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
SATURDAY through Thursday, July 26
through 31, 2008
Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here
in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he
shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an
outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or
birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's
becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an
American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he
is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We
have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but
one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room
for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'
good-bye for now. - Your Family
FRIDAY, July 25, 2008
THURSDAY, July 24, 2008
Several offerings for Rapid Response in the last week have been the
work of others. That will happen at times when the offerings of
render me momentarily speechless. GS
This is attributed to Jay Leno
but Snopes says it is not true. However, in my opinion it is a
Leno wrote this; it's the Jay Leno we don't often see...
other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll
data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given
Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy
the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country
unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of
citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle
dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''
Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day,
7 Days a week?
Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer
and heating in the winter?
Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time
see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific
Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification
papers as we move hrough each state?
Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along
the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine
from around the world is just not good enough either.
Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up
and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you
to the hospital.
Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a
group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch
equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and
Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a
burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a
bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against
attack or loss.
This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias
raping and pillaging the residents. neighborhoods where 90% of
teenagers own cell phones and computers.
How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we
enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?
Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has
ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain
for its citizens.
see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do
nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about
the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.
know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no
plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31
approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in
the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to
economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who
called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled
ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?
commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending
you and me?
you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this
news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look
around for yourself and see all the good things and be
about it......are you upset
at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it
because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry
ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.
troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many
cases may have died for your freedom.
is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.
are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general''
discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case
scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of
what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it
they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash
blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the
corner? The media knows this
and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what
and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them
in one way or another.
ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a
book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have
done it this way......Insane!
off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times
the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all
have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We
among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several
times a day, or at least be
thankful and appreciative. With hurricanes, tornados, fires
control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the
country from one end to another,
and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, Are we sure this
is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'
WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2008
HOW DO YOU SAY "BARABING" IN
We, in Ireland , can't figure out why people are even bothering to
hold an election in the United States .
On one side, you have a pants-wearing lawyer, married to a lawyer who
can't keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary
against a lawyer who goes to the wrong church who is married to yet
another lawyer who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to
Now... On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name
starts with the appropriate "Mc" terminology, married to a
younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.
What in the Lord's name are you lads thinking over there in the
TUESDAY, July 22, 2008
THIS WAS VALIDATED BY
SNOPES.COM. A TOUCHING MEMORIAL.
Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor
(EOD2) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in
Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow SEALs.
Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved
from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery ,
SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a
column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's
passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform,
slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.
slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin
arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all
the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a
should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.
the media probably won't make this news, I choose to make it news by
forwarding it onto you guys. I am proud of our military and the men and
women who serve in it. They represent the highest and finest
MONDAY, July 18 through 21, 2008
An observer recently commented, "Sounds like the City
of New London to me."
In the year 2008, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the
United States, and said:
Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see
the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: You have 6 months to build the Ark
before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard
- but no Ark.
Noah! He roared, I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?
Forgive me, Lord, begged Noah, 'but things have changed.
I needed a building permit.
I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler
My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by
building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations.
We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.
Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the
future costs of moving power lines
and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's
move to the sea.
I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear
nothing of it.
Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local
trees in order to save the spotted owl.
I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to
save the owls - but no go!
When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me.
They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.
They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel
to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted
an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights
Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building
Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of
most of the people who want to work.
The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire
only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm
trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to
finish this Ark.
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow
stretched across the sky.
Noah looked up in wonder and asked,
'You mean you're not going to destroy the world?'
'No,' said the Lord.
'The government beat me to it.
THURSDAY, July 17, 2008
Jim, thanks. These are very good.
And, once again, thay reflect the great advantages of studying the
present after it has become the past. The present is to do.
The past is to learn from.
Quotations on Patriotism
"I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I
know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But
I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be
supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of
interest, or some reward."
-George Washington. Letter, April 21, 1778.
"True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at
one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which
impels them—-the desire to do right—-is precisely the same."
-Robert E. Lee, letter to General P. G. T. Beauregard, October 3, 1865
There seems no reason why patriotism and narrowness should go together,
or why intellectual fairmindedness should be confounded with political
trimming,* or why serviceable truth should keep cloistered because not
-Herman Melville (1819–1891)
+i.e. truth should not be hidden away just because it does not support
the American cause.
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your
government when it deserves it."
"How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be 'American'
before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being
enlightened, being humane, & having the same intellectual
discipline as other civilized countries? It is really too easy a
disguise for our shortcomings to dress them up as a form of patriotism!"
"My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I
should reject that patriotism which sought to mount the distress or
exploitation of other nationalities."
-Mohandas K. Gandhi
"I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national
responsibility which will enable America to remain master of her
power—-to walk with it in serenity and wisdom, with self-respect and
the respect of all mankind; a patriotism that puts country ahead of
self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion,
but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. These are words
that are easy to utter, but this is a mighty assignment. For it is
often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them."
- Adlai Stevenson
"We do not consider patriotism desirable if it contradicts civilized
-Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)
"It seems that American patriotism measures itself against an outcast
group. The right Americans are the right Americans because they’re not
like the wrong Americans, who are not really Americans." -
-Eric J. Hobsbawm
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
WEDNESDAY, July 14 through 16, 2008
HERE'S A DEFINITION TO
REMEMBER, BETWEEN NOW AND THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. GS
$104,655.60 Ad in the
is someone with the money to fund a rebuttal to what Howard Dean,
Democratic National Committee Chairman, said recently that 'many
Republicans have never done an honest day's work in their life'. The
following full-page ad was placed in the Washington Post by a
businessman named George J. Esseff, Sr. He paid $104,655.60 to
run the ad and only did it because he is sick and tired of the way that
'the rich' are portrayed by liberals these days. It is a great
you're a conservative Republican?
today's America, ask a growing number of high school and college
students, their teachers and professors, the self-anointed media elite
and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question,
'What is a Republican?' and you'll be told '... a rich, greedy,
egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to
accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment, the
working poor....and all whom they exploit...'
am a Republican - and I am none of those things....and I don't know any
Republicans who are!
WHAT I AM, first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus
years, the father of four, and an American who's proud of his
country...and his country's heritage.
WHAT I AM is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything,
including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in
search of freedom.
WHAT I AM is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed
first hand the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines
that followed. I watched as both my parents and grand parents,
who had very little themselves, shared what food they had with a half
dozen other families who had even less.
WHAT I AM is someone who worked his way through college by holding down
three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a
WHAT I AM is a husband who, at age 24, started his own business for the
'privilege' of working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I
had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my
WHAT I AM is a businessman whose blood, sweat and tears....and plenty
of them..., made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not
only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my
employees throughout the years, employees who in turn were able to buy
their own homes, raise their own families and give back to their
communities and their country.
WHAT I AM is a man who believes in God; a God who has blessed this
country ... and all for which it stands.
WHAT I AM is someone who knows, if you doubt miracles exist in today's
world, you need only to look into the face of those who received them
... and the eyes of those who give them.
WHAT I AM is an American who's proud that his President embraces a
belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as 'politically
incorrect' as it may be, there is evil in this world, and for the
security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be
confronted ... and it must be defeated.
WHAT I AM is an American who takes comfort in the knowledge that our
President refuses to allow decisions concerning the very safety and
security of this nation to be governed by the political whims of
WHAT I AM is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only
negativity in America, racism in her people, class warfare in her
society and 'political incorrectness' in her character.
WHAT I AM is a former Democrat who now understands that it is the
soldier and not the reporter that guarantees us our freedoms of the
press, speech and dissent.
WHAT I AM is a man who believes in the sanctity of life. A man
who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at
the expense of the unborn.
WHAT I AM is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of
marriage and the preservation of the family unit.
WHAT I AM is a ex-movie goer who is repulsed by those insecure,
socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated 'entertainers' who
have appointed themselves 'experts' in the fields of national security
and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its
leaders and its actions, much to the delight and encouragement of our
WHAT I AM is an American who understands the difference between
'censorship' and 'choice.' Evidently, these individuals do not,
because when these same 'celebrities' receive public ridicule for their
offensive actions, the first thing they yell is 'censorship.'
What they seem incapable of understanding is that the right of free
speech and dissent is shared equally by those offended, as well as
those who offend. I support and will continue to support those
films and performers whom I choose to and refuse to support those I
don't. It is my right as an American, a right I will continue to
WHAT I AM is a voter, tired of politicians who, every time their voting
records are subjected to public scrutiny, try to divert attention from
their political and legislative failures by accusing their opponents of
'attack ads' and 'negative campaigning;' and the news media who allow
them to get away with it.
WHAT I AM is a Catholic who loves his God and his Faith, and who's been
taught to respect all religions whose teachings are based in love,
peace and charity. As such, I am embarrassed and ashamed of those
individuals in both private and public life whose decisions and actions
are devoid of any sense of character or morals; individuals who are
only driven by what's best for them, rather than what's right, often
times at the expense of many, including our national security.
WHAT I AM is a realist who understands that the terrorist attack that
murdered hundreds of innocent Russian children could have occurred
here, in our heartland. That's why I sincerely believe America
needs, now more than ever, a President who sees with a clear and
focused vision and who speaks with a voice, when heard by both friend
and foe alike, is understood, respected and believed.
WHAT I AM is eternally grateful to Ronald Reagan for having the bravery
to speak out against Communism and the courage of his convictions in
leading the fight to defeat it; and to George W. Bush for the vision,
courage, conviction and leadership he has shown in America's war on
terrorism amidst both the constant and vicious personal and political
attacks both he and his family are made to endure.
WHAT I AM is a human being, full of numerous faults and failures, but a
man, nonetheless, who though not always successful, has continually
strived to do 'what's right' instead of 'what's easy.' A man who
is challenging the religious leaders of all faiths to not only preach
to their congregations the fundamentals of 'what's right' and 'what's
wrong,' but to also then hold them accountable for their actions in
both the public and private sectors.
WHAT I AM is disgusted with the Courts who, on one hand, call the
murder of a pregnant woman a 'double homicide," but then refer to the
abortion of her baby as 'pro-choice.'
WHAT I AM is someone deeply troubled by a political party which
embraces a candidate whose primary 'leadership' qualities center around
his protesting of the Vietnam war and his labeling the honorable men
and women who fought in it, (50,000 of whom gave their lives in that
action), as rapists and war criminals (John Kerry). That same political
party then stepped forward this year to block the appearance of a true
Vietnam war hero, retired Admiral and former United States Senator,
Jeremiah Denton, (a man who spent seven years and seven torturous
months in a North Vietnamese prison), from speaking before an open
session of the California Legislature as part of that state's 4th of
July celebration. The reason Democrats gave for refusing to allow
this American hero to speak before their state legislature was because
of the 'conservative' nature of his views. As an American, that
troubles me deeply....as well it should you. (Are you listening
WHAT I AM is a man who feels the need to spend ONE HUNDRED & FOUR
THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED & FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS ($104,655.60, tax paid)
of his own money, to purchase this advertisement in order to set the
story straight. Some may say this money would have been better
spent feeding the world's poor. At the risk of sounding
self-serving, as an American and as a Republican, for the last six
decades of my life, I have done exactly that ... and more.
Following the examples of my parents and grandparents, I have used my
earnings to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide housing for
the elderly and medical care for the sick ... and continue to do so ...
and I'm not alone in that work.
WHAT I AM is someone who is paying for this announcement at my sole
expense in hopes of opening the eyes of those led blindly by
ill-informed elements of our great nation, who through either ignorance
or malicious intent, repeatedly attack and belittle those of us who
belong to a political party that holds true to the belief, 'The rights
of the governed exceed the power of the government.' For those
interested, I am speaking only as a tax-paying individual who is in no
way associated with the Republican National Committee, nor with any of
its directors or delegates.
WHAT I AM is a man who understands, 'the American way of life' is a
message of self-empowerment for all.
WHAT I AM is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of
us the opportunity of self-determination and the right to benefit from
the fruits of self achievement.
WHAT I AM is an American who wants to preserve that way of life for all
who seek it.
WHAT I AM is blessed to be an American .... and proud to be a
SUNDAY, July 13, 2008
- Here's another "dog bites man" story: "Are Gifted
Kids Shortchanged Academically?" by Jenna Cho, The Day
today, pA1). Wow! What a finding, known to
anyone vaguely familiar with the public school system over the last
three decades since "mainstreaming" has been the social gospel of the
"educators". Herewith, two definitions: 1) "Educator": a person
allowed by law to do raw experimentation on students; 2) "Teacher": a
person of good will and better than average intelligence who, despite
tenure, has allowed himself or herself to become an indentured servant
to "Edocator" and to teachers' unions. What a shame.
- Morgan McGinley has once again written an
insightful article, this time on the proper - if currently rare -
workings of effective government: "Two Senators With Very
Different Views", describing the
relationship between Liberal Senator Weicker and Racist Senator Jesse
Helms (The Day today, Perspective, pE3). '"He appreciated
my ability to take a stand, as I did his...The important thing to
remember is that you can disagree without getting personal", Weicker
- What's more dangerous than a cynical politician with great
political skills? A naive politician with great
political skills. That's Barack Obama.
Add to that a poorly informed, gullible and lemming-like new generation
of voters...and we may have a perfect storm, with possibly very bad
consequences for decades to come. Pay attention, folks.
This election is very important.
SATURDAY, July 7 through 12, 2008
- All candidates make the same "Sign of the Cross": "reduce
poverty". A worthy goal, but achieveable only through
good education...something that too many American children don't get in
our public schools. That is in large part due to a system that
allows and tolerates a monopoly by Teachers Unions whose members -
protected by their wholly-owned subsidiary (the Democratic Praty) -
block accountability for themselves and school choice for their
students. This recalls the difference between the motto of
ancient Rome ("First Victory, Then Peace") and that of Saint
Paul ("First Justice, Then Peace"). When will our school
children receive Justice?
- Jesse Jackson seems to have a problem with
people "talking down to Blacks". Then lift yourselves up
to eye level with the likes of Bill Cosby...and even Barack
- Watch out for the third party candidates this election.
Ralph Nader and Bob Barr could be real jokers in this deck...and that
would be yet another failure of our currently practised democratic
governance. As argued convincingly by Fareed Zakaria in his Foreign
Affairs article entitled "Is America in Decline?"
(May-June 2008), our only serious weakness as a nation is our
dysfunctional system of governance. So vote, and vote wisely
- When is bailing out stupidity and greed
necessary for the national welfare...and when is it business as
usual? I don't know. But so far the actions and proposals
of both Congress and the White House are not passing the "smell
- And then there is that 99 lb. weakling - the United
Nations. After insufferable inaction while
thousands of innocents have died daily for months in Zimbabwe, the
Security Council failed to pass an enabling resolution for strict
sanctions on the illegal government of "President" Mugabe. Russia
and China, in addition to three other countries, voted against
- And that brings up Russia, and "The New
Cold War" (by Edward Lucas, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008). This
is a sobering call to action against the very real and increasing
threat of the new (old) Russia under Vladimir Putin. Will we
wake up in time...this time? And we're not talking about using
military force here. Please read
- Finally, if you are looking for a good "read" for the summer,
follow the exploits of the City of New London, Ct. its
people and its leadership. A garden spot of the world,
in constant need of weeding. Really: its better than much of
the fiction out there.
TUESDAY through SUNDAY, July 1
through 6, 2008
- Remember "yellowcake", Ambassador Joe
Wilson and Valerie Plame? At the end of today's offering is an AP
Exclusive: "U.S. removes uranium from Iraq". Here is
another in a continuing series of historical revelations that will
go on for the next five to ten years...as we finally get the true story
of events in the aftermath of 9/11. So, don't keep jumping to
conclusions, as our ultra-liberal friends are addicted to doing.
- Finally, someone has admitted what I have been saying for several
years: that the illegal immigration problem has been
largely due to a massive magnetic attraction produced by American
business interests in this country. John McCain referred to the
"magnet" in a statement made while in Mexico this week. "That
great sucking sound" of Ross Perot has evidently been
working both ways.
- Talk about Ross Perot. No, he's not
running again for President. But he recently had this to say: "The
United States faces large and growing budget deficits...Unless we
solve the problems caused by entitlement spending, there will be little
money left to do anything else in the future. Over time, our
standard of living, our national security, our standing in the world
and the value of our currency could all be threatened.".
What do you mean "over time"? All of that is already
- But on this Independence Day weekend, let's not get too
morose. An excellent article that reviews the continued
great strengths of America should be required reading for all
pessimists: "The Future of American Power", by Fareed Zakaria,
Foreign Affairs magazine. May-June 2008 issue. In it the author
also nails our basic problem: "political dysfunction". Should
this "malaise" be treated with our citizens' careful attention to
detail and informed choices? Or will it be treated with reflexive
demands for "change"...ala Obama supporters and even as suggested by
George Will? One answer to this question may be found in today's
article by Charles Krauthammer entitled: "Does Anyone, Including
Obama, Know Where He Really Stands?" (in The Day today,
- Teen-age drinking is in the news again, as a
followup to the good series of articles on the subject that appeared in
The Day within the last two weeks. Another failure of this
Millennial Generation's parents. WHAT IS IT ABOUT "NO" THAT YOU
DON'T UNDERSTAND? See a related article from the Washington Post
by Ian Shapiro: "Young Generation Struggles To Find Its Identity".
With a lot of luck, it will just be a case of "delayed
- The European Union, Ireland and a number of
other member States. The final integrative steps now being pushed
will probably be "a bridge too far".
- Another reference to that premier New England newspaper, The Day (www.theday.com).
It's only because I love you so, including the new Look, which I find
more interesting and easier to read. But now the stick.
Today's editorial announces "Connecticut Voters Are Not Happy",
and relates that to their displeasure with their elected
officials. Look in the mirror for the diagnosis, folks.
"In a democracy, the people always get what they deserve".
But there is hope: In the coming November election, Connecticut voters
will be given an opportunity to vote for a Constitutional Convention
that could give the people of the State the right of Statewide
Initiative and Referendum. This is sorely needed.
- In the same editorial, special attention is given to Joe
Lieberman. "Sen. Lieberman cynically has remained in the
Democratic causus, giving his one-time party a key vote on some
issues". Say What?
Would you rather that he had joined the Republicans during the recent
Senate sessions, placing the Democrats once again effectively in the
minority for both organizational and substantive issues? I
- Two recent articles, one in today's NYTimes (pA1), relate to what
some call the "third rail" of American Medicine, but which I consider
central to addressing the problem of Health Care delivery in
this country: prioritization / rationing. The
article relates to the cancer drug "Avastin's Arguable Benefits"...at
about $100,000. per year, for a few months' prolongation of life, at
best. All of the other comparable countries that continue to be
compared favorably with our system use a cynical method of delays
and "queueing" to effect their rationing. Our country should be
too young for such cynicism. What we need is a broadly discussed
and supported system of health care prioritization based upon
legitimate need...not on "want". That will take a lot more
leadership than we are witnessing from our perch atop the national
- Senator Jesse Helms: Racist to the death.
But as a Christian I can say: Rest In Peace.
- Also... GS
AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from
By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer Sun Jul 6, 4:45 AM ET
The last major remnant of Saddam
Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated
natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret
U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship
voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of
"yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment —
was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear
legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had
worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran
to aid its nuclear ambitions.
What's now left is the final and
complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the
former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad — using
teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl
fallout zone in Ukraine.
"Everyone is very happy to have this
safely out of Iraq," said
a senior U.S. official who outlined the nearly three-month operation to
The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity
because of the sensitivity of the subject.
While yellowcake alone is not considered
potent enough for a so-called "dirty bomb" — a conventional explosive
that disperses radioactive material — it could stir widespread panic if
incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake
also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear
weapons using sophisticated equipment.
The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake
to a Canadian uranium producer, Cameco Corp., in a transaction the
official described as worth "tens of millions of dollars." A Cameco
spokesman, Lyle Krahn, declined to discuss the price, but said the
yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in
"We are pleased ... that we have taken
(the yellowcake) from a volatile region into a stable area to produce
clean electricity," he said.
The deal culminated more than a year of
intense diplomatic and military initiatives — kept hushed in fear of
ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying
3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the
Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged
ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.
And, in a symbolic way, the mission
linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the
high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup
to the 2003 invasion.
Accusations that Saddam had tried to
purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger — and an
article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims — led to a
wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the
Tuwaitha and an adjacent research
facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's
Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor
project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and
safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and
containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any
yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have guarded the
23,000-acre site — surrounded by huge sand berms — following a wave of
looting after Saddam's fall that included villagers toting away
yellowcake storage barrels for use as drinking water cisterns.
Yellowcake is obtained by using various
solutions to leach out uranium from raw ore and can have a corn
meal-like color and consistency. It poses no severe risk if stored and
sealed properly. But exposure carries well-documented health concerns
associated with heavy metals such as damage to internal organs, experts
"The big problem comes with any
inhalation of any of the yellowcake dust," said Doug Brugge, a
professor of public health issues at the Tufts University School of
Moving the yellowcake faced numerous
Diplomats and military leaders first
weighed the idea of shipping the yellowcake overland to Kuwait's port
on the Persian Gulf. Such a route, however, would pass through Iraq's
Shiite heartland and within easy range of extremist factions, including
some that Washington claims are aided by Iran. The ship also would need to clear
the narrow Strait of
Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, where U.S. and Iranian ships
often come in close contact.
Kuwaiti authorities, too, were reluctant
to open their borders to the shipment despite top-level lobbying from
An alternative plan took shape: shipping
out the yellowcake on cargo planes.
But the yellowcake still needed a final
destination. Iraqi government officials sought buyers on the commercial
market, where uranium prices spiked at about $120 per pound last year.
It's currently selling for about half that. The Cameco deal was reached
earlier this year, the official said.
At that point, U.S.-led crews began
removing the yellowcake from the Saddam-era containers — some leaking
or weakened by corrosion — and reloading the material into about 3,500
In April, truck convoys started moving
the yellowcake from Tuwaitha to Baghdad's international airport, the
official said. Then, for two weeks in May, it was ferried in 37 flights
to Diego Garcia, a speck of British territory in the Indian Ocean where
the U.S. military maintains a base.
On June 3, an American ship left the
island for Montreal,
said the official, who declined to give further details about the
The yellowcake wasn't the only dangerous
item removed from Tuwaitha.
Earlier this year, the military withdrew
four devices for controlled radiation exposure from the former nuclear
complex. The lead-enclosed irradiation units, used to decontaminate
food and other items, contain elements of high radioactivity that could
potentially be used in a weapon, according to the official. Their
Ottawa-based manufacturer, MDS Nordion, took them back for free, the
The yellowcake was the last major
stockpile from Saddam's nuclear efforts, but years of final cleanup is
ahead for Tuwaitha and other smaller sites.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency plans
to offer technical expertise.
Last month, a team of Iraqi nuclear
experts completed training in the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat, which once
housed the Chernobyl
workers before the deadly meltdown in 1986, said an IAEA official who
spoke on condition of anonymity because the decontamination plan has
not yet been publicly announced.
But the job ahead is enormous,
complicated by digging out radioactive "hot zones" entombed in concrete
during Saddam's rule, said the IAEA official. Last year, an IAEA safety
expert, Dennis Reisenweaver, predicted the cleanup could take "many
The yellowcake issue also is one of the
many troubling footnotes of the war for Washington.
A CIA officer, Valerie Plame, claimed her identity was
leaked to journalists to retaliate against her husband, former Ambassador
Joe Wilson, who wrote that he had found no evidence to support
assertions that Iraq
tried to buy additional yellowcake from Niger.
A federal investigation led to the
conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff,
on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
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