Clement Clarke Moore, whose famous poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ appeared in the last posting, was much more than just a poet. In fact, he felt that poem was far, far, down on his list of accomplishments, and for years, he didn’t even admit to having written it. Find out more by visiting https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/clement-clarke-moore or by CLICKING HERE.
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Adjectives and Nouns Can Be Poisonous
I am not a grammarian,
nor have I ever been a teacher, but I recognize that substituting a noun
for an adjective to modify a noun can impart a pejorative sense to it,
disparaging it. The only example I can
come up with is the antisemitic habit of calling a Jewish doctor or a Jewish
businessman, a ‘Jew doctor’ or a ‘Jew businessman.’ Get the idea?
Ever Since 20th
century Republican politician and Minnesota governor Harold Stassen, perennial
potential presidential nominee, started calling the other major party the
‘Democrat party,’ other Republicans have continued the habit. Doing so allows them to speak as if the
Democrats were not ‘democratic.’ It is a cheap shot and mildly insulting, but if they want to do it, who can stop them.
What gets me,
however, is when supposedly non-partisan journalists, news reporters, or even
worse, Democrats, blindly accept this misnomer and start calling the party of
Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, the ‘Democrat’
Party. This purely Republican habit
should be brought to their attention every time you encounter it being used by those who should know better.
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Early Superbowl Prediction Based on H2O
Superbowl will be won by the Baltimore Ravens.
Why? Their quarterback, Lamar
Jackson, comes from my adopted neighborhood, having graduated from Boynton
Beach High School. His talents will make
the difference, regardless of whom they face on February 11. It could be that it has something to do with
the water around here, water that all-star Philadelphia Philly shortstop Trea
Turner, who graduated from neighboring Park Vista High School, and numerous
other local professional athletes, also drank.
But it doesn’t seem to help me.
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Football Goes Down the Tube
|Springsteen singing 'This gun's for hire.'
And speaking of football, those of you who have been following Jackspotpourri know that I have repeatedly condemned the ‘transfer portal’ as the ruination of college football. True, it does enable talented athletes to seek college connections that would lead to greater remuneration and ultimately, the possibility of lucrative professional contracts for them. But in doing so, it drastically changes the nature of college football to little more than a training ground for the NFL.
according to the Athletic, a website that reports on such things, 46 FBS scholarship
transfer quarterbacks have already made commitments to new schools!
There are about
133 college teams in that FBS classification, formerly known as
Division I-A, the highest level of college football in the United States. Generously assuming that each FBS school has
about three scholarship quarterbacks on their rosters, I conclude that this means
a good number of these schools’ quarterbacks, about 12% of them (46 out of a
total of perhaps 399 quarterbacks), including some who are not just benchwarmers,
are jumping ship via the transfer portal seeking greener pastures.
This may be fine for the athletes, and the teams in need of the quality quarterback
whom they failed to have drafted out of high school, but it significantly weakens
the teams that they are departing, leaving them looking into who’s coming
through the other side of that same transfer portal. This might work just fine in a schoolyard game
but not in big time college football.
Check out the quarterbacks at many ‘Power Five’ schools to see how many
are still at the institution where they started their freshman year. The number is shocking. Dillon Gabriel who started off at UCF,
starred at Oklahoma, and is now transferring to Oregon is a fine example. There are many others, even at legendary
football schools like Notre Dame, which has just picked up Wake Forest’s
quarterback, Sam Hartman, for his last year of eligibility. The concept of a ‘student-athlete’ is a
joke. More fitting is Bruce
Springsteen’s line from ‘Dancing in the Dark’:
‘this gun’s for hire.’
I once knew an executive in the insurance industry who explained that ‘loyalty’ was no more than a word in the dictionary somewhere between ‘lox’ and ‘lozenge.’ It's a quality too many college athletes on full four-year scholarships totally lack.
Back when I was in the Army over 65 years ago, a buddy of mine from
Texas boasted that he was an excellent place kicker, capable of kicking long
field goals, and of course, easy extra points after touchdowns. I don’t think he ever attended college, but
he made a nice living during the football season as a well-paid place kicker
for one game at a time for the many small college and semi-pro teams down there that you’ve
never heard of. The coaches just gave him
a helmet and a jersey and told him what his name for the game would be and
handed him a few twenty dollar bills. (That was long ago when that was good money!) They didn’t have a transfer portal in those days. Yeah, ‘this gun’s for hire.’
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Diplomacy Made Simple
It’s really very
simple. Israel should agree to a
complete and permanent cease-fire in Gaza, and also at flashpoints on the West
Bank and along the Lebanese border, in exchange for their antagonists in Iran
and the Arab world accepting the permanence and the legitimacy of the State of
Israel, and cease all attempts to destroy or undermine it, with their agreeing
to do so being internationally enforceable and monitored, by nations more trustworthy than the United Nations.
Only then can
the extremists on both sides be removed from power and everyone can sit down
and determine the details of a two-state solution, where the Palestinians would at last have a state of their own alongside of Israel.
That must be part of the
antagonists cannot agree to that, then Israel should never consider a cease-fire
in Gaza, or anywhere else for that matter, because doing so amounts to putting
down its weapons in its fight for survival without getting anything in return.
that while Israel would eventually go along with such a deal, Israel’s
antagonists would have to be bribed to accept it.
That would be because Israel’s
agreeing to a cease-fire in Gaza and an independent Palestinian state would not be enough
for those of them pledged to totally destroy the State of Israel. Such bribery or ‘baksheesh’ is common in that
part of the world.
The bribe money will have to come from oil-rich (for the time being, anyway, until electric vehicles impoverish them) Arab states and Iran, as well as from the Western nations that control the world’s financial systems and be structured to endure for at least the next century, locked safely away from being touched by those with evil intent.
So I guess
diplomacy really isn’t that simple.
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