Passing Thoughts on Some “I” and “J” Topics
Immigrant - One who comes to a place to settle and usually participate in the economy, both as a producer and a consumer, as distinguished from a tourist, one who comes to a place to gawk and consume, but not produce.
Initiation - The act of admitting one into a society by instructing the newcomer on the principles to be followed, starting with the principle that the initiators make fools of the newcomers, who later will be able to perpetuate the process.
Insurance - A way to spread risk ahead of time, that has also developed into a way to subtly define away risks covered. Too many risk pools and large numbers of uninsured people makes for inefficient competition. Particularly for health insurance, a single insurer for universal coverage makes the most sense.
Insurgency - Protest, often violent, against a regime perceived as illegitimate by the oppressors. U. S. History started with our insurgent Founding Fathers coming to consider the British Government as unwelcome occupiers, and now the shoe is on the other foot as American forces are battling insurgents in a nation we invaded and continue to occupy, ironically with the support of only the British.
Intelligence - Perceptive discernment and understanding, yielding accurate knowledge. U. S. experts in intelligence gathering sometimes refer to an extremely high accuracy level as a “slam dunk”, which even if proven to be totally false, in the Bush Administration still qualifies the expert for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Internet - An unprecedentedly effective way for people to communicate and share. Its highest traffic volume is pornographic, which while it doesn’t say much for our minds, at least saves many trees from being turned into pictures of naked women.
Investment - Application of time, talent and treasure in an enterprise, activity or cause, sometimes with unsatisfactory returns. Continuing to invest with unsatisfactory returns because stopping further investment would disrespect the earlier losses, is a common source of unhappiness known as the “previous investment trap”. In mistaken war adventures like the invasion of Iraq, this trap is often embodied in phrases like “stay the course” and “don’t cut and run”.
Iran - The middle eastern country wherein Americans were held hostage back in the 1970s which, in spite of the notoriety of the hostage taking, Americans continued to confuse with Iraq.
Iraq - The invasion fiasco Bush conned us into and the ensuing death, destruction, chaos and financial waste have achieved a level of notoriety sufficient to end the American confusion of Iraq with Iran.
Islam - A religion in which Mohammed has the last word - actually lots of words - with diverse interpretations.
Israel - The land Israelis say God promised them, which after a long history of bloody conquests, was finally delivered with the political approval, but not consensus, of the world community. Many people are intent on destroying Israel and many others on using it as a geopolitical wedge. If Israel did not have to worry about these two groups, imagine what more its people could contribute to the world.
Jazz - Musical improvisation and integrated individual expression, hot or cool, with Afro-American roots. Jazz encourages sophistication and tranquility, making it an especially worthwhile American product, one appreciated in many places throughout the world, but too little here in the U.S.
Jesus - The culminating character in “the greatest story ever told”, whose name is invoked by a broad spectrum of people ranging from those in dire straits to those merely startled.
Journalists - Investigators, reporters and recorders who profess to work diligently to bring us the truth about what is going on in the world. A few do, while most pose.
Justice - Delivery of what is rightly due, as determined by the deliverer, sometimes to the consternation of the recipient.