George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
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
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
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
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
November 30, 2007
- When will I get something good to say about Public
Education and our "educators"? The union veto of
competition, student vouchers and parental-student choice
continues. There is no mechanism for dealing with the mediocrity
of many teachers, tenured too soon, to easily and without regular
oversight. Now come two articles in the WSJ (Wednesday, Nov. 28,
Opinion, pA23), on resistance to English as our official language, and
on incredible objections to "Thought Competition". "The
self-esteem movement's latest dumb idea is to ban writing and
math contests in our schools." In another article in the WSJ
(Tuesday, Nov. 27, pA1) we learn that "Parents of Disabled
Students Push For Separate Classes". What took them so
long? Mainstreaming of substantially disabled children in regular
classes has been in many cases a disaster for those children, for the
other children, and for their teachers...this according to many
teachers who will discuss such matters only "on background". And
then there is the constant flow of poor grades and poor rankings,
local, national and internationa. So, when do our
students and I get a break here?
- In my offering for Nov. 19-25, I briefly stated my prognosis for
the Annapolis meeting. On Monday, Nov. 26, in the WSJ Opinion,
pA21, Professor Bernard Lewis offered an article "On
The Jewish Question". As always, anything he writes in the
Middle East is a must-read. And furthermore, we agree.
November 29, 2007
Last night's Republican Presidential Candidate in Florida
provided several important lessons for us citizens...but only if you
were there or actually saw the event live on TV. For the main
media reports have spun and distorted it, as usual.
- All the first tier candidates did well: McCain, Giuliani, Romney.
- The second tier candidates (Huckabee, Thompson, and even Hunter
and Tancredo) improved.
- Only Ron Paul, he of the unrealistic but tightly held
convictions, seemed diminished, in my view.
- McCain must temper his barely subliminal temper if he is to avoid
scaring the average citizen.
- Nobody ducked qiestions...all replies were responsive, a
refreshing change from the approach of some Democratic contenders.
- They all have a good sense of humor and are comfortable among
- They all see Bill and Hillary as the true adversary.
- In my opinion, Giuliani and McCain are now neck-and-neck for my
But then you read and view reports about the debate, and you
wonder whether those reports were written after...or before...the
debate. "...scornfully debated...." "...testy personal
exchange...." "...free-for-all...." "...deeply personal
dispute...." NONSENSE. There were differences of opinion,
vigorously expressed, with no sign of personal animus among the
candidates. Ronald Reagan must have been proud.
Indeed, the only thing that these Republicans have to fear
would be the sclerotic thinking of the Far Right on Primary Days, one
of whose members tried to get them last night to accept "every word in
the Bible, word for word". Wisely, the all declined.
Meanwhile, a televised debate among Democratic candidates
scheduled for December 10th has been cancelled by the
Democratic National Committee "to avoid a potential conflict with
Hollywood screenwriters". There you have it, folks. The
Punch and Judy Show cannot go on without scripts...and the public's
right to know these people be damned.
November 28, 2007
*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a "Holiday".*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and c redit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
*At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
*Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS*
*Not Happy Holiday!*
November 27, 2007
Six Boys And Thirteen Hands... (Source
Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth
class from Clinton, WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I
greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some
special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially
On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima
This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one
of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave
soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the
island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.
Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and
headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of
the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?"
I told him that we were from Wisconsin "Hey, I'm a cheese head,
Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story."
(James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to
speak at the
memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night
to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw
the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his
permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to
tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C.,
but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that
When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here
are his words that night.)
"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin My dad
that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers"
which is #5 on the New York T imes Best Seller list right now. It is
the story of the six boys you see behind me.
"Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the
ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He
enlisted in the Marine C orps with all the senior members of his
football team. They were off to play another type of game: A game
called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age
of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross
you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this
statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most
of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old - and it was so
hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to
famil ies about it.
(He pointed to the statue) "You see this next guy? That's R ene
from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this
photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would
find a photograph... a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in
there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was
just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.
"The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sargeant
Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called
him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already 24! When Mike
would motivate his boys in training c amp, he didn't sa y, 'Let's go
kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was
talking to little boys. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and
I'll get you home to your mothers.'"
"The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima
from Arizona. Ira Hayes was one who walked off Iwo Jima . He went into
the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a
hero.' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my
buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?' So
you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together
having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the
beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was
Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried t he pain
home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down at the age of
32. (ten years after this picture was taken).
"The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from
Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is
now 70, told me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of
the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the
cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows
crapped all night.' Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin
died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his
mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A
barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The
could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Th ose neighbors
lived a quarter of a mile away.
"The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad,
Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived
1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's
producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little
kids to say "No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada
fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is
coming back." My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he
was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we
had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk
to the press.
"You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn't see himself as a hero.
Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and
on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from
Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys
as they died. And when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and
screamed, without any medication or help with the pain.
"When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my
was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and
said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are
the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.'
"So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo
, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on
Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps My
voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."
Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a b ig old piece of metal with
flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes
heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a
Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero
We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world
for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice.
Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the
current War on
Terrorism and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our
Remember to pray praises for this great country of ours and also
pray for those still in murderous unrest around the world.
God Bless You and God Bless America
REMINDER: Everyday that you can wake up free, it's going to be a great
PS . One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC
that is not mentioned here is that if you look at the statue very
closely and count the number of "hands" raising the flag, there are 13.
When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply
said the 13th hand was the hand of God.
Great story - worth your time - worth every American's time.
November 26, 2007
To all liberal Democrats and lily-livered Republicans: I TOLD YOU
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Mon Nov 26, 6:32 PM ET
WASHINGTON - President
Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a
potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq,
with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war
debate at home — how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for
The agreement between Bush and Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
confirms that the United States and Iraq will hash out an "enduring"
relationship in military, economic and political terms. Details of that
relationship will be negotiated in 2008, with a completion goal of
July, when the U.S. intends to finish withdrawing the five combat
brigades sent in 2007 as part of the troop buildup that has helped curb
"What U.S. troops are doing, how many
troops are required to do that, are bases required, which partners will
join them — all these things are on the negotiating table," said Lt.
Gen. Douglas Lute, President Bush's adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The proposal underlines how the United
States and Iraq are exploring what their relationship might look like
once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence. It comes as
a Democratic Congress — unsuccessfully, so far — prods Bush to withdraw
troops faster than he wants.
Bush and al-Maliki signed the new
U.S.-Iraq "declaration of principles" during a secure video conference
Al-Maliki, in a televised address, said
his government would ask the United Nations
to renew the mandate for the multinational force for one final time
with its authorization to end in 2008.
The U.S.-Iraq agreement will replace the
present U.N. mandate regulating the presence of the U.S.-led forces in
Iraq. Al-Maliki said the agreement provides for U.S. support for the
"democratic regime in Iraq against domestic and external dangers."
It also would help the Iraqi government
thwart any attempt to suspend or repeal a constitution drafted with
U.S. help and adopted in a nationwide vote in 2005. That appeared to be
a reference to any attempt to remove the government by violence or in a
Al-Maliki said the renewal of the
multinational forces' mandate was conditional on the repeal of what he
called restrictions on Iraqi sovereignty introduced in 1990 by the U.N. Security
Council to punish Iraq for invading neighboring Kuwait.
The new agreement would not signal an end
to the U.S. mission here. But it could change the rules under which
U.S. soldiers operate and give the Iraqis a greater role in determining
Two Republican senators said that unless Baghdad
makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider
withdrawing financial aid or political support from al-Maliki.
The warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham
and Saxby Chambliss,
were an indication that while GOP
patience on the war has increased this fall because of security gains
made by the military, it isn't bottomless.
"I do expect them to deliver," Graham,
R-S.C., said in a phone interview. "What would happen for me if there's
no progress on reconciliation after the first of the year, I would be
looking at ways to invest our money into groups that can deliver."
Likewise, Chambliss, R-Ga., suggested
lawmakers might even call for al-Maliki's ouster if Baghdad didn't
reach agreements on at least some of the major issues seen as key to
tamping down sectarian violence.
Two senior Iraqi officials familiar with
the issue say Iraq's government will embrace a long-term U.S. troop
presence in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic
partnership. The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because the subject is sensitive, said U.S. military
and diplomatic representatives appeared generally favorable, subject to
negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for
Preferential treatment for U.S. investors
could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can
achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal
would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against
Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear
The framework Bush approved outlines
broad principles, such as that both countries will support Iraq's
economic institutions, and help its government train Iraqi security
forces to provide stability for all Iraqis. Lute said "all major
national leaders of the existing Iraqi government" have committed to it.
"The basic message here should be clear:
Iraq is increasingly able to stand on its own; that's very good news,
but it won't have to stand alone," said Lute, who rarely holds
He said it is too soon to tell what the
"shape and size" of the U.S. military commitment will look like,
including military bases.
The Iraqi officials said that under the
proposed formula, Iraq would get full responsibility for internal
security and U.S. troops would relocate to bases outside the cities.
Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S.
troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.
Associated Press Writer Qassim
Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad
contributed to this story.
MONDAY through SUNDAY,
November 19 through 25, 2007
- The Criminal Justice System in Connecticut is
under review, after the Cheshire home invasion and murders by recently
paroled felons. Good idea, and not only for Connecticut.
Between prosecutorial misconduct cases including those
at Duke University and probably at Jena, the finding of over 200
cases of inmates proven innocent by DNA so far (as reported in the
Sunday NYTimes, Nov. 25, pA1), and the developing panic over the
release of sex offenders after they have served their
terms, both our system of Justice and our personal views of
injustice need an overhaul. Of relevance here is an
article by a Holocaust survivor, Hajo G. Meyer entitled:
"Lessons From The Holocaust" (The Day Sunday, Nov. 25,
pE3). The author notes that holocausts and ethnic cleansings are
preceeded by years spent dehumanizing the target people, in the course
of which the perpetrators are themselves dehumanized. Related
also could be the increasingly shrill voices being raised against
"illegals" as a poor substitute for rational and humane discussion
about this country's immigration policy.
- Pakistan and Afghanistan may be going to hell in
a handbasket. But the foggy heads from Foggy Bottom and their
befuddled followers continue to demand Jeffersonian
democracy...NOW. What idiocy! There can be no democracy
without security FIRST.
- The conference on the Middle East about to convene in
Annapolis will provide at least some theater. That's
because the Arabs are not prepared to "recognize" Israel and to admit
that the "Right of Return" is a pipe dream - and Israel is not prepared
to give up any land ceded to it by God in the Bible. Now, there's
a rock and a hard place.
- More military desertions than military deaths
in Iraq; yet another retired General finally
willing to share the light with us; and a well - deserved indictment
of Rumsfeld in the form of a book by Andrew Cockburn.
Certainly, part of President Bush's "legacy" will be
his having presided over the massive degrading of our armed forces on
the ground. In this, he had plenty of help from the
Pentagon. What a shame.
- Fundamentalist Islam...and the rape victim who gets
200 lashes in Saudi Arabia. When are the true
followers of Islam going to deal with this? For this is a greater
threat to a civilized world, democratic or otherwise, Christian, Muslim
or otherwise, than Hitler or Stalin ever were.
- Health Care continues in the news, this time in
a long editorial in the Sunday NYTimes, Nov. 25. This must be
carefully chewed and digested, in order to avoid the need for a
Heimlich manuever. More on this
- I have yet to read the book "Her Way" on Hillary Rodham
Clinton, but I like the way that she is handling
herself. Her greatest liability may turn out to be Bill. In
any case, Republicans will have to field their very best candidate in
order to beat her.
- "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the
security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed." So reads the Second
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Its meaning is about to be
reviewed - again - by the USSC. Mike Cox, the Attorney General of
Michigan, writes a good analysis of this question in the WSJ Friday,
Nov. 23, pA13. For me, the interpretation is forthright: the
first clause is permissive; the second is obligatory. In
addition, any holding by the USSC that attempts to eliminate American
citizens' right to keep and bear arms would have much less success than
the Prohibition amendment had.
November 17 and 18, 2007
This week's stories and issues invite a broad - brush
- Our international relations, always a subject
of doom and gloom from the Left fringe, were shown for what
they really are in the recent actions of France's Sarkozy, Germany's
Merkel and England's new leadership. As the man said: "Nations
do not have friends; they have interests". As long
as the U.S. remains, economically and militarily, the only super-power
in the world, the rational world's interests will be aligned with
- But how does that square with the actions of
Russia, Venezuela and China? The first two
countries exert influence over us only because of our "addiction
to oil", fostered by all the trans-national oil companies.
The resolution to that problem is clear, although once again it is not
coming from our elected "leaders", but rather from the decisions of the
Judiciary. That is not the most healthy way to get things
done in a Democracy; but it if's the only way.... And the
greed of American corporations is the reason allowing China not only to
take American jobs, but to poison us in the process. Here again,
the Courts can help ("sue the bastards"). But ultimately, the
democratic process is our best hope: voter participation and leader
compromise instead of constant confrontation. Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid...are you listening? There are two light-weights,
- The Liberals and Internationalists have
just recently changed their endemic panic from
worries about an impending attack by us on Iran to the "crisis" in
Pakistan. That nation, powerful beyond its geography and GNP
because of its status as a nuclear power, has been a democracy and will
be once again a democracy - if not in the exact mold of the U.S - once
security is re-established. There can be no
democracy without security, all the more so in a country beset
by al Qaida, the Taliban, Muslim fundamentalists, and most
recently by the politician B. Bhutto. So, get off Musharraf's
back...at least in the back-channels.
- Two articles in Sunday's NYTimes address Immigration,
both the politics and the global economics of this problem /
opportunity. (Nov. 18, Wk., p1,3). Many political
careers will be stunted by the nonsense that now passes for informed
debate on the subject. They will have deserved it. But the
many millions of hard-working immigrants of whatever legal status...and
the many more millions of people throughout the world who depend
on their money transfers for subsistence...will not deserve a global
recession if we keep screwing up on this issue. For details of my
position on this subject, see my many prior statements on this
subject in this section.
- And, while we're at it, let's stop talking about Black
and White...and start talking about Poor and non -
Poor. That is, has always been, and will always be the central
issue confronting the health of this country that from the
beginning promised "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of
Happiness". The "leaders" of the Black community would
do well to embrace this approach rather than continuing their
- Can it be: a rational dialogue between
Christianity and Islam? See www.acommonword.com
for the Muslim initiative, and a Christian response in the Sunday
NYTimes, Nov. 18, wk. p4. "Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God".
November 16, 2007
This offering is about ARROGANCE.
- This week I heard part of an NPR interview with Shannon Brownlee,
the author of a recent book entitled: "Overtreated: Why Too Much
Medical Care Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer". I
have not yet read the book. But the author's extended comments
made two things clear: 1) she relied heavily on pronouncements
from the Institute of Medicine, an august group of mainly university
Professors of Medicine that produces frequent and often controversial
findings; and 2) she had developed, in the course of immersion in her
subject, the temerity to advise the listening public about the merits
and demerits of colonoscopies, mammograms, screening for prostate
cancer.... She kept referring to "evidence", probably
"evidence-based Medicine", to which all physicians aspire...but which
to the Professors too often includes only "placebo controlled,
double-blind crossover studies" and discounts careful clinical
experience. Two examples of the resulting disconnect: a) the use
of aspirin to reduce the risk of coronary artery diseases was begun on
clinical intuition in about 1975 by many practising physicians in the
field; it took until 1987 for the imprImatur to come down from on
high; b) in 1976 in Connecticut a strange illness began to appear,
with elements of both infection and immune reaction, and which we in
practice treated logically with penicillin and steroids - it turned out
to be Lyme Disease, and we were later proven right. The take-home
message sounds like: Reading - and searching the web - may be
dangerous to your health. "CAVEAT EMPTOR".
- One segment of last Sunday's 60 Minutes discussed "THE
MILLENNIAL GENERATION", those children born in the 1980's and
early 1990's, the years when everyone was a winner and got trophies,
when no one was allowed to fail for fear of upsetting their
"self-image", and when everybody was "special" according to their
parents, their teachers and Mr. Roberts. Fast forward to
these miracle kids entering the job market and expecting - demanding
- special attention, constant stroking, and the right to extend
adolescence through their twenties. I hereby offer a substitute
name for them: THE DELUSIONAL GENERATION.
MONDAY through THURSDAY,
November 12 through 15, 2007
New Haven, Ct. Mayor De Stefano and New York State Governor Elliot
Spitzer are being heavily criticized for their attempts to inject some
sense into the immigration debacle. I have
addressed this on a number of occasions earlier in this
section. Here we go again.
We need a National – and not State or local – immigration policy which
must include: a) a clear mechanism for legitimizing the current 12
million “illegals”, who can easily be called “invitees” of our
corporations and our citizens, all enabled by Federal government
inaction; b) an effective mechanism for closing and patrolling our
borders, with severe penalties for violations; c) Sensible and
enforceable future Immigration laws and mechanisms for aliens from
throughout the world, but especially from Mexico and Canada, our
neighbors; d) a mechanism for penalizing Mexico and / or Canada for
promoting or facilitating the movement of their citizens to and across
their borders; e) severe penalties – against nations, cartels and
individuals - for drug dealing; f) severe penalties for drug pushers in
this country, as distinguished from drug addicts who are not pushers,
and who should be considered patients.
Mayor De Stefano and Governor Spitzer…and other local leaders…have
tried to address a national problem locally – and are bound to fail…in
the streets and / or in court. That is not their fault, but the
fault of our craven national “leaders”.
FRIDAY through SUNDAY,
November 9 through 11, 2007
A very interesting news cycle during the past few days.
- Pakistan / Musharraf / Bhutto / Bush and Rice.
Instead of encouraging riots and unrest in the name of "democracy", we
should be concerned with maintaining stability in that vital part of
the world. We saw what trying to place democracy before security
accomplished in Iraq. For more on this, see Charles Krauthammer's
article in the Washington Post, Nov. 9,
- It was nice to see father Bush supporting son Bush.
He was right about supporting our invasion of Iraq. Information
is now beginning to come out about Hussein having reported that he
"faked" having WMD's in defense against Iran...but that he did not
foresee that this would produce an invasion. But father Bush is
too loyal if he gives son Bush a free pass on the conduct of the
post-invasion years. Most relevant to that debacle is a recent
book by Andrew Cockburn entitled "Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and
Catastrophic Legacy" (Scribner, 2007).
- When are our multinational corporations and our complicit
government going to get a handle on the invasion of toxic
products from China. You don't expect the totally
self-absorbed and amoral Chinese givernment to do anything about that,
- More on the "education - union complex. We
now know that, not only is teacher - student sex approaching a
commonplace, but the system also does its best to hide it. Ever
hear of "fiduciary responsibility", folks?
- Scientific progress is always complicating
"certainty", as Galileo did with our understanding of our
universe. Now comes: DNA science and its possible
impact on our understanding of and dealing with issues of Race: and the
science of sexual development, with its emerging impact on
our understanding of and dealing with issues of Gender. The worst
thing that we could would be to follow the lead of the Catholic Church
in the Middle Ages and to attempt to submerge that progress.
- Regarding Religions and charities, these
institutions are both having trouble surviving in today's secular and
self-centered world. Both are beginning to consider a tool used
to good effect in the business world: mergers. Another good idea
would be to develop new "lines of business": like actually getting
involved in dialogue (not monologue) on the pressing social issues of
the day instead of being afraid to enter the fray.
- Is "chubby" and "pleasingly plump" back?
There is now evidence that "overweight", ie. a BMI of between 25 and
29, may be accompanied by a longer and healthier life expectancy.
But this does not apply to Fatties and Anorexics. In fact, the
burden that those people and their life-styles place on our health
care delivery system makes ideas about charging them extra for health
insurance entirely appropriate.
- Finally, a comment on the local scene...in New London,
Ct. The Day (www.theday.com) today published
an entirely appropriate angry editorlal about the arrogance and
probable lawlessness of the current City Council regarding its action
denying a legitimate referendum call by its citizens. In the
process, the action - or rather inaction - of the City Clerk
represents either mis-feasance or (if following
direction of the Council) mal-feasance in office.
Furthermore, the City Attorney probably got his interpretation of the
City Charter wrong in light of the facts. Perhaps a law suit will
be necessary to right this wrong. And while we're at it,
how was it...with the local Democratic Party and its Council minions
clearly against considering a Mayoral form of government, and with that
Party's regularly demonstrated ability to get out the vote...that
the last referendum vote on a Charter change failed because
too few citizens voted? Is it possible that the
Democratic machine got the word out that its people should stay
home? Now, would that have been that democratic,
or just a cynical power-play? You decide. Meanwhile,
revision of the City Charter is not going away...not by a long shot.
November 5 through 8, 2007
Oh yes, the election in New London, Ct. As
I wondered before the election, the people did not "get it". Over
60% of registered voters failed to vote, after a particularly
informative compaign. And, although the presence of new faces
including my son's offers promise, the writer Brad Wheeler cannot be
faulted for his terse appraisal published as a Letter to the Editor in
The Day yesterday: "Congratulations, New London, for voting
yourselves two more years of high taxes, unsafe streets,
underperforming schools and a poor local economy by not only returning
to power an undeserving Democratic Party, but increasing its
After 1950's Presidential candidate A. Stevenson had
completed one of his erudite speeches before university faculty and
students, one of the students rose to predict that "every intelligent
person in America will vote for you". To which Mr. Stevenson
replied: "Thank you...but I would just settle for a majority".
MONDAY through THURSDAY,
November 5 through 8, 2007
Even the occasional visitor to this web site is aware of my
decades - long critique of Public Education in
America. For a continuing education on the subject,
visit the Category entitled "Public Education" on this web
site. And the news never gets better. See two recent
editorials in the WSJ: 1) "Union Orders: Caught In The Act
of Trying To Kill Charter Schools", Friday,
October 12, pA16; 2) "Worse Than You Think: A New Study On Lousy
Suburban Schools", Wednesday, October 24, pA20.
Let us be clear on the following: This is not an indictment
of the many good teachers who have tried daily to do their best in a
situation made impossible by the demands of society during the last 30
years - and accepted and perpetuated by their union leaders and their
"educators". It is a total indictment of those union leaders,
those "educators", and those teachers who could do something about it
and haven't...and also of any teachers, current or retired, who try to
defend the past and current actions of their leaders. As I have
said before: if physicians and nurses practised Medicine the way
"educators" have practised public education, we would rightly be in
And how great segments of parents and of the voting public allow
this travesty to continue, with the active participation of the
Democratic Party, that wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers' Unions, is
beyond me. Where are standards? Where are teacher and
student accountability? Where are competition and choice? The No
Child Left Behind Act is a start, although constantly attacked by
the Education Establishnment. Have they no shame?
November 4, 2007
- The Day (www.theday.com)
endorsements for City Council have been published (Sunday,
Nov. 4). My son Adam is #2 in a slate of 7 persons endorsed - out
of 16 running for the 7 seats. HURRAY. The opinion - makers
"get it": the desperate need for leadership...and for CHANGE to get
that leadership. Now let's see on Tuesday whether the people of
New London, Ct. "get it".
- Related to this is the column by Anthony Cronin in the same
editionof The Day, entitled "Talk - talk can lead to win-win"
(Workday, kpG1). In my own experience over the decades, on the
New London Board of Education and the City Council, and in many other
venues, forget about "win - lose", and strive for "win - win".
That takes much more time than bulldozing something through...but it
pays high and continuing dividends when the game is about "getting
- Guantanamo. Closing that prison will not
by itself address or resolve the issue of the definition of "terror"
and "terrorists", and related "rights" or lack of same.
Resolve that! And while we're at it, resolve
the immigration issue nationally and comprerhensively.
What we have now is poor leadership by Democrats and Republicans alike
in Washington D.C.
- More on public education. An article in
the Connecticut section of the Sunday NYTimes takes issue with "exit
examinations" to graduate from high school. Always cursing the
darkness instead of providing some light. Treat the rampant
infection instead of just constantly scratching the scab.
- That unbiased and objective journalist, Frank Rich of
the NYTimes finds himself and the Democrats on the horns of a
dilemma. The Democrats have been in a panic thinking that we are
about to invade Iran. Now those same Democrats are beginning to
panic that we will not invade Iran. (See the Rich
article in Sunday's NYTimes, Wk p14). What's a sclerotic Democrat
THURSDAY through SATURDAY,
November 1 through 3, 2007
Sorry, folks. But some of these things
are just too good to erase. Besides, they're true. GS
Robin Williams, wearing a shirt that
says "I love New York" in Arabic.
You gotta love Robin Williams......Even if he's nuts! Leave it to Robin
Williams to come up with the perfect plan. What we need now is for our
UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message.
Robin Williams' plan...(Hard to argue with this logic!)
"I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan
for peace. So, here's one plan."
1) "The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their
affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo,
Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of those "good 'ole' boys",
we will never "interfere" again.
2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with
Germany , South Korea , the Middle East , and the Philippines . They
don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one
allowed sneaking through holes in the fence.
3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and
leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder
will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or
where they are. They're illegal!!! France will welcome them.
4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90
days unless given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation
will be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and
don't hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't
need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.
5) No foreign "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers.
If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home baby.
6) The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy
wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but
will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The
caribou will have to cope for a while.
7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel
for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else. They can go
somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells
filling up the storage sites would be enough.)
8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we
will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds,
rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them
is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very
little, if anything.
9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don't
need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building
would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.
10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one
can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer. The Language we speak is
ENGLISH..learn it...or LEAVE...Now, isn't that a winner of a plan?
The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying "Give me your tired, your
poor, your huddled masses." She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling,
''you want a piece of me?'"
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