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, February 28, 2005
The 77th annual Oscars. This year it was a good show, tastefully
done, with great competition in all categories. There also was a
definite sub-text of Hollywood politics and messages sent by the
movers and shakers from that shaky venue. The Passion of the Christ,
an instant classic, was basically ignored, together with its creator. Martin
Scorsese, again the bridesmaid for the fifth time, was denied his long-overdue
rightful acknowledgement; I wonder who he aggravated in the last thirty
years. And Clint Eastwood won "Best Director" for thumbing
his nose at bedrock societal mores. "Tinsel-Town" may at times
be intelligent, gifted and entertaining...but it is not America.
Iraq. In addition to having failed to insure security for
that defeated nation, are our armed forces now marching in place?
The latest attacks, with great loss of innocent life, will not be hailed
as one of America's greatest hours. For that I must blame the flexibility-challenged
Secretary Rumsfeld, and now also his boss.
What is all the furor about driver's licenses, their responsible
control, and fear about a national identity card? As most recently
reflected in the hacking of one of the nation's treasure troves of private
information, and by today's Bank of America report of the breaching of
its ATM program, the only ones now benefitting from our multiple
"national identity cards" are the criminals...and most likely the terrorists.
How long can that go on before we all suffer grevious harm? And how
long will it take for software companies to finally be held legally liable
for their "defective, unreasonably dangerous" output under Product Liability?
are the class action lawyers when you need them?
Harvard President Lawrence Summers has picked up some support for
his recent politically incorrect suggestions regarding the "weaker sex"
and some intellectual disciplines: scientific facts! Imagine
that. See "Harvard President's Controversial Remarks Supported
By Some Scientific Experts", by Matt Crenson (The Day, today, Mation,
pA4). I personally don't know what the last word will be on this
subject. But I do know that the immediate reaction of his detractors
was hysterical, and then political...in any case certainly not consistent
with the intellectual integrity that is supposed to be synonymous with
an academic institution, liberal or otherwise.
FRIDAY through SUNDAY, February
25 through 27, 2005
As you will have noted by now, I frequently make reference to The Day
(theday.com). This is, in my opinion, the premiere newspaper of
New London County, Ct. in the quality and scope of its coverage. It
also has been judged the premier newspaper of its size in New England.
It would be even better if it referred more to the Wall Street Journal
offerings rather than to those of the NYTimes...but we won't go there today.
Several articles in today's The Day deal with public school education.
But there is still too much of "show me the money" mentality on
the part of our educators rather than interest in root cause analysis.
The best quote comes from the recent National Education Summit of the nation's
governors, from Microsoft's Bill Gates: "America's high schools are
obsolete. By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed
or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points.
By obsolete, I mean our high schools - even when they're working as designed
- cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."
See also: "K-12 Establishment Is Putting America's Industrial
Leadership at Risk", by Robert J. Herbold (in Imprimis, February
2005, Vol. 34, No. 5 - www.hillsdale.edu)
And this, while excellent parochial schools are struggling and closing.
These schools, like St. Bernard High School in Montville, Ct., are providing
superior education without reference to students' religious preferences.
St. Bernard enrolls 15-20% non-Catholics yearly. Vouchers, anyone?
Another item of regional interest and national relevance: President
Fainstein of Connecticut College in New London, Ct. has just
announced his resignation as President. After taking over about four
years ago, he had to be a retrenchment leader...and he has been
a good one. Such leaders are rare and are very valuable...much more
rare and valuable than good-times administrators...but never properly appreciated.
For those following the medical malpractice debate, the NYTimes has a good
article today: "Bush's Next Target: Malpractice Lawyers" (by Steve
Lohr, Sunday Business, Section 3, p1). A lot of facts and insight...and
a correct conclusion: a $250,000. cap on non-economic damages would solve
little. See also my offerings on this web site.
Once again Thomas L. Friedman presents a cautionary tale for all
of us: "Someone Shrank The Dollar" (The Day, Friday, Feb. 25, 2005,
Commentary, pA9). A hint: what happens when the foreigners who hold
43% of all U.S. Treasury bills decide to look elsewhere than in the dollar
to invest their money? When Korea hinted at that last week, there
was a major sell-off in the U.S. stock market. Our non-saving, effluent
society had better get a grip...and soon.
THURSDAY, February 24, 2005
The following responses to today's news stories are not only rapid,
Health care costs are again in the news, with nothing added except
wringing of hands. Read my offerings on this web site, under The
Involved Citizen, going back to 1978. The solution is still the
same: pay the price for the best health care in the world...or ration /
More from the public education mafia and their supporters regarding
the "No Child Left Behind" law. They want the money without the oversight,
without the accountability, and certainly without competition. So
much for "the best interests of the child".
Connecticut, a very "Blue" state, is now favoring civil unions for same-sex
pairs. But that's not good enough for the gay and lesbian community,
who "demand" full marriage rights. More arrogance and irresponsibility.
Doug Wead, the President's "friend", is now expressing some remorse
over his recent actions. Didn't Judas do that too?
Once again we in New London are hearing about getting laptops for all
9th and 10th grade students. How about seeing if they can pass
tests in the 3 R's first?
Bankruptcy is and should be a bad experience for people who have
over-extended themselves. But for The Donald, he of the perpetual
pout, it is just another useful business tool for self-aggrandizement.
What's wrong with this picture?
A big ad in today's local paper: "Save a Life: Adopt a Pet".
We fret about dogs, cats, deer, foxes, even tigers. So what about
Bush and Putin. A useful article that puts the matter in perspective
appeared in the WSJ on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005 ("Give Putin A Break",
by Padma Desai, Opinion, pA12).
Why is the British Royal Family the Brits' favorite piniata?
No reasonable motivation is ever ascribed to their actions, most recently
the Queen's decision to miss the coming civil marriage ceremony of her
son, but to attend the other festivities. Give it a rest!
"Pay for Performance" may be the Medicare and managed care industry's
latest incarnation of an earlier unethical practice: to reward physicians
based upon how little medical care they gave their patients. "Caveat
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, February
20 through 23, 2005
The recently revealed "tapes" of George W. Bush in informal private
conversation years ago with a "friend". As Sam Dash said to Sen.
Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no shame, sir? Have you no shame?"
We have been witnessing, during the last 20 or more months, the undermining
of our military ground forces through the shortsighted and stubborn
leadership of Sec. Rumsfeld. We now hear, from former Sec. of the
John Lehman, that our Navy is also heading in the same direction...with
too few ships sailing after too many assignments. This is wrong.
We keep hearing that the U.S. is the "only remaining super-power in the
world", supposedly thereby commanding the grudging respect of allies and
adversaries alike. But much of that has to be perception since, with
luck, we will not get too many chances to demonstrate actual power.
And perception, a fleeting thing, is more important than fact when dealing
with people. Therefore, among other things like a larger standing
Navy, we need a fair draft. The general
subject is addressed in an article appearing in the Winter 2005 edition
of the American Scholar, entitled "Class Warfare", by Josiah Bunting
lll (p12). It begins with a quotation from George Washington:
"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system,
that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes
not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services
to the defence of it."
SATURDAY, February 19, 2005
Former Navy Secretary John Lehman expressed some common sense in
a talk at Connecticut College yesterday. There he defended the
Patriot Act and the detention of terrorist suspects in our base
in Cuba. He reminded us of a WW ll incident involving eight German
saboteurs who had landed on Long Island, all of whom were tried and executed
within six weeks. "Franklin Roosevelt took the view that terrorists
are not covered under the Geneva Convention...they do not
have access to the American legal system...By being terrorists,
they forfeit those rights." Exactly! President
Franklin Roosevelt was one of that rare breed...a Democrat who knew how
to conduct a war after America had been attacked ("Lehman Defends
Bush Terror War Tactics", by Robert A. Hamilton, The Day today, Nation,
One does not have to be "homophobic" to consider many homosexuals
enemies of society by virtue of their totally irresponsible sexual practices.
The most recent example, preceed by years of reports from the West Coast
about their return to their bad old ways, relates to a new and very resistant
strain of HIV that rapidly progresses to AIDS, as reported in a NYTimes
editorial yesterday. The broader homosexual community would do well
to police and sanction its own, before it ever seeks acceptance by society.
In recent days, a flap in East Lyme, Connecticut is playing out
over the suspension of a number of highschool students caught in an
off-campus drug den. Criminal indictments are now also coming
forth, all this against the backdrop of objections by some parents.
What are you thinking, folks? Schools have for the last two decades
been falling under the weight of having had to step in for irresponsible
parents, in loco parentis. So, in the memorable words
of Ted Turner: "Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of The Way!"
FRIDAY, February 18, 2005
Talk about Kyoto and Global Warming, in today's The Day (theday.com)
is a new report from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, finding "greenhouse
gases" as the main cause of established global warming. More compelling
is this: "even if environmental changes are made immediately,
researchers said, some parts of the world - including the western United
States, South America and China - won't be able to stop dramatic water
shortages, melting glaciers and ice packs, and other crises in the next
20 years." (Nation, pA4). Even more compelling is this: "A
Bush administration spokesman greeted news of the study with indifference".
The world cannot afford another tobacco industry syndrome...much less time,
many more people involved, worldwide. Time to get educated on the
subject and to let your opinions be known, folks.
Talk about institutions. Another example of their genetic
shortcomings is the current and continuing flap over comments made recently
by Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers (WSJ today, pA1). This is
a continuing saga involving professors at that hallowed liberal institution
who have been chafing for the last three years over President Summers'
exercise of his freedom of speech...and his "telling it like it is".
Within two weeks we have lost a second national treasure, Arthur Miller.
Apart from his great literary career, he was simply a good man. Rest
MONDAY through THURSDAY, February
14 through 17, 2005
As noted in an earlier comment in this section, the problems uncovered
during the last year regarding the FDA have been disappointing.
As a physician, I always regarded the work of this particular Federal agency
as above reproach. I should have known better. FBI, CIA, EPA,
FAA...these and many others are examples of institutions - structures
of humans which, whether public or private, magnify rather than sublimate
the imperfections of man. The thing they do really well is to hide
responsibility from the outside observer. In our modern society,
we cannot avoid the organization and the "organization man". Just
beware! That is, or should be, one of "Murphy's Laws".
That brings up another set of related subjects: protection of the "whistle-blower",protection
of press sources, attorney-client privilege and physician-patient confidentiality.
none of these cases is it public policy intent to enable the hiding of
criminal actions or - in the case of physicians - to allow serious risk
to a third party. Physicians know this well. The other groups
need to get back to their foundation bodies of ethical principles, rather
than to hide behind over-broad "penumbras". In each case, these professionals
have dual responsibilities: to the individual, and to the public at large.
The Kyoto Treaty is now in effect, without the participation of
its main industrial producer and polluter...the USA. What is arguable
is the impact on global warming of the very modest and gradual changes
prescribed by the treaty. What is not arguable, except through a
tobacco company defense (ie. obfuscation and falsehood), is the contribution
of human activities on the definite global warming now well under way.
And what is not acceptable is our country's failure to date to offer an
alternative approach to a real problem. The Bush Administration is
inclined to attack really big problems. It's time to try this one
on for size.
North Korea and other "nuclear rogues". The problem of nuclear
proliferation is beginning to resemble "the war on drugs": repeated brave
words (and bilions of dollars) accompanied by a wink and a nod for true
implementation. No country that feels vulnerable in a dangerous world
and that has the opportunity to get nuclear weapons will reject that option
without a comparable shield. That's just "realpolitik". To
put it another way: we can follow the ages-old paradigm of "first violence,
then peace"; or we can develop an better paradigm: first justice, then
Once upon a time, not long ago, the public's information regarding medical
care was filtered through a "learned intermediary"; ie., peer
reviewed journals, expert clinicians and the output of serious scientific
panels. No longer. The "learned intermediary" has been supplanted
by the latest talking head and the latest self-styled "expert" on the evening
news. So: Celebrex is, or isn't, dangerous to your health; ditto,
hormone replacement therapy, psychotropic drugs, ADHD treatments,
and most recently even the flu shot as relates to the elderly. All
this is worse than non-sense; it is counter-productive and dangerous in
its effect on the public health. I know: the public asked for such
direct access to the raw data of medical research and opinion. I
suggest that they re-think that approach and that they bring back the "learned
intermediary', including their personal physician, before they get seriously
hurt. Read also: "What Makes A Drug Too Risky? There's No
Easy Answer", by Ron Winslow, WSJ yesterday, Marketplace, pB1.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY, February 12
and 13, 2005
That's rich...Frank Rich, that is. The perennial culture
critic of the NYTimes, who came out as a flaming liberal during the recent
Presidential campaign, has posted yet another pretzel of commentary in
today's edition: "How Dirty Harry Turned Commie" (Arts and Leisure,
Section 2A). Actually, it was reassuring to me to learn that I was
not the only moviegoer who was outraged by the ending of "Million Dollar
Baby"...as I already noted in the Thursday offering of this section.
The article attempts to provide cover for Clint Eastwood with a "who, me?"
defense: Eastwood allegedly had neither a political point to make, nor
a guarantee of greater box office returns to produce. Give me a break!
He knew or should have known what message he was offering to the viewing
public. As an antidote, in addition to the comments I made on Thursday's
"rapid response", see the book by Wesley J. Smith entitled "Culture
of Death...The Assault On Medical Ethics in America" (Encounter Books,
San Francisco, Ca., 2000). Another benefit of Mr. Rich's article
to me was a term that I had not heard of before: "Holly-weird".
FRIDAY, February 11, 2005
By this time, I should be over my Democrat - bashing...until the
next election cycle or until they show signs of educability. But
no such luck. The foolish and arrogant comments, positions and actions
that continue to be taken by them are mind-boggling. The most recent
is the imminent choice of Howard Dean to be Chairman of their party.
See "Howard Dean's Party", by Ted Van Dyk, a long-time national
party participant (WSJ yesterday, Opinion, pA12). See also George
Will's article in Newsweek (Feb. 14, 2005, p68) entitled "Harry Reid's
'Roulette'". In it he roasts the "usual suspects", like Reid,
Dean, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer...who make it all so easy.
Meanwhile, a Republican who is giving meaning to the great democratic ideal
of "people-power" is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.
And, as we know, "if you want to see the future, look to California."
See "Schwarzenegger Rewriting Rules In California", also by George
Will, in The Day, yesterday, Commentary, pA11).
THURSDAY, February 10, 2005
Here's another report that should rattle a lot of cages, and rightfully
so. "Brain-damaged Patients May Still Have Awareness", by
Benedict Carey, in The Day, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, Nation, pA4. This
preliminary finding is based on new brain imaging studies. If expanded
and verified, it will require a new definition and revised protocols for
determining "brain death" and therefore regarding the timing of death itself
for hundreds of thousands of patients currently in "minimally conscious"
or in "permanent vegetative" states. And it provides yet another
reason for every person to consider completing "Advanced Directive"
and "Power of Attorney for Health Care" documents...if he or she wishes
to have clear input in the final decision-making under the principle of
As I have been complaining for the last 18 months, the National
Guard and the Reserves are being decimated, present and future.
See: "Guardsmen, Reservists Hit Hard At Home By Call-Up...Part-Time Military's
Future May Be At Stake, Some Say", by Dave Moniz, USA Today, Monday, Feb.
7, 2005, p1A. If this is intentional on the part of the Dept.
of Defense, let us in on the rationale. If not, it is another stupid
mistake for which Sec. Rumsfeld should resign.
Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. Why must it be either /
or? Why not both / and? It is both logical and likely, from
a scientific as well as a Faith point of view, that that is how man came
to be. First read Genesis. Then look up into the sky and talk
with an astronomer. A related article on the subject appeared in
the same USA Today as noted above, "The Forum", p15A: "Where Did We Come
From....", by Rabbi Gerald L. Zellizer.
Now a snap quiz. Have you been reading the WSJ? Check
out especially the Opinion pages for Feb. 4 and Feb. 7. I hope that
History and Social Science teachers of classes begiinning in Grammar Schools
are using this resource also. It could go a long way toward correcting
the politically correct and value-neutral and revisionist history that
school children and college students have been stupidly exposed to in recent
MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, February
7 through 9, 2005
Ash Wednesday. "Remember: Dust thou wert; and to dust thou
shalt return". A sobering message for a world in great need
Consider the case of a baby girl, born in the 25th week of pregnancy
weighing 8 oz, remaining in the hospital for five
months, and this week discharged weighing over 5 lbs. So where, may
I ask of the pro-abortion gang, is the Due Process of the 14th Amendment
and the Equal Protection of the 5th Amendment of our Constitution.
And where is the "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" of over 45
million other little babies destroyed since the legal, medical and moral
abomination called Roe v. Wade?
Consider more "family values"...like the Florida "parents" who tortured
and starved their 5 children. Is there evil in the world?"
You bet there is. And civil society has a right and an obligation
to deal with crime through justice and punishment, including the death
penalty in egregious cases. Another word from our God: "Give to Caesar
the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.
Not vengance, which is God's...but Justice, which is ours to seek and apply...with
the fate of our eternal souls depending on it.
I haven't seen the reports by Diane Saccharine or by Paula Perky,
but Katie Cutie was doing her level best to promote the Pope's retirement
on today's Today show. Could it have something to do with his teachings?
I hope there exists an "Italians with Disabilities Act". His Holiness
should apply, right away, in order to keep his job as long as he is mentally
Here's a book recommended to me on very good authority: "When Jesus
Came to Harvard", by Harry Cox. More on that later.
SUNDAY, February 6, 2005
Three items in today's news illustrate the undemocratic foolishness of
leaving a legislative vacuum regarding important societal issues
for lawyers and judges to fill, either out of necessity or arrogance.
1) A Cook County judge ruled that a couple can sue a clinic that accidentally
discarded a viable frozen embryo in a wrongful death action, finding
that "a pre-embryo is a 'human being'...whether or not it is implanted
in its mother's womb." (The Day today, Nation, pA4). 2) The
City of New York will appeal a Federal Court's finding that legal barriers
to "same - sex marriages" are "unconstitutional". 3) The Justice
Department will appeal the action of some universities that bar ROTC representatives
from meeting with their students, under a distortion of "free speech" doctrine.
"Common Law" was and is an integral part of our Anglo-American body of
Law. But the current increasing reliance on that mechanism (trial
by combat) to address seminal issues of society represents a dangerous
cop-out by our legislative leaders, our true representatives in this representative
Talk about "representative democracy". The people of Iraq
are entering a situation wherein they can once again demonstrate that "in
a democracy, the people always get what they deserve". The majority
Shiites and their clerics can now oversee an inclusive government involving
Sunnis, Kurds, and secular interests of all stripes; or they can ride herd,
pick their new despots, and have a civil war. The choice is their's.
We hope that their better leaders remember the maxim: "HE WHO SEEKS EQUITY
MUST DO EQUITY." The Israel - Palestine conflict is a clear example
of what happens when all parties involved ignore that principle.
"Victory, then Peace" has not worked in thousands of years. Only
then Peace" can work.
And you though that "Defensive Medicine" didn't hurt real people.
This term, a combination of "Above all, do no harm" and "Physician,
heal thyself", refers to some physicians in this litigious society
playing it safe, through commission (of excess diagnostic work) and through
omission (failing to offer risky but promising treatments to their patients).
A clear example of the latter appears in today's The Day: "A Decade
After Drug Revolutionizes Stroke Care, Only 3% Get It", by Marilynn
Marchione (Nation, pA9). Read it and weep. This situation will
not change unless and until too many Americans and their lawyers stop viewing
going to the doctor as a national lottery: "See your doctor and chance
winning big". This way, everybody loses!
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, February 4
and 5, 2005
Ossie Davis. There are some good people that you just take for granted...until
their gone. There is one thing that I heard him say during an NPR
interview last year: "You can't float through the world. You can't
be incidental or accidental." AMEN.
Secretary of State Rice. Already I sense a fresh breeze in
Foggy Bottom. Her comments since taking office have been clear, straight-forward
and to the point, whether referring to Iran or speaking directly to her
Russian counter-part. I wonder what she will have to say when she
gets around to the re-play of the Rwanda genocide now taking place in Darfur...while
the U.N. sits around parsing the word in its usual pusillanimous posturing.
See today's interview with Lt. Gen Romeo Dellaire, Force Commander of U.N.
Assistance Mission to Rwanda, 1993, and related articles [at NPR's website
News Flash: "Media's Coverage Has Distorted World's
View of Iraqi Reality", by LTC Tim Ryan, Commander, Task Force
2-12 Cavalry, First Cavalry Division in Iraq, in World Tribune.com.
This article is so authoritative that it is reproduced in toto on this
web-site under The Involved Citizen, Other Topics)
THURSDAY, February 3, 2005
More on Social Security Reform. There will continue to
be enough facts and half-truths provided by all the players for many months
to come. AARP wants no change, for the sake of "no change".
The Democrats object to a raiding of the SS payroll taxes for two reasons:
they want to maintain the integrity of SS; and they don't want lose a massive
cookie jar of money with which they have fostered all manner of good and
really bad ideas. The Bush Administration wants to save SS for the
coming generations, in no way a shoo-in at the present time...especially
considering "Confronting The Costs Of An Aging Population" (by Jonathan
Weisman, in The Day today, World/Nation, pA5). But the current proposal
to allow a third of the 12 1/2% annual SS payroll taxes (half
from employer and half from employee) to be invested in personal accounts
is too much of a risk to the individual and for the nation, in my opinion.
What will be in everyone's interest will be to avoid "fighting word" statements
like "dead on arrival" coming from Democrats...and for all to negotiate
in good faith so that all the parties can ultimately claim part of the
glory of having addressed and resolved this vital issue. Meanwhile,
the retirees and near-retirees might remember what they and their parents
learned in the Great Depression: "I FIGHT POVERTY...I WORK!"
THURSDAY, February 3, 2005
The State of the Union speech. As predicted, President Bush
looks and acts like anything but a "lame duck". This time, the Democrats
had better figure out a different game plan than the obstructionism and
demagoguery of recent years...if they ever want to see the inside of the
White House again, except as guests. Also, did they think that they
were in the House of Commons, with their boorish behavior at one point
in the speech?
Israel and Palestine. Something is new is really going on
there. Let's hope.
Iran, "the world's primary State sponsor of terrorism" (President
Bush last night), is continuing to test nuclear - capable material, despite
its assurances to the contrary. And the European nations are simply
making believe that it's not true. Sound familiar?
With all the heavy news always surrounding us, there was a time when my
wife and I could escape to the movies for a little respite. No more.
can't make an up-beat, life-affirming story to save its soul; and that
may actually be what's at stake. Today we viewed Million Dollar
Baby. The actress was excellent. But in the end all
was for naught, as Dirty Harry returned with this month's Hollywood political
message. What a waste. It could have been a great movie.
Too much to ask.
SATURDAY through WEDNESDAY, January
29 through February 2, 2005
Let me simplify things for myself: READ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
It's the best collection of news and articles that you can find on a week-day
basis. The most recent example is yesterday's edition, which has
several articles on the Social Security debate getting under way...and
from commentators on all sides of the issue. You can't ask for anything
National and international travel: bad and getting worse.
For a sample, see my friend Morgan McGinley's article in The Day on Sunday
("The Woes Of Travel", Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, Perspective, pB1).
I thought that what was supposed to happen with "de-regulation" of the
airlines was "survival of the fittest", with the weak going bankrupt...and
not being subsidized to come out. But we seem to have taken up the
same game plan as that of Japan, where the weakest industries have been
propped up - to the detriment of the whole Japanese economy - over the
last decade. (The most recent example is their efforts on behalf of their
weakest auto maker, Mitsubishi. It might be good or necessary social
policy...but it's lousy business: a race to the bottom. And
now we hear that the administration plans to remove the subsidy for Amtrak.
Within the above context, WHY?
When is that great deliberative body, the Congess of the United States,
going to debate something substantive...like the definition of "torture",
its applicability to "terrorists", and the relevance and applicability
of the Geneva Conventions of War to the entire question? And what
about the death penalty? In the absence of such debate and
resolution on a national level, we have the spectacle of sometimes arrogant
judicial legislation. That is not what our democracy is about.
President George W. Bush: much more than the Democrats bargained
for, and more than the Republicans had a right to expect. Hang on
tight; we're in for a good ride, this time in the right direction. (See
WSJ today, Opinion, pA14).