George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London,
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.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
MONDAY through SATURDAY, October
25 through November 6, 2004
"Guilty...with an explanation." This long interruption
in the flow of "Rapid Response" was the result of our desire to get
"down and dirty" in the election process. Our son David, a tax
attorney in Denver, Colorado, was running for the Colorado House of Representatives
from a combined Denver - Arapahoe district (District 3). We spent
the last week in Denver, sending out thousands of mailings, making hundreds
of phone calls, walking miles to make neighborhood literature drops, and
sometimes freezing on busy street corners to "troop the colors"; ie. wave
David's campaign signs. (During two days there we had 8 inches of
snow and below-20 degree wind-chill temperatures). Result: the short
version is that he lost. The more complete version is that, while
the rest of the country provided the Republicans with the Presidency and
with a stronger hold on both houses of Congress, the Colorado Republican
Party sustained its worst loss ever since 1960, losing both houses of the
Colorado Legislature. "Why", you say? Dave had complained throughout
the compaign that he and other candidates were getting little or no support
from the State Party. It now appears clear that the Colorado State
Republican leadership was "out to lunch". And so, they may be had
for lunch in the coming months. Meanwhile, Dave did better as a Republican
in Arapahoe county than nearly all the other Republican candidates (except
President Bush), even better than the losing U.S. Senatorial candidate,
Pete Coors. Win or lose, great experience. You should try
it sometime, especially running for office at least once. I ran four
times, and served three times.
The national election results were gratifying, and a great relief.
Lots of thoughts...but they must wait for another day, after I catch up
with my real life.
But there is one thing that can't wait. After presiding
over one of the greatest frauds in world history, the U.N. "Oil for Food
Program", Secretary-General Kofi Annan had the gall yesterday to
suggest to leaders Bush, Blair and Allawi that an attack on Fallujah -
that den of domestic and foreign vipers - would diminish the legitimacy
of the coming Iraqi elections in January. (See "Saddam's U.N.
Payroll", WSJ Editorial Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004, pA14). Mr.
Annan, Please Shut Up! In fact, now is about the time
for the U.S. to deport the entire United Nations from our shores
to Old Europe, a venue much more suited to its members' gross hypocracy,
cynicism and impotence.
FRIDAY through SUNDAY, October 22
through 24, 2004
Yes, this election is one of the most important in recent memory
- but not for the reasons touted by both sides. Despite red-hot
invective (as occurred in the first national elections of this nation over
200 years ago), and despite the regular but localized voting frauds (as
in the South for 100 years after the Civil War and in Chicago in 1960),
Americans could always look forward to a sense of election fairness...and
especially to a certainty of closure. Enter the presidential
election of 2000, and we saw hanging chads, a Florida judge-vote counter
looking befuddled at a vote card, and an all-out challenge to the result
by the Gore camp, leading to the a political decision being made by a Court.
We have had previous deferrals like that on vital issues made to the wrong
decision-maker (ie., the Dred Scot decision, leading to the Civil War,
and the Roe v. Wade decision, leading to a non-violent but corrosive war
over abortion that has distorted American politics ever since 1954).
This year, the unwise choices made by both State and Federal officials
regarding "new ideas" about the national electoral process (ie. "provisional
voting", potentially defective electronic voting without paper backup,
un-franchised felons at the voting booths,etc.) risks producing a chaotic
situation where there may be neither fairness nor closure.
See the article by George Will entitled "Bush v. Gore, Tickibng Bomb",
Newsweek Oct. 25, 2004, p114. See also the NYTimes editorial today
on the same subject. That's why it will be vital to give President
Bush a clear victory on November 2. John Kerry can never achieve
that...but the President could, if most Americans realize that the one
overriding issue this time around is nothing less than our national and
our individual personal security.
THURSDAY, October 21, 2004
More facts, before another conclusion.
And now, another conclusion, this time about health care.
Nowhere near a perfect system, but the legacy of a "free lunch" policy
mentality that began in the late 1960's and that effectively removed
the patient-consumer from the cost equasion. See the many offerings
on this subject on this web site under Health
Law and Managed Care topics.
But at least this administration has shown the capacity to learn from those
monumental mistakes, as reflected in its actions and its proposals.
Senator Kerry has shown the opposite.
Regarding whether Saddam Hussein and his Iraq should have been considered
a focus of the war on world terrorism and on our national security,
see "Saddam's Specialty Was Terror Weapons", by George Melloan (WSJ
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2004, Opinion, pA19). This refers to other parts
of the Duelfer report, carefully ignored by the liberal press
and the Kerry compaign, findings of Richard Spertzel, a member of the Duelfer
study team. "He noted the report's disclosure of plans to produce
and weaponize nitrogen mustard in rifle grenades and to bottle sarin and
sulfur mustard in perfume sprayers and medicine bottles for shipment to
the U.S. and Europe...In other words, while Saddam was playing hide-and-seek
with the U.N.over whether he had WMD's, his stealthy little spooks were
focusing their efforts on weapons specifically designed for use by terrorists."
Senator Kerry, why don't you come clean with this information? Your
silence says a lot about you.
Regarding a draft, both the Senate bill (S89) and the House bill
(HR163) proposing reinstitution were submitted by Democrats (Sen.
Hollings and Rep. Charles Rangel). So, what else coming out of
the Kerry compaign is not to be believed?
The NYTimes endorsement of John Kerry for President last Sunday
(a real "dog bites man" story) reads like a screed "full of sound and fury,
Quote of the day, by Israel Justice Minister Josef Lapid, referring
to the rightist extremists in that country: "History has seen more crimes
committed in the name of sanctity than in the name of sin" (by
Dan Williams, Reuters, today).
So, any doubt as to whom I'm voting for, and why? The "why" is
the important part.
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, October
18 through 20, 2004
More concluding statements on issues and choices for this election.
More to follow.
Regarding our relationship with other nations. It is assumed
by all that national self-interest, enlightened when possible, is
the main engine driving international relationships. To think otherwise
is foolish and even dangerous, since wrong signals could be otherwise be
sent. And there is nothing wrong with that constant, except when
hypocracy and cynicism is substituted for honesty in the matter...as occurred
since the winter of 2003 by France, Germany and the United Nations.
John Kerry has been too enamored of his childhood memories in Southern
France to appreciate that point. Russia, of course, is a special
case with special demands, given its history and power.
Regarding the environment, I must express disappointment with this
administration, until I remember the Preservation / Conservation debate
which has been going on since the late 19th century. Where does preservation
blend into adaptive reuse...and then slip into despoilation of our national
resources. In this question, our governmental separation of powers
has worked well to maintain a balance - with the cooperation of, or despite
any single administration.
The draft. I have clearly expressed my opinion in favor of
a reinstituted fair draft as a boon to our young people as a much - needed
post-graduate course following high school. We certainly should not
continue to abuse our National Guard and Reserves. But the Military
prefers a volunteer force: more reliable; less baby-sitting or re-teaching
the three R's. General George Washington and Alexander Hamilton
certainly agreed with this goal after the miserable defeat in New York
City at the outset of the American Revolution. "In pleading with
Congress for a permanent army, (Washington) voiced arguments that were
echoed by Hamilton and that united the two men in future years: 'To place
any dependence opon militia is assuredly resting on a broken staff'".
(in Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, the Penguin Press, 2004,
p81). And that's what either presidential will give them.
Social Security. Remember three things: 1) the SS fund is
used like a big slush fund by our legislators, year after year; 2) only
a small part of a person's contribution is proposed to be independently
invested...and at a much higher return on average than the government's
Trust Fund has ever been able to achieve; and 3) many elderly citizens
are finding, and will continue to find, that complete retirement at "retirement
age" is not feasible and/or unwise...thus continuing to pay SS taxes.
These points are never mentioned by the scare-mongers.
SUNDAY, October 17, 2004
The final stretch in this long presidential campaign. It's
time to arrive at some concluding statements regarding the issues
and choices facing the American people. Between now and November
2, these statements will comprise some or all of the content of Rapid
Response. These statements will stand alone without documentation,
of which there has been plenty in this section over the last two years.
More concluding statements to follow.
We are now at a choice between two living human beings, not the
caricatures painted originally by each side. The debates settled
that. John Kerry could be imagined in the White House, much more
easily than the robotic Algore. And George W. Bush is clearly a "mensch",
a colorful man of conviction who leads from the front, and about whom the
comment "Anybody but Bush" is clearly stupid.
Despite the ample amount of pork and pigs of both parties inhabiting our
nation's Capitol, this is clearly a choice between big mamma government
sucking up the nation's resources in taxes and returning them in haphazard
and partisan fashion, and smaller government that let's Americans be
Americans, in the fashion that has made this country the greatest in
the world and in history.
Yes, we have lost many jobs...and we have created many jobs.
The jobs lost have been lost unavoidably as a price for a global economy,
the alternative being world depression and possibly WW III. The jobs
created have been created through the stimulus of that same global economy,
of greater productivity resulting from global competition, and from a fiscal
policy that keeps money in the hands of the workers, of the job creators,
and of those Americans smart enough to know when they must get smarter
and re-tool. America has never been a zero-sum, constant-pie game,
but rather a land of growing opportunity. The Democrats and John
Kerry would rather panic you into thinking otherwise as they play their
class and race games.
A legitimate government must be moral, not amoral; and this administration
has taken every opportunity to point out the differences.
We have too many poor people. We have too many people without
health insurance and other safeguards to personal growth. But that
has never been a matter of public policy of one administration or of another.
It has been in spite of the public policies of different administrations...some
deluded and some, like the present administration, based upon individual
choice and individual responsibility.
For the Really Big problems, we need not the supposed leaders like
the waffling John Kerry, but leaders who get the available facts and the
best available counsel...and then act resolutely toward the defined goal
- like President Bush.
The greatest example of this difference is the handling of the aftermath
of 9/11. While some, like John Kerry in his current iteration
and Richard A.Clark - he of the late epiphany - fail to see the forest
(world terrorists and their national sponsors) for the trees (Osama bin
Laden and al Qaida), others like the Bush administration undertook a comprehensive
plan to deal with the forest...of which Iraq and al Qaida are but a part.
It hasn't been easy and it hasn't been pretty, especially with some serious
mis-calculations by our Defense establishment. But it is a light
(security and liberty) that is worth the candle in the long run for America
and for its "coalition of the willing". Even the cynical unwilling
SATURDAY, October 16, 2004
Regarding the Flu season this year, and the current mess with
the flu vaccine, try to get the vaccine, perhaps with a note from your
personal physician if you fall into one of the priority categories.
In any case, please see the section on this web site entitled: "The
Uncommon Cold". Rest, fluids and chicken soup won't hurt, either.
THURSDAY and FRIDAY, October 14
and 15, 2004
I firmly believe in and live the saying: "If you like what you do,
you never have to work a day in your life". But something is
getting in the way of this "rapid response". Here's some catch-up.
The last presidential debate. With the same scoring system
as used in prior debates, I scored President Bush 19 positives to Senator
Kerry's 11 positives. I scored 2 negatives for Bush and 2 for Kerry.
In fact, Kerry deserved double negatives for his totally inappropriate
reference (totally gratuitous after Senator Edward's remark earlier) to
Dick Cheney's daughter. Poor form...and poor politics. Add
to that Kerry's continued distortion of the Bush record and his continued
un-keepable promises, and you have today's Reuters/Zogby poll giving President
Bush a four-point lead over Kerry. That goes a long way to explaining
the non-stop spin flooding the liberal airwaves, from the monologue
between Katie Couric and Tim Russert on Today the morning after the debate
to NPR's offerings in recent days. I must admit, though, that among
Katie Cutie, Diane Saccharine and Paula Perky, I can't resist Katie's grin
Talk about spin. Please see two articles in the WSJ yesterday
for the facts(Opinion, pA18): "Have War Critics Even Read The Duelfer
Report?", by Richard Spertzel; and "Tora Bora Baloney", by Melanie
Kirkpatrick. You might even want to read something from the NYTimes
(Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004, Editorials/Letters, Wk p10) entitled "How To
Rescue Education Reform: Despite its difficulties, the No Childl
Left Behind Act is potentially the most important education reform since
the nation embraced mandatory schooling".
As always, Thomas L. Friedman had something positive to contribute to the
Iraq affair ("The Other Intelligence Failure", NYTimes, Op-Ed Sunday,
Oct. 10, 2004, Wk p11). But when he refers to Islam in Iraq, he should
include the facts as described by Kenneth Woodward of Newsweek three years
ago ("The Story Of Islam: A Peaceful Faith, A Fanatic Few", in The
Day September 21, 2001, America On Guard, pB16).
Here's a sobering insight regarding the Economy: "Scares Ahead",
Editorial, The Economist Oct. 2, 2004, p11). Look out for :"higher
oil prices, a slump in America's consumer spending, a global house-price
bust, and a hard landing in China. None of those concerns is outlandish...and
a confluence of them could produce a world-wide "perfect storm".
Together with the tenuous situation in the Middle East and with the war
on global and domestic terrorism, this is not the time to change leadership,
and to change it to a much more regulatory, tax-and-spend, "we know best"
governmental philosophy of a Massachusetts Democrat.
WEDNESDAY, October 13, 2004
Tonight, the final presidential debate. Perhaps we should
refer to some facts before they get fractured by both participants.
OK. Now you are properly immunized. Now you can watch the last
Regarding the Economy, see "America's New Jingoes", by George
Gilder, WSJ Friday, Oct 8, 2004, Opinion, pA16. Surprisingly and
persuasively, the author is referring to Senator Kerry and his economic
supporters. See also "The Changing Face Of Poverty", by Robert
J. Samuelson, Newsweek, Oct. 18, 2004, p50. The middle class is not
"losing". It is being diluted by massive immigration, which neither side
in the debates wants to address.
Regarding Health Care, see two good articles in the WSJ Tuesday,
Oct. 12, 2004, Opinion, pA22. A hint: "HSA Man vs. Healthzilla".
See also Holman W. Jenkins Jr. offering in the WSJ Wednesday, Oct. 13,
2004, Opinion, pA17. And for some insight into the medical malpractice
conundrum, see the article by Zimmerman and Hallinan in the WSJ Friday,
Oct 8, 2004, pA1.
Regarding Social Services, Defense, and more on the Economy, see
the remainder of a series of Day editorials (theday.com), Oct. 11, 12,
13, 2004. These have a distinct Kerryesque flavor. But they
TUESDAY, October 12, 2004
In recent days we have had the opportunity to witness three "profiles
in courage": President Karzai of Afganistan and Mr. Allawi of
Iraq, each under constant threat of assassination. And now Christopher
Reeve, a Superman of a man in his years-long battle with quadriplegia,
who died yesterday. Each has been a source of inspiration in an otherwise
cynical and self-centered world.
However, it would be unfortunate, in the case of Mr. Reeve, if his
main legacy was one of representing only one polarized side in a vital
human debate: the stem-cell issue. I addressed this scientific
and moral issue in a commentary published in The Day (theday.com) on Sunday,
July 29, 2001, entitled "Stem Cell Issues Need
More Debate: It's Abortion Wearing A Pretty Face" (Voices and Views).
(Please see also the other offerings on this web site, under "The
Involved Citizen - Abortion"). In that statement I offered a
compromise that I believed - and believe - addresses both the scientific
and moral imperatives involved. But that is currently another victim
of this electoral season, which has not been conducive to substantive changes
in policies or positions by any side. Much awaits the end of this
election process...and I can hardly wait!
MONDAY, October 11, 2004
HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY.
Columbus Day. This should be a day of celebration for
all Americans. See my offering on the subject on this website, under
Involved Citizen...Miscellaneous Topics..."Christopher Columbus and the
Now some random responses:
"In a democracy, the people always get what they deserve".
I've heard Kerry compared to Hamlet. More to the point, a
"President Kerry" would be a repeat of the Carter presidency. And
we can't afford that.
Deficits: as a father who has put five children and their parents
through various graduate schools...and having had to pay seven tuitions
per year for three of the years...I know something about deficits.
They are sometimes absolutely necessary to maintain and progress the health
and welfare of an organization. I also know about growing out of
deficits. "I fight poverty; I work!
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was in Iraq yesterday, and also met with
the Ministers of 18 coalition and NATO countries. According to one
report, he was there to "inform and dazzle". For God's sake, forget
the "shock and awe"...and JUST WIN!
President Bush is taking flak in Kerry quarters for his "sharp attacks".
What could be more sharp than to be constantly accused of "lies", "deceptions"
and "distortions", with absolutely no proof of such intent? But things
were much worse in the "tone" department during this country's first few
presidential campaigns after the terms of President George Washington.
SUNDAY, October 10, 2004
So much to write about...so little time.
First, I consider myself very fortunate to have highly intelligent and
informed friends who comprise the Editorial Board of The Day, one
of the best of New England's newspapers, with whom to test wits and opinions.
As has been obvious from many past offerings in this section, we view the
current challenges to America's people and leaders differently. "Vive
la difference". Here come some more comments, at least partially
critical of their current positions.
The second of the current series of editorials on major issues is entitled
Schools Work". I know something about this, as a perpetual
student, a former member and President of the Board of Education in New
London, Ct., the father of five great children who attended public schools
for a few years, and as a long-time observer of the public education scene.
Please see my personal and other offerings on this web site under "The
Involved Citizen...Public Education Politics." The editorial
(Saturday Oct. 9, 2004, Opinion, pA6) takes the right "history and physical
findings", generally comes up with the right diagnosis, and then equivocates
on the obvious treatment. This is no time to be politically correct.
The un-educable "educators" and the teachers unions are the problem.
Choice and competition are the treatments. Anything less is simply
rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. However, I agree entirely
with the final sentence: "President Bush is discovering the hard way
that it's impossible to fight a war well on the cheap. The same holds
true for being the education president".
The third editorial in the series, appearing today, is entitled
The Polluter's Friend". Except for the reference about
the Iraq war, the writer has it just right...sad to say. There has
been a constant tension, since the later 19th century, between "conservationists"
and "preservationists" in this country. But what is currently going
on reminds me of the days of James Watts in the early 1980's..and I can't
figure out why President Bush seems to have such a tin ear for this issue.
That has been a disappointment.
How many inane cartoons about Dick Cheney do we have to see printed
in The Day? We know that you're for Kerry, and that you're not about
to give equal time. Enough, already.
And what was the purpose of printing that stupid article today by
Gwynne Dyer, whoever she is, entitled "The Ugly American"? (Voices
and Views, pC3)
SATURDAY, October 9, 2004
The debate. President Bush was effective. Senator Kerry
was, within a half-hour, defensive. My "poll" gave neither party
negatives for form-style, 16 points to Bush for substance, vs.8 points
to Kerry for substance. If their respective messages had to be
summarized, Kerry's would be: "President Bush lied to you", an unsupported
slander that only politicians can get away with, and "coalition, coalition,
coalition...." Bush"s would be: We are at war...stay on the
offensive, with a coalition of the willing", and "the ultimate weapon against
world-wide terrorism is freedom and democracy, which we are achieving in
Afganistan (the Afgans have voted!) and which we will achieve in Iraq in
January (good news coming out of Sadr City, Falluja, and a stubborn Secretary
Rumsfeld regardiing coming Iraqi and U.S. troop strengths planned to protect
the election process - see latest Reuters reports today). Last night,
after a while watching Kerry again, a Western saying came to mind:
"ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE".
The final debate, on Wednesday, will be restricted to domestic issues.
Don't expect too much from that one, which will be a Dueling Domestic Data
Distortion debate. But the great differences in policy between the
two candidates are already clear enough.
Yesterday we read the first of a series of Day editorials (theday.com)
"examining the views on major issues" of the candidates. I had to
read the first, entitled "Limits of American Power", twice before I figured
out what was bothering me: the opinions reflect a 9/10/2001 mind-set.
The change that occurred on 9/11 was as momentous for us and for the world
as was the first use of the atomic bomb in 1945. Old solutions for
such new problems just won't work. The following is a quotation from
the book entitled "Against All Enemies", written by Richard A. Clark, for
decades an expert on world terrorism under several Presidents: "Little
noticed by most Americans, including those in its government, a new international
movement began growing during the last two decades. It does not just
seek terror for its own sake; that international movement's goal is the
creation of a network of governments, imposing on their citizens a minority
interpretation of Islam. Some in the movement call for the scope
of their campaign to be global domination. The 'Caliphate' they seek
to create would be a severe and repressive fourteenth-century literalist
theocracy. They pursue its creation with gruesome violence and fear".
(Free Press, 2004, p35).
FRIDAY, October 8, 2004
We read today about the pending establishment of the "Progressive Muslim
Union of North America" by mainly young Muslims who object to some
of the tenets of Islam. Good. Christianity and Judaism did
that long ago. What really needs to come about ASAP among most Muslims
is that their religion has been hijacked by a variety of very bad guys
in the name of "Fundamentalism"...and must be taken back. In this
new world scene, we need Western culture and Islam against world terrorism.
More spin on the WMD report. Has anyone actually read it?
At least one report is worth reading, if you ignore the headline, very
likely not created by the author (see "Report...", by Douglas Jehl,
New York Times News Service, in The Day, yesterday, pA1).
On NPR today we heard a book review about advertising directly to kids,
very young kids, to tap into the "nag factor" and "pester power".
Two areas of particular concern relate to huckstering junk foods to kids
in the last serveral years, resulting in an estimated 50% of children's
food intake consisting of junk foods, in school and at home. Parents
and teachers: "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"
The Flu Vaccine...What a Mess. But even here we may be able
to make lemonade out of lemons, by demonstrating how the average American,
still possessed of common sense and fair play, can accept rational rationing
and prioritization. This will be news to our fearless leaders,
who have avoided this concept like the plague in dealing with our options
for providing needed (vs desired) health care delivery in this country.
A first...in 5000 years: Afganistan will hold its first direct election
for head of state. Now "it's a good thing". The next
good thing will occur in Iraq, as the terrorists and their supporters
well know. Even Kerry and Edwards know that it will happen; but their
candidacies would dissolve if they admitted it.
"Mr. Kerry's Diplomacy" (in WSJ, yesterday, Opinion, pA18') reveals
that already his "plans" regarding both Iran and North Korea have laid
And then there's tonight's presidential debate. See you there...
THURSDAY, October 7, 2004
The latest WMD Report, over 900 pages long, by Charles Duelfer,
special advisor to the CIA for WMD. Did you tune in on Mr. Duelfer,
on CSPAN last evening, reading verbatim from his report, and then answering
questions from Senator Warner? Or did you just see the report on
the Today show, with a clip of Senator Carl Levin asking his "yes or no"
question? Two totally different messages, as befits the ever-accelerating
spin produced by the liberal press. Although Mr. Duelfer found no
evidence of WMD's now in Iraq, his report documents all kinds of history,
potential, intent and likely deception by one of his main sources...Saddam
Hussein! And he agreed with Senator Warner that the Hussein regime
was a great danger that we are best off without. He also made note
of the many thousands of regime documents which have been recently uncovered
and which his group has had no time to review at all. So, this
is far from a final report on the subject of WMD's. And it
is certainly not relevant to the issue of decision-making with information
and analyses then available, both from our CIA and from the British counterparts,
in the fall of 2002 and the early winter of 2003. Of course,
none of these facts, and the full contents of the Duelfer report, will
prevent the Democratic "dissembling miscreants" from another month
of distortions. Just beware!
Meanwhile, some bureaucrats in this administration are beginning to
go into CYA mode. Secretary Rumsfeld, he of the gross
miscalculations regarding troop level needs that he palmed off on the generals,
is becoming more equivocal and "nuanced" in his answers to basic questions
about the decision to go to war in Iraq. And Ambassador Bremer,
the former czar of post-war Iraq for 14 months, is now coming out with
a revisionist history of his tenure for his own benefit. The facts
are set out clearly in the WSJ editorial yesterday (Opinion, A18).
Forget loyalty...even truth evidently has its practical limits - and not
only for Democrats.
On a lighter side, Martha Stewart is reported to have described
her coming residence during the next few months as a "gated community".
Nice touch, as always, Martha. Howard Stern has just announced
that he will be going on satellite radio soon. Not far enough, Howard.
How about Outer Space? And Rodney Dangerfield, despite
his recent death, can't help making us laugh: "When I was born, I was
so ugly...the doctor slapped my mother!"
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, October
4 through 6, 2004
The vice-presidential debate: the heavyweight vs. the lightweight.
In my un-scientific poll of one, these are the results: Substance positives,
Cheney 12, Edwards 5; Form or Style negatives, Cheney 0, Edwards
4. You decide:
REMEMBER: VICE-PRESIDENTS HAVE A HABIT OF BECOMING PRESIDENTS!
Edwards: "Still not telling the truth; these distortions....;
tell the Americans the truth; John Kerry and I have no global test for
America's self-defense; we have a plan for Iraq (?); It's not true!; Halliburton,
like Enron and Ken Lay; regarding medical mal-practice, we have a plan
(?); we were attacked by bin Laden, not by Hussein; the bright light of
America is flickering out...." Several times, Edwards did not answer
the question posed, but simply addressed what he wanted to address.
Cheney: "Their judgment is flawed; look at Kerry's Senate
record of 30 years: no conviction, so many inconsistencies; our most important
allies are the Iraqi people and Mr. Allawi; you demean the sacrifices of
our allies, and then expect to get and retain their support; Iran has so
far not violated 12 years of U.N. Security Council Resolutions, as Iraq
had done; Halliburton is a smoke screen to confuse the voters, see factcheck.com
[should be factcheck.org];
you missed a lot of votes, and have the worst attendance record in the
Senate; Kerry voted 98 times for tax increases, high even for somone from
Massachusetts; I've worked for four Presidents and watched two others up
close; we need a Commander-In-Chief who will aggressively go after world
terrorists and who will spread powerful democratic goals...." Regarding
the "no-bid" contracts let to Halliburton, that was because there was no
other corporation in the world that could do the job at the time, no one
who could meet the needed specifications.
SUNDAY, October 3, 2004
Here come the next debates. First, the vice-presidential debate
on Tuesday evening. Each candidate will be trying to shine the image
of his respective presidential candidate. But I hope people will
ask themselves this question also: Who would make the better President
and Commander-In-Chief? That scenario has occurred too many times
in the last century for us to forget it.
Next, the second prersidential debate, on Friday, Oct. 8.
In the first debate, Kerry's handlers seem to have given him his head,
while President Bush's handlers held him in tight rein, perhaps to avoid
a gaffe. That didn't work for the President in terms of form or style,
although the substance was there. This time they should "let Bush
be Bush". On Iraq, someone (Donald Rumsfeld?) seems to have come
to his senses at long last. American forces are now reported to have
orders to greatly weaken the "insurgency" before the January, 2005 Iraq
elections. And despite the depressed outlook expressed by Thomas
Friedman, on the basis of generally accurate facts, in today's N.Y.Times,
they can pull it off. They appear to be succeeding in Afganistan,
which holds elections this week. Of course, Kerry's domestic policy
points will be the "same ol', same ol', approaches which have regularly
won for him the highest ultra-liberal marks in the Senate; "tax
reductions for the rich" should read "tax reductions for those who
pay the most taxes, the alternative being nothing other than "wealth re-distribution",
an old favorite of socialists; "jobs lost in America" should read
"the price we pay, to be offset by re-training, for a global economy
that enables other countries to finance the massive debt that our profligate
way of life piles on ourselves; "social security is dying"
should read "social security will do well as more and more seniors, despite
taking their benefits, continue to work for years beyond "retirement"...and
continue to pay social security taxes into the system"; "re-build the
broken health care system" should read "follow the broken and cynical
system of our "allies" into socialized medicine; and on, and on.
Based on present evidence, President Bush doesn't deserve to lose this
election, having been right on the issues vital to America. Senator
Kerry doesn't deserve to win this election, being wrong on all the vital
issues...especially on wanting to give the "international community" the
power to "advise and consent" on our most vital decisions. The ones
who would deserve to lose...and lose big...would be the "conservative base"
if, for any petulant and short-sighted reason, they "just stayed home".
THIS ELECTION IS IMPORTANT, FOLKS.
SATURDAY, October 2, 2004
Three more debates to go: two Presidential and one Vice-Presidential.
Meanwhile, let's keep our eyes on the facts. The Wednesday,
Sept. 29 issue of the WSJ was as usual full of them, facts you are not
likely to see in the liberal press (Opinion, pA18). Did you know:
See what you're missing? Don't.
Senator Kerry's claims regarding the VA health care system are wrong.
The system has been the beneficiary of a $22 billion increase in the last
four years. Do you think he doesn't know this?
We have seen five 9/11 widows supporting Kerry on the stump, despite
their criticism of President Bush for "using" that great tragedy.
Now we read an article by one of 150 family members supporting the President
("Right War, Right Place, Right Time").
The recent concerted attack on charter schools has been orchestrated
by the American Federation of Teachers. I'm shocked, shocked!
And their data comparing charter school and public school student test
results are trumped up.
The upper management of the CIA has been engaging in a political
disinformation compaign against President Bush in order to undercut his
efforts at reform of the intelligence structure of this country.
FRIDAY, October 1, 2004
The first debate: form and substance. Have you ever watched,
while flying somewhere, a movie without the sound? It is a good way
to evaluate the talent of the actors, unencumbered by plot, music, etc.
And have you heard of at least one journalistic study of past presidential
debates wherein it was found that an audience came to the same conclusion
in a televised debate...with or without the sound on? That's very
telling, and very relevant to last night's debate. With the sound
off, and just watching the candidates, especially the silent one, Kerry
beat President Bush by 4 to 1 in form, according to my personal poll
of one. Bush does not have a poker face; Kerry does.
But then, you listen to what they had to say, and a totally different
picture emerges. Try reading the debate transcript, or try listening
even to excerpts on the radio, however cherry-picked, and President
Bush is the clear winner, 9 to 3. That's substance, folks.
Based on this first debate, I must admit that I have not been expansive
Kerry: "Reach out to other nations; form alliances; bring allies
to our side; the U.N.; alliances, diplomacy; war as a last resort; summits;
alliances; pre-emptive war must pass the global test; international treaties...."
"I have a plan (fill in the blank)".
Bush: "A commander-in-chiet cannot display uncertainty and weakness,
especially with troops in the field...and he must not denigrate our allies;
build our defenses, with continuation of an all-volunteer army; stay on
the offensive, so that we will not have to fight terrorists in our own
streets; build alliances, but never turn over our defense to others; the
transformational power of liberty...a free Iraq and Afganistan will be
a powerful example to the people of the Mid-East; mixed messages give the
wrong signal: to our troops, to our allies, and to our enemies; a commander-in-chief
must be consistent, steadfast, resolute...he must mean what he says and
must speak clearly".
Kerry for President of the World