Black Lives Matter
Yes, Black Lives Matter. Black people were brought against their will from Africa and enslaved in the US hundreds of years ago. For many years they and their children endured unimaginable suffering. I am not talking now about their suffering in US soil long ago, during the 18th and 19th century: while the US was sending a man up to the Moon in the 1960’s, there was official segregation of the Blacks down in the Southern states. The civil rights movement and Martin Luther King were not protesting against the sins of the past, but against the injustices perpetrated against black people there and now in the present. In May 2020, an unarmed man, George Floyd, was killed during eight long minutes by a policeman while he was lying on the ground in the streets of Minneapolis: the only thing that led to his killing was that he was a black man.
Laws penalizing discrimination against black people are necessary, but are not enough to level the field for black people. The USA recognized this when it instituted affirmative action. Affirmative action in Education is the key. From giving black families the choice to send their young children to any school, not just to the low-performing schools in their poor neighborhoods, to accepting black students descendants from slaves with good grades to the best universities even if they did not get the best and highest scores at high-school, and up to strong funding of Black Colleges – is the key.
I emphasized black students descendants from slaves, because lately an opportunistic reverse racism against white people is aggressively promoted in the US. There are now brown people and white people. And many brown people that barely made it to the US during the last few years are vociferous in claiming their rights to be first in the queue (at least with respect to the “oppressing white people”), including their rights to higher education. I referred anecdotally to this phenomenon several years ago in another blog : A student at an Ivy League US university, of Indian origin (identified by the brown color of her skin) strongly complained against white people, and the narrator and the audience sympathetically supported her. It did not matter that she was enjoying a good life at one of the best universities. It did not matter that she used to dress tip-top and frequent high-society bars and restaurants with her friends. She had money (or rather her parents did, which is why she ended up in an Ivy League US university). Most probably her parents enjoyed and profited from a high-status in the Indian society, a society where for centuries castes are endemic and lower castes are ostracized and persecuted. But she had the chutzpah to complain about a whole community of her new country, while olympically ignoring the ills of her own and of her native society. Work hard – as previous generations of immigrants did, Italian, Irish, Jews, Chinese – so that perhaps your children or grandchildren could go to college, if they will also study hard and excel. The US owes nothing to any people of any color, brown or white, immigrating to its shores. The US is the land of opportunities, not the land of free lunches.
You may dislike Trump, but the fact is that Donald Trump signed a bill that will permanently provide more than $250 million a year to the nation’s historic minority colleges and institutions. More specifically, the bill authorizes $85 million a year for historically black colleges and universities, $100 million for Hispanic-serving institutions, $30 million for tribal schools and $40 million for a variety of other minority-serving institutions (Associated Press, “Trump signs bill restoring funding for black colleges”, by Collin Binkley, December 19, 2019).
You may dislike Trump, but the fact is that he promoted and signed into law the “Criminal Justice Reform Bill” in December 2018. Around 3,000 inmates that had been convicted to long sentences in the past due to drug offenses were released, and another 1,691 people lately convicted of crack cocaine offenses received sentence reductions (The Washington Post, “3,100 inmates to be released as Trump administration implements criminal justice reform”, by Matt Zapotosky, July 19, 2019). Most of the released inmates were black people (NBC news, “The First Step Act promised widespread reform. What has the criminal justice overhaul achieved so far?”, by Dartunorro Clark and Janell Ross, November 24, 2019)
The education system in the US
A year ago I published a letter in the Californian Sacramento Bee newspaper  criticizing the relentless compulsory indoctrination campaign under the mantra of “ethnic studies” in the California middle and high-schools, which reminded me of the catholic religion lessons I had to endure as a Jewish child in the elementary public school in Argentina. This culture of indoctrinating activism that systematically berates and excludes “the other”, which for years was cultivated and allowed to grow at the US universities is finally percolating into the lower level of the K-12 public schools.
Several years ago, when I was planning on retiring from my full-time work at the semiconductor industry in the Silicon Valley, I looked for a part-time teaching position in Physics and Math at a public community college in my neighborhood. The community college was looking to fill-in non-tenured part-time positions, and there were several open positions in Physics and Math.
I love teaching basic Physics and Math. I had taught basic courses at the University of Buenos Aires and was a Physics instructor at the Technion, Haifa. I even had a year-long weekly stint teaching algebra for-free (organized by the Students’ Union) to a teenager at Shlomi, a development town in Northern Israel, near the border with Lebanon, while I was a PhD student. I remember leaving in the early afternoon, taking a couple of buses from the Technion to Nahariya, and then a third bus to Shlomi. Almost a two-hour trip. His parents always received me with a cup of “nanah tea”, the traditional tea of Morocco Jews. And then return late at night home, after the lesson.
I was requested by the community college to pass a purity litmus test: write an essay that would testify about my political correctness. This was repugnant and violated my conscience. And it was the end of my intention to become a part-time Physics and Math teacher at a community college in California.
What is happening today at the campuses of the US Universities is a disgrace. As one wisely said at a Quora forum, the word “university’ is a compound word that might translate as “seeking truth together”: From the Latin words “universus” (whole, entire) and “veritas” (truth). Nothing could be more further from this meaning in the present environment at the campuses. The transformation is practically complete, from the academic staff till the students’ organizations. Year after year the academic staff – especially in the Social Studies faculties – has been systematically weeded up from “bad apples” which do not conform to their political and ideological beliefs. Today intimidation in the campuses is rampant. What a well-organized and disciplined minority can achieve!
Globalization and its impact on people
Globalization was a gift from Heaven for the high-tech industry in the US. The highly sought tiny integrated circuits of the semiconductor industry and the automated factories could be made profitable only in a large global market, where millions and millions of identical pieces could be fabricated and sold. Personal computers made economic sense only if they could be sold in the tens of millions. The same for the financial companies, where the millions and millions of identical pieces consist of dollar bills that need to move around in order to bring more money. But globalization was a disaster for the millions of US workers in the small industry that suddenly faced unfair competition from the much lower wages of the sweatshops abroad. Today, if you want to buy anything in the US, it comes with the “made in China” label. Anything, you name it. I do not blame the Chinese people or the Chinese government. They are an industrious people. And unlike most other totalitarian regimes that only care for the few at the top, its political elite are truly nationalistic in the good sense of the word: they are interested in the good of China. Being also an ancient and rich culture and a homogenous society instills perhaps also a sense of added patriotism and the will to sacrifice individual liberties in the name of the common good.
I can only blame the political elite in the US, which during the last decades allowed this to happen. Today the small towns in the US are plagued by closed shops and factories, unemployed people, many desperate and resorting to drugs. Yes, even the fentanyl drug is imported from China …
“Educated” people will smile and condescendingly point to me that I am fighting for a return to a past, to a golden era that does not exist anymore. But what is cheaper? To have opened shops and factories in the small towns, with employed workers earning living wages, that provide US-made goods to the US market (admittedly, at a higher price to the US consumer, even when subsidized by tariffs on similar imported goods) or having closed shops and factories, and unemployed and sick people that are an enormous human toll and carry with it a large price tag of many billions of dollars every year on the social and health systems in the US?
The US has to bring manufacturing back. As Trump likes to say: “Make America Great Again.” Many people in the ruined US towns voted for him in 2016 just for this. And Trump is trying to do this with the new US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade agreement (or USMCA) that replaced the vilified NAFTA and the Phase 1 trade agreement with China, after a long war of tariffs to bring the Chinese to the table.
The Democratic Party
Question: if I am given the choice between Biden and Trump, who would I invite to have tea with him at my home?
My answer: old Joe Biden, of course!
Question: Who then will I vote for in the November elections?
My answer: Donald Trump.
One sufficient reason is the present state of the Democratic Party.
John Biden is a good man, but the only reason he left his comfortable retirement place and decided at the last moment to run for president is to stop Trump from winning a second term. And this is also the only reason everyone quickly aligned behind him and he got the votes of the Democratic Party. He does not have a plan (except from sitting at home and hoping for Trump to make another mistake that will give him, Biden, more votes in November) nor a clear vision of what to do if he wins the election. He does not have a movement behind him. Bernie Sanders has. Even the old Bernie Sanders does not have today a movement behind him: he had it in 2016, when he ran against Hillary Clinton. But today this movement is way past him: today this movement is letting him stay as a nice uncle figurehead. After the elections, if the Democratic Party wins, hell will break within the party to divide the cake. Of course, Joe Biden will seat at the White House, but policies will be decided somewhere else and be implemented by people whom Biden will not be able to control. I am afraid of what a well-organized and disciplined minority within the Democratic Party can achieve.
This leaves Donald Trump. He may be a racist, but everyone in the multiethnic not so melting pot in the US is, especially those who vociferously claim to be the righteous people and who despise the other 50% who do not vote for them. While these “righteous” people always care to live in touch and mingle with other righteous people, who live and think like them, Donald Trump lived a life that led him to know and work with many people from many different ethnic and social backgrounds. I think that this shaped his world view and made him less racist, in practice, than many other people. His daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism ten years ago and he still seems to have a good relation with her and her Jewish husband, Jared Kushner. Trump is a like a fighter in a closed boxed ring, so do not expect language niceties from him. But I rather prefer straight vulgar talk over the sophisticated Shakespearean language of the Englishmen who closed the route to Israel for the desperate Jews trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany.
I am a registered independent voter in the US. I voted for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential Elections in the US. I voted for John McCain in the 2008 Presidential Elections and for Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 US Presidential Elections. I was also perhaps the first who coined the term “coup d’état” in a letter I wrote to the local San Jose Mercury News newspaper, published on December 14, 2016 , where I explained why Donald Trump had won the elections fair and square and that “the calls to request giving the Electoral College an intelligence briefing prior to their vote next December 19, smell of an intent to reverse the presidential election results, or, in plain words, a call for a coup d’état.”
I know what a “coup d’état”” is: I lived in Argentina and I had plenty of them. They only brought destruction to Argentina and thousands of lives lost.
 Jaime Kardontchik, The Jerusalem Post, “’Brad’s status (2017)’: A light comedy movie with universal themes, a Woody Allen twist and a racist teachable moment”, Sep 24, 2017
 Jaime Kardontchik, The Sacramento Bee, “Here’s a practical solution”, Sep 2019” (original title: “The California Ethnic Studies Initiative”)
 Jaime Kardontchik, The San Jose Mercury News, “The call for a coup d’état”, Dec 15, 2016