George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.
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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...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.
GS

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MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, June 28 through 30, 2004

GS

SUNDAY, June 27, 2004

"Past is Prologue".  A famous saying that is no less true today.  The current trials of our forces in Iraq following our overthrow of its despotic regime receive some context from the reports in the NYTimes about the months following VE Day in Germany.  "Res Ipsa Loquitur".

GS

June 01, 2004, 2:33 p.m.
A Familiar Place, Mark R. Levin, National Review
It got ugly in postwar Germany, too.

With all the nay saying about our presence in Iraq, it's worth noting that none of these difficulties are particularly new. No postwar occupation has been without serious challenges, including the occupation of Germany after World War II. The New York Times ran a series of news stories in late 1945 reporting, in part, the following:

"Germans Reveal Hate of Americans," October 31, 1945

The German attitude toward the American occupation forces has swung from apathy and surface friendliness to active dislike. According to a military government official, this is finding expression in the organization of numerous local anti-American organizations throughout the zone and in a rapid increase in the number of attacks on American soldiers. There were more such attacks in the first week of October than in the preceding five months of the occupation, this source declared.
This official views the situation as so serious that he and others are protesting the withdrawal of 1,600 experienced military-government officers form the German governments on township, county and regional levels between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15. "We have been talking since the summer about the trouble that we expect this winter," the source said. "That trouble has now begun and we meet it with a plan to withdraw officers from communities where trouble is already being encountered.
 

"Loss of Victory in Germany Through U.S. Policy Feared," November 18, 1945

Grave concern was expressed today by informed officials that the United States might soon lose the fruits of victory in Germany through the failure to prepare adequately for carrying out its long-term commitments under the Potsdam Declaration. Government failures were attributed in part to public apathy. The predictions of a coming crisis are predicated upon three points:
1) The failure to start training a civilian corps of administrators to take over when the Army's Military Government pulls out of Germany by June 1.

2) The failure of the Government to set up an expert advisory group, such as that which existed in the Foreign Economic Administration's Enemy Branch to back up the American administrators of Germany with informed advice and provide a focal point in Washington for policy-making on the German question.

3) The failure of the Allies to decide together, or the United States for itself, the crucial economic question raised by the Potsdam Declaration; namely what level of German economic activity is desired over the long term?
 

"Germans Declare Americans Hated," December 3, 1945

An exhaustive compilation of opinions of Germans in all walks of life on their reaction to the United States occupation of their country was released this afternoon from the confidential status under which it was submitted to officials of the United States Forces in the European Theatre recently.
Bitter resentment and deep disappointment was voiced over the Americans' first six months of occupation, though there was some praise for the improvements in transportation, health conditions, book publishing and entertainment.
 

"German Election Set In Towns of U.S. Zone," December 19, 1945

United States Seventh Army headquarters announced today that plans had been completed for initial German elections in January at Gemuende. A statement said that a vast majority of Germans remained passive in attitude toward politics and displayed no disposition to take over civic responsibilities.
I think we can agree that the postwar occupation of Germany, and the rest of Europe, worked out quite well, despite numerous difficulties and the best efforts of the New York Times to highlight them as it does today in postwar Iraq.

Mark R. Levin is president of Landmark Legal Foundation and talk-radio host on WABC 770 AM in New York.

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 25 and 26, 2004

GS

MONDAY through THURSDAY, June 21 through 24, 2004

More about "liberals", in the new and disparaging sense of the last few decades.  In a commentary published in The Day yesterday, Maureen Dowd compares the President and his administration with the worst of Bill Clinton: "they went after Saddam because they could". Comparing the motivation for Saddam with that for Monica, she opines: "Like Clinton, the president engaged in an enterprise of choice, not necessity."  (Commentary, pA7).  Couple that with the reckless fulminations of Algore today, and you have a bunch of junk-yard dogs firmly entrenched in the campaign of John Kerry.  Keep it up and you'll howl yourselves to a landslide victory for George W. Bush.  A useful read on this subject is the New York Times Bestseller: "Useful Idiots...How liberals got it wrong in the Cold War and still blame America first" by Mona Charen (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2003)

Regarding U.S.Immigration policy, an example of national schizophrenia, see "About Those Huddled Masses", by Tamar Jacoby (WSJ, today, Opinion, pA10)  The American people are not anti-immigration.  Most of us owe our lives here to brave immigrants.  "What voters want is to get a grip on the problem: They want a solution and they want it to work."   Not too much to ask.

Two health - related issues.  The U.S. Supreme Court upheld ERISA pre-emption of state law in attempts to bring cases of health insurer treatment payment denial as cases of medical mal-practice.  This result can be based on Contract Law and on the practicality that otherwise the Managed Care Industry could fold under the weight of subsequent litigation.  Tough, but true.  That should never prevent a doctor from prescribing any indicated treatment - and a patient from receiving that treatment...and then suing the MCO in Federal Court for the cost outlay.  In such cases, there would be a high likelihood of success, in my opinion.  Then comes the article in the WSJ yesterday entitled "New Way To Curb Medical Costs: Make Employees Feel the Sting", by Ron Lieber (pA1). What a revolutionary concept!  (See my offerings on this website under Managed Care and related categories).    Now, please don't get me wrong.  All patients of mine knows how hard I fight for them, medically and as an advocate for their care.  But somebody has to tell the truth here.  I have been trying to do it for the last three decades.

GS

SATURDAY and SUNDAY, June 19 and 20, 2004

Happy Fathers' Day, to those who deserve the accolade.  They are the fathers in traditional families, who work and worry and watch over their kids...and who love and cherish their kids' mother.  They are the fathers who are at-home fathers, for one reason or another...reportedly over 100,000 of them.  They are the 2.2 million single fathers.

But what about the fathers, one in every three families, who are letting their kids grow up in a fatherless household?  And what about the households, one of every two, that are single-parent?   Was this what the Great Society was supposed to produce?  No accolades for this mess.  If this refers to you, WAKE UP.  Parenting is the single most important and difficult and rewarding job that you can aspire to in your lifetime.

GS

FRIDAY, June 18, 2004

One thing is sure: the current editorial content of The Day regarding the continuing saga of Iraq does not beat around the bush; it simply beats On Bush!  The editorial in that newspaper's edition today (pA10) rehashes all the original and continuing liberal objections to our having attacked Iraq without the blessing of Hans Blix and his ilk.  Their thinking is in a time warp unaffected by subsequent developments and by contrary professional opinion.  (See "The Pentagon's New Map", by Thomas P.M.Barnett, G.P.Putnam's Sons, 2004).   Now the big deal is the negative finding of the 9/11 Commission regarding "no credible evidence".  In logic and in scientific reasoning, a negative result has far less weight than a positive relationship.  (See also the information and opinion expressed in this section, with supporting references, since March, 2003).
Now comes today's revelation by Russian President Vladimir Putin that "After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received information that the official services of the Saddam regime were preparing 'terrorist acts' on the United States and beyond its borders....This information was passed on to our American colleagues."  ("Putin Says Russia Warned U.S. On Saddam", by Raushan Nurshayeva, Reuters, Friday, June 18, 2004, 9:36 AM ET).   And so I ask the editors of The Day, does any of this make any difference in your views on President George W. Bush, and on your world-view?  In the words of the sage Ted Turner:"Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of The Way".  Don't just "qvetch".     GS

TUESDAY through THURSDAY, June 15 through 17, 2004

Back to work...I mean back from work.

GS

MONDAY, June 14, 2004

More on reported divisions within this country.  An up-lifting article in yesterday's N.Y.Times provides evidence that the Washington beltway and punditry and the liberal news media are the groups that are separated from the mainstream.  See "A Nation Divided?  Who Says?", by John Tierney, Week In Review, Section 4, p1. As stated earlier in this section, this election year Americans will be seeking out moderates of both parties who make sense, as distinguished from brittle idiologues, regarding domestic affairs.  Regarding foreign affairs, both we and the Iraqi people want the same thing: security.  How to achieve that is developing more and more into a consensus alligned with the Bush Doctrine and its logical extensions.  In addition to the book referenced above ("The Pentagon's New Map"), another new book by a senior foreign policy analyst gives high marks to many of the President's acts.  ("Power, Terror, Peace, and War", by Walter Russell Mead, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004).  It is interesting that, while the former describes the Department of Defense as behind the curve, the latter reports a worse situation in the Department of State: "A mix of incredulity, outrage, shock, anger and despair is running through the foreign policy establishment as many of its most cherished ideas and institutions are impatiently brushed aside".   And that's precisely what we need: thinking and acting outside the box whose lid closed with a massive blow on 9/11.  However, what America also deserves...and soon...is a clear articulation and re-affirmation of that Doctrine of pre-emptive defense and of engagement throughout the world for the benefit of all - but on our own terms.  The Bush administration has not yet achieved that goal with the American people.  The time is past due.  Meanwhile, read the books.  Illuminating and hopeful.

GS

SATURDAY and SUNDAY, June 12 and 13, 2004

And now for the return of the "But-Heads".  Yes, but...this.  Yes, but...that.  That is what we are now reading in the "liberal" press, a mis-use of that once honored word, after a week of "A Nation Coming Together"... as expressed in the Editorial of The Day (theday.com), on June 12.   "It is a sign of these troubling times, though, that Capitol Hill is a bitter place...."  How much more bitter could some people be than to have as this year's mantra "anyone but Bush".  Very thoughtful.  How much more bitter than the article in today's N.Y.Times by Frank Rich, dripping with contempt, entitled "First Reagan, Now His Stunt Double" (Art and Leisure, Section 2, p1).  And how much less conducive to the desired "real debate" than this arrogant and conclusory pronouncement in the Day editorial: "The most serious occasion in recent times was the development of a foreign policy, the Bush Doctrine, in which differences of opinion were not allowed, allies were not adequately consulted and bipartisanship fell prey to the hubris of a Republican administration bloated by conceit with its own power."  This is also the furor that President Harry Truman evoked in some quarters in the later 1940's when he set a true course against what would later be known as the "evil empire". Folks, when you're wrong, you're really wrong.  But then, you have had a lot of  practice at that during the last 30 years.

GS

FRIDAY, June 11, 2004

The memories of, and today's eulogies to former President Ronald Reagan offer a good opportunity to reflect on how this country came to stand as a colossus astride the world, to the bemusement of most Americans and to the consternation of others in that world...most notably the French.  We nearly destroyed ourselves in the Civil War.  Then we nearly worked ourselves to death chasing a combination of Manifest Destinty and the Industrial Revolution.  With the help of a massive infusion of human capital during the great influx of immigrants between 1865 and 1900, we not only survived, but thrived...and even began to try our hand at imperialism...something that did not come naturally to us.  World War l became a stern reminder of President Washington's admonition against "foreign entanglements", while the rest of the world learned about totalitarianism regimes like Communism and Fascism.  Like the proverbial elephant in the living room, we could not hide behind isolationism...and we had to win World War ll with our friends.  Since then, there has been no stopping us, notwithstanding serious challenges by the former Soviet Union and its client states.  So, here we are, the reluctant giant - admired and envied, sought out for help and feared, loved and hated.  One thing is sure: to retreat, either into isolationism or into the amorphous mass called globalism or the U.N., would create a great vacuum into which would be sucked all the evil and insanity that man is capable of.  And 9/11 showed us that we would not avoid that chaos either.  So, this is our Manifest Destiny for the 21st century.   A look back and ahead, aided by several recent books, is useful here.

If anyone doubts the central role that President Reagan's America played on the world stage, or that President George W. Bush's America must continue to play in Afganistan, in Iraq and throughout the world, please read: In Solidarity, by Lech Walesa, published in today's WSJ (Opinion, pA8).

GS

THURSDAY, June 10, 2004

I'm BAAACK.  Back to work.

GS

SUNDAY, June 6, 2004

GS


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