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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.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024 - Justice Denied, A.I. Judgeships, Disgraceful Tim Scott, and All About Media ... Plus a Great Cartoon!


Some of you may not have checked out the recent Time Magazine interview with Donald Trump to which numerous links were provided in the last posting of Jackspotpourri.  If you are one of them, do it now!  It’s the kind of message Thomas Paine spread in 1776 in his ‘Common Sense’ pamphlet.  We are all in very great dangerRight nowTodayFriends, before proceeding further, read that article by CLICKING HERE or copying and pasting this on your browser line: 


(The brilliant cartoon above is by Clay Bennett, who works for the Chattanooga Times Free Press.)  


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How To Remedy ‘Justice Denied

Although ‘Justice Delayed’  is indeed ‘Justice Denied,’ you can remedy that sorry situation by working hard to see that Republican candidates go down to defeat wherever they appear on the ballot.  That is because Republican-appointed Judges are often among those putting ‘party before country.’  We see that daily in their efforts to delay, delay, and further delay the resolution of the charges for which the defeated former president has been indicted.

·         See it happening in Florida where Federal Judge Aileen Cannon works diligently to see that the ‘stolen documents’ case is not heard for a very, very long time. Her appointment to the Federal bench there was made by the defendant in that case. 

·         See it happening in Georgia where State Prosecutor Fani Willis’ private life is being used as an excuse for delaying litigation concerning the defeated former president’s effort to change election results in 2020.  

·         See it happening in our Supreme Court where time-consuming haggling over the degree to which a former president is immune from being held accountable for crimes committed by him while still in office is being treated as an academic Constitutional question, rather than actually dealing with those crimes. 

All of this delay is intended is to further the autocratic ambition of an egotistical liar who doesn’t know the meaning of democracy.   If he can dodge the truth until Election Day, and somehow win another term in the White House, he will then be able to make all this litigation disappear, and along with it, democracy in America.

Face it: There is no longer a Republican Party.  There is only a Trumpublican ‘cult’ dedicated to the worship of the defeated and indicted former president.  And judges appointed by Republicans in office are the problem.  Each day, ‘real’ Republicans leave what used to be their party and choose not to become Democrats but to wander in the wilderness inhabited by Liz Chaney and others, seeking an identity that does not yet exist.

But you can embark on the job of fixing that on November 5.   Just vote against any Republican on the ballot.  And work hard to make sure others do too!



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Is Artificial Intelligence a Solution?

We are a nation ruled by laws, not by the men and women elected or appointed to carry out those laws.  But such people are not blank slates.  They have their own ideas and prejudices.  In carrying out the laws, they are supposed to ignore what they themselves believe.  Nevertheless, judges and prosecutors are sometimes criticized for acting more in furtherance of their personal beliefs than in merely carrying out the law.

Judge Merchan presides over New York State’s trial of the former president who is charged with trying to influence the 2016 elections by indirectly making illegal contributions to stop the publication of articles that might have negatively affected his electability.  Merchan is supposed to be neutral, but the former president and his lawyers are not reluctant to challenge that.  Are such challenges to the judge hearing the case beyond their duties in defending their client?  Is that not an attack on the ‘rule of law’ upon which this nation is built?

Earlier in this posting, the delaying tactics of some judges and justices is addressed, in cases in Florida, Georgia, and even before the Supreme Court. Do such tactics defy that ‘rule of law.’   

Perhaps at some time in the future, there will be no judges presiding over courts. Judicial decisions will be generated by Artificial Intelligence, based upon both current factual evidence and historic information stored within its bowels.  Then no individual judge would be accused of letting their personal views influence their actions in court.  But what resides in ‘the bowels’ of A.I. might stink just as much as a judge’s actions in a courtroom.  Please hold your nose. 



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 About Media

Media means something more than the way an idea is transmitted.  A painter’s media might be watercolors or oil paint.  A composer’s media might range from a simple tune picked out on a piano or guitar to massive operatic or symphonic works requiring scores of individual performers.  If you ask around, you will find most people use the word to refer to the ways we get information, such as newspapers, magazines, television programming, and the internet.  To really get a handle on it, I suggest reading Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 classic, ‘Understanding Media,’ from which the frequently quoted slogan ‘the media is the message’ comes or the later work in which he collaborated, ‘The Media Is the Massage.’  (that is not a typo.)

Here it is in a nineteen-word nutshell:  The manner in which we receive a message can be just, if not more, important than the message itself. 

As ancient man emerged from the caves in which he had found shelter, communications were oral. For perhaps millions of years, knowledge was passed on by spoken words, hopefully remembered and repeated by those who heard and understood them, preserved as sagas or legends, but preserved only as remembered.  Speech was the media of those times.  Those with the loudest voices or a conspicuous platform on the highest rock from which to speak took advantage of it.  

And then, man found a way of supplementing the spoken word.  It was the discovery of the ‘alphabet.’  Throughout the planet, the oral grunts and sounds that had grown into speech became documentable, first just briefly, but eventually into full words, sentences, and lengthier transmissions of ideas.  Scratched onto cave walls, rocks, animal skins, or preservable leaves, known as papyrus, the antecedents of paper, the written word became a more permanent form of media. 

Because the ideas written words contained dealt with the barely understood world mankind saw around it, the maintainers and preservers of these written words were considered holy men and respected as scribes, our first authors.  And this form of media, along with the far less preservable spoken word, which did not disappear, were mankind’s basic communications tools for many thousands of years.

And then, in several parts of the world, about a millenium ago, just a droplet in the stream of time, printing with movable type was developed.  What the scribes, most of whom were identifiable as monks, had been tediously writing by hand became more widely available, at first only as religious documents, but soon about almost any subject and available to almost any person who knew how to read.  And people were learning how to read.  This was the ‘Great Enlightenment.’  You know the story from then on because you and I, and what is before your eyes right now, are part of it.  

When you shut off your television set, or when publications are not purchased, and read, the ‘message’ that such media might otherwise constitute doesn’t get delivered.  Similarly, if the type is small and difficult to read, it might not be read at all.  So larger type, and colors, and accompanying illustrations were added to attract your attention. Whether you expose yourself to various media is often a choice that might be yours to make.  There's a 'remote control' in the recipient's hand as well as that of the sender.  

On the other hand, however, if media is delivered to an audience that cannot get away from it, as in a darkened auditorium or theatre, or in a classroom, or even on a prominently placed billboard along a slow-moving, heavily traveled, highway, where it cannot be avoid being seen, you no longer have that choice. And that is the intention of the purveyors of messages carried through such inescapable media. 

Sometimes all that is ‘messaged’ goes back to pre-alphabetic days.  A car radio represents this return to an exclusively oral media. 

In looking ahead, I do not see this progression in the history of media stopping at where we are today.  Oral and printed media will not completely die. We will continue to talk, discuss, write, and read.  But forms of media, far beyond television and the internet, far beyond today’s electronic tools, will continue to grow and influence the way mankind thinks and acts.

In the future, there may or may not be unavoidable media like the loudspeakers and giant screens on street corners passing on ideas that today’s dystopian science fiction sometimes include, but there will be ways, unimaginable today, of moving those ideas into the consciousness of mankind, without their even knowing that was happening to them.  I do not think that would be a good thing.

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This might be a good time to mention a not totally unrelated thought I had after repeatedly seeing a TV commercial asking for donations to help ‘feed hungry kids,’ through a legitimate and respected charity.  The commercial showed hungry children being fed in both overseas and domestic environments.  What got to me was that its efforts to ‘feed hungry kids’ did not make it clear where most of those children receiving the charity’s benefits were located. 

It appeared to me that what looked like parts of the group’s domestic programs, right here in the United States, seemed to duplicate present efforts of local government and school districts, with Federal Aid, to fill this need, with school lunches, and even breakfasts, for kids who didn’t get these meals at home.  Was this a sneaky way of pushing for the privatization of such activity?  Who could argue with ‘feeding hungry kids’ particularly when the commercial included emaciated infants in Third World nations?  And finally, when they begged for a commitment to make a monthly donation, the commercial apologized for so asking in ‘in these hard times.’  This was clearly a political statement, because when it comes down to it, we are not living in ‘hard times’ right now.  The 1930s were indeed ‘hard times.’  But the 2020s are not ‘hard times’ though, except in the minds of extreme right-wing MAGA Republicans parroting Russian propaganda.  This is the kind of trickery that media of all kinds can include, but future media might make it entirely undetectable.


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Yom HaShoah and Antisemitism

This week included Holocaust Remembrance Day.  In Israel, all activity, including traffic, pursuing one’s employment, and educational activities, all cease for fifteen minutes so that the entire nation pauses together to remember the six million Jews murdered in the 1940s.  Elsewhere in the world, Jews also participate in similar observances.  

Israeli UN Delegate Gilad Erdan

In the United Nations General Assembly, the Israeli Delegate spoke to the occasion with remarks directed at those who would destroy the State of Israel. See his stirring address at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMUrULG4Cug or just CLICK HERE.

I believe that the Holocaust would not have taken place if there were not an already existing antisemitism simmering beneath the surface that allowed many who knew better to close their eyes.  The same holds true for the Inquisition over five centuries ago. Such antisemitism (or more succinctly, ‘hatred of Jews,’) must be fought wherever it is encountered.  Why?  All hatred of Jews can potentially lead to Holocausts.  And this includes those whose objection to the policies of the State of Israel in Gaza and in regard to Palestinians in general have morphed into hatred of Jews wherever they are, in Israel or elsewhere.  

Acts of genocide throughout history have not been limited to Jews, and that is why this is an issue of world-wide concern.  More about this will follow in a future posting.



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Tim Scott – Living in an Alternate Reality

As an example of the depths to which the Republican Party has sunk, South Carolina’s Senator Tim Scott’s was repeatedly asked on Sunday’s ‘Meet the Press’ on NBC if he would accept the results of the 2024 election if Trump didn’t win.  His repeated reply was simply “At the end of the day, the 47th president of the United States will be President Donald Trump.” 

When pushed further by host Kristen Welker, Scott accused NBC of working for the “Democrat Party” but refused again to agree to the peaceful transition of power.  (You can get some idea of the kind of party hack that Tim Scott is by his use of the pejorative adjective ‘Democrat’ instead of ‘Democratic’ when referring to that Party. This blog has addressed that in the past.)

This is a sad commentary on Tim Scott and on the voters who voted for him. He’s too naive to realize that the fact that his being Black is the only reason the Republicans appointed him to a Senate vacancy, and then ran him for his Senate seat, was to get Black votes.  He actually was competing for a while with the defeated former president for the G.O.P.’s 2024 nomination, until he realized that was a lost cause.  He now aspires to the vice-presidential nomination. 

Unfortunately, Scott’s Senate term runs until 2028.  Perhaps, he might spend his time there until then studying Article Two, Section One, of the Constitution instead of living in a Republican alternate reality, one that denies the rule of law in this country. 


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Housekeeping on Jackspotpourri

Strange “Hits’The large number of those accessing Jackspotpouri from Singapore has suddenly ceased. In their place, however, there have appeared large numbers of ‘hits’ on each posting in the hundreds, and as was the case with those from Singapore, but this time from Hong Kong!  I suspect that the Chinese are playing around with internet transmissions, possibly to try to identify who is reading them. 

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, you can just tell them to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or you can provide a link to that address in your email to them. 

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 brief comment from you.  Each will receive a link to click on that will directly connect them to the blog. 

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

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it, particularly if they are a registered voter.  This is an election year.  Spread the word.


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