Potpourri

Ernest Cassara


The Polls Say!

I once had an argument with the newly-hired pollster of the Washington Post.  Told him that he was conducting poll after inconsequential poll, which we could do without.  During our five minute telephone conversation, his stock response was that I just didn’t like the results of his polls. I was too kind to point out that he had to find something to do to justify his salary.

Now the polls indicate that President G. W. B. is not appreciated by the greater part of the American public.  Well, I like that poll, so that might prove the point that the Post pollster made about me! 

In the same poll, Americans approve of the job that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing.  I wonder why?  What has she accomplished?  While I sat in front of TV in the killing heat wave in the American heartland, I saw countless clips of her descending the steps of an airplane.  Or, at a lectern, mostly threatening some country or another.  Let’s see, the leading candidates at the moment are Syria and Iran.  For the moment, North Korea is on the back burner, as the expression has it.


The Cubans of Miami

Fidel Castro has been in power for so long that the Cuban youngsters in Miami never had any experience with him.  They hate him because their parents do.  Brings to mind the wonderful song from “South Pacific,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, “You’ve got to taught to hate and fear.”

What the youngsters, also, don’t know is that their parents fled Cuba when Fidel’s forces overthrew the Batista government, because they had been supporters of that dictator.  They, obviously, favored a right-wing dictator over a left-wing revolutionary.

I thought at the time - although I was far removed from the scene, living in Cambridge, England - that had the U.S. received Castro as a legitimate revolutionary, he would not have fallen into the arms of the Soviet Union.  Why is it, I have thought from time to time since, that our country, born in revolution, only supports right-wing revolutionaries, never left-wing ones?

Ah, yes!  Revelation!  We are more concerned with capitalism than with democracy!


Republican Shenanigans

How clever of the Republicans in Congress to link the boost in the minimum wage with a big tax give away to the rich!  They can claim that the Democrats killed the raise, avoiding any mention, of course, of the “poison pill” they included.

When will Americans wake up to the fact that the Republican party is the party of the fat cats.  It is said that Abraham Lincoln was afraid that the moneyed people were taking over his party. Little did he know how bad it would become.


Traitor Joe’s

While running for Vice President on Al Gore’s ticket, Joe Lieberman hedged his bet by running at the same time for reelection to the Senate!

Now, having lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut to Ned Lamont, Senator Joe is running as an independent.  Am I overly suspicious, or does it strike you, also, that Joe is more concerned with himself than with the party?


Taking Exception

While I was baking in the heat wave in the American heartland, I had little access to a computer.  I did get an hour or two with one, however, so that I could read the distinguished Harvard Square Commentary.  A couple of weeks ago, under the rubric of responses from readers, our editor published a series of statements from an unidentified person, which, I gather was designed to demonstrate the superiority of Israelis to their Muslim neighbors.  Now, because I am so interested in history, I cannot help but comment on a couple of the statements of Mr./Ms. Anonymous.  I will not weary you by going through his/her whole list.

One or two will suffice to demonstrate his/her prejudices:

“Jews pray facing Jerusalem: Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities,
Muslims pray facing Mecca with their backs to Jerusalem.” As a matter of fact, Mohammad
and his followers prayed facing Jerusalem.  After his death,  Mecca was substituted for
Jerusalem. (Not sure why this matters a damn to Mr./Ms. Anonymous, anyway.)

“Jerusalem is mentioned over seven-hundred times in the Bible, but not once is it
mentioned in the Qur'an.”   I’m not sure why this matters, but, if Anonymous would bother
to open the Koran, he/she would discover why Muslims are called “People of the Book.”
The Koran is filled with references to Abraham, Moses, the Torah, Jesus, et al.

One final comment.  It is strange that his/her list of historical events does not contain the defeat of the Israelites by the Romans and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D./C.E. 70, and the Diaspora of the Jews across the earth.  I can only assume that he/she wants to give the impression that Israel has existed through the centuries, when this is patently untrue.



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