and their supporters.  Those goals must be modified.  Without doing so, the humorous statement often attributed to the late New York Yankee manager Casey Stengel would make sense:  'If you don't know where you're going, you may end up someplace else!' And that might not be a nice place.

Keep reading reliable news sources.  Good daily newspapers, in print or online versions of them, are better than TV or online social media (even Jackspotpourri).   You might even learn from occasionally looking at the news websites of Haaretz and Al Jazeera, where more opinionated views are included.



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Assisted Living Facilities

Senior Citizens are increasingly looking to what are called ‘assisted living’ facilities when maintaining a traditional home becomes a burden for them.  For a not insignificant monthly fee, or a ‘purchase,’ or both, those who go this route sometimes think their worries are over.  The costs of an ‘assisted living’ facility are not inexpensive, but that is not the bottom line! 

Check out the recent story in the New York Times (also carried by the Palm Beach Post) which describes how the extra fees such facilities tack on to the bills of those who live there pile up, including fees for administering medication, fees for delivering meals to rooms, fees for contacting insurers, fees for cable TV, and on and on. The article points out that the ‘assisted living’ industry leaves no service unbilled.

A daughter with her parents, when both lived at the Waters of Excelsior, an assisted-living
facility near Minneapolis.  (Photo by Jenn Ackerman and Tom Gruber for NY Times)
                              ns pile up: $93 for medications, $50 for cable TV. Prices

The article is part of the New York Times ‘Dying Broke’ series examining how the immense financial costs of long-term care, even for those who had purchased ‘long term care’ insurance, drain older Americans and their families.  One would think the ‘economies of scale’ would lower the cost of such care when centered in one facility, rather than provided individually, but that apparently is not the case.  Instead, they gather those to be fleeced in one place, making it more convenient for the facilities, most of which are extremely profitable operations for their owners and investors.

It is enough to make one yearn for the days when seniors, unable to continue living in their own places, just moved in with one of their children’s or other relative’s families who took on the role of caregivers.  But this went out of favor when houses with extra bedrooms and front porches disappeared, the latter being places where many grandparents spent their day, sipping lemonade, reading the papers, and watching the world go by.

Check out this very important article out by copying and pasting https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/19/health/long-term-care-assisted-living.html on your browser line or by CLICKING HERE.

The article itself is just too long to include in its entirety in this blog posting, but please, please, check it out if you are over age 65 or have parents who are!  If you are unable to access it via the above link, I will be glad to copy the full article and forward it to anyone who asks me to, by email.



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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 are now 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.



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