A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy
Associates of New
RESPONSE...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.
It will offer
fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by
day, in this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to
be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge
that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental
or military campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission
will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real
politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to
be pro-active. That's all I promise.
THE PRESIDENTS TRUMP AND PUTIN SUMMIT MEETING. This
morning I watched developments and coverage on Fox News beginning at
4:30 AM and until they had both arrived for the initial one-on-one
meeting at 7 AM. The Fox coverage was informed and informative, with questions and speculations - but without answers. By
contrast, The NYTimes edition today, both domestic and interntional,
announced that "Putin had already won" simply by virtue of there being
a meeting. That "Grey Lady" is not only grey; she has become demented. As
one Fox journalist noted, one of the first things you learn in
Journalism School is not to write the story before you have gone out
and covered it.
A SHOT OF WHISKEY In
the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a
glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the
bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a
"shot" of whiskey.
THE WHOLE NINE YARDS American
fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were Fed by a belt of
cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards)
long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it
the whole nine yards.
BUYING THE FARM During WW1
soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was
about the price of an average farm so if You died you "bought the farm"
for your survivors.
IRON CLAD CONTRACT This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.
PASSING THE BUCK / THE BUCK STOPS HERE Most
men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife
company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these Buck
knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it
was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the Knife were given to
the new dealer. If this person didn't want to deal he would "pass the
buck" to the next player. If that player accepted then "the buck
RIFF RAFF The Mississippi River was
the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried
passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used
rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered
cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a "riff" and this
transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.
COBWEB The Old English word for "spider" was "cob".
SHIP STATE ROOMS Traveling
by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on
the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To
this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.
SLEEP TIGHT Early
beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in
a criss-cross pattern. A Straw mattress was then put on top of the
ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner
would then tighten the ropes to get a better night's sleep.
were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat.
These played small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat
shown in the movie "Showboat" These did not have an engine. They were
gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being
the life of the party is showboating".
OVER A BARREL In
the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed Face down over a
barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in a effort to
empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a
barrel you are in deep trouble.
BARGE IN Heavy
freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by
steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into
piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in".
carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would
be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was
washed off was considered useless "hog wash".
word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre-feu", which means
"cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all
lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as
"curfeu", which later became the modern "curfew". In the early American
colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center
of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control
during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all
fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a "curfew".
BARRELS OF OIL When
the first oil wells were drilled they had made no Provision for storing
the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we
speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.
HOT OFF THE PRESS As
the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to
heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press It is
hot. The expression means to get immediate Information.
WOW! WHO KNEW? Throughout History, the British have always been brutal, on land and on sea, even with their own citizens at times. President Trump was right when he said during his trip that he would rather have them as allies than as enemies.
Our 4th Of July:
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence ?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
So, following your 4th of July holiday perhaps you might silently thank these patriots for the price they paid.
Remember: freedom is never free! We thank these early patriots, as well as those patriots now fighting to KEEP our freedom!
Patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more MEANING to it than just a barbecue.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: SPEAKING TRUTH TO LONDON FOG. About Prime Minister May's plan to continue to deal with the EU: "That's not what the people voted for". - RIGHT. About England's effort to absorb, without integration, many cultures and especially Muslim culture and Sharia Law: "They are in danger of losing their Culture". - RIGHT. Meanwhile,
the U.S. biased mainstream media and the Socialist British press have a
ball timing and cherry-picking Trump's statements. So far, with NATO and with elements of British government, Truth well - deserved...from an Ally. Now, on to a likely no-holds-barred negotiation with President Putin. At-A-Way, Mr. President.
NOTHING NEW OR SHOCKING HERE: Hispanics
are good, hard-working, law-abiding, family-oriented and religious
people who know when they are being hustled. I have many of them as
patients, a pleasure to work with. Just so you know...
SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT TO ME. I think I'll try it. But my son has a different take on this: "Precisely. What used to be diagnosed as dementia is now enabled and celebrated by society."
"HOPE FOR BLACK AMERICA", BY BEN STEIN (Newsmax, Summer, 2018, p4). This is a "before and after" story about being Black in America, where the "after" is a work well in progress. There
has been great progress since my growing up years in the 30's through
50's in the Bronx. But, although we were "careful" in some other parts
of town, the words of my father always were with me: " There's a God in
every person". My main concern today is that some members of the
recent generations of Blacks have been taught and have absorbed the
wrong lessons by their "leaders": regarding school, regarding personal
responsibility, regarding lawful authority, regarding the central role
of family, of women, of sex and child rearing, and regarding their
"due" in a nation that only guarantees the "pursuit of happiness". And
the abuse of the word Racism" has become a self-inflicted wound with
the vast majority of fair-minded people, more than ever before. So: don't mess up your earned upward mobility and our honest support from the other "races". Deserve it.
AND ON TOP OF ALL THAT...ARROGANCE. "Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have all that many". Donald Tusk, European Council President.
AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME IN THE WORK OF OUR PRESIDENT, with consequential meetings with NATO, with England and with Putin, we might consider the importance generally of Presidential actions, inactions and serious errors that are possible. A
highly researched book published in 2016 highlights that fact...this
related to the events before, surrounding and following Pearl Harbor -
even many years following that tragedy. "A
Matter Of Honor. Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame, And A Family's Quest
For Justice", by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (HarperCollins). Far
from putting to rest the lingering suspicions about the actions of FDR
before and after the event, involving either gross incompetence at the
highest levels or even active involvement in making it happen, the
facts presented open the deep wounds, not only of scapegoated Admiral
Husband Kimmel and his family but of the nation. In my opinion, the
fact that several subsequent Presidents would not agree to revisit
those facts even many decades afterwards speaks volumes about their
veracity. The "Swamp" has always existed. Only rarely has a Leader come forward to take it on.
UNLESS YOU ARE THE RIP WAN WINKLE OF CONNECTICUT, the information in the recent article by Chris Powell will be old news to you. "What and Who Will It Take To Stop State's Fall?"
(in The Day July 10, 2018, pA4). But its value - as is always the case
with this journalist's work - is its lucid and fearless exposition of
the cancer metastasizing in this State. "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"
ALTHOUGH YOU CAN'T
BE SURE OF ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET,
these quotes are either true, or they will soon be uttered by a Leftist.
THE OUTRAGEOUS FACTS ABOUT MANY ACTIONS OF OUR GOVERNMENT NEVER END.
Historically, the life of many democracies has been about 250 years.
The life of America is approaching 250 years...and the current physical
and moral examination of this patient reveals some serious
diseases. Promising treatments are being applied by this
Administration. The outcome of their effectiveness will be evident in
the elections of 2018 and 2020. If those go the wrong way, the
patient's health will enter a steep and probably irreversible decline,
from which only radical surgery (ie. civil war) will save a disabled
This is not hyperbole.
Rush Limbaugh Nailed This One
Love him or hate him, he nailed this one right on the head....
I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the
September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform
No one is really talking about it either,
because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September
11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something
really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If
you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to
get an average of $1,185,000....
The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7
If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in
action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half
of which is taxable....
Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs.....
If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry
And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18....
When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt...
Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of
$1.185 million up
to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough....Their deaths
were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the
Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their
families know the dangers....
(Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding
We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the
bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the
September 11 families are getting....In addition to that, some of the
families of those bombed in the
embassies are now asking for compensation as well.....
You see where this is going, don't you...?
Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics
in this country....It's just really sad....Every time a pay raise comes
up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a
the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families
have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing....
However, our own U.S. Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you
that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension
that is more than $15,000 per month....
If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an
E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very
people who placed them in harm's way receives a pension of $15,000 per
I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join
ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our
sons and daughters who are now
"When do we finally do something about this..?"
If this doesn't seem fair to you, it is time to forward this to as many
people as you can....
How many people CAN YOU send this to...?
" If we lose freedom here,
there is no place to escape to.
This is the last stand on earth."
"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small
person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great
equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal
of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant
and not master of the
God Bless America
Keep your Powder Dry. No telling when Y'all will need it.
THE STATE OF THE STATE
OF CONNECTICUT: A POTEMKIN VILLAGE.
Two statements published in The Day July 7, 2018 focus on this fact.
One is a fine Editorial entitled "Give
Independent Voters The Substance They Desire".
The other is a Letter To The Editor noting the impotence of our current
elected officials in making a difference. State
needs leaders who will work with the president
These statements define the nature and depth of the problem in
But the solution is in the hands of the electorate: sclerotic
Democrats, demoralized Republicans and unengaged Independents, most of
whom stay at home on Election Day.
All of these citizens must be informed, and they must be enraged by the
1) Any government run for decades by the same political party, whether
Democrat or Republican - but Democrat in this case - is by definition
corrupt and self-serving.
2) This Democrat government has been bought, lock, stock and barrel, by
the public employee unions of the State.
3) The TRUTH about the unconscionable pension contracts - binding to
the mid-2020's - by previous and current politicians must be uncovered
and reported, by The Day and by all other mainstream media including
4) The STUPID positions taken by Connecticut Liberals and Leftists
regarding "entitlements", "immigration" and reflexive anti-Trumpism
must be made reflective of Reality, both in Connecticut and in
Washington. As distinguished from the Federal Government, THIS STATE
CANNOT PRINT MONEY!
5) All politicians and office holders of this State who do not get the
above message should be retired at the next opportunity. THROW THE BUMS
6) The political parties, especially the Republican Party, must
actively target and inform all voters, not just registered Republicans
in preparation for the next elections: 2018 and 2020.
In this Nation and in this State, the People are ready for Change. Let's Change!
JUST SO YOU KNOW REGARDING NORTH KOREA:
this is the meaning of BS...and of BF (Bad Faith).
This gang will only respond with a gun to their head or to their
breadbasket. God bless the poor people of that benighted country.
President Trump is right on target...with his meeting and with his
plans going forward.
JUST IN CASE I HAVE BEEN TOO AMBIGUOUS IN MY COMMENTS TO DATE:
President Trump is my President. He is what a President of the United
States should be and how he should act with other countries, whether
allies, "allies" or adversaries.
"Forte e Gentile". "Strong and Gentle".
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
"LIFE IS A BANQUET, AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH."
So spoke Auntie Mame in the 1958 movie that immortalized the adopted
aunt of bohemian types in Greenwich Village many decades earlier.
That observation is still accurate today...especially if you don't read
the weekly Saturday "Review" section of the WSJ.
Here I draw reference to just two of the several excellent articles in
the July 7, 2018 publication.
"Russia's Turn to Its Asian Past", by Yaroslav Trofimov.
This is nothing less than a very valuable psychoanalysis of Russia
today, from its birth many centuries ago to the current giant nation
that must be engaged rather than dismissed - as our current cretin
Russia-phobes keep demanding.
"A Lost Love Gave Us Hemingway's Spare Prose", by Robert R.
Garnett. This has personal relevance for me. My father was a sergeant
of artillery in the Italian Army (then with the Allies) on the Austrian
front in the Dolomite Mountains when a retreat was required, resulting
in my Dad being in the same town and at the same time that wounded
Hemingway was in the local hospital- the scene of "For Whom The Bell
PS: Spare prose is the way to go.
and FRIDAY, July 5 and 6,
ANOTHER EDITION OF
"AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY OPINIONS."
Macro-finance is certainly not my forte. But "Trump's
War On The WTO" got my attention, as does any opinion
claiming the supposed merits of world / super - national organizations
capable of out-voting American national interests. (In WSJ July 5,
2015, Opinion, page A15). Here the author tries to relate the heroic
efforts of Truman and Marshall in war-torn 1948 to the needs of the
current world. Wrong. Nothing wrong today with "economic nationalism",
or "America First"...especially when the U.S. has been taken advantage
of by rich countries for decades.
"Trump's 'Space Force' Idea Grounded In Sound Logic".
(Editorial in the Chicago Tribune, reprinted in our own The Day, July
5, 2018). I knew you could do it...be reasonable and unbiased, that is).
IRS Can Save American Health Care" (in WSJ July 2, 2018,
Opinion, pA15). As with some medical research these days, where work
done and reported decades ago is resurrected and re-discovered today,
the authors resurrect and rename that logical but supressed Health
Savings Account as a new idea: "Health Reimbursement Arrangement".
Whatever. "A rose by any other name..." JUST DO IT, if you ever want to
get a handle on health care delivery run amok.
But don't do it the way the British National Health Service
seems to be doing it: "Reform the NHS Before It Kills You" (in WSJ July
5, 2018, Opinion, pA15). It seems that a "culture of euthanasia" has
been operative there - and hidden - for some time. It's amazing how you
can help the bottom line with an opioid and a syringe drive.
and WEDNESDAY, July 3 and 4,
"40 STRAIGHT GALLUP POLLS:
Majority Says Abortion Should Be Illegal In All Or Most Cases",
by Terence P. Jeffreys (cnsnews.com, July 3, 2018).
V. WADE (1973) was an abomination, then and now, unsupported in
Medicine, in Law and in Ethics. It was and is raw politics, the 800 lb.
gorilla sitting where it wants to sit. It could be over-ruled at any
time as unconstitutional.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
"A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: HILLARY CLINTON!
Now pay attention, you "deplorables".
AND ITALY MADE IT FINALLY HAPPEN: A RETURN TO SANITY.
south of our southern border, where many thousands are assassinated
yearly, where the vast majority of the people have been kept in
permanent serfdom by the 1% elite, and where during this recently
concluded Mexican election campaign at all levels hundreds of
candidates have been killed, the idiots on the Left north of the border
demand a veritable end to the border. You can't make this stuff up.
REMEMBER ABOUT SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN.
We already know about the other RINOS.
Fails To Repeal ObamaCare" (in ctmirror.org, July 1, 2018 and
dated July 28, 2017 - by Ana Radelat).
the macro world, health care delivery in America is in steady decline,
largely as a result of the legislative and regulatory morass produced
by the attacks of ObamaCare on reality.
In the micro world, as any
recent patient well knows, it's a jungle out there - with every patient
needing an advocate (good physician, family, friend) who will ask
questions, probe, and kick ass when necessary to protect his or her
It does not have to be that way. Health care delivery is not rocket
from a practicing physician in my 61st year of medical practice - who
has been writing about this for decades. See the articles and
publications on the subject on my web-site (asthma.drsprecace.com).